Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Oy Wall Street
There's a great risk of going off-message (even if the message is a bit vague to begin with). We know from the Wisconsin protests earlier this year that police are potential allies, as union workers. In many cities where Occupy actions are popping up, the police have little experience dealing with this kind of long-term protest. The corporate powers lean on their political minions to do something, so the local governments push the police to do something. Basically, the Occupy protests are a form of vagrancy, no big deal, really. They disrupt "normal" routines.
It suits the suits if the protests appear to be about local police. Makes them local law & order problems, & in much of mainstream media it's the protesters who come across as lawless. Many people disposed to be sympathetic with Occupy become unsympathetic. Occupy has to keep the spotlight on the lawless powers inside those office buildings, not on the agents of the powers. Do what you gotta do to stay where you are, but do it with smart tactics, with negotiation where possible. In many cities, being heavy-handed with protestors would embarrass the Democrats in city hall & jeopardize base support. In Albany NY, the state & the city tried to foist off responsibility for removing protesters on each other, because neither wanted to be perceived as culpable. Occupy Albany recognized this conflict, used it, & outwitted them. However, Occupy Oakland CA was evicted.
With winter approaching, protest crowds in the Northeast & Midwest will dwindle, the story - barring any violence - fading into background. It's an opportunity for the Occupy movement to gain presence & strength in the milder climates of the South & West, & to organize satellite demonstrations in the presidential primary states, following the Repugs & Barack Obama.
Labels: in the news