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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:22 PM
Original message
How political protests work, why the anti-Iraq ones didn't, and why I don't expect OWS to.
As far as I can see, all successful political protests (e.g. votes for women, Indian independence, civil rights in the US, anti-apartheid) have followed the same basic sequence of steps:

1) The protesters announce "We want X, and we will go on doing Y until we get it".
2) Government decides that it will not tolerate Y.
3) Government uses considerable force to prevent Y.
4) Electorate decides that the force used was excessive
5) Government gives in and does X.

In general, the crucial step is 3 - we talk a lot about MLK and Malcolm X, but I think that the contribution of Bull Durham to the civil rights movement is usually understated.

The most common reason that protests fail is that the government doesn't overreact to them. A classic example here is the anti-Iraq war protests. If the government doesn't decide to stop your protest, it won't generate much sympathy. "Mass non-violent protest" is a shibboleth, but I think that for protest to work, it has to be met with violence. The trick is to find a method of protesting such that the electorate will not view the force used against you as legitimate. If I go around smashing windows for my cause, I'll be locked up and everyone will cheer; If I just walk down the street I'll get there and go home, and no-one will notice. I think the Occupy movement may have a reasonable approach here.

But the problem - and it's been said, time and again, but people don't want to hear it, it seems - is the absence of a specific "victory condition". Protest works because the government gives in and does what the protesters are asking, *in order to end the protest*. I can't envisage any laws that the government might conceivably pass that would result in all, or even most, of the occupiers announcing "OK, we're done now, power is back in the hands on the 99%, let's give up and go home", and so there's no incentive for the government to pass laws to please the protesters! On another thread when I made this point, someone actually posted "You're right about one thing - you can't end it", and didn't seem to see that as a weakness of the movement.

For OWS to influence politicians, I think the protesters would need to declare under what conditions they'd *stop* protesting. That would require more centralisation and more authority than appears to exist, and so I don't expect the movement to have a very great impact on how America is governed.


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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you for your concern.
We should just stop then, should we?
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. And that total lack of nuance is just so comforting.
After all, you're either with OWS just as it is, or you're with the terrorists, right? Hey, we must shield the divinely mandated Plan from any sort of criticism!
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
35. Thank you for your concern.
Those of us who agree OWS is working are wise to you and yours. Your tactics have been used over and over again and are really getting thin.

FYI, there's never been a protest like this before. It is presumptuous in the extreme for the OP or you or anyone else to be telling us how we "should be" doing it.

Shut up and get out of the way, wraith. You and yours aren't really impeding anything, but you are annoying and we all wish you would shut up and go away. You aren't here to help OS or its participants; you and yours have been predicting failure from the beginning.

It's gone rather the reverse, so how 'bout ya stop your pissing and moaning? We get that you don't "get it", and we also get that you very intentionally will never "get it".

Now, step aside so we can school you. Kthxbai.

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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #35
47. +1
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #35
82. What nonsense
Why is it not possible to debate a challenge to tactical orthodoxy without seeing dark and sinister motives behind such a discussion?
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #82
90. If some valid new and improved constructive idea is posited,
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 12:31 PM by Zorra
be assured that we will discuss it, ad nauseum, until consensus is reached. We'll collectively beat it to death with a hammer and if it survives, we accept it.

When the same old tired non-constructive critical memes that we have already taken to the woodshed are put forth day after day, primarily by the same collection of posters with a history of supporting a distinct ideological perspective that appears to be subtly or directly hostile to the OWS movement, we dismiss it out of hand, noting all "concerns". But we're not going to waste our time with what is already dead and would remain buried if the decomposed body were not continually dug up and dragged into the forum again.

Below is an example of some excellent constructive ideas. This list is actually a compendium of ideas from the collective mind of OWS that are already agreed upon by many/most Occupy delegations from around the country by the majority of us as worthy of continued discussion. We will be discussing many of these ideas until consensus is reached. We will then proceed to act from that point, based on the consensus.

The fact that a well-known individual compiled this list does not in any way make this individual a leader or a spokesperson for the OWS movement, noted here because this would be one of those obvious point of attack memes for those hostile to OWS to proceed from.

1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).

2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.

3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.

4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.

5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.

