Occupy Movement: Phase Two
The most common conversation to be heard among those working within the Occupy movement is about where the movement will go from here. The frustration that has been caused by the lack of adequate reporting, and the dissemination of misleading and erroneous information by the mainstream media, has only exacerbated the need to move ahead and affect concrete, demonstrable change through a clearly articulated message and the actions that such a message will dictate.
The current stage of the movement, the symbolic holding of public spaces, needs to mature into an Occupation of the entire public/political arena forcing out the current establishment that has been enabling the exploitation of the 99 percent by the 1 percent (a symbolic ratio that can be argued as 98 percent v. 2 percent, or, perhaps more accurately, something closer to 99.999 percent v. 0.001 percent).
The main focus of the news coverage has been which camps/occupations have been swept out by the police, how brutal those sweeps were, and how quickly the occupiers were able to reorganize, reoccupy, and expand their encampments. In many cases the draconian actions of local politicians, and the police that do their bidding, have served only to energize the movement and rally greater support to the cause. But, the cause itself has received little attention and is often combined with large doses of uninformed commentary and biased punditry to form a confusing slurry to be served up to the masses.
The fact that well over a dozen community based General Assemblies are now growing throughout the New York area, with more being added there and throughout the country with the passing of every week, is never discussed in the main stream media. While Bill O’Reilly’s personal bias towards the age, clothing, and the musical preferences of the protesters seems to be given plenty of air time, and is echoed ad nauseum by other talking airheads on other corporate networks and radio stations, little analysis, let alone factual reporting, is applied to the message presented by the Occupy collective through either their communications or their actions.
“The global population is not the chattel property of an elite few who hoard our wealth and resources and have purchased our political establishments in order to control and exploit us!”
“We are all equal shareholders on this planet. We are not the exploited tenants and servants of an elite minority simply because of the accident of our birth, or theirs!”
Occupy Wall Street, and Occupy DC, both have detailed declarations that expound on these sentiments and include much more detail, nuance, information, and explanation to support both the strength of their conviction and demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of the issues that plague our planet.
The singular message contained in these statements of “No More,” and ” Enough is Enough,” is pretty simply. And, to many of the occupiers more than just a message. They’re a call to action, a mission statement, a sentiment that concludes with, “and we’re not going to take it any more!”
While the media has been doing their best to ignore the true strength of the movement, and politicians have been alternating between squirming under the pressure of the looming accountability they will be forced to endure and their uncontrollable desire to ingratiate themselves to a movement gaining political capital faster than the Federal Reserve can print the money they live for, the Occupy movement is already metamorphosing beyond what they all loved to characterize as a youthful temper tantrum in the nation’s parks. Younger, sharper, and nimbler minds than the stagnant thinking that has plagued our nation’s capital are developing strategies, building alliances, accessing resources, and taking aim to change not only the political landscape in America, and across the planet, but emancipate the global public from the programmed thinking that has enabled their enslavement.
The Occupy Movement and Organized labor have been bouncing clumsily off each other for the past three months trying to identify how to work on their common cause while respecting those things that they disagree on. While the Occupy movement remains completely non-partisan and stands counter to the current political establishment, the now institutionalized labor movement is forced to operate within the current structure of a corrupt political establishment in order to try to represent the needs of it’s rank and file. While this difference places the two on opposite sides of a vast chasm, their shared goals on behalf of the 99 percent has provided the bases for a relationship that stands to increase the effectiveness of both exponentially.
As the Occupy Movement begins what may be called the ‘Winter of Preparation’, the newly articulated relationship of autonomous issue-based cooperation, which is clearly reflected in the Occupy DC Labor Committee Statement below, threatens a combined strength that will usher in the expected ‘American Spring’ with a force that may dwarf the petty and distracting issues of a national election year, and bring focus to the global struggle of the peoples of the world for emancipation from a tiny, elite, greedy, predatory minority.
The collective strength and social power of the Occupy movement, workers, and organized rank and file union members – all of whom belong to the 99 percent – are natural allies and equally critical to successfully achieving the non-partisan goals of economic, political, and social justice that we all share. Therefore, it is resolved that Occupy DC will make every effort to join forces and work with the unions, and our sisters and brothers that they represent, whenever it is in our mutual best interest to do so.
While left-wing political groups have also struggled to establish a relationship with the Occupy movement due to the hubris of their wildly erroneous presumption that the movement actually supported the Wall Street friendly Democrats, and their offensive attempts to capitalize on the popular support of the movement by including the vocabulary of the Movement such as ‘Occupy’ and ‘the 99%’, into their election strategies, many left-wing human rights, equal rights, civil rights, and social/economic justice groups et al, have found common cause with the Occupy juggernaut. This issue-based federation of autonomous movements will have the power to challenge the foundation of the system that enables our exploitation.
As the police and politicians alike celebrate the destruction of tents and the displacement of peaceful protesters from public spaces in the middle of the night, something beyond their abilities to destroy in a matter of moments has grown strong. While they focused on tents and tarps goals were being identified and action plans developed.
General Assemblies will become something people will begin to see in their local communities, their schools, their Universities, and the places where they work. Rather than parks being occupied to make a statement, homes facing foreclosure may be occupied and families returned to them from the streets. Public buildings that have had their budgets cut, and their services to the community interrupted, may be occupied, revitalized, and returned to the people whose resources were used to create them rather than ‘privatized’ and sold for pennies on the dollar to the moneyed benefactors and cronies that purchased our politicians their offices.
The Occupy Movement will not, and can not, be silenced. It is not something that was artificially created, it was the natural response to something that has been imposed on the people of this country, and the people of the world, for far too long. It is the reality that they, the 1 percent, the 0.001 percent, created that is the real genesis of the Occupy movement. Their greed. Their cruelty. Their exploitation.
The people of the planet will have their voices heard and their demands addressed. As the Occupy Movement around the planet develops the same common strength as those natural allies in America are in the process of doing, the next phase of the movement will create a groundswell that will set the stage for the redefining of the global political and economic norms that have enslaved us all.
The Occupy movement isn’t about putting people in spaces and keeping them there. That was just a symbolic demonstration of commitment, and a way to start the conversation we all need to be having. The Occupy movement is about emancipation. Phase II will be starting soon. It’s time to Occupy everywhere.
Editor’s Note: All photographs by Libertinus.