All over the US people are taking to the streets in the spirit of the Occupy Wall street movement. For two weeks now protesters have occupied the world financial capital demanding an end to the strangle hold the giant financial institutions have on American life. The same grip they have on the world as well. Since its beginning the mainstream media has been doing its best to ignore this outburst of public resistance. However now that has become impossible, the people cannot be silenced any longer.
The government and the ruling elites are trying their best. Over the weekend over 700 people have been arrested while conducting an occupation of the Brooklyn Bridge. The police used regular beatings as well as pepper spray against peaceful protesters. The police have blocked additional people from joining the protests by shutting down the subway along with other measures. They’re showing their typical cowardly tactics, beating and arresting peaceful protesters in the name of their wealthy masters. The police are not merely standing by as America, let alone the world, is being destroyed by the financial 1% of the population. They have openly declared their allegiance to them. Law enforcement have declared themselves the enemy of the people as they have so many times in the past, all through out history. Police have lost the sympathy of the masses if they end up getting hurt in retaliation for the fascist beatings and attacks they have laid on their own people.
Michael Bloomburg, the New York City billionaire mayor came out in support of the oppressive measures taken against its citizens. He stated, “The police did exactly what they are supposed to do”. His insistence was that the protesters did not have the permit to protest. The class nature of this statement and the entire process is obvious. Only those with the money to be able to protest are allowed too. The permit is also government permission to protest. A true symbol of democracy and freedom of expression. The ability to publicly criticize the government is a granted permission.
Police violence does not end there, there has been a report of a woman on twitter that has been raped by police officers. At the moment police have not begun an investigation into this alleged event. But this is the kind of thing that will come out few months after the occupation is over.
Here is how the elite’s representative Michael Bloomburg actually tried to portray the protest:
“The protesters are protesting people who make $40,000 to $50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet. That’s the bottom line. Those are people that work on Wall Street or in the finance sector…We need the banks, if the banks don’t go out and make loans we will not come out of our economy problems, we will not have jobs. And so anything we can do to responsibly help the banks do that, encourage them to do that, is what we need. I think we spend too much time worrying about how we got into problems as to how we go forward.”
This statement is quite revealing: Bloomburg is trying to portray the protesters as attacking the middle class. This could not be further from the truth. The people being attacked are the top 1% which are controlling the vast majority of the world’s wealth and resources. This is a deliberate act by Bloomburg to distort the goals of the movement. He continues this by claiming that the protesters want banks to stop making loans. This is not one of their goals, no one said to stop making loans. The movement is about the hoarding of wealth, the use of wealth to make themselves more wealthy rather than doing, not just good, but what needs to be done for the sustainment of human life.
You can also see where Bloomburg is tying to cover up the causes of this crisis of capitalism. His desire to block criticism of the crisis we’re in shows his fear for the ruling elites. We all know the Wall Street bankers and their cronies are directly responsible for the crisis we are in. The decisions they made with the wealth of the entire nation are the cause of our economic problems. Decisions we the working class had absolutely no hand in making whatsoever. This is a class issue and Bloomburg is trying to cover that up. He is trying to cover for the people who brought us here. He is openly displaying his willingness to stop legitimate criticism and discussion of the situation we are in and how we got here.
This is a typical theme throughout the media, covering up what is happening. Its obvious to the entire world that the mainstream media have done their best to act as though these “Occupy” events are not taking place. For two weeks the media blacked out coverage of this event hoping it would not gain in popularity or strength. As we know, their hopes were crushed as it gained more popularity and support day by day.
It is interesting to contrast this grassroots movement with the phony grassroots movement of the Tea Party. The Tea Party was billed to us as a grassroots movement, one that supposedly sprang from popular anger towards capitalist bailouts and idiotically perceived foreign born status. In reality it was created by corporate shills like Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell types, all to give the perception that the American people wanted the further destruction of their own living standards. The Tea Party was supposed to be grassroots yet it was so clearly an artificially created movement covered by Fox News. However by contrast the real grassroots movement of Occupy Wall Street was blacked out by the corporate owned media. One easy way to tell who is really supporting freedom. Ones who are owned by the system or the ones who challenge it.
There have been reports of a group of fascism supporters coming to the Wall Street protest trying to provoke violence. As of this broadcast the identity of the group has not been identified. For several hours a group of pro-fascists attempted spark violence among the peaceful protestors. The attempt failed, and eventually they were pushed from the scene. Thankfully they failed in their mission to agitate violence from the protesters. So there is at least some good news, a group of reactionaries has been unable to disrupt or harm this movement.
There are however reactionary forces at work attempting to co-opt this movement for their own purposes. Not for their own purposes, but the purposes of the bourgeois. Several Democratic Party members and pro-Democratic celebrities have come out praising the Occupation. Their true goal is not the emancipation of the people, but to simply take control of this movement and use it to propel Barack Obama into a second term. This is a typical ploy by the bourgeoisie. It reminds me of the end of the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. As the People’s Power Movement was pushing the US backed dictatorship of Marcos out of the Philippines, the US began applauding his removal insinuating that they had supported the movement the entire time and took some credit for it. We’re seeing the same thing here being tried with the Wall Street Occupation. I doubt it will work.
This whole situation with the Wall Street Occupation reminds me of the Petrograd situation all those years ago in Russia. The police brutality did not stop the protesters demonstrating there, it only prompted them to more radical action. The violence perpetrated by the ruling class’ bodyguards only accelerated their eventual downfall. I’m not saying that this is what is happening here. Typically the liberal mentality in modern America resistance is prevalent and preventing the protesters form taking much more needed radical action.
This is this kind of harmful liberalism that Mao spoke against in “Combat Liberalism”. A type of liberalism that allows for criticism and action so long as it does not actually challenge the institutions or bodies being criticized. Instead of fighting back against the police repression, defending themselves, showing that they will not be intimidated; they instead have women going topless chanting about not being able to afford a shirt. This is the same useless bourgeois liberal mentality the hippies had during the Vietnam era.
We need real action to deal with people who are not only harming the entire world through their policies, but murdering people daily through imperialist war, and torturing people daily in America with beatings and arrests for simply speaking out against the system in a peaceful manner. How does one propose to counter this barbarism? By showing one’s breasts to the police force attacking them? Or by defending one’s self physically from this blatant attack.
Even John Lennon, the icon of the peaceful hippie movement, eventually acknowledged the uselessness of liberal action and supported Mao:
“I really thought that love would save us. But now I’m wearing a Chairman Mao badge, that’s where it’s at.”
– Lennon, cited by Wenner, Lennon Remembers, p. 86
One thought on “On the Occupy Wall Street Movement”
Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy [insert location here] in general still contains many problematic aspects, but it nevertheless presents an opportunity for the Left to engage with some of the nascent anti-capitalist sentiment taking shape there. So far it has been successful in enlisting the support of a number of leftish celebrities, prominent unions, and young activists, and has received a lot of media coverage. Hopefully, the demonstrations will lead to a general radicalization of the participants’ politics, and a commitment to the longer-term project of social emancipation. To this end, I have written up a rather pointed Marxist analysis of the OWS movement so far that you might find interesting:
“Reflections on Occupy Wall Street: What It Represents, Its Prospects, and Its Deficiencies”
THE LEFT IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE LEFT!
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