6. Reorder our nation's spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.

7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.

8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.

9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the companys workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can't run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the worlds leading manufacturing exporter.)

10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:

a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.

b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.

c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a "second bill of rights" as proposed by President Frankin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.

Let me know what you think. Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online (at OccupyWallSt.org). Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don't have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighborhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action.

We are but ten weeks old, yet we have already changed the national conversation. This is our moment, the one we've been hoping for, waiting for. If it's going to happen it has to happen now. Don't sit this one out. This is the real deal. This is it.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@MichaelMoore.com
@MMFlint
MichaelMoore.com
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #90
92. Good letter
I agree with the sentiments and the goals. I also note that he isn't talking at all about tactics. None are mentioned. Which is fine.

That being said, a point I don't agree with in the letter is that we all need to go to that particular website to discuss tactics for the movement.

I think this discussion can and should take place in many places and spaces, including here at DU.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
62. "Might as well", but not "Should".
I don't see the OWS movement doing any harm.
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sorcrow Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bull Durham?
I think you mean Bull Connor, the commissioner of "public safety" for Birmingham, Alabama.

Regards,
Crow
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
39. I thought so too
And I'm from "Bull Durham". :-)

Welcome to DU! :hi:
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
78. Aha. I wondered how tobacco got into it.
:-)
And I was living in B'ham during the Bull Connor years.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. Deleted message
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. How about protesting in front of Congressional District offices?
Put the heat on Congress? That's one way to focus the issue. I'm sure those guys wouldn't be too happy to be dealing with OWS every time they're back in their districts....
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
68. For what?
No, I'm sure Congress wouldn't like to see occupiers outside their offices; if there were laws they could pass that would make them go home then they might do so. But OWS is a general protest-for-the-sake-of-protesting, without a win condition, so there are no such laws, and no incentive to do what the protesters want.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #68
89. Protesting for the sake of protesting? Without a win condition?
I think a lot of people disagree with your POV.

Many OWS demos have had very specific themes and purposes.
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nineteen50 Donating Member (488 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. do you mean the one that controls the sound controls the voice?
would that be corporate media?
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
67. No, I don't mean anything like that, I mean what I said in the OP. N.T.
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piratefish08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. bring these concerns to the nearest GA. then vote. pure democracy.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. Phooey.. Everyone out there seems perfectly content with an un-endable
War on Terror...

I think this movement should NEVER end until we have created the "more perfect union" that we set out to make back there in the 18th Century.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. I couldn't disagree more because it'd be virtually impossible.
There have already been movements of people asking for X, Y and Z. Let's call those the "Well Behaved Movements." The Well Behaved Movements have been peaceful, but they have had leaders, and they have asked for certain, very specific demands. More importantly, The Well Behaved Movements have been docile and met on the terms of the powers-that-be have,

In return, the powers-that-be have paid them lip service, then run behind the curtain, burst out laughing, slapped their knees, then gone back into the meeting room with the movement and said, "Ok, we'll keep your suggestions in mind." Then they shut the door to the movement and laughed uproariously some more forgetting the docile movement.

The media's reaction to The Well Behaved Movements has been to ignore them completely.

Well Behaved Movements fizzle out forever, which is precisely what the poewrs-that-be want.

OWS is completely different. It cannot be ignored by anyone, not by cities, towns, states, or universities. It cannot be ignored by the media. It cannot be ignored by lawmakers. It is being reported constantly, being photographed constantly, being spread through the net constantly, and as a result, people are adding themselves to the movement, and not merely one type of people. It's people from all walks of life and all spheres, all ages, and both genders, all levels of education.

OWS DOES have a goal. It wants the mass corruption that has moved the wealth of our country to the top to STOP. Everyone knows that. Those who are asking OWS to specify goals know perfectly well what OWS wants. No one is that dumb. The problem is that OWS is a formidable movement, and it scares the hell out of those who are maneuvering just fine within this incredibly corrupt system.

And so, no, OWS will not limit its demands.

And no, OWS will not play nice with the corrupt a-holes that destroyed this country.

And no, OWS will not leave things as they are.

And no, OWS will not shut the F up.



