Tag Archives: #occupywallstreet

Occupy Wall Street Braces for Confrontation: Bloomberg Wants to Clean House

Bloomberg at Zuccotti

Photo by Reachout

Update: The cleaning has apparently been delayed.

A couple days ago, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he wouldn’t be attempting to evict Occupy Wall Street demonstrators from Zuccotti Park, OWS’s base of operations. But Wednesday Bloomberg visited the Occupy Wall Street encampment in privately-owned Zuccotti Park, and then promptly issued a declaration that Occupiers will be forced to leave the park Friday to allow it to be cleaned.

Bloomberg previously used cleanup and maintenance as a pretext for shutting down Bloombergville. I suspect that city officials have been working on ways for officials and police to shut down the Zuccotti Park encampment since the owners, Brookfield Properties, allowed demonstrators to remain on their property. I am assuming that city officials stand to gain from this situation regardless of the choice made by demonstrators.

Let me just say that for the record I believe Occupiers are right to refuse to leave the premises, instead offering park officials to oversee the Occupiers clean up the park themselves. Continue reading

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The 99%: Should We Be Aligned with Killers and Bigots?

With the exception of a tendency toward reformism, I support the general idea of Occupy movements; that is, I don’t oppose it, but many potential participants would like to see a better, more cogent analysis of class from the movement. The analysis of the 99% of society vs 1% of the top owners and controllers of wealth and resources is a start, but it begins with a flaw: much, much more than the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the U.S. are a part of “the problem.” (Corporatism cannot be fixed by reforms, as capitalism itself is the problem, and is the perpetual crisis, but that is a subject for another post.) To begin with, if I remember correctly about 90% of the wealth in the U.S. belongs to about the top 5% of the population.

In addition to this issue, when you say “We Are the 99%” you are including the following groups and individuals. But, do we really want to be aligned with:

  • Cops who have killed people? Done terrible things to people on a daily basis, because it’s part of State policing? Police departments are composed of people who have systematically assaulted, intimidated, harassed, stolen from, framed, sexually assaulted and committed any other number of degrading, traumatic and immoral things to us. They’ve squashed our freedom of speech, preyed upon people of color and poor people, and protected each other against accountability for their actions. According to the Occupy analysis, they are the 99% and therefore “one of us.”
  • White supremacists? White nationalists, racist civil-libertarians, members of the Ku Klux Klan, racists who are not part of a group, Minutemen border patrollers and other nativists, citizen groups that seek to oppress groups because of racist viewpoints, anti-immigrant groups, well-connected bloggers who call for violence against Muslims and other people they oppose. There are Holocaust deniers and historical revisionists like Mark Weber and followers of David Irving. They are all part of this 99% category.
  • Religious groups and their members which advance an agenda of oppression? Groups like the Family Research Council, Abiding Truth Ministries. There’s “gay conversion therapists,” the Heritage Foundation, the 700 Club, and plenty more anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and otherwise xenophobic religious groups, members and followers falling into the 99%.
  • Individuals who promote hate? I doubt Glenn Beck falls into the top 1% of all wealth-owners in the U.S. There’s Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer, Robert Spencer, Pam Geller, Mat Staver, Harry Jackson, Jerry Boykin. Are these our allies?

Here I have provided just a handful of examples of groups and individuals who Occupiers may want to reconsider being aligned with. There’s plenty more, and I’d like to hear your examples, as well as rebuttals and ideas about the 99% class analysis. Please leave your comment below.

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Message to Occupy Movements from a White Male Writing on No One’s Behalf

Resistance is something the pacifist left hates.I have a piece of self-criticism about the subject of my writing on Occupy and my inexperience in organizing which can be found here. As I wrote in that piece, in relation to speaking about Occupy movements:

…since I have white male privilege on my side, chances are that more people will listen [to me] than if I were a woman, trans- or cis-gender, if I were a person of color, and many other things in our society that disempower others and thus [result] in empowering me. This is a huge part of what we are fighting.

