Civil Liberties Strategy to Make OWS Permanent; Reshape Washington in the Months Ahead
The following is an HPUB editorial.
The protesters at OWS may be young but they are savvy. They understand, and the election of 2008 makes it glaringly obvious, that the actual power in this country is not in the White House. It’s on Wall Street; Wall Street as a metaphor for Finance Power with the FED, a body above Congressional and presidential oversight, as its servant. It is also painfully clear that key foreign policy decisions of war and peace are made at the Pentagon and behind closed doors at the State Department.
The organizational power of OWS to grow its ranks makes it impossible to ignore by the media because too many media consumers see it with their own eyes. The media is grudgingly obliged to confer conditioned power ( the equivalent of millions in advertising costs if orchestrated by a plutocrat running for election, e.g. Bloomberg himself) of persuasion on OWS as they are forced to continuously give updates on the ongoing general strike, as it were. Of course, the media tries to distort the message in the process, but the distortion will be difficult to sustain week after week.
OWS has found the Achilles Heel of the empire. This time, the general strike is not gathering steam in Buenos Aires, Athens or Johannesburg…or Harlem, Watts or some other code word for “the underclass.” This time the people protesting in the streets and camping out can not be easily dismissed and the condign power of the state is circumscribed by the media itself: “The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!” Indeed, were the corporate media to blockade coverage in the name of national security…social media, already a huge factor, would quickly dominate the news industry itself. What then, shut down Facebook and Twitter, the very tools that were supposed to help the U.S. topple the regime in Tehran?
Any fatalities would prove catastrophic for either side. This is a war for the hearts and minds. If one protester is killed, it would be Kent State deja vu. Police commissioners and elected officials might have to resign; if the protesters turn violent, the corporate media will exploit the incident mercilessly, freeing up the state’s condign power to move in and dismantle the movement while the public nods in approval
OWS: non-violence is your cornerstone. Remove it, and you will lose. Beware of agent provocateurs.
Remain shapeless, leaderless, hydra-like. Any charismatic leader or central committee will be spied on, entrapped, blackmailed, framed , indicted, character assassinated and if all else fails, liquidated. Look no further than COINTELPRO and Dr. King’s assassination for examples.
OWS: Victory will come in the form of radical changes in government policies, mass resignations of politicians and an end to the corrupt Republicratic “two party” system. To get there, you will need to sustain yourself for the very long haul, month after month, possibly running into years. The cold months and holidays are coming. You will probably be in hibernation during this time. This is a vulnerable point in the process. To be continued.
From John Robb, USAF retired
It’s an open source protest (there’s lots about how open
source protests and insurgencies work on this blog, in posts all the way
back to 2004). So, it’s not like the protests you’ve seen in the past
(just as the insurgency in Iraq was different than 20th Century
This protest is more like what we saw in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt,
Syria, etc. You know, the protests that toppled governments. The big
difference between this protest and those protests is that it’s not
directed at governments. It’s aimed at companies. Not just any
companies, it’s aimed at the banks that run/own the global economy. The
heart of the global Capitalist system.
So, why have governments suffered disintermediation (either
consciously or subconsciously by these protestors)? This protest is
ignoring governments and standard political processes because:
- governments are much weaker than the global economy (they are
bankrupt, hollow shells of what they were at the end of the Cold War),
- they are too ineffectual and/or corrupt to change anything even if
they are coerced (see the US, Ireland and Greece for recent examples),
- too little will change even if the government changes parties (see
the US for how lame politics and politicians have become).
What Occupy is Really About
The real reason we are seeing this movement right now is because
Capitalism, the last great ideological
system, is in crisis.
This isn’t merely a crisis of outcomes (economic depression,
financial panic, etc.), it’s a crisis of BELIEF. While people generally
believe in the idea of capitalism, a critical mass of people now think
that the global capitalist system we currently have is so badly run, so
corrupt, so terrible at delivering results that it needs either a) a
complete overhaul or b) we need to build something new.
In short, in its tiny way, this protest may be the start of a
reformation of the church of capitalism.
A splintering that may change everything…. For better or worse
depending on how well you did in the old, corrupt system.
SOLIDIFY AND MAKE OWS A PERMANENT FIXTURE
One of the most interesting aspects of Occupy Wall Street (#ows)
is the work it is doing to set up permanent occupations in EVERY city
(over 1,000 locations globally, and growing) of note.
NOTE: If you want to help document occupy process for others to
copy, put it on MiiU.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Navigation of the complex legalities of sleeping/living in an urban,
public space (park, square) Every major city has a thicket of
regulations in place to prevent people from congregating, let alone
- Defusing provocations from police to prevent more aggressive action.
The police made a couple of attempts at provocations already (lots of
pepper spray, lots of beatings with batons, and lots of arrests) in NYC.
So far, the protesters just took it and didn’t fight back.
- Acquiring provisions. On-line support has helped the protest
acquire many of the food, water, and other items it needs (although its
unclear how many locations get anything approaching the level of support
seen in NYC).
- Food preparation. By keeping the permanent group small, the need
for food/food prep stays manageable.
- Shelter. Most locations selected prohibit tents. Lots of variants
(cardboard, tarps, etc.) have emerged. This is going to be tougher in
winter in the northern climes, but not undoable with small numbers of
- Defense. Currently, the occupy movement is strictly adhering to the
regulations and non-violence to avoid being ejected from their
locations. The best medium term defense is a flashmob.
- Media. 24x7x365
- Local Governance. Open source. Consensus needed. Leaderless
(pitch in if something needs doing, but don’t assume you are running the
A permanent camp in each location means that there is a gathering
point for HUGE protests in the future (quick response to
shocks/events/etc.). Also, protests that span hundreds or thousands of
Pretty cool dynamic developing: a protest Horde?