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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Then OWS will fail. nt
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. And you have arrived at this how? Care to tell how you have reasoned this out? nt
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. Because OWS has become an ink-blot test.
And because in becoming dragged off and distracted by clashes over camping space and fights with the police, they've lost the opportunity to push a message that would galvanize the majority of the American public. Witness recent polls which show support for OWS dropping sharply, while support for reforms stays strong. The attitude taken in to OWS of it being some kind of idealized form of society, where everyone's opinions were equally valid and there was no expectation of uniformity of purpose, negates the kind of message discipline and planning needed to accomplish hard goals. So instead of a focused, coherent strategy, you end up with a bunch of people standing around who think that protest equals revolution, with no scheme for actually accomplishing their goals. Tell me how OWS is going to elect enough Congresspeople to pass a new Wall Street reform bill?

And don't tell me that's not the point. It's EXACTLY the point. Because you have to believe one of four basic things. One: OWS is somehow magically going to overthrow the US government by sitting in parks. Two: OWS is going to harness their efforts into getting better elected officials in office. Three: OWS is somehow going to marshall the support of the American public by holding drum circles and camping out, even as polls show Americans' opinion of OWS dropping fast. Four: OWS is going to shout until they run out of energy, without having substantively changed anything.

Frankly, I could go on, but I have other things to do. The fact is that OWS has been destined for failure pretty much from the point where it became about creating some kind of idealized image of society instead of creating a few solid goals aimed at the financial system.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. I was curious about you, so I read some of your past posts...
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 09:39 PM by Sarah Ibarruri
And I did notice that you kept saying the U.S. and the world are doing much better than ever in the past. You're an optimist about the way things are in the U.S. right now. So, basically, you don't see much going wrong in the U.S. That pretty much explains your posts, your view, and why you are counting on (and praying) that OWS fails. No need to elaborate. Thanks tho.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Way to completely misrepresent my beliefs.
"So, basically, you don't see much going wrong in the U.S."

"We're better off than ever before" is NOT the same as "We don't really have any problems." My point, if you bothered to read farther than trying to find some way to dismiss me, is that way too often people fall prey to the idea that somehow things were better in "the good old days." Even on the left, where people are prone to portraying the 1950s as some kind of time of universal prosperity, when the reality was anything but.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #27
34. So national stats that things are indeed not that honky dory
Are bunk...phew!
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #34
42. LOL! Apparently so! nt
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #27
38. We're better off than ever before?????? Than EVER before? Oh Lord almighty
Are you a heavy drinker, or what?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. I'd like some links to these extraordinary claims.
One: OWS is somehow magically going to overthrow the US government by sitting in parks. Two: OWS is going to harness their efforts into getting better elected officials in office. Three: OWS is somehow going to marshall the support of the American public by holding drum circles and camping out, even as polls show Americans' opinion of OWS dropping fast. Four: OWS is going to shout until they run out of energy, without having substantively changed anything.

-------------

One you will not find, if you do contact the FBI, they will love you

Two...since they are not part of a political structure good luck with link. Individuals are free and clear but no ga has voted to endorse anybody, well except a dog in Denver. Rumor has it a second dog is in the running in sd bay.

Three...polls are what they are...and those in a movement, any movement, really don't give hoots

Four...your name is nostradamus? And you have missed the change in conversation on purpose, haven't you?

You are quite daft on purpose.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. You want links to categorize your own belief?
Those are the four basic categories into which people's opinions fall.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Alas. That is not OWS.
You have no clue what you are looking at...SOME as in a MINORITY of participants might fall in any of those categories and twenty others. Talk to me when they reach consensus.

You are dealing with raw democracy. Why you are having a hell of a time wrapping your head around it.

You can't be reached. Suffice it to say I have been saying we were going to have these street events for over two years. You've laughed. Well now we have protests. If it's driven undergrounfpd then there will be violence...and I do not mean cops pepper spraying peaceful students. So be careful what you wish for.
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UnrepentantLiberal Donating Member (747 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #29
77. Does TheWraith reside in Washington DC?
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
61. By looking at which protest movements in the past achieved their goals, and how. N.T.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #61
75. Yeah? Would you care to be elaborate and provide a couple of examples?
I'd hate to think you and your pal are just blowing hot air.