So, as a reminder to myself as much as to anyone, I am a single person, with white male privilege, writing from a location of and perspective of relative isolation. In other words, these views and words are not intended to represent anyone except myself.
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A couple days ago I wrote a piece of alarmist propaganda raising the issue of infiltration by Ron Paul and Ayn Rand types into the Occupy movement.

While I stand by saying that these free-market capitalists should be given no quarter within the Occupy movements, it has come to my attention that the true enemy of the Occupy movements is an age-old enemy of uprising and revolution: liberal reformists, authoritarian self-appointed organizers, their “Peacekeeper” bullies/snitches, and anyone else trying to stifle opposition to the police and the use of civil disobedience in the movements. (It is absolutely amazing to me that most civil disobedience tactics are being disallowed in the Occupations of many cities because the particular tactics, such as taking the street, marching unpermitted, linking arms in the street and so on, are illegal.)

Due to my ignorance on the past roles of official Left/anti-war organizers/student leaders and similar groups in squashing uprising and revolution, I was unaware of what was in store for Occupy. Continue reading

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Occupy Wall Street Faces Infiltration and Coup by Capitalists In Disguise

Ron Paul having a cheery old time with Ronald Reagan. Image is a picture signed to Paul by Reagan.

I will gain nothing by arguing with commenters on this page, so don’t be surprised that I don’t have a lot of time to dedicated to it, especially considering how few readers (if any) I stand to gain from doing so. A few points before you comment–if what you write in a comment is covered by these bullet points, I will not take time to respond to your comment:

  • Remember that I speak only for myself on this blog. Not other anarchists, atheists, white people, people who have blogs, people who have DNA, etc…
  • Yes, white privilege exists. If you are white, you have it. To see a sample of privileges you have that come with your whiteness, see this PDF: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.
  • Please don’t come to my page to fantasize about anarchists supporting Ron Paul or any other politicians. Anarchists don’t work to preserve the undemocratic U.S. electoral political system in the U.S.: we work to destroy it and replace it with actual democracy, such as consensus decision making.
  • I understand what Ron Paul advocates. This article is not a criticism of his positions. I know what minarchists believe and I oppose it. You will not convince me to drink the RP kool-aid.
  • I am not a Statist or a liberal. I advocate the abolition of coercive and hierarchical governing.
  • Just FYI before you comment: Your brand of libertarianism, aka minarchism, does nothing to address capitalism-caused socioeconomic inequalities, racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia etc. You do not have a position that humanizes immigrants, you have a pro-borders position. I want abolition of borders. Abolition of the State. Abolition of free market capitalism. I’d possibly be okay with economic pluralism, provided that capitalists are not enabled to monopolize resources and that the State is abolished. But that’s another issue for another day.
  • Please don’t keep commenting as though I am ignorant of your positions. I am not. I am growing tired of explaining that.
  • Ron Paul is against immigrant amnesty and wants militarized borders. He is against a woman’s right to abortion. He is a Zionist-supporter (regarding his latest comments on the relationship between Israel/U.S.), making him a huge hypocrite in a thousand ways. And, though many claim that he is against the drug war, it is only the Federal drug war he opposes: he advocates the oppression inherent to State’s Rights, instead of the oppression inherent in Federal powers. I believe in universal human rights, and that includes abolition of hierarchies and coercion—which makes Ron Paul’s positions on these things anathema to me. The states are still coercion, the states are still a form of hierarchical organization.
  • Thank you.Update: Please read this post which contains a very important criticism of this article. Thank you.

    It has become very clear from the minarchist presence at Occupy Wall Street and discourse around the web that the Ron Paul and Ayn Rand acolytes are attempting to hijack the Occupy Wall Street movement as a tool for their own purposes. While they largely claim, with big, innocent puppy eyes, that they are anti-corporatists, these people are nothing more than lassaiz-faire, free-for-all market capitalists, who wish to create a new State in which the police and government serve capitalists and business. Which is awfully funny considering we already live in one version of that State. These free-market capitalists want more. Continue reading

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