Jake Olzen
Published: Saturday 29 October 2011
“The crackdown on Occupy movements by mayors and police forces around the country means only one thing: its getting somewhere.”

Meeting Violence with Nonviolence: Why the Occupy Movement Will Succeed

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The Occupy movement is under attack. It is facing aggressive police action in cities all over the country while arrests continue over the enforcement of mundane laws that prevent the establishment of permanent encampments. Police attacked Occupy Oakland with rubber bullets and tear gas in the wee hours of Tuesday morning; there were at least a hundred arrests. 130 activists with Occupy Chicago were arrested on Saturday during their second attempt at setting up a camp in Grant Park. Atlanta’s Mayor, Kasim Reed, conducting what appears to have been negotiations in bad faith, ordered Occupy Atlanta cleared of Warren Park last night; 52 were arrested. Occupy Orlando has repeatedly been harassed by changing city policy regarding their camp in Senator Elizabeth Johnson Park, forcing them to vacate the park and their belongings between 11pm and 6am. The Occupy movement may not have it easy right now, but they are being noticed!

The course of social change has often been boiled down to poetic mantras-of-sorts. Utah Phillips and the Wobblies—paraphrasing Joe Hill—were found of saying “Don’t Mourn. Organize!” Margaret Mead made it onto the backs of college service trip t-shirts: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I repeated to a college class last night a quote about nonviolent social change that I remember a teacher telling me: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” The quote, often attributed to Gandhi, most likely originated with the trade unionist Nicholas Klein, of the Amalgamated Clothing Works of America at their Third Biennial Convention in 1918. As is often the case with such misattributions (including the Mead quote), savvy organizers and activists still recognize the grain of truth such folkloric wisdom has had over the decades; Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement are no different.

First, Occupy Wall Street was ignored. The call from Adbusters in July 2011 for 20,000 people to camp out in Wall Street was barely noticed by the mainstream media—if at all. Waging Nonviolence editor Nathan Schneider was one of the few journalists dedicated to reporting on the burgeoning movement, but it wasn’t until well after September 17—the first day of the occupation—that people outside the progressive newswire took notice. Then, Occupy Wall Street was laughed at. The usual suspects dished out the usual slander—including The Daily Showcasting the movement in any number of simplistic, idealistic, and dismissive ways. Whether for entertainment reasons or to discredit its legitimacy, making fun of Occupy Wall Street is good business for the mainstream media.

Now, Occupy Wall Street is being violently resisted. And expect more of it to come, especially if folks keep at it as they try to assert their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble. Before demands come, before protracted struggles and campaigns over specific political, economic or environmental policies begin, before the Occupy movement succeeds in turning the tide of the corporate state back toward communities and the common good, it needs a home. A place to put down roots and grow the movement. A place to reclaim the commons – and not just in theory but in actual, physically-manifested ways that say: “Hey, we are here to stay. No more business and politics as usual. Now it’s our turn to have self-determination and self-governance. Let the General Assembly begin (spirit fingers up in the air)!”

As I wrote in my article #OccupyWallStreet: We Make the Road by Walking, this movement is about a new way of being:

#OccupyWallStreet is an experiment in direct democracy and people power that does not have to stop once demands are made and some of them are met. Rather, what #OccupyWallStreet represents is the kind of community we can have in place of Empire.

The crackdown on Occupy movements by mayors and police forces around the country means only one thing: its getting somewhere. The powers that be—and the mayors who represent them—want this movement to go away. And they will not hesitate, as we’ve witnessed, to use violence, arrests, and likely imprisonment, if it gets to that, to make that happen. For the Occupy movement to succeed in making the substantial, lasting change needed, it will need to establish the kind of permanent space it envisions so that the teach-ins, community building, organizing, action-planning and General Assemblies flourish. Meet violence with nonviolence. Respond to police action and arrests with more civil disobedience and vigorous protest via the courts, petitions, sit-ins, and/or walk-outs. As the mainstream media tries to demonize the movement, do more outreach to labor, universities, churches and the ordinary citizens you now represent. As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a struggle. It never has and it never will.” And then finally – after that struggle – Occupy Wall Street will succeed.



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43 comments on "Meeting Violence with Nonviolence: Why the Occupy Movement Will Succeed"

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It's really great that people are shranig this information.