Much appreciated!
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #75
80. I've already done so in the OP; I'd hate to think you hadn't read it. N.T.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #80
93. Yeah, no you didn't.
You listed a few past protests and then you gave your model. That's not evidence. Try again.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #80
96. And I responded to your notions that this movement is having no effect by showing it is
So I ask. Is there another reason you think this movement will have no effect in the future, if it already is having the effects of an effective movement by spreading, growing, and exponentially becoming a problem for universities, towns, cities and states?

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. That is your most ardent hope, we get it
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Your insults aside, it's my analysis.
One which has been rather more accurate than wishful thinking.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Accurate based on what? OWS has not failed.
nt

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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. Talk to me again in a couple months.
But I'll put my past record up, if you like. The fact that there would be no deal from the joint committee, let alone the plan to destroy Medicare and Medicaid that people repeatedly assured us was a done deal. Or the fact that no, Wikileaks did not revolutionize the western world and result in the end of national borders in a great mass uprising. Or the fact that no, we didn't invade Libya. No, we didn't bomb Iran. And on for awhile.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. My god you are missing this all the way to the moon
Even perhaps mars.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. And yet, all you have to go on is claims of some grand, obvious revolution.
You can't say exactly how it's going to bring about the things you want, you're just sure it's there and obvious. So if you can't articulate how it's supposed to work, how do you claim others are "missing it?"
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. I can tell, you some of what they want right now
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 09:51 PM by nadinbrzezinski
Medicare for all

Money out of politics

Retun of glass Steagal

Student debt relief

A living wage

But I have bothered actually researching this. Nobody has said we want to overthrow the government of the us, except in your imagination. Nor coud you reach consensus on that one. Why not just admit it? You don't get it, it's cool.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #36
65. "Some of" = "There's no way of ending the protests".
Governments give in to the demands of protests in order to end the protests, not just out of the goodness of their hearts.

Since the government *can't* end the protests by giving in, why would it bother doing what the protesters want?

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #65
97. So in your mind protestors should go home
And like Timmy just ask for another?

The anti war protests failed because most fols were not ready for the long haul...these guys are.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. Mostly yes to both their points.
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 03:35 PM by Donald Ian Rankin
"So in your mind protestors should go home and like Timmy just ask for another?"

I think there is potential for large-scale left-wing political protests to change America very much for the better; I don't think OWS will achieve that for the reasons I've set out. In my mind protesters should lower their sights, narrow their goals, select leaders/spokespeople and do what those leaders say, but that would be totally against the ethos of the OWS movement.


In my view, the antiwar protests failed because they weren't inconvenient to anyone (which is pretty close to "not being ready for the long haul", although not the same), and so the government didn't overreact to them. The thing is that if they'd inconvenienced people then government use of force might well have been viewed as a just reaction and not an overreaction; the art of successful protest is finding something which the government minds you doing but the electorate doesn't, and being willing to suffer to do that thing. I think the occupiers might be on to something with this one, which is why it's a shame that they haven't agreed what concessions to demand from the government in exchange for stopping.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #99
100. The problem with your analysis
Is that OWS already changed the conversation. It took the civil rights movement years to get there.

You also are not dealing with a national event. This is quite global thank you very much, and the over reaction tells you how much it's feared.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Yup, truly
:eyes:

You laughed when I said this was comming to the us. You and your friends did.

It's not going away

And it has specific demands all RW framing aside.

Good night.
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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. It is an analysis
By keyboard pessimists who are in a very small minority.

Thank God
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. It's realism.
Come back to me in a couple months. If the US financial system has been overthrown, I'll happily eat my crow.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. Link to OWS wants to overthrow the system
Any general assembly reaching consensus on this will be sufficient.
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #25
74. You're too fucking short-viewed for your own good.
Months? No. This is the beginning of a years long fight. Anybody expecting resolution before 2020 or possibly 2040 is deluded.

There will be signpost victories and losses along the way. We will continue to walk the path.
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #74
88. Hmm, that's an interesting angle that I had not considered until now, that
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 11:19 AM by coalition_unwilling
we are looking at maybe decades of overt and covert struggle.

