Sunday, November 27, 2011

There May Still Be Time for OWS to Make Gains

I am glad OWS got out there and organized all these Occupy events; but I am not so glad about the direction that has been taken. To me, a little more imagination and the whole thing could be less needlessly provocative and alarming to the civic authorities. (Of course, we want to alarm the 1%!) A little thoughtfulness could grow this movement into one that can effect real change through the political process.

It was a great idea to focus on Wall Street and the wealth of a few controlling the country for the many--and for their own greed and power-hunger. The voice belongs to all the rest of us that expresses the anger at income inequality and political corruption that big money has bought for itself. The problem as I see it is letting it turn into an anti-police, anti-government movement. It doesn't need to end this way.

By "this way," I mean the announcements I have read in the news that Occupy protesters intend to stay until they are dragged away by police. This idea reeks too much of old hippiedom and the 1968 Democratic convention (which helped elect "law-and-order" candidate Richard Nixon). Confronting the police will prove counterproductive as it contributes to abuses from both "sides." In fact the police and the civil authorities are not Wall Street. They could be labeled as tools of W.S., but consider how another approach could have worked--and maybe still could.

The OWS need/needed to choose an occasion to disband, with appropriate ceremonial celebration and cleaning up. Then, continue to network and get the word out on the Internet and other media. They have already sent representatives onto news shows: a News Hour segment hosted two young OWS people who spoke articulately and effectively. After ceremonially disbanding, OWS should re-assemble at regular intervals around parts of their message. In my opinion, OWS should show solidarity with police who are also in the 99%. OWS groups would then conserve their energy to show up at political events and exercise their freedom of speech and freedom of assembly often and visibly.

OWS should not organize a third party but should exercise their weight within the Democratic party! There are so many possibilities in this widespread revulsion against the decades of rich getting richer. Educate us, OWS. Film 1% homes and yachts juxtaposed with lines at food pantries. Make people do the hard work of voting for imperfect candidates. OWS has created a wonderful opportunity for wide wide influence if they can maintain their identity through networking, assembling, and informing us.

Not so dramatic as getting pepper-sprayed and dragged to jail by the hair, but I suggest this way to go forward that promotes the long-term interests of the 99%.


Blogger J. Michael Povey said...

Superb! Thanks Pat

6:47 PM  
Blogger Sarah-Septuagenarian said...

As always you make great good sense! A rare virtue these days.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Ain't gonna happen is it.

12:58 AM  

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