Pawtles

December 05, 2011 9:27am

There seems to so much focus on how “unfocused” the Occupy movement is and I believe it is completely unfair. But as there are so many Occupy movements going on in this country as well as throughout the world – why not show what a large group of “real” people can actually do – “CLEAN THE HOUSE” – I mean cleaning out Congress and the same old same old. Our government is broken – it doesn’t matter who is President at this point because Congress is too fractured. You have extremely well educated individuals involved in your movement – use the technology, knowledge and manpower to use this year and next to change Congress and get rid of the old cronies.

Start by:

1) Publishing all the Congressmen and Representatives
2) Published how many times they actually show up to vote
3) Published what they are really voting to approve
4) List who is adding all the multiple items to these bills that balloon to ridiculous levels
5) Make the publications very simple so you get the most readability

If the actual Congressmen and Representative start to see that there is a group actually coming after their livelihood – maybe you won’t be called unfocused.

Just a thought.

lwoodjr

December 03, 2011 10:14pm

I think that the occupy movement has an opportunity that previous movements did not have . Most successful revolutions eventually got the security services on the side of the rebels. Some thing happened in New York that was very significant, in my opinion and that was a retired police officer got arrested in full uniform because he was on the side of the protesters. Also, a police officer in California expressed support for the protesters. Whether people want to believe it or not the police are part of the 99%. In my opinion people need to be talking to them as opposed to alienating them. Folks need to be politically education the police and get those that are capable to understand that they are being affected by corporate greed as well because they have mortgages to pay and families to raise just like the rest of us. Imagine the shot in the arm that the movement would get if the security services came over to the side of the occupy movement. The police need to be educated and not looked upon as the enemy.

Pexter

November 24, 2011 12:26pm

Let us have a new direction for the occupy-movement. Complainers come dime a dozen but what do we offer for cure? Here is the answer. We need a rational, clear and sane objective about why we are here. It is simply we demand what is just, fair and reasonable. Call it JFR objective. Social and economic disparities are natural and good. People that contribute more for the common good deserve a bit more goodies of life. Are the money swindlers, corporate executives and politicians worth the millions they have? Definitely not, but it is a question of the with of the disparities. The next step is to set limits on maximum take home net earnings. The medium after tax income in USA is about $ 4oooo- /year. If we agree that nobody is entitled to more than ten times the medium the maximum after tax income would we 400.000- /year. (a good 33.000- / month). Taxing the rich like hell is popular but stupid idea. We must remember that tax money goes for the other rich gang, the politicians. A better idea is to tax them as today and leave the rich options what to do with the above 400.000- net earnings. They can start their own charitable organization to support education, hospitals, alternative medicine or whatever project serving the common good ( or alternatively give it to the government) Let it be the first act of the JFR-society.

Keith Hardwick

October 31, 2011 8:52pm

I have advocated sortition for many years, without knowing the name for it!

Keith Hardwick

October 31, 2011 8:51pm

I have advocated sortition for many years, without knowing the name for it!

Ashley Swendsen

October 31, 2011 9:12pm

2600 years ago, democracy died. It was replaced with mixed constitution, in the form of the "democratic" republic. The republic's intellectual parents understood such an arrangement to be "Oligarchy by stealth", and as such believed above board hereditary aristocracy to be preferable. To quote Aristotle - "Election is the hallmark of Oligarchy."

It seems most people find this information so novel, they either don't register it, or refuse to believe it. The world population just passed 7 billion today. If we are to have any hope of avoiding the fate of bacteria in a petri dish, we need to roll back the clock 2600 years, and replace the inherently corrupt system of republic and election, with true democracy and sortition. Don't know the word sortition? Do us all a favor and spend a few hours googling it, before we run out of delicious petri dish.

Matthew Jacobs

November 08, 2011 1:34pm

Roll the clock back 2600 years and replace it with True Democracy in a country of 320 Million citizens. Right... now its obvious why you hide your face

Donna M Crane

October 30, 2011 11:38pm

I disagree about the non-violence not succeeding when the opposite side will use force...where non-violent masses outnumber enforcers, non-violence usually will eventually win. History has several movements that were evidence to the contrary. Peterloo 1819, Bonus Army 1932, Gandhi, Civil Rights movement, Vietnam War protests. There were some, very few, violent resisters, but 99% of the protestors were committed to non-violence.