Reminds me a little bit of the U.S. Civil War. Before the First Battle of Bull Run (aka 'Manassas'), many folks on both sides thought the war would be over within 60 days. Only dark visionaries like W.T. Sherman understood what the nation was in for. That understanding was enough to put Sherman in the hospital briefly with severe depression (at the time, I think it was called 'melancholia').

On edit: I hope you will consider making this response an OP and elaborating on your theme. It's a great perspective.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #88
98. Some of my local occupiers have spoken of at least
Five years.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #74
94. I would have to agree
Check back with him in a few months, really? Months? That statement alone showed how out-of-whack his analysis was.
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reACTIONary Donating Member (257 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
43. +1
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
12. Well given that there are demands...
This is a long winded version of RW meme by the way.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
15. This movement is different, and I see a progression....

The civil rights movemement was an oppressed minority against the majority. During the LA Riots it was more like 50/50. Now it's 99% versus 1%! If we decided to just collectively exhale it could blow the 1% and their defenders out of the way! The challenge will be: how to engage the collective?
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nineteen50 Donating Member (488 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
49. The bell has been rung and can not be un-rung. What it tolls is yet to play out.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
17. OWS has changed much of the dialogue between people and the
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 09:25 PM by mmonk
term 99% is now part of the American lexicon. They have decided to hang around and be noticed rather than appear for one mass protest and disappear to a media that doesn't carry any depth and a public that forgets. I think they are actually doing what it takes right now.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
21. K&R. Good analysis...nt
Sid
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MFrohike Donating Member (210 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
22. The problem with a victory condition
The work in rebuilding the New Deal and its successor ideas, like environmental regulation, is not a 10 point plan. It's the work of a generation at least. If there was a policy platform, it should, in my opinion, focus on some immediate issues (like proper financial regulation) and issues that will perpetuate the movement (largely repealing Taft-Hartley and Landrum-Griffin). I don't think the Occupy movement can be a cure all for everything. I see it as a beginning of pressure. If pressure can be brought consistently, even if only by being the thorn in the side that the movement is right now, it may be able to effect change. There are no guarantees, just possibilities.
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rugger1869 Donating Member (71 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
31. That's why we play all 4 quarters.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
37. Basing this theory on the failure of one protest
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 09:58 PM by Tsiyu

and on your profound ignorance about OWS, is probably not the best way to exhibit your expertise as a strategist.


AS for Iraq, 70% of Americans at the time, misled and post 911 vindictive, supported the war.

AS for now, 70% of Americans agree with taxing the wealthy at Pre-Bush levels, the majority want single payer health insurance, more regulation on Wall Street, less interference with elections from corporations, no more war, in short: all these things and many more that OWS addresses.

I have been amazed in the last two days. One former Bush lover of a family member ("instead of bitching about him, why not pray for him?" type) and one former Glen Beck viewer family member (he has a head injury so I cut him some slack) have each expressed their outrage at UC Davis' Officer Pike pepper spraying those kids.

Both of them brought this up to me and asked me what OWS is about. I was amazed that both wanted to know and were open to what I said, and even made comments themselves - that would make fine protest signs.

The worm is turning lol

They don't need "victory condition" to have impact. They have "abject failure condition" and this is enough.




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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. EXACTLY!
I've encountered people I didn't think would be sympathetic in the slightest that are extremely angry at the abuses those students endured, and they aren't happy with such a blatant display of "American the Police State" (not my words, either). Many conservatives aren't anymore happy with this turn of events than are liberals.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #41
50. They are suffering now as well


The trainwreck the Republicans, some Democrats, massive de-regulation and lowering taxes on the wealthy caused on the tracks has crushed their lives as well.

Both mentioned the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Both know that Exxon Mobile and GE pay no taxes.

Both of them understand the reasons - for the first time.

OWS has made sense of the income disparity by highlighting it.

But isn't it hilarious how two months along, the naysayers are already saying it's over? :rofl:


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reACTIONary Donating Member (257 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #37
45. RE: each expressed their outrage at pepper spraying those kids
This is exactly what the OP was referring to. It was a clear cut case where the peaceful protesters were met with unreasonable violence and generated sympathy for their cause. Now if only their cause was a clear cut "we want X" as the OP recommended.

Your observations confirm the point the OP was making.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. Ah, but this started a new conversation on Republicans


and how they are enabling the 1%

From what I heard, these former Republicans will never vote for Republicans in the future. THIS IS MAJOR. They are disgusted because the economic reality is not just a theory to them.

