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View Diary: The Squandered Potential of Occupy (240 comments)

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  •  As an active participant in Occupy, I agree with (5+ / 0-)

    a lot of what you say.  

    First, one big mistake people who are sympathetic to Occupy, but were turned off, made is to leave and leave it at that.   Every single person has the right to create a new incarnation, an affinity group, an offshoot. Find folks you CAN work with.    There was no rule book and no leaders for this reason.    When the anarcho-syndicalist-libertarian-drum circle drove everyone off, everyone could have (and still can) build the next generation of it.  We have seen a good number of fledgling groups like Occupy Sandy, Strike Debt, Occupy Foreclosures, and many others that aren't overtly "occupy."   My feeling was that when the MoveOn people were driven away for being "librullz" MoveOn people could have been (were?) reinvigorated.   There is no copyright on "occupy."    

    Second,  yes it definitely started out as "We are the 99%" and "All Voices Heard" and  "Consensus" but very quickly devolved into  "you're not Left enough!" and "you're donating non-organic celery to the kitchen? You're part of the problem, you authoritarian!!!"  and "I don't care if Obamacare saves 50,000 real people's lives, it interferes with my freedom! He's a health care Nazi!!"   Sooo much energy wasted on attacking other participants for not being radical enough, that the focus nearly instantly shifted from "the 1%" and the banks and corporate and political corruption, that we literally left with arguments about drum circles.

    Third, the initial free form, open aspect lead to immediate infiltration by people not there to unite, people there to only divide and disrupt. We have seen plenty of evidence over the past year (and throughout the history of movements) of undercover police, agents of the 1%, whomever.  It has often very cleverly used the ruse of claiming participants hate people who are homeless or suffering from severe mental illness or alcohol and drug addiction , if those communities are not the entire focus of your activism.    We even have people claim we can never do anything indoors because some imaginary people don't feel comfortable indoors.  You see, eight people meeting in a dark city park in the freezing rain in the middle of the week is soooo much more accessible to The People!!!!

    Fourth, I could go on, but want to stress that every person who participated or was sympathetic to Occupy but left out of frustration is empowered to start your own group, utilizing what we've learned over the last year.  Even OWS is actually now 100+ affinity groups, doing the work they want to focus one.  It's time we leave the perpetual do-nothing, purist, whiners behind.  Find the people you can work with and make the change you want to see happen.  

    The take away for me is essentially, "You are still the one you've been waiting for"  

    •  Um, pretty typical of many activists (0+ / 0-)

      It has often very cleverly used the ruse of claiming participants hate people who are homeless or suffering from severe mental illness or alcohol and drug addiction , if those communities are not the entire focus of your activism.

      I'm pretty sure those aren't 1% infiltrators. Those are professional activists who want to hijack OWS for their own personal agendas and interests.

    •  Can you expand this... (0+ / 0-)

      into a diary?

    •  another dimension emerged from the live feeds (0+ / 0-)

      once things really got going we had dozens of live camera and audio feeds from all over the country and selected locations outside the US around the globe.

      And live twitter feeds channeling feedback and emotional support in realtime back into live action zones.

      The connections were going way, way beyond the people who were literally at ground zero at any point in space and time.

      The best moments were being shared and discussed and learned from way beyond the hand full of people who happened to be on site.

      It didn't need any changes to cut through and trounce the banal, unreal, stale hypocrisy of the MSM. And it didn't claim or require perfection to exist, grow and adapt.

      In the aggregate it was transcending all the flaws of all the individuals involved.

      Then the evictions started, and the jamming of the feeds and it seemed to collapse.

      It didn't collapse because of petty infighting. It was razed by cops in riot gear running over lawyer's feet with their motorcycles, rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, manipulation of the legal system, etc.

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