Matthew Jacobs

November 08, 2011 1:36pm

Donna
Its Inevitable that the ocuppy movement goes violent.

Viktor Kantorowski

October 30, 2011 10:49pm

Thank you

Arianna Solare

October 30, 2011 4:08pm

I stand in solidarity with our movement to re-occupy the USA with freedom of peace. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fnIH5verUI

redslider
N. California
October 30, 2011 11:31am

It is not physicians and their medical education alone that has suffered from the lack of vision and imagination required to begin the design of a health-care system that is not rationed by class or wealth. Patients, too, have been saddled with blinders by the 1% who directly benefit from unequal and exclusionary provision of health care in our country. Neither group has been permitted to sit at the tables where the system is actually designed and managed. Presently, only the government and the industry sit at those tables, and they function essentially as the agents of the 1%.In the clinical setting where patients and doctors are in closest contact, their relationship is entirely mediated by those institutions and their regulations, to the point that neither can have much influence over the system. One way to deal with this is for patients and medical professionals to create a place removed from the surveillance and heavy hand of the industry and begin to describe a system which really serves their own interests. One model for that exists and is quite familiar to most of us. Consumer's unions have long been an available structure for gaining some measure of consumer control and description of the products offered to them (we do not include Consumer's Reports and similar organizations which serve consumer's only in the most restricted sense and are largely positioned to serve the industries whose products they promote). We know of no Health-care Consumer's Union (HCCU) to date, but have suggested such a model in our Health Care Consumer Union proposal: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=163490327031138Local HCCU's, we believe are structures which not only can put significant pressure on their own local providers and insurance underwriters to make substantial change; but will, over time, become a primary access route for both physicians and patients to gain a seat at the tables of medical policy making.Unfortunately, as Dr. Margaret Flowers has concluded, there can be no significant progress towards a single-payer system unfettered by industrial greed and distortion until the political system itself is thoroughly reformed. That is, until the 1% and the institutions they have created or corrupted to serve their own interests are removed from their positions of self-appointed, self-bought control. That puts the matter squarely on the shoulders of Occupy America to fulfill its mission and remove the chief obstacle to any progress on any issue, and permit the will and needs of the people to prevail. Still, as a local creation, HCCU's do not require the permission of either the government or the health care industry to establish themselves and exert considerable pressure to change matters in favor of the consumer. The HCCU concept has been delivered to some prominent health-care advocates. However no reply has yet been received from them. We can only hope that the matter is still under review.

Chef jeff

October 30, 2011 11:01am

At Occupy Chicago (10-29-2011) I had the honor of seeing a non-violent, diverse group of patriotic and real Americans using democratic means to voice their ideas, opinions, concerns and dreams. This is not revolution; This is what democracy looks like! There is no hatred here, only deep feelings of hope for the future. It is fueled by a desire to make sure we do not lose our voices to people who seem to be buying the best government they can, in order to make sure our voices are never heard.

Lincoln rightly said that some of the people can be fooled all of the time. But thankfully, most of the people can not be fooloed all of the time. We are no longer sitting idly by. we are taking our place at the oar bank and are making the ship move forward once more.

We are Occupy, and we grow stronger with every passing day. AS for the violence being offered to Occupy members in certain cities, I offer this bit of wisdom I have come to know:

When they hit us with batons, we wince in pain but do not strike back. When they lift us off our feet and drag us away, we feel pain, but we do not strike back. When they humiliate us, we are sad in knowing they are not humiliating us,... but rather themselves. And when they call us names, we humbly bow our heads, knowing they simply do not know the truth.

And when they see the light and join us, we know we have done what is good and proper, what is right, not what is convenient. And that makes it impossible for them to defeat us!

Robert Bowman

October 30, 2011 10:11am

Inequality and Medical Education – A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the greatest problems of history is that the concepts of love and power are usually contrasted as polar opposites. Love is identified with a resignation of power and power with a denial of love....What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those who deliver health care are among a privileged few that access the opportunity to develop relationships with all types of Americans. Health care careers represent the chance to become aware of the hopes and dreams of the American people and the reality of their daily living.

