The worldwide occupy movement

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What, then, do they actually hope to accomplish? Feeling good about themselves? Getting their anger out? At some point you need results, and with an election coming up that may be close, they actually have more leverage then they normally would.

 

I can't take people seriously who just want to protest about how helpless they are and don't really want to change that and achieve results. Success, of course, isn't guranteed, but they can at least try.

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Julian Bond: "We can't march on Washington without a permit"

 

Martin Luther King: "Oh. Screw it then. And I had such a great speech written"

 

How ironic is that?

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What, then, do they actually hope to accomplish? Feeling good about themselves?

 

 

That's a pathetically cynical viewpoint. Let me put this to you; what kind of society would this be if no one ever protested, about anything?

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Where do you get that idea from- you have completely missed the point- what do you want to accomplish when you protest, Chocky? Wouldn't you want a change or solution to what you are protesting rather than just making some noise and being ignored because it's know that you are just protesting without any goal or expectation of effecting change and your protests will die down after awhile, largely or completely forgotten?

 

cinzia- as I understand it, the TP's issue was government spending, and they decided the out-of-power Republicans were the best vehicle to get there, which was understandable given their opposition to the Democrats' Obamacare push. You might not like what they were trying to accomplish, but they were at least trying to get something done rather than apparently just feel good about themselves.

 

I guess if the comments of Chocky and cinzia are representative of the intent of the OWS members, it looks like they are more interested in feeling morally superior than anything else. If that's what you want, OK, but there are some serious issues that aren't being addressed by the government, and the government needs to be pressured by the people to do something about it because it's shown that it will largely ignore the problems in favor of the wish list of its campaign contributors.

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DanHessen, why do you keep bringing up marches in the 1960's? Are you deliberately ignoring the fact that legislation following 9/11 fundamentally changed the balance between the power of ordinary people and the power of government in the United States?

 

These days, MLK would just be arrested on charges designed to prosecute terrorists, and held indefinitely by order of the President. His phone was wire-tapped at the time, but the government needed a warrant to do so back then. Not anymore. There is a reason OWS has no single clear leader. There is a reason the Tea Party's leaders were already-established right-wing figures. This is not to take anything away from MLK's accomplishment and historical standing, but it is to point out that the game has changed in fundamental ways.

 

Edit: Conquistador, you're right that I don't agree with the TP's goals. I can respect that what the TP has accomplished so far is one way to get what they wanted. It may not be the only way, though.

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Where do you get that idea from- you have completely missed the point- what do you want to accomplish when you protest, Chocky?

 

 

What is the point then, if I have missed it? If you're not being wantonly cynical, you're being stupid. By protesting, a cause, however unimportant you consider it, it is kept in the public consciousness, I don't think it is necessary to justify peaceful public protest any more than that.

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If that's what you want, OK, but there are some serious issues that aren't being addressed by the government, and the government needs to be pressured by the people to do something about it because it's shown that it will largely ignore the problems in favor of the wish list of its campaign contributors.

 

 

That's absolutely true, and I don't know anybody in OWS (or the TP, probably) who would dispute that. However, one of the very basic ideas of OWS is that you shouldn't have to be a campaign contributor or a person with money to have an effective voice in the US. This is not an issue that the TP got much into, certainly not after they adopted Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin as mouthpieces.

 

Therefore, for its message to be successful, OWS needs to remain unsullied by large donors who would naturally seek to steer its agenda itself, right? One of the smears its detractors (again, see the Fox News video) are using against OWS in an attempt to discredit it is that the movement is being secretly funded by liberal special interests. If that's true (and I don't think it is), the whole model would obviously fall apart as soon as that was discovered and proven.

 

I don't understand what part of "pressured by the people to do something about it" is not embodied in occupying public spaces in American towns and cities. Is it really necessary to form PACs, solicit donations, select candidates, and all that in order for ordinary citizens to prevent themselves from being victimized by the moneyed interests? If so, what does that say about American democracy in the present day? I think this is what OWS is testing, and I'm going to be very interested to see how effective the movement becomes.

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Completely agree with Chocky here.

 

And why protesting against a big oil spill in front of the "White House", for not having set up stricter rules, why not in front of "OilCo" Headquarters ? Where does the trouble, the insane imbalance of today come from? If you believe it coming from "the government" I'd call you naive.

 

And it's an old story, people don't believe what is appararent unless the effects knock on their own doors. Some here still have a job, healthcare, pension fund and a home. Still.

