The formally relatively unknown activist organization called Occupy Wall Street was given public relations life thanks to the antics of a set of very stupid New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers during a recent protest. This blogger’s only question for Occupy Wall Street is “Where’s the plan?”
To put it simply, the police (once again) are being placed in the position of protecting companies from the people who rightly protest what they do. The protestors ignored an order to disperse. In other words, the NYPD police are acting as the protectors of the state – that’s not their role.
Why didn’t the NYPD just let them protest? Just curious. This isn’t like the BART protests that were holding up people from getting home. This is different. The only consideration the police should have is “Is this protest harming innocent people.” If the answer is “no” then they should be left alone.
If you’ve not seen that set of videos, here they are:
First: NYPD has protesters trapped like animals:
Second: Police attack flag-waving protestor:
Third: NYPD erect barrier around protestors:
Fourth: Protest turns violent as NYPD expand barrier:
Ok, the main question is what is Occupy Wall Street’s plan? The problem with the protest is simply that the extreme violence from it called not Wall Street into question, but the NYPD, so now the focus has shifted away from what Occupy Wall Street was trying to do. Everyone’s talking about the NYPD, and that psyco officer who used pepper spray.
But what is Occupy Wall Street trying to do?
To star determining this, a cyber walk over to the about page revealed:
OccupyWallSt.org is the unofficial de facto online resource for the ongoing protests happening on Wall Street. We are an affinity group committed to doing technical support work for resistance movements. We are not affiliated with Adbusters, anonymous or any other organization.
The leaders of this movement are the everyday people participating in the occupation. We use a tool called the “General Assembly” to facilitate open, participatory and horizontal organizing between members of the public. We welcome people from all colors, genders and beliefs to participate in our daily assemblies. Visit the NYC General Assembly website to learn how you can become involved, read updates/minutes, or find out how you can adopt NYCGA processes to organize your own community.
Ok, so Occupy Wall St is an organization that facilitates protest. But to do what? Protest for the sake of protesting? What good does that do?
So, clicking on the links revealed a video that might explain what the plan is. This one:
So, I get that uprisings in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia were the catalyst for the protests here in 52 cities. But the difference is that those protests were not done to copy another set of protests – they happened in reaction to specific decisions. In Spain the issue was the terribly high mortgage foreclosure and evictions problem. In Greece, it was due to the government trying to push for austerity plans that would decrease public spending and raise taxes. In Egypt and Tunisia, the focus was repressive governments, becoming all the more so under a weak economy with a social network that allowed for organization like never before.
All of those protests have a singular focus unique to the problems of that region. By contrast, the Occupy Wall Street effort seems to be protesting just because of the other protests.
That’s not good.
It’s not good because it means Occupy Wall Street and the other variants, will fade into the past having exacted no change at all, save for how police handle protests. The video I pointed to above has an opening message that is just all over the place. If you listen to it, the message is rather naive. People have wars all the time. The multinational corporation’s creation happened three generations ago, and is now too far down the path to be effectively stopped – and some say it’s helped poor countries.
The opening of the video fails to present a simple plan to make things better. What’s Occupy Wall St’s plan? If it’s just chaos for its own sake, then Occupy Wall St’s not doing anyone any good at all.