October 1, 2011
For two weeks, now, a hearty band of young people, ranging in numbers from 200 to 2000 on any given day, have been “occupying Wall Street” much to the disdain of the mainstream media and of older, more established protest movements who are certain these upstarts aren’t doing it right. “Their goals are too unfocused.” “They’re too unorganized.” “They need to form a committee and get office space.”
I say, bull hockey. Let the kids do it their way.
The more focused and committee-ized and organized and office-spaced that groups like this get, the easier it is for the powers that be to buy their way in, take over the energy and anger and de-fang them for their own purposes – much like the Koch Brothers-funded groups that took over the Tea Party movement. Much like so many promising young groups over the years. And nothing really changes.
Now, we hear from Alternet that several of the big unions are riding to the rescue. http://www.alternet.org/story/152591/labor_movement_rolls_into_wall_street_occupation?akid=7648.171196.Jbl8Xr&rd=1&t=5 It’s not that Occupy Wall Street couldn’t use some heft, it’s that they are as much in danger of having their cause taken over and “repurposed” by the unions as the Tea Party was by the Koch brothers.
Though you’ll probably not hear it in the mainstream media, the movement is taking roots. Occupy groups are springing up all across the country (and internationally). Several of them will be having coordinated protests today. You can find a list of cities and towns in the US and other countries that have formed, or are forming solidarity groups here (in the right hand column) http://www.occupytogether.org/.
And there are things you can do to help this movement along. http://www.care2.com/causes/5-ways-to-support-the-occupy-wall-street-movement.html and http://crooksandliars.com/tina-dupuy/join-us-buying-occupiers-some-solidarit
Yes, I’m still a doomer; no, I haven’t gone over to the “light” side. Still, I think it’s important to support these young people and their movement for several reasons:
First, over the years that I’ve become aware of the catastrophic potential of peak oil, climate change and the global financial and military empire on the world we share, I’ve heard a steady stream of whining and moaning from doomers on our forums (and you know who you are) about this generation of spoiled, uninvolved, me-first kids.
Second, I’ve heard this same group of doomers whining and moaning about the terrible world and financial burdens we’re leaving to these same (spoiled, uninvolved, me-first) kids.
Now these kids are trying to prove you wrong. Are you up to the challenge? And what difference will it make with the mess we’re in? I’m not sure they will make a difference, but I am sure of this. Where we are when this globalized financial and military empire falls, is where we’ll stay for a very long time.
If we’re fearful and dismissive of our young people, we’ll stay fearful and dismissive of our young people – and suffer the consequences. If we step up to the plate to support and, where we can, work with our young people as they struggle to define the world they are going to inherit, the better our chances of supporting and working with them when the empire goes over the cliff – to both our and their benefit.
I wrote, back in February, when the Arab Spring first broke out, that this was the people’s time. I still believe that. Just as I still believe the inevitable collapse of the global financial and military Empire we’ve built is necessary if the nation of We, the People is going to survive what lies ahead of us. But such times don’t come without sacrifice. The young people in New York have been met with mace and night sticks, so far. But I have no doubt that, if they become a threat to the Empire, they will be met with far worse – just as young blacks were, back in the sixties, when they stood up for their futures and young whites were at Kent State in the seventies when they stood against the war.
It’s our generation’s children, this time. We can stand by and say, “I told you they would get crushed.” Or, we can stand up and say, “We stand with you, whatever happens.”
To put it as bluntly as I can, it’s shit-or-get-off-the-pot time, Doomers. All around the country, the kids are knocking at the bathroom door. What are we going to do about it?