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If an organization wants to demonstrate on the Mall in Washington DC, it needs a permit. If a group of people want to stay indefinitely on a public in DC, it probably won't be allowed.

 

If a movement is not an organization and has nobody who can represent it and sign an application for a permit, then the process is pretty much dead-on-arrival. There are advantages to rudimentary organization.

 

There were protests after 911 and prior to mid-March, 2003, (500k people by some estimates) against the impending Iraq War. I would doubt that the permit was given due to some right-wing power broker greasing the wheels. Perhaps someone from whichever fraction of the TP organized the DC event signed for a permit. There was probably no conspiracy.

 

I have French colleagues who are impacted by strikes all the time. Sometimes, the impact on their commute, childcare, and basic functions gives rise to almost visceral anger. There are so many protests that they cannot keep the messages straight. People become desensitized to protests if they are pointless or boring.

 

To soxarx's point - if the government is not able to enforce rules or pressure large corporations, then what is its function? If it is simply a rubber stamp for corporate power, would giving more influence to the government be the same as handing control of our lives to the corporations which you see controlling the government? The government not only produces regulation, but also enforces regulation.

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To soxarx's point - if the government is not able to enforce rules or pressure large corporations, then what is its function? If it is simply a rubber stamp for corporate power, would giving more influence to the government be the same as handing control of our lives to the corporations which you see controlling the government? The government not only produces regulation, but also enforces regulation.

 

 

The very reason that I think people who point fingers at only one or the other facet of this tight-knit crew are not seeing the whole picture.

 

The exact same people are running the government AND the corporations, banks, think tanks, and other influential private entities. The revolving door between government and the private economy is well documented. We've seen that government enforcement of regulation has been generally weakened of late. Not an accident. We watched as the telecoms did the bidding of government and allowed the government access to spy on private Americans in the US without a warrant. We then watched as Congress legislatively immunized the telecoms against their knowingly illegal actions.

 

So the question is: how to break into that cozy tete-a-tete as an ordinary citizen? We have one model attempt in the TP, another in the OWS. There may be other movements that arise with different models. The public is gaining a new (perhaps belated) consciousness of this, and it's early days yet.

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The very reason that I think people who point fingers at only one or the other facet of this tight-knit crew are not seeing the whole picture.

 

The exact same people are running the government AND the corporations, banks, think tanks, and other influential private entities. The revolving door between government and the private economy is well documented. We've seen that government enforcement of regulation has been generally weakened of late. Not an accident. We watched as the telecoms did the bidding of government and allowed the government access to spy on private Americans in the US without a warrant. We then watched as Congress legislatively immunized the telecoms against their knowingly illegal actions.

 

 

 

If you believe that then it would be extremely naive to believe that something like nationalized healthcare will not be a schema or convolution which is favorable for corporations, but not for citizens.

 

sosarx does not acknowledge this possibility.

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The government not only produces and enforces regulations, it also abolishes regulations. As in the 90's under Clinton, as before, starting with names such as Reagan and Thatcher.

 

And the protesters , very right here, "feel" that these deregulations of the financial markets and business are the CAUSE of the crisis which likely will or in many cases already has destroyed the present and the future of many people for the profit of few.

 

They may protest in front of the Congress or White House of any country. They may protest in front of the Headquarters of those who do the "job". Governments of the western world have lost , have given away , too much of their power to intervene in the interest of their people. That is what the protesters also "feel " quite right.

 

And protesting in front of the US Congress, well the people inside there aren't even able to find a compromise about the financing of the nearest future. Do you think they are able to see the big picture and take action ?

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Since then, the parasites have multiplied…and the insiders have done better than ever. People on Wall Street used to earn about as much as similar people in other industries. Now, they earn far more. As a percentage of the nation’s total for public companies, Wall Street profits rose 3 times – from 10% to 40% since the ’70s. Tyler Cowen reports that in the mid-2000s “the top 25 hedge fund managers combined earned more than all of the CEOs from the entire S&P 500. The number of Wall Street investors earning over $100 million a year was nine times higher than the public-company executives earning that amount.”

 

And corporate CEOs, who used to earn 40 times as much as their lowest paid employees in the ’70s, now earn 400 times as much.

 

This field is tilted so far in the insiders’ favor the outsiders can barely stand up.

 

here you have it in a nutshell.does anyone in his/her right mind think that the handful of protesters who mainly consist of druggies and dropouts and wannabees can change the world history? How naive must one be to think so.