I believe that they will be paying attention to politics from now on, and that they are cured of the apathy that let us get to this point in the first place.

The only people doubting OWS as a political movement are the ones who want it to fail, the ones who have it easy peasy.

Everyone else is living the "clearcut message."

:rofl: (sorry, I find it amusing when people are out of touch.....but think they're so in tune. )


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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #48
54. Interesting. n/t
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 02:39 AM by Aerows
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reACTIONary Donating Member (257 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #48
102. That's good... And I think its a positive result of OWS...
I'm not doubting it as a political movement, and I don't want it to fail. I would like to see it be more effective.

I've personally spent quite a bit of time defending and explaining the occupiers to relatives and friends. I've also showed up for a few General Assemblies and expressed my opinion to the group and to individual occupiers. I found them willing to listen and think about what I had to say, regardless of the fact that I was an outsider, and whether they agreed with me or not.

Personally, I think the criticisms of OWS in many of these posts is constructive and useful and should be met with an open mind. And I think the pepper spray incident at U of C Davis is a perfect example of what was being explained in the OP - the peaceful protest provoked a clearly disproportionate, violent response and turned a lot of folks into sympathizers and gave them reason to listen more closely to what the protests are about.
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #45
51. Their cause is clear cut though
That is the fallacy that many who are against OWS try to perpetuate.

Here's one:

Prosecute those on Wall Street that perpetrated the immolation of the economy. Is that not clear cut enough? We know whose organizations they are, charge them under RICO and get it over with already. Will it cause them to implode? Probably, but at this point, if they are too big to fail, too big to jail and too big to obey the law, they are too dangerous for society.

Here's another:

We have 5 (7 if you count them as shadow wars) going on, and the people of the United States of America have no interests there as a populace. No Americans were shot there until we got involved, yet we are expending blood, treasure and our world image in such countries. And nobody is paying for them. It is reckless, feckless, and unconscionable, and as an American taxpayer I DO NOT AGREE.

That's two.

If you want some more, I have plenty, but I don't have all night because I have to wake up and go to work tomorrow and pay taxes to support bs like this, instead of supporting my neighbors that may not have enough to eat. I'm tired of that. I'd like to be my brother's keeper again, because, well, I am.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:05 AM
Response to Reply #51
66. Yes, "You have some more" - that is, "Giving you those won't end the protests".

The point I was making in the OP is that the reason governments give in to the demands of protesters is to end the protests.

With OWS, that's not possible, and so there's no incentive to do what the protesters want.


Incidentally, the first of those demands is something I'd take to the streets to protest *against*: the immolation of the economy was caused not by people breaking the rules, but by the rules being too lax; what you're calling for there is "throw away the rule of law, lynch some people because we're angry" - - and it would demolish what's left of the economy while you're at it. What is needed is tighter financial regulation (e.g. resintstitute Glass-Steagall), not retroactively punishing people who did things that weren't illegal at the time.
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reACTIONary Donating Member (257 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-24-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #66
101. Thanks, that what I would have answered. (nm)
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #45
53. Wait a second...
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 02:46 AM by Aerows
I'll hold my tongue.
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
40. You are certainly entitled to your opinion
So are the protesters. They seem to think it is working just fine, and so do the many Americans who support them.

It's scary for politicians, pundits and politicos to suddenly realize that their attempts to convince Americans that up is down and black is white no longer works, but they are just going to have to get over it and stop talking. What they need to do is start listening.

Had they listened in the first place instead of talking so much, we wouldn't be here.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #40
70. The cynic in me thinks that yes, OWS is working just fine.
I would love to believe that OWS is protest for the sake of changing the world - in which case the measure of success would be legislative change achieved, and/or elections influence - which at present is none, and there's no evidence that will change.

But I'm far from convinced that it's not just protest for protest's sake, with the goal not of achieving change but of making the protesters feel like they're doing something, in which case it is indeed working fine.
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hulka38 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
44. The anti Iraq protests didn't work because our Democratic Party leadership
is a collection of cowards and politicians who are beholden to the MIC.
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
46. I don't think things have quite reached a tipping point...
During the Great Depression, unemployment reached about 25% in the US. Currently real unemployment is about 16%, although its currently edging up to about 17%, mainly amongst the young, and lower-paid employees in service industries.

