In every successful revolution, there is a point at which the guardian classes who carry out orders to protect the investment class and the oligarchs realize they are on the wrong side of the struggle, and either defect or refuse to follow orders. We, of course, witnessed exactly that in Tahrir Square, and it was clearly the turning point in their revolution: it shifted the balance of power when the police and military declined to harm their fellow citizens to any great degree… Then the Mubarak-hired mercenaries on camels entered the Square with their whips, beating and smacking the protestors, but their brutality only fanned the flames of resistance further, and may even have been the key that unlocked the farmers in the north to join the movement, creating the critical mass that drove it all home.
It was not only the sheer numbers of protestors, but the fact that all segments of the society who weren’t the 1% coalesced that turned the tide, IMO.
So many people were massed on a bridge just off the Square that they actually pushed police vans back across the bridge; it was simply stunning proof that the 99% cannot be controlled by The One: We are legion!
In this nation, we’re now at the point where OccupyEverywhere! must grow exponentially soon, or risk faltering as winter comes and the security apparatus decides to quell the movement. It’s unclear at this point if there are any planned strategic fall-back positions being discussed at the various encampments nationwide; it would be a good idea.
Only multiple millions of us on the streets can create a successful outcome, and those numbers must obviously include the protectors of the status quo. The general assemblies know this; you know this, and now, in what comprises the seeds of the next critical development, the police and military are beginning to acknowledge it.
We all know of Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas recently standing between the protestors and the police on Times Square who were rousting them and warning of arrests if they failed to comply with their orders. Some Occupiers were apparently arrested for just crossing the street, and Thomas said to the police:
“These are U.S. citizens peacefully protesting! These are the people you are supposed to protect! This isn’t a war zone! I’ve served overseas, that’s a war zone! Get rid of your batons and helmets!”
The cadre of police didn’t touch him; he became an overnight sensation, and apparently provoked the organization of a group calling itself ‘Occupy Marines’. One supporter at the website writes:
“We were asked today by a Naysayer to explain what OccupyMARINES are doing for OWS. We replied with a more accurate question to ask is what OccupyMARINES are not doing. OccupyMARINES are not sitting on our asses watching the 1% rip out the heart of America.
America Dialed 911 and We Stood Up, We Answered America’s Call.
We Have watched since September 17th this wondrous event unfold. We watched as this small demonstration took hold of the world and we quickly understood that they are not going away. So we listened more.
We listened to the demonstrators, we listened to the public respond and observed how quickly divided Americans’ were becoming. How these knucklehead Naysayers, day after day discredit what OWS is doing.
Well Nay-Sayers OccupyMARINES have a message for you. Continue sitting on your asses while the 1% laugh at you, lie to you, tell you to shut your soup coolers and mind your own business. Go ahead and quibble Naysayers while MARINES once again stand up for the future of America.
And when the day comes, when OWS hits history books across the world, and we alongside them; that day when someone asks you if you were there Nay-Sayers you are going to say: “No, I was to scared, I did not have the balls to fight for my country. I did not have the courage to confront the problems eroding America.”
There is also a new Occupy Police site up. From Day 3 at the site:
“Last night while curating and uploading the list of departments and attorney generals using twitter, we were hacked and brought down. It seems like some people don’t want #OccupyPolice to happen ….but I don’t think they were informed about The Peoples Movement yet. So we will go ahead now and inform them thoroughly, and in 6 words. The Peoples Movement Won’t Be Stopped ! Hackers won’t win; in the blink of an eye (with help) we brought our network and site back up, and like that old Aerosmith song goes, we’re back in the saddle again.”
Congratulations, friends; may your movements grow mightily, and help us free ourselves from our captivity by the Vampire Squid and his infernal brethren and clones!
In related news, Raw Story reports that police in Albany refused orders to arrest up to 700 protestors breaking the city’s curfew, saying that arrests might provoke a riot they were unprepared to control. So sorry Governor Cuomo and Mayor Jennings; some things just won’t stand. We have a right to protest, a duty to protest, and these streets belong to us! Let’s hope this victory holds, and that your days in power are numbered.
Bruce Levine, author and psychologist has a piece up advising how best to approach the protector classes of the corporatocracy, and defining them in broader terms than most of us might have considered. He quotes the late, great Howard Zinn:
“In a highly developed society, the Establishment cannot survive without the obedience and loyalty of millions of people who are given small rewards to keep the system going: the soldiers and police, teachers and ministers, administrators and social workers, technicians and production workers, doctors, lawyers. . . . They become the guards of the system, buffers between the upper and lower classes. If they stop obeying, the system falls.”
~Howard Zinn, from “The Coming Revolt of the Guards,” A People’s History of the United States
When the protectors finally realize that they’re expendable, it will be a game changer. Consider the sign above: ‘Only one layoff away from joining us’. Yes! Or one missed paycheck away from becoming homeless. Or taking a sick child to an ER or doctor’s office and being turned away for having no health insurance. Expendable. And they may decide to choose which side they’re on.
Chris Hedges has a new piece up warning the movement that it needs to work harder to include the poor, working class, and especially people of color. He takes some major swings at the radicals and activists from the 1960’s social and antiwar movements, and calls them out (and me and many of you, by extension) as being hedonistic consumer-class sons and daughters of the middle class who neglected to fight for the economic justice for all that MLK insisted was at the core of civil rights. He explains why those groups so mistrust this movement now, and those activists who once embraced the Democratic Party and its corporatist policies. I won’t critique the broad brushes with which he paints all activists then; but what he deems to be the New Left, i.e., liberals who have embraced the Democratic Party and refuse to see the truth that the Party just perpetuates economic injustice and our loss of civil freedoms is spot on.
He is absolutely right about the need for inclusion of said groups, and I’d add the power of the inclusion of the nation’s churches and a new Social Gospel Economic Justice doctrine embracing the movement as many provided in the original Civil Rights movement. Hedges warns of that danger of splitting off groups, and pitting them against one another as we’ve seen occurring; and he warns people not to look to traditional power structures for reform, but to work outside the system.
He neglects to address the need for the inclusion of any on the right who share the same convictions that our government is serving Banks, not People…not us. I will warn you that if you sideline the Tea People or Paulites who are beginning to embrace Occupy, you will end up one day with a Constitution whose preamble will begin:
‘We, some of the people of the United States, in order to form a diluted union…”
So suck it up, make your ideas heard at events…talk to these folks; if you can’t win the war of ideas at first…keep making your case. But don’t send them away; convince them about the core issues we’re fighting for, and fighting against. We are the 99%, not the 78% (or whatever)!
Hedges quotes long-time writer/social critic/radical Dwight Macdonald:
“Macdonald argued that those who wanted change had to base all actions on the non-historical and more esoteric values of truth, justice and love. They had to retain Danton’s call for audacity.”
Economic justice, truth and love is what must be at the core of this movement, and enough outrage at our plight to fuel the audacity. Bring on the audacity! Occupy Everywhere! They will not degrade us! We will be victorious!
“People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.”
~ James Baldwin
(cross-posted at www.kgblogz.com)