Physicians and those who train physicians must open their eyes to the opportunities, the realities, and the responsibilities. Vision is a common word used to express a unique ability to see the direction of the future, but a more basic interpretation is needed. The United States needs more than just vision from those who deliver health care. The United States needs physicians and physician leaders to experience, perceive, and put themselves in a position to improve the daily lives of most Americans. This is a focus that is best shaped long before medical school admission and continues throughout life. With a focus on selecting and training those who see, many of the problems of health care delivery can be solved. Until physicians and those who lead the nation in health care can see better and better with each generation of physicians, even basic problems cannot be solved.

The State of the Union in health care leadership can be summed up in visual terms as the legally blind leading the legally blind. Vision is possible, but it is not well focused. United States health care leaders have stated that physicians will not go where needed, that primary care is not marketable to the American people, that medical education is good for the economy, and that more physicians are good for the economy.

the rest was posted Jan 19, 2010 at http://www.ruralmedicaleducation.org/Inequality_and_Medical_Education.htm

redslider
N. California
October 30, 2011 11:42am

It is not physicians and their medical education alone that has suffered from the lack of vision and imagination required to begin the design of a health-care system that is not rationed by class or wealth. Patients, too, have been saddled with blinders by the 1% who directly benefit from unequal and exclusionary provision of health care in our country. Neither group has been permitted to sit at the tables where the system is actually designed and managed. Presently, only the government and the industry sit at those tables, and they function essentially as the agents of the 1%.

In the clinical setting where patients and doctors are in closest contact, their relationship is entirely mediated by those institutions and their regulations, to the point that neither can have much influence over the system. One way to deal with this is for patients and medical professionals to create a place removed from the surveillance and heavy hand of the industry and begin to describe a system which really serves their own interests. One model for that exists and is quite familiar to most of us.

Consumer's unions have long been an available structure for gaining some measure of consumer control and description of the products offered to them (we do not include Consumer's Reports and similar organizations which serve consumer's only in the most restricted sense and are largely positioned to serve the industries whose products they promote). We know of no Health-care Consumer's Union (HCCU) to date, but have suggested such a model in our Health Care Consumer Union proposal: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=163490327031138

Local HCCU's, we believe are structures which not only can put significant pressure on their own local providers and insurance underwriters to make substantial change; but will, over time, become a primary access route for both physicians and patients to gain a seat at the tables of medical policy making.

Unfortunately, as Dr. Margaret Flowers has concluded, there can be no significant progress towards a single-payer system unfettered by industrial greed and distortion until the political system itself is thoroughly reformed. That is, until the 1% and the institutions they have created or corrupted to serve their own interests are removed from their positions of self-appointed, self-bought control. That puts the matter squarely on the shoulders of Occupy America to fulfill its mission and remove the chief obstacle to any progress on any issue, and permit the will and needs of the people to prevail. Still, as a local creation, HCCU's do not require the permission of either the government or the health care industry to establish themselves and exert considerable pressure to change matters in favor of the consumer. The HCCU concept has been delivered to some prominent health-care advocates. However no reply has yet been received from them. We can only hope that the matter is still under review. In the meantime, anyone is certainly free to try to design, organize and implement an HCCU in their own community. Even some test or pilot projects in local communities would provide much valuable information on how to proceed.

NancyBeyond

October 30, 2011 5:48am

@Dianne - Amen to that! You are absolutely right. I may be in the minority but I support their efforts. They want change - change in the way our monetary systems works, change in politics, change in our Congress. I read a reply on here that said that the OWS has not even said what they want. So untrue. They have been very open about what they want. They are joining together and working across the country - not just in NY. They are organizing and putting out their demands. The news media just refuses to tell the truth about them. Too many people in our country listen to FauxNews and never get the whole story. You are absolutely right about the police! NY is complaining about the 5 million dollar tab on the past 1 1/2 months of the OWS. Well, then go away and leave them alone! They don't want violence - they don't want a police state. They just want to be heard. One positive I have heard is about OccupyPolice! Once that movement gets some notice and attention, the police issue will be a thing of the past. The police want the same thing as the OWS demonstrators. The sad truth is that they are only doing their job - taking orders from the mayors and governors.The news media portrays the OWS as some type of modern day Woodstock and that's not what it is. Once people start seeing that, there will be some change. In in the meantime, the numbers for OWS continue to climb and so does the support. We can only pray that their efforts make a difference!For those needing a job, check out www.beyond.com to see the latest in job postings.

