Home > #OWS > Occupy Wall Street is one year old

Occupy Wall Street is one year old

September 15, 2012

It’s an exciting weekend here in New York: Monday is the one-year anniversary of the occupation of Zuccotti Park. And even though I didn’t know about the original occupation for a few days, when FogOfWar gave his first account of it here on mathbabe, and even though the Alternative Banking group didn’t start until October 19th, it still makes me super proud to think about how much impact the overall movement has had in a year.

Mind you, there are a couple of very worrying things, especially about this weekend. For example, the NYPD ultimately used paramilitary force to clear Zuccotti and they seem to continue to be overbearing in their methods now: they are working with the Zuccotti Park management company in unconstitutional ways and they have all sorts of checkpoints set up for the weekend.

I think I know why Bloomberg and other mayors are afraid of us. We are the only thing balancing the current regime, both sides of which are entirely bought by the financial lobbyists. Some people I’ve talked to, including my son, think Occupy should form a political party. I can see some interesting reasons for and against; I’ll follow up with a post with them soon.

I don’t think it’s a silly idea, in any case. In this article entitled “How the Occupy movement may yet lead America”, author Reihan Salam says:

One year on, the encampments that had sprung up in Lower Manhattan and in cities, college campuses and foreclosed homes across the country have for the most part been abandoned. And so at least some observers are inclined to think, or to hope, that the Occupy movement has been of little consequence. That would be a mistake. Occupy’s enduring significance lies not in the fact that some small number of direct actions continue under its banner, or that activists have made plans to commemorate “S17” in a series of new protests. Rather, Occupy succeeded in expanding the boundaries of our political conversation, creating new possibilities for the American left.

As our slow-motion economic crisis grinds on, it is worth asking: How might these possibilities be realized? For some, Occupy was a liberating experience of collective effervescence and of being one with a crowd. As one friend put it, it was “the unspeakable joy of taking to the streets, taking spaces, exploring new relations and environments” that resonated most. For others, it created a new sense of cross-class solidarity. Jeremy Kessler, a legal historian who covered the Occupy movement for the leftist literary journal N + 1 and the New Republic, senses that it has already shaped the political consciousness of younger left-liberals. “There is more skepticism towards the elite liberal consensus,” and so, “for instance, there is more support for the Chicago teachers union and more wariness towards anti-union reformers.” Ideological battle lines have in this sense grown sharper. Yet it is still not clear where Occupy, and the left, will go next.

Hear, hear – well said, although I don’t think it’s necessarily “leftist” to want a system that’s not rigged. In any case, I consider it my job as an individual, and as a member of the Alternative Banking group, to add fuel to that fire of skepticism.

We need to know there’s a war going on, and it’s against us, and we’re losing. We are the 99%.

To that end, as I’ve announced before, we have created the 52 Shades of Greed card deck, which is fully funded and has a blurb in the New York Times‘s City Room.

Some of the higher cards from the illustrator Marc Scheff's anti-capitalist deck

Categories: #OWS
  1. September 15, 2012 at 11:16 am

    “Some people I’ve talked to, including my son, think Occupy should form a political party. I can see some interesting reasons for and against; I’ll follow up with a post with them soon.”

    Occupy Wall Street is a third party, like it or not.
    It is simply not organized yet with a specific action program.
    Should it declare a Manifesto, a platform, it will have a voice (vote) that would be recorded and heard around the world.
    America is an unique nation. It is governed by its people. NOT the banks, albeit certainly influenced by them. Not the 1%, rather by the voice (vote) of the majority.
    If OWS represents the 99% why is it silent ?
    Why does it allow the 1% to be the majority ?

    History is allowing the time for great opportunity now 2012 being a major election year.
    Not just the presidential vote,but rather for all elected offices. This could be the beginning
    of a new era, one in which starting from the bottom up-only those who will work for the betterment of “equality and justice for all” will be elected to serve as representative of the
    governing.
    Perhaps, just maybe this statement could be the Manifesto :
    “”To form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

    Maybe even endorse a new name: The Preamble Party.
    Maybe even have as a plank in the platform and as a question to ask anyone wishing to seek office:
    “Will you vote in favor of any legislation that will raise revenue in a fair manner and eliminate the unfair federal income tax” ?
    So as not to totally infringe on too much space, I ask that you read, challenge, improve
    “Justaluckyfool , The Wealth of a Nation is in How it Redistributes its Wealth” (Google)
    *Read what William Black has to say about banks and Michael Hudson about compound interest (excerpts are in the article).
    An explanation of where we went wrong with a solution to how we can fix it.
    Challenge it.
    Improve it.
    Turn it into :
    “The Occupy Wall Street Manifesto” or better…”OCCUPY AMERICA MANIFESTO”
    ***** “Believe nothing merely because you have been told it…But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis,you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit,the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to,and take it as your guide.”- Buddha[Gautama Siddharta] (563 – 483 BC), Hindu Prince, founder of Buddhism

  2. Vincenzo
    September 27, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Love the deck of cards a lot! And, in particular because they show where the control really is–in D.C. Rubin! Gramm! Barney Frank, etc. I think the protests should have been mainly in D.C.
    Kids will be kids (Wall Street), but the Parents (D.C.) should be in control. When you have a serious problem with a kid a school, do you go to the kid? No, you go to the parent. D.C. is laughing and laughing all the way to their wall street bank. It’s tragic actually, and those folks need to go. How could Roby Rubin have the nerve to show up at the DNC, with his history of fleecing the American public and Citibank. I hope he had a nice swim. Again, teh hwole thing is tragic.

  3. September 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    In agreement, enough said.

  4. TAE
    September 30, 2012 at 12:51 am

    I always feel like they [we, the 99%, Occupy] have to find a way to play the game without being played by the game if that makes any sense outside of my warped brain…

    • September 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      I feel with you.
      IF OWS were to take one, yes just one position on one simple matter-put it to the test.

      Show the power of the vote. Then and only then will it “… find a way to play the game without being played by the game”

      Example: Promise to vote for only those seeking election if they endorse :
      Will you support legislation that will have the Federal Reserve purchase all Student Loans outstanding, modify those loans with a rate of 1% for a term of 72 years with first payment due on 1st year anniversity date of full employment by the borrower. All payments are to be set at 5% of annual income until paid in full or cancellation of debt upon death.

      Prove you are voice- vote- of the 99% !

      • TAE
        October 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm

        Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to vote in this country (I’m a legal alien), but I am doing my best to incite helpful conversations with the people around me.

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