The Empire and the OWSers

November 19, 2011

What a busy week for the Empire.

Photo taken by myself

Image via Wikipedia

This week, the Empire finally struck back at those pesky OWSers, big time.  In a coordinated effort by mayors across the country, aided by “advice” from DHS and the FBI.,, From New York to Oakland police forces, militarized over the last decade by DHS, tore down Occupy encampments and drove out the OWSers.,

Some of the scenes were heartbreaking, some horrific. None seemed more horrific to me than the picture of the NYPD police commander – fist raised, face contorted with anger – caught in the act of striking a young protester turning away from him and the one of 84 year old Seattle protester, Dorli Rainey, her face and clothing dripping with pepper spray at the hands of Seattle police.

I suppose the Empire thought that if they could roust them out of their encampments and tear them down, they would roust them from the consciousness of its Imperial subjects.

Of course, the Imperial Trolls immediately spread out across the internet (as they have for months now) chortling with glee and spreading disinformation about how these bands of lazy, dirty, jobless hippies – whose camps had been infiltrated with murderers, rapists, socialists and (gasp!) the homeless – had finally gotten their comeuppances.  For a more accurate picture of the movement, see this

Thankfully, that comeuppances thing has not been the case.  On Thurday, the OWSers –as strong as ever -marched in cities and towns across the country to mark the two-month anniversary of the movement.  and×2330140 (This has to be my all time favorite series of pictures from the New York marches. You go, girl!)

The reason the Empire couldn’t stop the movement is because there is so much more to it than slogans on protest signs.  It has inspired a new type of activism at the very heart of the protests which Glenn Greenwald talks about in this piece from Salon, as well as in its supporters  And in the encampments, as this statement from the Occupy Wall Street Sustainability Working Group – issued the day after the raid – clearly shows in the items that were among those destroyed or removed by the New York City police.

There is no doubt that the Empire grows ever more fearful.  It shows in the militarization of  our police departments across the country as well as in the increasing use of private security forces here in America.  And it shows who the Empire is most afraid of,  The ideas and activities of the OWSers challenge the very heart of an Empire that is struggling to maintain its position in an increasingly turbulent world.

This is why the Empire has been so busy in this very busy week.  While the covert mongering for war with Iran continued, Leon Panetta called China and India “threats” in an interview this week, before backtracking on the statement when questioned.

The military tested a new hypersonic weapon that can bomb any place in the world in under an hour.,  What a marvelous idea.  I’m sure the people of Whereverthehellistan are cheering us on as I write this.

And they expanded the military reach of the Empire a little more by making a deal that will land the Marines in Australia  to protect who knows what possible national interests way down there.

With the threats of peak oil and climate change growing daily, the Empire shows, both here and abroad, that it will not go quietly into that good night.  And we, the ninety-nine percent who are left out of the Empire except when needed to fight its wars or prop up its finances with our consumption, must make a choice, now.  We can wait until the crumbling weight of Empire crushes the nation or we can work with the OWSers and other transition and sustainability groups to bring about a different outcome.  We do not need Imperial permission to change the nation of the ninety-nine percent; we do need the courage to make that choice and the persistence to see it through.

The Empire drew the battle lines this week in its attacks on the OWSers.

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