“We’re thinking about actions that truly disrupt business as usual in a way that forces people with power to stop in their tracks,” said Yotam Marom, a 25-year-old writer, teacher and musician from Hoboken, N.J., who has emerged as a key strategist. “We need to be attacking banks, not just by dancing around in lobbies, but by stopping them from doing things.”
Organizers are discussing how to halt foreclosures, develop banking alternatives and figure out what the movement means in the world of politics. Additional occupations are in the works, including ones aimed specifically at reclaiming foreclosed homes. Whether they adopt that agenda is uncertain because the organic, extemporaneous movement lacks a defined hierarchy of decision-makers. But interviews revealed activists’ perspectives and ambitions, as well as clues about the protest’s future.”
A hopeful sign of maturation I have been looking for in this article, with indicators there is an incipient political consciousness to reframe the occupation movement and transcend the liberal and spectacle-like nature of so much of it, suggesting an evolutionary tendency from occupation to cessation (of business as usual) to transformation.
Despite the nice anti-Leninist sentiments of the “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution” camp, revolution is not a drumming party in the park (although certainly culture and counter-culture is a crucial part of it), revolution is about total transformation and the entire planet hangs in the balance. Pretty serious stuff and demands intelligent strategies (not an intelligentsia party apparatus) and serious politics.
Then again, in St. Louis and elsewhere, there are reports of pacifist-collaborationist twits cooperating with police to identify “violent” protestors, with apologists using the rationale that being branded as “violent” malcontents by the police, media, and public will tarnish and damage their “progress.”
Since when do revolutonaries or anyone serious about change (who is not a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome) follow police orders? Cooperate with the enemy — whose role is to enforce a violent global system — in the name of peace? Not fight back against brutal and unprovoked cop assaults? Give a fuck about public opinion which is invariably decades behind the drive of social movements and revolutionary struggles? The 19th century abolitionist movement in the US was extremely unpopular and widely vilified, with leaders like William Lloyd Garrison assaulted and almost killed by mobs on occassion. If they were led by public opinion rather than leading it, we might still have slavery in the US today.
At the same time, numerous occupation sites have been flooded by hostile reactionary uber-patriots, rapid rightwingers, and neo-fascists spewing hate speech against the movement, and no doubt would take their place in the streets as shock troops, officially or unofficially deputized by cops, to act as brown shirt thugs.
Clearly the occupation movement is diverse and rife with contradictory tendencies, as one would expect. And while one might say it’s a battle for “the hearts and minds” of America, it’s more a struggle for a new world, and some will come to drum and watch, others to join cops in breaking heads, and others still to move from occupation to appropriation to transformation, and may they prevail, the planet depends on it.