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Wall Street

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Re: Wall Street

Postby ProstheticConscience » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 am

Birthday Pony wrote:There's been a lack of police involvement in Detroit, and I have a feeling its because A) this movement is benign in nature here, and has not shown any real potential for effectively challenging anything, and B) other control mechanisms are at play.

Same in Columbia, though I do give all respect to the Occupiers for their persistence and idealism. It's actually reasonably impressive just that the city and state police are afraid enough of bad press to even think about trying to remove them from the statehouse grounds.
What if capitalism is unsustainable, and socialism is impossible? We're fucked, that's what. - Ken MacLeod

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Re: Wall Street

Postby ProstheticConscience » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:48 am

What if capitalism is unsustainable, and socialism is impossible? We're fucked, that's what. - Ken MacLeod

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Re: Wall Street

Postby Birthday Pony » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:46 pm

If Occupy Wall Street has spread to every city in America, it’s because our financial overlords have brought us to such a pass that anarchists, pagan priestesses, and tree-sitters are about the only Americans left still holding out for the idea that a genuinely democratic society might be possible.


Favorite part.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby RoyceChristian » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:55 am

...the experience of actually watching a group of a thousand, or two thousand, people making collective decisions without a leadership structure, let alone that of thousands of people in the streets linking arms to holding their ground against a phalanx of armored riot cops, motivated only by principle and solidarity, can change one’s most fundamental assumptions about what politics, or for that matter, human life, could actually be like.


Rather large "Fuck yeah" from me.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby ctmummey » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:44 am

so oakland peeps got shot at and gassed a couple days ago (same thing happened there at an iraq war protest in like 2003 i guess)

oh and elizabeth warren 1) gives progressives a hardon like few have in the past decade 2) claims she created the intellectual foundations for for occupy
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Re: Wall Street

Postby ProstheticConscience » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:17 am

ctmummey wrote:oh and elizabeth warren 1) gives progressives a hardon like few have in the past decade 2) claims she created the intellectual foundations for for occupy

If the Occupy movement gets co-opted by the Democrats the way the Tea Party got co-opted by the Republicans, we'll probably see a lot of candidates like Elizabeth Warren. Hopefully, even as primary challengers for incumbent Dems with ties to Wall Street. That would be an improvement over current US politics, but it would, of course, be a huge waste of the Occupy movement's potential.
What if capitalism is unsustainable, and socialism is impossible? We're fucked, that's what. - Ken MacLeod

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Re: Wall Street

Postby ctmummey » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:09 am

I think that will def. happen, but maybe the general assemblies and everything are radicalizing people too.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby Birthday Pony » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:16 am

Unlike the Tea Party, I would bet that most of the energy behind Occupy dies if it gets co-opted because a big number of the organizers and folks involved will leave.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby ctmummey » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:51 am

eh...what's the ratio of progressives to anarchists at this point?
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Re: Wall Street

Postby Birthday Pony » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:59 am

Not just Anarchists even, but just the precarious protesters, socialists, commies, and Anarchists together. I think they all outnumber the progressives, and they're all gone if it gets co-opted.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby ctmummey » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:07 am

I kinda doubt it. there's a a shit ton of progressives. but how are the people at occupies who didn't identify w/any label - what will they become? btw there is a combatliberalism hashtag on twitter.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby Le Fou » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:50 pm

I went to one of the general assemblies a couple weeks ago. A number of people spoke of the danger of being co-opted and much of the crowd seemed to be in agreement. Someone even read a letter from a former Tea Partier who told of how his movement was co-opted and gave warnings of how people will try to co-opt OWS.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby Birthday Pony » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:25 pm

Michael friggin Moore even said they shouldn't be co-opted, and he was basically the DNC department of propaganda a few years ago.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby RoyceChristian » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:28 am

Bump and because I couldn't be bothered searching for anywhere else to post this:

But just when Americans thought we had the picture – was this crazy police and mayoral overkill, on a municipal level, in many different cities? – the picture darkened. The National Union of Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a Freedom of Information Act request to investigate possible federal involvement with law enforcement practices that appeared to target journalists. The New York Times reported that "New York cops have arrested, punched, whacked, shoved to the ground and tossed a barrier at reporters and photographers" covering protests. Reporters were asked by NYPD to raise their hands to prove they had credentials: when many dutifully did so, they were taken, upon threat of arrest, away from the story they were covering, and penned far from the site in which the news was unfolding. Other reporters wearing press passes were arrested and roughed up by cops, after being – falsely – informed by police that "It is illegal to take pictures on the sidewalk."

In New York, a state supreme court justice and a New York City council member were beaten up; in Berkeley, California, one of our greatest national poets, Robert Hass, was beaten with batons. The picture darkened still further when Wonkette and Washingtonsblog.com reported that the Mayor of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on "how to suppress" Occupy protests.

To Europeans, the enormity of this breach may not be obvious at first. Our system of government prohibits the creation of a federalised police force, and forbids federal or militarised involvement in municipal peacekeeping.

I noticed that rightwing pundits and politicians on the TV shows on which I was appearing were all on-message against OWS. Journalist Chris Hayes reported on a leaked memo that revealed lobbyists vying for an $850,000 contract to smear Occupy. Message coordination of this kind is impossible without a full-court press at the top. This was clearly not simply a case of a freaked-out mayors', city-by-city municipal overreaction against mess in the parks and cranky campers. As the puzzle pieces fit together, they began to show coordination against OWS at the highest national levels.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
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Re: Wall Street

Postby Birthday Pony » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:23 pm

Not surprised. I pulled out of Occupy Detroit pretty early on because about 40% of the crowd looked like cops.

