Ok so many of you had to know that this article was bound to pop up on this blog eventually, so lets get right into it. First of all, I think there is too much focus on the diversity of tactics. I think that people need to realize that as the 99% there is not going to be just one tactic that appeases the entire group, so the first thing to know is that the movement can't afford to let this be the dividing strategy and should not allow it to be.
I am reminded about a resolution to exercise good judgement when deciding when to employ black bloc protesting, and how it did not pass in a very well attended general assembly. People that were there did understand that there were some who wanted to protest peacefully, however, there are some who may not feel the same. Instead of automatically jumping to the conclusion that they are wrong, I think to myself about how I know how it feels to be angry enough to want to break some things or to set something on fire. Then I wonder if anything happened to those individuals who broke windows and set things on fire to motivate them to want to make that type of statement. Once reaching this thought, another possibility could have been that the people that did these things weren't even black bloc protesters, that they could have been some teenagers (or pretty immature adults) acting out in a sea of people. the very last thought that enters my head, is are these individuals strategically doing these things to bring negative attention to the movement?
I bring all of the questions out of my head and put them on my blog because I don't know the answer to them first off, but also I would like some people who have probably never been down to an Occupy encampment or event to consider another possibility aside from the ones that the major corporate media networks give you. Consider the possibility that what you are seeing and/or hearing is not always accurate, or that it may have a particular spin on it. I mean after all, it doesn't make sense to spread awareness to the people about a movement that wants to shut down the same corporations that run and/or sponsor the news stations. Lastly, think about the fact that each alternative reason provided in the above paragraph is equally possible.
The next situation I think of was on Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day in SF. We were in front of the apple store and there was an incident with this gentleman (Buy Nothing Day Occupy SF) where he was very upset that the Occupy SF Movement had decided to Occupy and shut down the Apple Store in the financial district. Now, after a bunch of bad noise, someone finally got down to what his problem was, and it wasn't that he didn't support Occupy, he just didn't agree with the tactics. Now while I think it is great that he knew enough about Occupy to have developed that opinion, I often times hear people complain about the direction in which the Occupy movement is heading AFTER turning down invitations to visit a general assembly and make their voices be heard. I try to be patient with people, but it's difficult when trying to convince people to do something that helps them. How do you convince people to come to GA and have their voice heard? To participate in the process? This problem is already occurring as we see it in our current political system, at some point people need to get up out of their homes and come visit their community!
After all the talk about how he followed the movement, he still broke past and went into the Apple Store to buy some things. Which raises another interesting point. While everyone is complaining about corporate greed, we walk the streets like zombies to come put ourselves into debt. It was crazy to see how people could just tune out the protesters; but in this society we really are well adjusted to injustice and we do things like allow people to die from a heart attack on the floor of a store and step over him to continue shopping. Man Dies in Target while shopping - other shoppers ignore him How much are we programmed to do things that go against what or who we desire to be? At what point and time did we start believing that money is love and that militarizing the police is more important than educating our youth? At what point do more Americans get outraged at the injustice that is going on every day? At what point is enough truly enough?
I know that I have written this a little late, but as the 99% we don't have a whole bunch of money so it's not too late to start making that money work for you just a little more. Stop supporting big businesses and corporate greed when you could be more self sufficient and support your community. I know it takes a little more effort, but when you're willing to camp out to make sure you get an ipad 2 for a little cheaper for you daughter, I'm sure you can at least visit an Occupy General Assembly to see if maybe, just maybe this can be a way to provide a better world for those same family members. I'm saying all of this and not focusing all the way on the diversity of tactics because as a very diverse 99% I think it's foolish to not expect that there would be some clash about how people want to get things done. The frustrating part is that most people that really need to be at the GA would rather wait until they bump into an Occupy Day of Action and complain rather than be a part of the planning process to ensure their viewpoint is reflected as well.
Long story short: stop yelling at your tv, at the protests, and your politicians (well maybe keep it up with them). Come down to a GA near you and get involved. Make sure that issues that need to be paid attention to are being paid attention to. Voice your opinion and write a resolution to maybe plan your own action at the GA. Be a part of the solution and let's go ahead and have ourselves a revolution!