Defending Occupy

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Defending Occupy

Post by Joe Steel on Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:23 am

Comments on my hometown newspaper's site (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, stltoday.com) seem overwhelmingly to be anti-Occupy, most recently on this story: St. Louis officials say time for Occupy protesters to leave plaza. Commenters seem to believe the violence and crime now being more frequently reported damns the Occupy movement.

That troubled me.

I believe the underlying reasons for Occupy to be progressive and good for the country but have to admit the crime and violence are a problem. We can't expect to gain the support of Americans if they see police in riot gear hauling-away protestors every night on TV. That creates a very bad impression and might be enough to marginalize the movement.

One way to combat that impression is to remind America that Occupy is attracting a variety of persons. As one blogger notes:

...Keep in mind that the whole Occupy Movement is one big populist shindig. It may vary from place to place,but the "Occupations" are full of people from all over the polticial spectrum. Some see this "broadness" as a really good thing. Some, like me, question it. Combine a so called leaderless movement with no common political oreintation and what do you get? Who is to say, who represents what, who is to do what, what tactic is correct, which slogan to shout, what sign to hold up? At some point the Occupy movement has to decide what it wants to be and whose interest it wants to represent...or it will implode. For how long can you have anarchists, Marxists, Ron Paul supporters, right wing libertarians, dogmatic pacifists, liberals, feel good people, angry people, people who intend to defend themselves and more, capitalists, petty bourgois, workers, unemployed. business owners, professionals, anti racists, racists, and all that and more in an "ain't we got fun" atmosphere?

WHAT LAST NIGHT'S CLASH IN OAKLAND MEANS AND DID IT HAVE TO HAPPEN
If we can't defend Occupy, it is doomed.

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Re: Defending Occupy

Post by Guest on Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:16 pm

I live in a predominantly conservative area and what I have seen occur over the past couple of weeks gives me some hope. There are a few friends and coworkers of mine whom I rely on to give me regular reports on the "pulse" of more mainstream Republicanism and all of them have mentioned the disparity between the 1% and the 99% at least once. I, of course, have encouraged these conversations!
More people are starting to talk about this, including more conservative people even. In one conversation with a coworker, we decided that:
1) There are always going to be defenders of the 1%, even if they themselves are in the 99%. These are the people who will swear til their dying day that the wealthy have earned every penny they have through honest hard work; and,
2) Main Street conservatives are happy enough with the wealthy as long as they perceive that upward mobility to be viable. When they realize that the deck is stacked against them, they are more apt to identify themselves with the 99.
Now that's just one conversation, but I have had others that have been similarly encouraging. Granted, this is New Hampshire, and we don't have the same degree of social conservativism as other parts of the country The diversity of the 99% may be an obstacle now, but hopefully it will one day be a strength.
Joe, I'm disappointed with the Post-Dispatch. My father grew up about an hour's drive from Saint-Louis, and back in his day the people of that area were populists all! (I have a photograph of my great-grandfather riding in a car with William Jennings Bryan!)
So yes, I agree with you. It is incumbent on all of us to defend the Occupy movement. We need all Americans to realize that people from all walks of life have been inspired by this.
Johanna

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Re: Defending Occupy

Post by Frank Lee Speaking on Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:13 am

The best defense is a good offense.

let's just show people we're fighting for them. for our country. for the American Dream. they'll come around.

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Re: Defending Occupy

Post by kathyhoganloryer on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:50 am

Occupy continues to resonate, heard it in the President's speech on the middle class yesterday, and in news accounts of the Occupy homes efforts to stop evictions. I have faith that we're still going and growing. Challenging to keep up with all of the actions taking place, but the passion and commitment to forward momentum seem to be going strong.

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Re: Defending Occupy

Post by PDT on Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:07 am

You can't evict an idea Kathy! The movement lives and is taking new shape everyday. The fact that any politician is mentioning it is a sign that they understand it is an underlying sentiment felt strongly with many, many
Americans, that real change is needed. And not the kind that benefits just the 1%.

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George Soros

Post by TuSpd on Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:30 pm

So whats the story, is OWS accepting money from George Soros???

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Re: Defending Occupy

Post by kathyhoganloryer on Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:57 pm

Don't know that specific answer, but I hope whoever supports what OWS is doing, and can afford to donate towards its success, will do so.

What's the big scare here? If "George Soros" supports OWS, then we're all his beholden and controlled handmaidens?

OWS is a fiercely independent and self-directed group of folks. I wouldn't worry too much about OWS selling out.

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Re: Defending Occupy

Post by TuSpd on Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:29 am

I'm finding that liberal values in the list of grievences are making it diffulcult to attract conservatives and/or to defend against conservative attacks.

I think the NYC OWS is wise keeping their political views neutral and grievances at a minimum to avoid political attacks from all sides of the political spectrum.

I like the central issue of "getting money out of politics" which seems politically neutral to me.

A list of grievances not politically neutral in my opinion is harmful to the cause or limits the ability of OWS to grow its support. And I think as long as OWS is politically neutral they can avoid political attacks. I wonder if all grievances should be politically acceptable to both sides of the political spectrum (neutral) or not be included.

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Re: Defending Occupy

Post by PDT on Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:28 am

I think if you read or listen to OWS grievances, there's no way you can call them neutral. In fact, they are beyond the political spectrum in many respects because they voice opinions that even democrats would have trouble understanding or accepting as plausible. But, I think, that's exactly what our country needs. They may never be able to garnish the kind of support that makes this movement popular among the vast majority. But introducing new thought, radical ideas, and innovative solutions at least gets people to start thinking about them, or even hearing them at all. Which they otherwise wouldn't.

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Re: Defending Occupy

Post by kathyhoganloryer on Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:01 am

I like the 'get money out of politics' efforts. Unlimited corporate campaign contributions that can be hidden and legally laundered through Super Pacs will destroy any chance we have for a fair and democratic process.

If we can get rid of the Citizens United decision, great, and if we can't, then there have to be new rules requiring that contributions be made public. That way, at least the public would know who is doing the buying and who is being bought.

The present system of legal corruption is widely offesive to just about everyone who is not directly benefitting from it.

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Re: Defending Occupy

Post by PDT on Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:02 am

That is the first issue up front that needs to be attacked and dealt with. With money playing a role in our political system the way it does, there is no hope for any other cause to make its way out of the box. With Citizen's United, we have a precedent that clearly states you have the ability to buy power and influence the government with your money. Theoretically then, the richest people in the country get to call the shots. Which isn't far from the truth. This is the first cause to have, the first issue to deal with. Nothing else matters right now. End the money=power chain first.

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