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October 05, 2011

Dispatch From Occupied Wall Street

Via Nathen Wurtzel, Occupy Wall Street isn't your parents' hippie invested commune protest. Actually, take away the technology and yeah, it is. Some things never change.

I'm kind of surprised this is in The New Republic. (Content warning...plenty of objectionable words at the link)

The occupation has no leaders or organizers. At least that’s what its leaders and organizers told me. The smartest was Matt, a waifish blue-eyed grad-student with expressive wrists who teaches at an elite private school. At the occupation, however, he helps run the daily General Assemblies, where different decentralized committees jostle and present proposals. Matt calls on folks “not in the order people raise their hands, but with sensitivity to racial and gender order.” “It’s not leading,” he insisted. “It’s horizontal facilitating.” His facilitation duties also include enforcing codes of conduct and, well, preventing sexual harassment and assault in the square.

AdBusters, the Canadian anti-consumerist organization that started the occupation, had promised that “one demand” would soon be revealed. Anonymous, the shadowy web collective, suggested “freedom.” Unions said workers rights. Ron Paul supporters said ending the Fed. A kid in spectacles and Keds demanded more episodes of “Arrested Development.” But Matt said not to expect clear demands soon or, perhaps, ever. “The injustice is so severe, we need a radical, open, transformative, prefigurative democratic space to explore the possible.” That said, he assured me that there were some specific political proposals in the mix: bringing back the Glass-Steagall Act, revoking corporate personhood, and passing the Buffet Tax right away. But if the occupation’s goals weren’t clear, its duration was. “It’s indefinite,” he smiled.

...

A man in a skull-faced grim reaper costume tapped me with his scythe and introduced himself as Phil. As it turns out, the grim reaper supports Ron Paul. “He’s the only politician not infested with lobbyists.” Phil also hates the Fed. “20 years ago, after getting out of the Air Force, I applied three times to work there and was rejected.” Now, Death works as a concierge at Ruppert Towers in Yorkville. He could never get a job in finance. “There was always a brokers son,” he told me. Although I couldn’t see his face, I heard him sigh. “My mother raised four boys on one salary. I could never do that today.”

As the topless woman danced, the yogi did yoga, and the discussion groups discussed, more and more people poured into the square. It smelled like cigarettes, sweat, and urine. But also hope. Change was in the air; the tide was turning; the mob was growing. Together, the occupiers had fought adversity, rain, and the NYPD. They were so close to revolutionary catharsis: Radiohead might actually perform.

Apparently Radiohead never showed up so they dodged that bullet.

Just remember...these were the people Obama was so proud of organizing into a community back in the day.

It's funny how the media is taking this rabble seriously but treated average, hardworking Americans who didn't want anything from the government but to be left alone as terrorists.


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posted by DrewM. at 02:03 PM

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