When employment starts to push through 20%, increasingly educated and middle-aged people are laid off, particularly those with families. This is when you start to feel the grapes of wrath growing heavy on the vine, so to speak.

At that point, you don't need to rely upon the protesters to come up with specific policy initiatives. It is more a case of government trying to find ways of quelling the rapidly rising discontent.





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Modern_Matthew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
52. Another contrarian. nt
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:00 AM
Response to Original message
55. It already has worked, sorry. /nt
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #55
79. How so?

It is raising awareness, certainly. But is government listening? I don't think so. Are there any indications that OWS is in any way causing any changes in the oncoming austerity ax? I don't see it.

This is not to say that I oppose OwS or consider it a failure. Rather it is a process and a school. What is learned, what awareness is raised, will serve us in the next round, which will be the proof of success.

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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #79
84. It's changed the political debate, as you mentioned.
I would never expect anything more from a demonstration. It's public sentiment that's important here, and OWS has won that fight and changed the national dialogue in an appreciable way. Whatever the movement does next, whether it's going back to occupations or something else, there's a niche carved out of the political landscape for it.
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dameocrat67 Donating Member (442 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:10 AM
Response to Original message
56. I think it was created by closet lesser evilist
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 03:17 AM by dameocrat67
and wont produce a desired outcome because the organizers know that Obama would probably oppose the outcome most non organizing participants would like. Outcomes like restoring unemployment to the 99 and getting the money out of politics, and breaking up the banks. It is designed to give the left an oulet without accomplishing anything or challenging anyone in real life.

That is why the socalled nonleaders that organized it, imposed destructive consensus decision making on everyone. if you have to please a small minority, in most cases less than 10%, you will end up getting dictated to by that minority, in this case Obama supporters and people who actually support wall street.

The Iraq war movement failed because democrats ran it, and they ran it for largely prowar candidates like Kerry and Obama. It was another movement to waste everyones time while compaigning for candidates that do not share the agenda of the majority.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:57 AM
Response to Original message
57. Not enough evidence presented that past protests have fit such a clean model
And I suspect you're retrofitting this model onto past efforts mainly because it's convenient to your argument.

There's a reason the state works so hard to sell the public on each new war: it's not willing to do the work involved in carrying out something that's widely detested. It's easier and cleaner and less resource-intensive to control public opinion than to control the population through outright repression. If the protests can undermine this process and instill suspicion in the public re the criminality of the financial industry it will have been a significant victory.
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dameocrat67 Donating Member (442 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #57
59. The other way they control everything is by making sure
all of the candidates agree to support the war even if the public does not, so that it is not actually possible to vote for someone who is against it. They also do it by making candidates take sly positions, such as Obama who claimed he didnt support the war but thought we had to finish what we started and so forth and so on.

They did this with the wall street bailout too.
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aletier_v Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 04:10 AM
Response to Original message
58. Lawsuits, Bad PR & Costs
OWS may not need elected representatives.

It seems to me they're accomplishing something just by running city budgets into the ground.

That's serious pressure, perhaps more than is possible from the election box.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #58
60. Cities are doing it to themselves...
The protests don't need the massive police presence they're getting, the overkill is ridiculous.

They had a full scale riot in Happy Valley overturning two news vans and no one got so much as pepper sprayed, no stormtroopers in riot gear.

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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #58
64. But pressure to do what?
Since the OWSers take pride in stating that they're there for the long haul, there's no incentive to try to end the protests by mollifying them; if city governments decide they need to end them their only option is to remove the protesters.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:52 AM
Response to Original message
63. This argument has already proven to be less than useless
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 06:54 AM by lunatica
I think you should take your concerns to the General Assemblies in your local OWS. I'm sure they've never even thought of what you think their strategy should be. :sarcasm:

They'll probably even welcome you in spite of yourself.

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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
69. I'm not sure your model is indicative that they will fail.
In the 1930s during the Great Depression, there were a whole host of demands that were being tossed by the Labor Movement against the establishment. Where they wanted X, it was literally a page-long list of demands that included safe working conditions, a job with a livable wage, an eight-hour workday with overtime, unemployment insurance, the right to form a labor union, food stamps, public housing/housing assistance, etc. It's not something that could be filled by congressional action instantaneously.