Richard Cottingham

October 30, 2011 2:17am

APNWAHOOWA Perhaps you are not paying attention. The occupation is the message! The movements are telling our government, the banks, wall street, the Tea Party and YOU that unregulated capitalism, bribery of elected official through campaign contributions, degradation of the environment, denial of health care, exploitation of the working class through union busting, racial, gender, and preference discrimination, the undermining of public education, the illegal and unethical of transfer of taxpayer funds to the wealthy through privatization, and billions spent on illegal foreign occupations must end. Now you know. Now you will support the movement!

Robert Bowman

October 29, 2011 11:38pm

Absolutely yes to non-violent. And also maximal attempts to do all possible to encourage the police to join. Nurses, teachers, military, and public servants are all clearly among the most left behind. They are the ones blamed for the problems of our nation by the top 15. Those that serve where most needed They are the front line human infrastructure. They are the eyes and ears of the nation as they see all people in the United States, unlike the 1% who fail in awareness and in leadership. A primary reason for national failure is failure to listen to the eyes and ears.Nurses are the most important health professionals and have been left behind for decades. It is no wonder they were quick to join. Teachers represent the United States to its children, especially when parents are not the best examples - a more and more common situation due to national leadership failures.When police come to protests, it is a great opportunity to talk to them. Nurses and teachers and other front line human infrastructure would be the best at this. When America does such a poor job with children, the task of education and better health and public security grows more difficult with each passing year. Grossly insufficient US investment in children means last place in child well being and problems for human infrastructure. The lower and middle income children become the teachers, nurses, and public servants just as they serve our nation on the front lines as soldiers. Infrastructure America is those left behind who become those on the front lines!

todd saed

October 29, 2011 9:37pm

nice discussion Red, power has been enforced with violence, wealth, and intimidation to date, knowledge a la Tofflers third wave makes for counterpoint views as the new power paradigm, OWS certainly leads the curve there, making success a probablility, prepare as marcadrian says for violence by studying self defense and guerilla tactics, but actually the really astute could prevent all violence, get in shape , run or walk away, be alert, in a worst case scenario I would have a bullet proof jacket, helmet, gas mask, steel toed boots, mag light, hwa rang sul stick, pepper spray ring, and stun gun cell phone, all legal, and all preventing your own death, in the every unlikely event that real Nazi style massacres started, firearms with rear guard actions planned, flanking from the suburbs, country cells of twenty people, and all the standard resistance tactics would prevent the death camps for black, gays, hispanics, and leftists , a rich history , and the US populace extremely well armed, more likely the armed forces a la Scott Olsen would come over and make that all unnecessary, make no mistake, it is the third American revolution gaining steam, and is unstoppable

American Bolshevik

October 29, 2011 7:14pm

What the powers that be truly fear is that as long as the "occupiers" occupy public physical space, they are in the public's eye and in the public's mind. And whatever many of the rest of the 99% may think of the protesters, they know they are being screwed by the Money Power. And the fear is that one day everybody (or at least a vast majority) who has been screwed on their mortgage, on their student debt, on their credit card debt, or who has lost a job, or gone bankrupt paying for a medical emergency will pour into the streets and then the party will be over for the the Wall Street thieves and their political whores. It is only a matter of time now. The death watch of capitalism is on. Listen to the desperate shrieks of Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, et. al. And watch carefully what is happening in Europe. You think this latest band-aid ended the crisis? Not by a long shot.

harry

October 29, 2011 7:13pm

If you haven't figured out what its all about and the problems being addressed your not paying attention. It's all been said many ways and many times. Open your eyes and read the signs for instance. harry

Angel J. Perea

October 29, 2011 7:07pm

Keeping it honest: Remember the Movie: So many news articles stating that American protesters have “no clear “agenda? It seems crystal clear to the middle class America that they are frustrated by the lack of concern that exists for the people in this country who need jobs and hope to support themselves and families. Millions of unemployed people looking for work in this country are being ignored and slowly erased by mega-corporations whose only concern is for their obscene profits far exceed anyone understands! The beauty and treasured tradition of America allows people the freedom to unite and speak out to draw attention to these huge social injustices. It’s about time that Americans did and said, “we are mad as hell and we are not going take it any longer!” For the record, “Greed is Not good”; it’s ugly, selfish, obscene and destructive for our society. After all, we are a still a democracy, not aristocracy, nor a banana republic! Just look around this great county! " It's no surprise that Congress are raising money from Wall Street by saying they want to repeal consumer protections sand allow Wall Street to write its own rules, AND the recipients of dollar tax payer bailout with no conditions and used it for non-performance bonuses! Are you listening Mr. McConnell and Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan and your obstructionists? A 10th year of no taxes for Grover Norquist and his Billionaires and Millionaires so-called "job creators," but still no new jobs? What's the deal with the right wing clowns in Senate and House? It’s all about jobs stupid!