But. Liberals will be surprised by that, and then maybe they'll come to our side.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby RoyceChristian » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:59 pm

Maybe. But apparently Naomi Wolf is wrong, at least according to this piece. It also gives little insight in a different approach to understanding state-repression not as something centralised and top-down, but actually as something that springs from "localism".

Like many critics of state coercion in the United States, Wolf seems to assume that political repression requires or entails national coordination and centralised direction from the feds. This fits with a larger tradition in the United States that sees centralised and national power as the handmaiden of tyranny, and local power as its antidote. Throughout much of the twentieth century, that was the argument of conservatives, who opposed federal involvement in such “local” matters as Jim Crow. But since the 1980s, that position has steadily migrated to the left as well.

Whatever its political provenance, however, the problem with that position - as I argued in this piece in the Boston Review in 2005, and in a much longer piece in the Missouri Law Review [pdf] - is that it's wrong.

From the battles over abolition to the labor wars at the turn of the last century; from the Red Squads of the twentieth-century police departments to the struggles over Jim Crow; state repression in the US has often been decentralised, displaying that very same can-do spirit of local initiative that has been celebrated by everyone from Alexis de Tocqueville to Robert Putnam. Though Tocqueville and Putnam were talking, of course, about things like creating churches and buildings roads, the fact is: If the locals can build a church or a road on their own, they can also get rid of dissenters on their own, too, no?

Even where there has been coordination and involvement from above, as in the epic cases of the Red Scare, McCarthyism, COINTELPRO, or now the War on Terror, what's been most striking is how local police and officials have managed to manipulate that federal involvement to their own ends. As I wrote in the Boston Review:

What history demonstrates is that police officers often use their powers, with or without federal prompting, as instruments of larger political purpose. The danger of cooperation between federal agencies and local police is not that the former will conscript the latter into repressive programs the latter would not otherwise pursue, but that it allows the police to apply the legitimising gloss of national security to their own pet projects of repression. During the McCarthy era, for example, southern politicians and law-enforcement officers used the language of anti-communism to outlaw the NAACP and to arrest and indict civil-rights leaders for sedition. In the Denver case already mentioned, the police used the rubric of domestic security to keep track of not only the groups cited above but also a local organization working against police brutality in the city. This past summer, during the Republican Party convention in New York City, the NYPD preemptively arrested more than 1,500 protesters - some of them obstreperous, virtually all of them nonviolent - as well as innocent bystanders. How did the mayor justify the arrest and prolonged detainment of these individuals? By drawing parallels, according to The New York Times, "between verbally abusive demonstrators and the Sept. 11 terrorists."

If all politics is local in the United States, as former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill reminded us, it stands to reason that a good deal of the political repression is as well.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
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Re: Wall Street

Postby lordmetroid » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:25 am

Lets not forget that the slaves(id est the common people) also play a big role in the repression of their neighbors by outright showing very aggressive behaviors to anyone with a different opinion and will to live their lives different than the accept and expected way of living.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby neverfox » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:35 pm

RC, thanks for posting that the follow-up. Wolf needs to read more Foucault or Kafka, yeah? What's is up with em lately? First Assange and now this? Geez.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby RoyceChristian » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:52 pm

Definitely more Focault and Kafka :wink:

Can you fill me in on what she has been writing about Assange?

I only remember reading one article that maybe appeared in the Guardian where she basically pointed out how some Assange supporters were showing some questionable attitudes in regards to rape and sexual assault. I actually agreed with her for the most part.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby Dadalama » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:51 pm

RoyceChristian wrote:Definitely more Focault and Kafka :wink:

Can you fill me in on what she has been writing about Assange?

I only remember reading one article that maybe appeared in the Guardian where she basically pointed out how some Assange supporters were showing some questionable attitudes in regards to rape and sexual assault. I actually agreed with her for the most part.

I vaguely remember her writing the opposite. Like we should forgive him because he's this great leftist hero or something.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby Le Fou » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:16 pm

Anarchist Scott Noble has a new film on OWS, Rise Like Lions. I haven't seen it yet, but his films are always interesting.
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Re: Wall Street

Postby Le Fou » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:04 pm

Things heating up again in Oakland. Will it hurt their support, you think?
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Re: Wall Street

Postby RoyceChristian » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:43 pm

Already has. People who once proudly supported Occupy Oakland are now rethinking their support. Newspapers in the Bay Area are saying that the events over the weekend spell the death of any pretense of "non-violence" and noted critics are soon going to be out in droves to nail the movement to the floor.

But then it was going to happen. The City sends riot cops to protect an empty building from 2000 demonstrators who are going to put it to use.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
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Re: Wall Street

Postby Birthday Pony » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:17 am

Militant eviction defense here in Detroit. Spotty as it may be, every now and then there's some potential.

The biggest problem I see: reliance on institutions. Wouldn't it be great to develop a culture where we stop our neighbors from getting evicted because they're our neighbors rather than one where we do it for occupy points?
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Re: Wall Street

Postby lordmetroid » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:21 am

What the people should concentrate on is not to beg the state but to build a new society, ignoring the dictates of the state. Occupying may look like a good idea and to a certain degree it is nice to get to know other dissenters but in the end it is just another form of begging and crawling for the masters.
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