From the day a jobs program is passed and signed into law, it could literally take over a year or several for it to fully kick in back in the 1930s. In the meantime, people will just keep protesting and just keep starving to death and just keep fighting the police and hired company thugs and just keep getting killed trying to form labor unions, year in and year out. They continued protesting and getting into fights with the police pretty much until World War 2 started because the Great Depression didn't really go away until World War 2 mobilization ended it. Food riots were pretty common around this time as well.

In total, the years of protesting spanned a decade. OWS is an infant compared to the record set by the Labor Movement, and OWS' demands are pretty long, but compared to the old Labor Movement, it's something that seems doable.
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quaker bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
71. Protest is only a way to start
Real activism is never limited to occupying parks, chanting, and waving signs. All of that has its place and is a very good way to start a movement, but if all the movement becomes is a way to arrange and support the protests, it will die. At some point along the way the movement has to shift to organizing for political impact at the polls. Ohio shows the seed of this beginning to sprout. Most places have some capacity for getting citizen initiatives on the ballot, all of them have regular elections, and some of the elections are not that hard to win.

The tea party put stupid people on school boards, city commissions, into state governments, and seats in congress. Reading the polls, OWS has the capacity to be much larger and could send alot of these people packing. The Tea Party did not have to "win" the election to have massive influence. They represent a small minority of office holders, but in a closely divided government, a small united block of office holders can make a huge difference. Think of all the compromises made by the furtive dem majority in the senate to keep Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson happy. If you hold the key to power this sort of thing can work in the other direction.

Imagine they come to privatize your schools so they can get prayer back in them. On that day having one or two votes on the school board could really matter. These elections are often won by less than 1000 votes.

Part of saying "enough", and making it clear, is running a whole bunch of these dillweeds out of office, and passing citizen initiatives that force the remainder to pay attention.

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ThomThom Donating Member (752 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:27 AM
Response to Original message
72. it will never end......... alway a new cause
we have much to change
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
73. Look to the larger US "suffrage" movement...
("suffrage" in quotes because very little of the larger movement had anything to do with voting)

The one that started out in the late 1800s fighting for laws to criminalize physical abuses against women...and won. Immediately then they moved on to voting for women...and won. By that time they'd already begun on fighting for prohibition, having identified alcohol as a major factor in violence against women...and won. The one that never really went away but moved onto smaller state-based issues...where they mostly won. The one that morphed into women's rights movement and came roaring back to fight for equality for women in a hundred venues from workplace protections to abortion to fighting for the ERA...and mostly won. The one that now 110+ years after the start of, we recognize as a consistent force for the equality of women and one of the dominant political forces over the past century. Not many protest movements...one protest movement that continued to fight a series of small and progressing fights after its' initial wins.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
76. Are you American or English? Or is your profile a creation for the sheer purpose of anonymity? nt
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #76
83. No, yes and yes.
I'm not American, I am English, and Donald Ian Rankin is my favourite jig, not my name.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #83
95. :) nt
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
81. Good points Though what about X being the right thing to do?
At the risk of sounding idealistic?

But I think you are right in that, there is nothing the government or voters can do that specifically ends the protests here, so they'll just sort of die out when the economy turns around. With a few people always keeping it up as the ones who are just really dedicated to it.
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lame54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
85. then step aside
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
86. I rec'ed for the conversation, not b/c I agree with you per se. I
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 11:08 AM by coalition_unwilling
think your 5-step process explains single-issue protests, but not OWS.

I'll reply in more detail later. I need some time to consider more fully the implications of what you have written here.

BTW, I think you meant to say 'Bull Connor' and not 'Bull Durham'.
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Puzzledtraveller Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
87. A thing that doesn't change
becomes extinct.
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Chorophyll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
91. In that single sentence beneath your list, I think you meant Bull CONNOR.
Edited on Wed Nov-23-11 12:27 PM by Chorophyll
Bull Durham is a movie and/or tobacco product.

ETA: I see someone already pointed this out, but really, it can't be pointed out enough.
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