apnwahoowa

October 29, 2011 6:31pm

succeed at what? They haven't told us what they want yet. They don't have any specific demands or problems they want solved, nor do they have any solutions. There is a vague anger at big business and also the government, but again they haven't spelled out a solution or a problem they want solved. I would respect them more if they had some real, specific agenda and they fought for it. This "occupying" for some undefined grievances is like a group of 4-year-olds holding their breathe because they don't want to eat their peas.

Matthew Jacobs

November 08, 2011 1:46pm

APNWAHOOWA
OMG something not seen on these pages before "Common Sense"

harry

October 29, 2011 7:16pm

If you haven't figured out what this is all about and problems addressed your not paying attention. Its been said many ways and many times. Just do your homework. Its all out there. harry

redslider
N. California
October 29, 2011 6:10pm

Jake, I noticed that you did not use the term 'power' in your article for describing the character or method of the 1%. A number of other writers are also beginning to treat what the 1% do as acts of violence, instead identifying them as acts of "power". To assign the term "power" to those who control, manipulate and dispatch in the fashion of the 1% is slowly becoming something of a misnomer. Though we have used the term 'power' without reflection to commonly mean anyone who exercises some authority over others, it is equally true that acts of violence are not acts of power at all.

It may seem a small, semantic shift in our terms and mean little to those on the receiving end of pepper spray or rubber bullets. But I think it will have a large effect on our consciousness over time. Your phrase, "Now, Occupy Wall Street is being violently resisted." suggests the value of redefining our uses of these terms. Even where the actions of Occupy may occasionally, themselves, react with violence, the source and provocation is now being distanced from some magically conferred power given to an anointed 1%. It leaves us free to expose ruthless violence for what it is. We can begin to identify that the methods of the 1% are, ipso facto, violent, whether they be murdering students on a campus lawn, or buying politicians or simply using their advertising to distort consciousness and provoke people into consuming for the sake of consumption or turning our computers into showrooms for their products. The moment of the 1% is violent to its core. That is what we find so fundamentally egregious and that making the distinction between 'violence' and 'power' reveals to us so clearly.

Once the conflation of these terms, 'power' and 'violence', has been undone, it becomes much easier to identify these behaviors for what they are on the basis of how they are deployed. The most important advantage of this shift in meaning is that people are no longer persuaded by their language that they are 'powerless', or that 'power' inherently resides in those that control their lives. In such cases, those that control us are simply violent, and no special status need be invoked that would confer upon them some magical ascription of 'power'. The politicians they employ are agents that construct violent protections for the 1%; the police that carry out the violence of the laws created and invoked by those agents are merely emblems of their violence serving the violence of their masters.

It is a bit clumsy to separate these meanings at first. But we have done it before. Notably, the term 'rape' was once frequently and inextricably associated within the mantel of human "sexuality". There, it not only worked its dark violence onto the subject, but tainted all of human sexuality with its assumption that it was part of that part of the human sexual character. Now it is being shunted outside of that envelope, where it can be dealt with on its own violent terms and we can reserve our discussion of human sexuality for other considerations. The separation is not complete yet, but it progresses.

I think we will find the same value and importance in learning that power and violence are not related, even by those who claim violence is only a 'method' of power. The power never resided with the 1%, only violence did. As your usage, and that of other writers, begins to make that distinction clear, we come to understand that power always resided in ourselves. Like its cousin, 'imagination', it only waited for an auspicious time to wake up. Blackbirds fly....

