Difference between revisions of "Occupy Movement"

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(Paul Le Blanc's on Occupy)
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"The people who had made concessions to Islam, but were not Islamists themselves, were marginalised. And that included reformers, liberals, communists."
 
"The people who had made concessions to Islam, but were not Islamists themselves, were marginalised. And that included reformers, liberals, communists."
  
"While the Arab Spring has brought him joy, this aspect of it he regards as an 'unexpected and not necessarily welcome.'"
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"While the Arab Spring has brought him joy, this aspect of it he regards as an 'unexpected and not necessarily welcome.'"<ref>[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16217726?print=true]</ref>
 
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[Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16217726?print=true]
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"What emerges as the mass ideology is not the ideology of those that started off the demonstrations."
 
"What emerges as the mass ideology is not the ideology of those that started off the demonstrations."

Latest revision as of 11:27, 27 February 2012

Occupy Movement


Occupy Wall Street activists at Zuccoti Park on September 24, 2011
The Occupy Movement was initiated on September 17, 2011, with the launch of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration.

Origins

That first demonstration on Wall street was allegedly sparked off by the Vancouver-based Adbusters Media Foundation, an anti-consumerist group best known for its advertisement-free magazine Adbusters. In a July 13, 2011 press release, the magazine suggested that readers take to the streets to protest corporate influence on democracy, address a growing disparity in wealth, and the absence of legal repercussions behind the recent global financial crisis:[1][2]

"On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices."

Adbusters suggested Sept. 17 as a starting date to coincide with America's Constitution Day, and the idea quickly spread online with help from the hacker group Anonymous and through the use of social media.[1]

Occupy Movement: Stephane Frederic Hessel and "Time for Outrage!"

French conservative and writer Michel Gurfinkiel, writing at "Pajamas/Media" on Dec. 4, 2011, postulated that a Holocaust survivor from Germany may have been one of the people behind the "Occupy Movement" through his writing of a "political brochure titled "Indignez-vous!" (Time for Outrage!), which was published by "a left-wing publishing house specializing in Third World advocacy." According to Gurfinkiel, in this article entitled "The 94-Year-Old Frenchman Behind 'Occupy'", "the author, Stephane Frederic Hessel, "a Nazi camp survivor, a former ambassador, and a regular French talk show guest", wrote a 32 page, 3 euros, "political brocure" that "was an instant bestseller" with "one million copies in the first ten weeks, 1.5 million in the first year", which was "a little more than 13 months ago" (from December, 2011).

(Mitchel Gurfinkiel is the president of the Jean Jacques Rousseau Institute, a European think tank in Paris).

However, Gurfinkiel has some doubts about Hessel being the actual full author of the brochure or even its originator because of some suspect details of his life. Gurfinkiel wrote the following in his article:

"Stephane Hessel's popularity derives from his longevity and a grandiose but carefully edited personal narrative. His parents were the modes of "Jules et Jim", a famous novel turned into a famous film. The rest of his life, however, seems to be ridden with exaggerations, half-lies, and riddles."

"The circumstances under which he was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and transferred to a 'special camp' in Germany are obscure. He was not 'one of the drafters' of the UN Human Rights Charter of 1948 as he has often maintained, but merely a junior assistant to the Charter's main editor, the great French jurist Rene' Cassin. While making, all in all, a prestigious career as Quai d'Orsay (the French Foreign Office), he was nevertheless barred from many sensitive jobs. In fact, many of his colleagues wondered whether he was not a bit "too" left-wing."[3].

Gurfinkiel writes that that Hessel's book was successful not only in France but sold over 3.5 million copies, which had been translated into over 20 languages including Hebrew while in the U.S. it was not so popular until it "was just inserted in The Nation's April 7-14 issue."

The gist of this small book was Hesel's urging "contempary youth to get 'outraged' about poverty and injustice and to fight for a better world, just as he had done seventy years earlier as a member of the anti-Nazi Resistance. Gurfinkiel claimed that Hessel's targets were "benign modern democracies," especially Israel, "the country most people in France love to hate already."

