MoveOn.org Using We Are the 99%: Cooptation or Simply Confusing? Plus a Great OWS Video
This diary is an attempt to clear up possible misapprehensions, and get the distinction out into the Google cache as a reference, and a few people I will send it to. If it’s all old news to you, please at least watch the video at the end; it’s fun as all giddy-up. ;o)
By now it has become an article of faith that #OWS will not be coopted, and that the democracy and justice movement protestors are far too savvy to allow it to happen. At general assemblies all over the nation, it’s been explained to candidates, elected officials, and representatives of band-aid policy fixes that they are not welcome to piggy-back on Occupy to further their agendas, and must wait their turns in the stack to speak.
At its core, it’s a movement that is about fair v. unfair that sees clearly that the operating governmental system is rigged, inherently corrupt, and can no longer be fixed from the inside, regardless of which of the two legacy parties are being considered. To wit: Occupy knows that both parties serve the Oligarchy, and are enslaved to first getting elected, then staying in power, and sell their votes to the highest bidder, and that includes purchasing plum committee assignments that can further enhance their chances to reap millions as they use the revolving door to sit on boards of multinationals or become lobbyists to the uber-wealthy who create policy to enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary Americans.
Occupy understands that the insane levels of concentrated wealth, thus power, underpins the reason that the government is no longer responsive to us, and permits a system that pretends to offer choices to voters, but is at its core a disgusting performance of Red v. Blue theatrical distraction that serves to keep us from discussing real solutions to the problems facing America.
OWS has been exploring as fully as possible how to create a system of more horizontal, non-hierarchical decision-making process within local Occupies. It’s a cumbersome process, and still evolving, but we all have high hopes that it can be translated into a more useful model representing all voices one day. OWS is working outside the electoral system, in other words, not hoping *fix it*.
Most of us on these boards likely believe that outside groups have gotten this message, and I suppose I did, too. But I was recently given a wake up call by some very good and politically dedicated people in our area who have organized and are closely allied with MoveOn.org, and their political action and educational events, like this one. Local groups like in our county may understand the differences between OWS and MoveOn, but that MoveOn has appropriated the ‘We are the 99%’ caused my antennae to hum for a couple different reasons.
One is that I googled the single sentence motto above, and many of the hits went to MoveOn pages announcing Occupy news, indicating a possible alliance or conflation of the two groups. Reason two is that a nearby town’s Occupy protestors seem to correspond in part to the same MoveOn local activist organization.
The sentence ‘We are the 99%’ may not be proprietary, but to most, would surely signify ‘#OWS’; a brand, if you will.
Of course, it’s absolutely correct that a person could be involved in both, but as individuals, not speaking or acting as Occupy protesters. If the MoveOn groups, for instance, protest at a Republican’s Congressional offices, but not at the Democrat’s office as Occupy protestors, it dilutes the message inherent within the democracy movement, and allows Dems a free pass, and that’s counterproductive to the movement. George Soros used his millions to create MoveOn as a progressive arm of the Democratic Party, and as such is antithetical to massive change, revolutionary change in America, which is exactly what OWS stands for., and acts as a foil against the necessary participation that is key to an effective uprising and sweeping civil disobedience supporters of OWS believe is the only tool left in our toolbox by now.
Too often mainstream media have painted Occupy as ‘the liberal answer to the Tea Party movement’, and it seems that MoveOn, at least in the past, and many politicians have sought to usurp the burgeoning Occupy power partially because of that basic misunderstanding, which the young man at Zucotti Park in the video eloquently tries to dispel.
More and more discussion are now happening concerning the alliances that the most activists groups can and should make, based on some core beliefs, and being willing to set aside some cultural wedge issues that have served to divide in trumped-up fear and loathing, as we kick back against the Oligarchy and Vulture Capitalism that’s stolen our democracy out from under us, and robbed us of our economic futures, social safety net, and civil rights. The link to this discussion about ‘OWS and Forging Common Cause’ here at My.fdl will interest new readers.
Again: MoveOn and its adherents must understand that the 99% are not progressives, putative progressives, liberals, Democrats…they are all of us who understand the core of what’s wrong in our country, and OWS must not be seen in any way as a ‘Lefty’ movement as some would have it.
Googling for more information, I found this video showing an event in Atlanta at which Occupy and MoveOn joined forces to make demands of Obama in several policy areas, which is again, contra to the movement.
Just in twenty googling-minutes, I came up with many examples of fighting against MoveOn’s co-optation moves, here, here, and here are a few. Here is MoveOn’s page disavowing its attempt at the co-optation. I’ll refrain from comment.
“David DeGraw – one of the primary Wall Street protest organizers – just sent me the following email:
Top MoveOn leaders / executives are all over national television speaking for the movement fully appreciate the help and support of MoveOn, but the MSM is clearly using them as the spokespeople for OWS. This is an blatant attempt to fracture the 99% into a Democratic Party organization. The leadership of MoveON are Democratic Party operatives. they are divide and conquer pawns. For years they ignored Wall Street protests to keep complete focus on the Republicans, in favor of Goldman’s Obama and Wall Street’s Democratic leadership.
If anyone at Move On or Daily Kos would like to have a public debate about these comments, we invite it. Please help us stop this divide and conquer attempt. [snip] Everyone’s trying to cash in on the courage and conviction of the Wall Street protesters.
People are trying to associate Occupy Wall Street with their pet projects, in the same way that advertisers try to associate the goodwill of the Super Bowl, NBA playoffs, World Series or Olympics with their product.
But I hear from OWS organizers that the protesters come from totally diverse political affiliations. Many protesters support Ron Paul, many like Obama, others are for other parties or candidates or don’t vote at all.
The protesters themselves are having none of it, tweeting today: We don’t want to be the democratic tea party or liberal tea party. We want to be our own movement separate of any political affiliation.
By Dredd’s definition, MoveOn needs to be inoculated against ‘the germ theory of Government’, IMO, as should Occupy the Dream, which I so joyously welcomed to the movement, possibly ahead of time, according to Glen Ford at blackagendareport.com. Only time will tell how that alliance works out.
For any of you unfamiliar with the site, the authors are sincerely pissed at Obama, and all he has failed to do for blacks and the poor, and for waging vicious wars in the name of Greedy Empire, prosecuting whistleblowers, signing the horrific abusive-to-civil-and-human rights NDAA, and more.
I’ve written this diary so there is another source in the Google/Bing caches speaking to attempts of MoveOn to co-opt the movement. It’s all a bit of a sticky wicket, but clear distinctions need to made, IMO, as well as Occupy protests needing to call out to the Elitist Democratic establishment at every opportunity that they are serving the Feudal Overlords, too, and that we mean to cause a major reset to the system with all nonviolent means possible, which in the spring will mean general worker strikes, hopefully further boycotts of the TBTF banks, death-dealing businesses, and more.
I’m mindful that the tone of this diary might seem scolding, while I’d intended it more as educational. In the spirit of loving-kindness, I’d like to offer as an ending one of the most fantastic and funny Occupy videos I’ve seen yet. It’s an invitation to participate in OWS, and just hilariously sung to a Donna Summer tune. Who could have thought someone could have succeeded so well with a bloomin’ disco tune, LOL?
Stay strong everyone, love all those you can, and create community solutions whenever possible. We need to be creative and innovative in our quest for a better world.