Dianne Lee

October 29, 2011 4:13pm

Blaming the police is missing the point. These guys should be out arresting bad guys. They are assigned to the protests by someone who has a stake in protecting the 1%ers. They have no more logical reason to be at the occupations than if it were a boy scout camp out. If a crime occurs at any event, they should deal with the individual involved, not take it out on the entire group. They sure aren't staking out the local country club because someone might get raped on the golf course.
The mayor should tell the police chief to go about their business and be ready to respond if there is a problem. The occupiers are not harming anyone until they are attacked. If the cops would leave them alone, there wouldn't be any more problems than at any other gathering. Sending in a bunch of cops just makes a hostile situation where none existed before they got there. And, if the objective is to get rid of the occupiers, it's counterproductive. It just makes people madder and more likely to support them with money and supplies and show up to increase their numbers.

redslider
N. California
October 29, 2011 6:14pm

Yes Virginia, There Is A 99% Cop :

https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=254957437884426

Steve S

October 29, 2011 3:08pm

The OWS Movement needs to pull in the rest of the people who make up the 99%. They have done an amazing job of getting all who "GET IT" to stand up for what's right. This movement can't afford to stay on the political sidelines. The protests of the latter half of the sixties against the war changed the the national discussion and broadened social awareness but made no permanent political change. There were two parties who ran the country then , there are two parties who run it now. The OWS Movement is already where the peace movement of the sixties was. It needs to go to the next level. Their 20 GRIEVANCES contain issues that every member of the 99% can get behind if they know about them. If the 99% that is unaware of these are informed they can create a ground swell for change. The OWS needs to form the 99% Party now. Many, many people are already discouraged about the 2012 elections. They see no real hope for meaningful change from the Dems or Republicans. Forming a 99% Party now would give a lot of people something to sink their teeth into. A 99% Party would give people hope. You remember hope don't you? A skinny guy won on promising hope in 2012. That guy is lost to us in the world of corporate run politics. If the 99% Party could get 50% of the 99% voting, the 99% Party candidates (running at all levels local, state and federal) wouldn't need hundreds of millions of dollars to run. 50% of the 99% voting is a lot of votes.
The OWS can't wait to get political until after the 2012 elections. By then the dye will be cast. The 1% will pass ordinances barring public assemblies wherever they can and will put more candidates of their choice in office in 2012
The OWS must start now while people are excited about their movement. As the days get colder and wetter people will become disenchanted with just "occupying". OWS need to give the "critical mass" a reason to buy in and they will change politics forever.

Tryder

October 30, 2011 8:42am

Absoluly

redslider
N. California
October 29, 2011 6:10pm

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redslider
N. California
October 29, 2011 4:42pm

I think the 99% Party should certainly be the next phase of what the occupation is clearing ground for. I believe October2011.org (the occupiers of Liberty Plaza in D.C.) had that in sometime before Occupy came on the scene. But even they realized that occupy - the removal of control of our democracy by the 1%, and the de-fanging and leashing of their corporations and agents - had to come first. Nothing else can be done, not an issue resolved, not a war ended, until that mission is fulfilled. So my opinion is that work should be started and continued on creating a party than can sweep away the last century of corrupt processes and the people who wield them, but that turning occupy into that effort is not the way to do it. Occupy has its hands full just confronting the 1% and their agents with the best weapons of all - peaceful assembly, exposure of the 1% and righteous indignation. As we can see, keeping steady about that is all we need to do, the 1% have been repeatedly shooting themselves. It may take some time, but once that is done, we can turn earnestly to rebuilding a healthy and sane nation and the political processes needed to sustain that.

azyuwish

October 29, 2011 1:20pm

And that is why, even Lord Krishna was on a battlefield with Arjuna. There are times when the true Dharma must be reinstated.

Netra Halperin

October 29, 2011 1:19pm

This is a media relations war. This is about winning the hearts and minds of the voters of America. The 1% has been winning with propaganda. Now we have internet and social media, so are not dependent on the mainstream media. That is why we will now win.

Tryder

October 30, 2011 8:43am

As that saying goes...speak truth to power.

Theodore Ziolkowski

October 29, 2011 1:09pm

When a few brave souls decided to exercise their RIGHT to protest what they perceived to be inequities and injustices being perpetrated upon them and upon the other 99% of the American Citizens. When they marched on Wall Street, they may have just begun the Second Revolution within the United States of America.