  • ***

"Hessel's influence on the ground grew to dwarf his sales accomplishments."

"'Outraged' movemetns claiming to follow the old Frenchman's philosophy bloomed in countries hit by recession or bankruptcy, like Spain, Greece, the UK, Chile, and more recently the United States. Strangely enough, even Israel - in spite of its comparatively good economic and financial shape and Hessel's rabid anti-Zionism - was hit by the movement last summer."

The methods of the protesters, according to Gurfinkiel manifested themselves this way:

"All 'outraged' movements tended to follow a single pattern. Citizens with no explicit political affiliation 'occupied' major streets, squares or public spaces for days or weeks, day and night, insisting upon 'social justice' or 'change.' They erected little booths and tent village, both in order to sleep there and to make it more difficult to be moved out or blocked by police the following day."

The article provides more observations on how these protesters seemed to follow Hessel's suggestions. Then he returned to the question of whether Hessel actually was behind this movement's ideology. Gurfinkiel wrote that "Hessel may not have been the real thinker and promoter of his movement."

"At 93 (last year) and 94 (now), he seems to enjoy excellent health and clarity of thought. he may indeed have written the few pages that turned him into an instant world icon. However, the pages were more likely provided by a ghostwriter. A convincing argument, in this respect, is that "Time for Outrage!" is a 'party line' operation. It is less about Hessel expressing his views than about others setting an agenda and Hessel endorsing it."

Gurfinkiel noted that a similar "outrage" protest movement had occurred in France in 1966, based on the writings of "another French author with similar political views," a man named Viviane Forrester who wrote a longer "but equally thin in intellectual terms "L'Horreur Economique" (The Economic Horror). Gurfinkiel also noted that "As for the tent village on public space, that had been tested in Paris from 2006 to 2009 by 'Les Enfants de Don Quichotte' ("Don Quixote's Children"), a group agitating for housing rights."

[KW: The recent protests in Israel were focused on "housing", i.e. a building program in parts of eastern Jerusalem for an increasing population, a fact that Gurfinkiel did take notice of in his article re "the rise of real estate prices in cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem."]

Gurfinkiel also takes not of World Net Daily writer Aaron Klein and his new book "Red Army", in which "Klein argues that the old radical and pro-Soviet networkrs of the Cold War era have resurfaced in contemporary American politics" re the rise of Barack Obama to take the White House in 2008.

Aiding in this rise of the Left in the US and in many other countries, according to Klein, are radical groups "that have been operating in Western countries since the mid-90s - from the anti-globalist and Green movements to the Islamists and anti-Israel militants" that can be traced "to radical and pro-Soviet Cold War-era networks." and that "In many instances, they have the same goals (with some adjustments), the same tactics (in a slightly modified or modernized form), and even the same personnel."

[KW: The emergence of older communist/marxist/socialist radicals in positions of leadership in the U.S. "Occupy Movement" in the major cities is one possible indication that Gurfinkiel and Klein were right, to some degree, about the old pro-Soviet network being back in action. These leaders include members of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and the Democratic Socialists of America, with at least one from the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), now of the International Socialist Organization (ISO). Only time will tell whether this trend of old leftists emerging in positions of leadership in the Occupy movements is very extensive and influential in guiding it, or whether this infiltration was "target of opportunity" for a marxist Left who is always looking for causes and organizations to infiltrate, guide, dominant, or actually led against the democratic system and free enterprise system of the United States].

[KW: Another point that Gurfinkiel made, about Hessel being the front man for a ghostwriter for his book "Time for Outrage!" is worth keeping in mind in regards to the question of whether Barack Obama actually wrote his two best-selling books, "Dreams of My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope." A few researchers who have compared the more intellectual writings of avowed marxist Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers with the style used by Obama in his two books, claim that Ayers was apparently the "ghostwriter" for them, which would give lie to the claim that Obama barely knew Ayers, and then only as someone in the neighborhood. The latter statement has already been shot down in flames with the discoveries that Ayers and Obama served together in an Annenberg educational foundation and that Ayers held a major fundraiser for the future president at his home at which the cream of the Old Left (i.e. CPUSA members and sympathizers turned DSAers) were present].