 

For more read Bill Bonner on rockwell http://lewrockwell.com/bonner/bonner519.html

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What is the point then, if I have missed it? If you're not being wantonly cynical, you're being stupid. By protesting, a cause, however unimportant you consider it, it is kept in the public consciousness, I don't think it is necessary to justify peaceful public protest any more than that.

 

You have missed it. The point, Chocky, of protesting and making the public aware of an issue or issues, you are by definition hoping to accomplish something, at least in the long run (and I assume OWS does want to effect some changes, as cinzia's comment above implies). It's not a matter of "justifying" a protest, which is irrelevant, but rather a matter of ultimately righting a wrong or fixing a problem that made you protest in the first place. If you just want to vent and don't care about solutions, fine, but can't we do better than that or at least try? I would think so. To do so, you usually have to do more than just do a public protest, and grassroots movements are much more that the physical act of protesting.

 

 

 

That's absolutely true, and I don't know anybody in OWS (or the TP, probably) who would dispute that. However, one of the very basic ideas of OWS is that you shouldn't have to be a campaign contributor or a person with money to have an effective voice in the US. This is not an issue that the TP got much into, certainly not after they adopted Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin as mouthpieces.

 

Therefore, for its message to be successful, OWS needs to remain unsullied by large donors who would naturally seek to steer its agenda itself, right? One of the smears its detractors (again, see the Fox News video) are using against OWS in an attempt to discredit it is that the movement is being secretly funded by liberal special interests. If that's true (and I don't think it is), the whole model would obviously fall apart as soon as that was discovered and proven.

 

I don't understand what part of "pressured by the people to do something about it" is not embodied in occupying public spaces in American towns and cities. Is it really necessary to form PACs, solicit donations, select candidates, and all that in order for ordinary citizens to prevent themselves from being victimized by the moneyed interests? If so, what does that say about American democracy in the present day? I think this is what OWS is testing, and I'm going to be very interested to see how effective the movement becomes.

 

Given that we have an election in less than 12 months, I think this may be a relatively unique moment in which we can influence the politicians. If they don't feel any reason to be nervous, i.e., lose their jobs, they are simply going to ignore OWS, in which case it will not be effective at all unless it can influence the actions of big business, and even then only partially so. What are the chances of that if big business is still buying off politicians and doesn't have any fear of a hit to its pocketbook?

 

I fail to see what kind of positive pressure is brought upon just by occupying public spaces. How is that going to ultimately bring about a change in policies such as a slowdown or freeze on tuition hikes?

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If the excessive pay of the 1% was divided equally amongst the 99% it would probably amount to 100 yoyos per person per year, enough to buy one cheeseburger per week. If this was to be done would it make one iota of a difference to the situation we are facing?

Do you think the OWS protesters realize this? I don’t think so.

So basically we have a bunch of protesters protesting to make changes that will make no difference whatsoever.

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For starters, OWS protesters are not asking for the top 1% to relinquish their wealth to be divided amongst the other 99%. But thanks for playing, BB.

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More equality / More equal distribution of wealth is one of their demands. One in five of the protesters when quizzed didn't know why they are protesting. Since you didn't know that, maybe you are in that particular part of the group.

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Before you hurt yourself sighing, why don't I pose the question so you can understand it. Why aren't all the disaffected, mad, unhappy OWS people from all over the United States not massing on the steps of the fucking capitol and protesting the federal government instead of annoying the fuck out of otherwise bored municipal administrations in hucksterville 2nd class cities?

 

Clear enough?

 

God Damn it man, WTF is your problem? You know for someone that hails from this god-forsaken state of Indiana, why the hell are you showing your ass to me? If you would have read the whole fucking thread, you would have seen that in post 159, I said that they were protesting in DC and the police there were civilized and not like the rest of the militarized zones in other cities.

 

And why doesn't Editor Bob merge these threads? There are three different threads on this topic and there was a video from Robert Reich that explains exactly why the protesters from all over the WORLD are active. It's their only way and some stupid asswipes in these cities decided that they have all of this riot gear, might as well dust it off and use it against these OWS people. Forget for a moment that people camp out all of the place when there are concert tickets and or at Walmart for Black Friday, but to voice our displeasure with Wall Street, Banks and the status quo is suddenly not allowed?

 

Then I had to think about where Dan Hessen gets off picking on me. I'm just a messenger. Who is that guy again? Oh, yeah, that guy that works in the financial district of Frankfort...that guy. Yeah, I bet his livelihood is now threatened by these protesters right?

 

I'm just trying to add to the dialog. Put me of freaking ignore or leave me alone. Is that clear enough for you?

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