Brendan Koerner wrote, Pursuing the relatively modest dream of doing better than the generation before requires serious capital—up front in the form of tuition and loans, and hidden in the form of lost opportunities. Call it the ambition tax—the money you've got to pony up if you want a college degree and a shot at middle-class bliss. But it's really more of a gamble, as there's no guarantee those tens of thousands of dollars will get you where you want to go.

"The next generation is starting their economic race 50 yards behind the starting line," says Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and author of The Two-Income Trap. "They've got to pay off the equivalent of one full mortgage before they make it to flat broke, in order to pay for their education. They can never get ahead of the game, because they're constantly trying to play catch-up.

"And once you've got accumulated debt, the debt takes on a life of its own. It demands to be fed, and it takes that first bite out of the paycheck. And it means the opportunity to accumulate a little, to get a little ahead, to maybe put together a down payment—it's just never there. It's just staggering to me that this is not a part of our national debate right now."

—Thomas Jefferson wrote: "In America, no other distinction between man and man had ever been known but that of persons in office exercising powers by authority of the laws, and private individuals. Among these last, the poorest laborer stood on equal ground with the wealthiest millionaire, and generally on a more favored one whenever their rights seem to jar."

Mahatma Ghandi once wrote that four steps take place during a Revolution or Protest and that they are: 1.] You are ignored. 2.] You are ridiculed. 3.] You are fought. 4.] You are Successful and Win.

We must use the same Tactics that Martin Luther King used Waging Nonviolence while Protesting and Marching. We shall win due to our shear numbers. There is not enough Jail room to house the Majority of the American Citizens.

It cost the Cities and Towns money to pay for the overtime to the Police Men and Women to arrest us. Then if we do not pay our fines it will cost6 them to House and Feed us and even more if you need Medications and a special Diet.

"WE THE PEOPLE" must remember that it was we/us who failed to monitor our Elected Politicians and we let them sell our Rights to the "Rich and Powerful". We must never ever again let down our guard. We must monitor every Law and every Regulation that is proposed and we must very actively either Support it or Fight against it.

We, each one of us must make a Promise to the United states of America that we shall teach our Children and our Grand children to monitor what the Congress of the United States of America when they propose Laws and Regulations and that we either will sup[port or fight against them.

Jesus taught us to turn the other4 cheeck, but even he placed a number on the number of times you had to do that. I have seen enough of the MOB VIOLENCE that the various Police Departments have inflicted upon the Demonstrators. It is time for the Demonstrators to Film what is going on and then to protect themselves.

To the Retired, Discharged or Active Members of the Military and of the various Police Departments it is once again time for you to step forwrd and stand up for the welfare and safety of your Fellow American Citizens.

Diane Ribbentrop

October 29, 2011 12:56pm

OWS is long overdue No need for vile signs like
Hitler Muslim Kenyan Mao Mao Hater of whites
per Tea party folks

Garland Waller

October 29, 2011 11:52am

I really believe the revolution has begun. I do not think it needs to be violent. Quakers, Ghandi, the Civil Rights Movement all held a central belief that violence was not the answer. I don't know what the answer is but I believe that we have reached a tipping point and no matter what anyone in the media does or doesn't do, what they choose to cover or don't, there is a bolt of energy that cannot be put back in the bottle.

Joe Befumo

October 29, 2011 11:48am

Nonviolence is always to be preferred, however, as noted liberal activist Noam Chomsky observes: “Non-violent resistance activities cannot succeed against an enemy that is able freely to use violence. That’s pretty obvious. You can’t have non-violent resistance against the Nazis in a concentration camp,to take an extreme case….” Overbearing thugs in service to an illegal totalitarian junta will never yield to any but the language they best understand, and THAT is why the founding fathers included the 2nd Amendment!

http://www.kicjthemout.org

marcadrian

October 29, 2011 11:02am

The criminals and thugs they employ will not concede without violence. We must keep the movement peaceful, but if attacked we will defend ourselves. Politicians and their masters are on notice.

doctorsparkles

October 29, 2011 10:31am

Please, let's keep it nonviolent...
Peter Schiff on OWS: youtube.com/watch?v=f7cDO2jAwOs
David Icke on OWS: youtube.com/watch?v=ikvjGTG9MnQ&NR=1

But then again...
Here's a great animated film on "The American Dream":
youtube.com/watch?v=ZPWH5TlbloU