First Cairo Egypt And Now Washington DC: Tent City Occupation Begins Oct. 6, 2011
By Liam Fox
NEWS JUNKIE POSTJun 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm
Finally, a large, and rapidly growing, coalition of left wing and progressive activists, and organizations, is coming together with a clear and united platform. Hundreds of thousands are expected to descend on DC this coming October, 111 days from now, not just to march in a permitted parade and then return home, but to stay and occupy Freedom Plaza indefinitely, until their demands have been met.
The Bonus Army, made up of WWI veterans, did precisely this in 1932 so that they could be paid the money that the government owed them for their service, performed more than a decade earlier, and be able to feed their families during the horrible early years of the Great Depression. They were met with violence from the police and two of the veterans latter died from their wounds. The army was also called in and the protest was finally put down after almost six weeks.
In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior was on his way to a permanent tent city being established on the Capitol grounds in Washington, called Resurrection City, as part of his ‘Poor Peoples’ campaign. He was murdered while in Memphis, on his way to the event. After his murder, the army was used to clear the demonstrators and their tent city.
Both of these prior events share fundamental principles with the October 2011 action. Illegal foreign wars, high unemployment, cuts to services and wages while increasing costs and taxes, and corporate influence over political institutions and policies are just as current today as they were at either of those times.
Wage disparity is worse than ever. Jobs are being lost, benefits cut, and homes foreclosed on while the financial elite are boasting record profits. The politicians they’ve paid for are busy stripping away any rules, regulations, and responsible taxation, in return for campaign donations and lucrative post-public-office positions. Plainly speaking, it’s the politician’s jobs to hold us down while Big-Finance, Big-Business, and any other well-heeled special interest with an army of lobbyists rapes us, robs us, and rolls us.
There is a nonviolence pledge that all participants are asked to sign even though it can be expected that the DC police, and the Federal Security Forces, are unlikely to have any such pledge of their own. Information and tips regarding peaceful civil disobedience, your rights, and your responsibilities, will be shared as the event approaches both at the main site as well as in regular updates here at News Junkie Post.
The left has been slow in their response to the loud rantings of the extreme right. A unified and focused effort that brings all those with shared fundamental principles together has taken some time to organize, but that time is here. In One Hundred Eleven days, on October 6, America will show up on the lawns of the Capitol and will not move until they have been heard, and the appropriate responses are forthcoming.
The October2011 site states;
“October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.”
The event beginning October 6 is endorsed by a growing list of participating organizations that include ANSWER, Backbone Campaign, FireDogLake, The Green Party USA, Progressive Democrats of America, Single Payer Action, Veterans for Peace, War is a Crime, Food Not Bombs, Ted Rall – author of The Anti-American Manifesto, Code Pink, World Can’t Wait, United National Antiwar Committee, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, and many more. In addition to these organizations, there are currently more than twenty media outlets besides NewsJunkiePost.com that will be covering and carrying this event and all related and relevant information.
Also from the October2011 site;
“Previous demonstrations were one-day events which were simple for the Administration and Congress to ignore” Margaret Flowers, another organizer, told me. “The large demonstrations usually happened on weekends when there was little going on in Washington. “This is different because it is an occupation that begins on a Thursday, a day of business, and will continue.”
They will keep the heat on. “We intend to stay and to have waves of nonviolent civil resistance. The time for symbolic actions has ended. Too many people are suffering and dying here and around the world because of the policies of this nation. The planet is suffering because of the policies of this nation. This government has demonstrated that it is incapable of acting in the best interests of the people and planet. We say that this is unacceptable and we will stay and resist until this changes,” Flowers said.
The goal of the protest can be found in this excerpt from the pledge found on the October2011 site;
“I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C.,…where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine until our resources are invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation…”
The question of ‘if’ it’s going to happen is already settled; comprehensive planning by a large and committed coalition has ensured that. The goal is to sustain the action for as long as it takes. Pack small, pack smart, and pack to make it last. The action will begin during the beautiful low 70′s weather of early October in DC, but the hints of winter will only be a few weeks off. As a group, problem solving can be done as things develop, but, preparation can save a lot of frustration and strengthen the groups morale and resolve.
We have seen the response to such demonstrations in Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria. One always hopes that their own government will be more civil, and more democratic, and, indeed, this is everyone’s hope. But, make your back-up plans, contact plans, bail contacts, emergency numbers, etc. Good planning and preparation are what will ensure success.
A volunteers list is already being organized through October2011.org to manage logistics and supplies. Transportation programs are also available at the October2011.org site. A method for receiving donations has already been established and, it too, can be accessed through the October2011 site. Bookmark their page and check back here for any further details as they are available.
Mark your calendars: October 6, 2011, 111 days from today. Arrange to have the time off; as much as possible but preferably for the duration. I’ll see everyone there.
- November 23, 2012 -- Morsi’s Coup in Egypt: Is the Middle-East Headed for a Muslim Brotherhood Takeover?
- November 18, 2012 -- Will the Slaughter in Gaza Trigger a Real Arab Revolution?
- September 26, 2011 -- Press Release: The October Coalition – Occupation of D.C. Begins October 6th
- June 21, 2011 -- October 2011 Movement: Open Letter and Press Release
- July 8, 2011 -- Are Our Politicians Forcing a Revolution?