[KW: A last point to keep in mind are two marxist, rabble-rousing, violence-endorsing books that have had some influence on the worldwide Left. The first is the book by avowed Marxist, Van Jones, entitled "Reclaiming Revolution: History, Summation & Lessonsfrom the work of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement STORM, Spring 2004 which was the bible of his little Maoist group of stormtroopers known as "STORM". This organization only lasted a couple of years but Van Jones was picked up by White House key advisor to Pres.Obama, Valerie Jarrett, to be the "Green Czar" for the Obama administration, which he was until his marxist background was exposed and he was forced to resign.

The second book is one entitled "The Coming Insurrection" which was written in France by the Invisible Committee, a group that is a mix of European anarchists and marxists, and which the French police identified as the Tarmac Nine. The book advocates anarcho/marxist violence in the streets to overthrow both democratic, authoritarian and weak socialist governments in Europe (and possibly Africa/The Middle East). It was a major influence in the violence in Greece over the past two years (2010-2011). Some information "The Coming Insurrection" can be found at the www.wikipedia.org website among other sources[4].

The Greek underground marxists/terrorists have a long history of extreme violence against the US, going back to bombings and the killing of U.S. CIA Station Chief John Welch in the 1970's, as well as the assassination of Greek law enforcement officials and politicians. They were the last marxist terrorist group on the European continent to be dismantled, successfully outlasting the Baader-Meinhoff Gang (BMG), the Japanese Red Army (JRA), and the Italian Red Brigades. Only the Irish Republican Army (IRA), both factions, and the Spanish ethnic/leftist ETA Basque lasted longer, with the Official IRA and the ETA now having laid down their arms.

Perhaps it was a combination of most or all of the above-mentioned publications having a collective effect on some of the "Occupy" protest movements that has led to the increasing violence of their hardcore members and infiltrated marxist organizations/personnel, aided by both the Black Bloc and Red Bloc Anarchists of Europe and the U.S. This is something that, too, will have to be watched for over time as the Occupy Movement continues to change its ideology, tactics, and strategies].

General Assemblies

In an Oct. 23 article in The Occupied Wall Street Journal, David Graeber described the way in which the Occupy demonstrations across the U.S. are run:[5]

"Decisions are made democratically, without voting, by general assent... The direct democratic process adopted by Occupy Wall Street has deep roots in American radical history. It was widely employed in the civil rights movement and by the Students for a Democratic Society."

Occupy Demonstrations

The following is a list of individual "Occupy" demonstrations, inspired by the original Occupy Wall Street demonstration (alphabeticalized list here):

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The following is a list of Occupy Demonstrations yet to be added to the KeyWiki database:

Violence/crimes

Deaths

As of December 5, 2011, a total of at least eight people have died in connection with the Occupy Movement.

  • Darwin Cox, 23, was found dead in a tent at the Occupy Denton camp on December 3, 2011. The cause of death was unknown, but organizers said they did not suspect foul play.[6]
  • A man died on November 11, 2011 at the Salt Lake City Occupy Campsite. Local police said the death was likely a result of a combination of carbon monoxide poisoning and a drug overdose.[7]
  • Kayode Foster was shot in the head and died outside of the Occupy Oakland site on November 11, 2011.[8][9]
  • Joshua Pfenning, 35, committed suicide at the Occupy Burlington site on November 10, 2011. Pfenning reportedly aimed a gun at three individuals in a tent before turning the gun on himself.[10][11]
  • A man died reportedly of natural causes at the Occupy Bloomington camp site on November 5, 2011.[12]
  • A 53-year-old man died on November 8, 2011 at the Occupy New Orleans camp site. The man was reported to have been dead for two days before he was found.[13][14]
  • A 20-year-old woman died of a drug overdose at the Occupy Vancouver camp on November 5, 2011. [15]
  • Louis Cameron Rodriguez, 18, died at the Occupy Oklahoma City camp on October 31, 2011.[16]

Sexual assault

  • A sexual assault was reported at Occupy Hartford on December 1, 2011. The victim said she was inappropriately kissed and groped.[17]
  • A woman said she was raped at Occupy Philadelphia on November 13, 2011. Police arrested a suspect, who allegedly had a prior arrest record.[18]

Arrests

Credit for compiling this list belongs primarily to http://occupyarrests.moonfruit.com.

Sources are available here.

Date Location # Arrested Description
11/20/11 Albany 48 Biggest Occupy Albany arrest yet
11/15/11 Albany 3 At least 3 protesters arrested
11/12/11 Albany 24 24 more arrested at Occupy Albany
11/18/11 Albany 4 4 arrests at Occupy Albany
11/13/11 Albany 13 13 more Occupy Albany arrests - city says it won't prosecute those arrested over weekend
11/12/11 Albany 1 Occupy Albany protester arrested on trespassing charge
10/28/11 Albuquerque 24 Around two dozen Occupy Albuquerque arrested in past week
11/05/11 Anchorage 1 At least one arrested at 'occupy' bank protest
11/15/11 Asheville 1 Occupy Asheville Relocation & Arrest
11/08/11 Asheville 1 Occupy Asheville protester arrested for passing out fliers
11/03/11 Asheville 24 Asheville police arrest 24 Occupy Asheville members
11/12/11 Asheville 3 Three veterans arrested at Occupy Asheville
11/05/11 Asheville 4 Four more Occupy Asheville protesters arrested
11/07/11 Atlanta 5 Police arrest 5 more at Occupy Atlanta
10/25/11 Atlanta 52 Atlanta police arrest more than 50 Wall Street protesters
11/17/11 Atlanta 8 8 Occupy Atlanta protesters arrested
11/05/11 Atlanta 20 Police arrest more Occupy Atlanta protesters
11/27/11 Augusta, ME 9 Nine protesters arrested in Augusta
11/18/11 Austin 5 Police arrest five chained to tree at Occupy Austin
10/30/11 Austin 38 Dozens of Occupy protesters arrested in Austin
11/17/11 Berkeley 2 Police clear Occupy Cal encampment
11/09/11 Berkeley 39 Cops arrest dozens of Occupy Cal protesters
11/30/11 Bloomington 5 Five Occupy Protesters Arrested For IU Demonstration
10/11/11 Boston 141 141 arrests in Boston "Occupy" protests
11/05/11 Boston 4 Four Occupy Boston protesters arrested
10/01/11 Boston 24 24 Arrests at Bank of America Protest in Boston
11/23/11 Charleston 10 Occupy demonstrators to be released on bond
11/15/11 Charlotte 8 Arrests made in front of Charlotte B of A
11/30/11 Charlottesville 7 Police apprehend Occupy protesters
10/16/11 Chicago 175 175 arrested in Chicago
10/24/11 Chicago 130 130 arrested at Occupy Chicago
10/24/11 Cincinnati 11 11 arrested at Occupy Cincinnati
11/16/11 Cincinnati 15 15 Occupy Cincinnati protesters arrested
11/01/11 Coachella Valley 9 Nine Arrested as Police Clear Out Occupy Coachella Valley
11/05/11 Colorado Springs 2 Police arrest two Occupy Colorado Springs protesters
11/16/11 Columbia 19 Troopers arrest 19 at Occupy Columbia
11/15/11 Columbus 7 Police in Ohio arrest 7 Occupy protesters at bank
11/09/11 Dallas 8 Police arrest 8 Occupy protesters in Dallas demos
11/17/11 Dallas 17 Occupy Dallas protesters evicted, more than a dozen arrested
11/05/11 Dallas 8 Eight arrests at Dallas bank protest
11/18/11 Davis 10 Police pepper-spray seated protesters at UC Davis
11/12/11 Denver 17 Police force Occupy Denver to move their property
10/29/11 Denver 15 Occupy Denver tension raises dramatically - 15 arrested
11/13/11 Denver 3 Three protesters arrested, two officers hurt in Occupy Denver shoving match
11/11/11 Denver 1 Occupy Denver protesters invade conservative conference, one man arrested
10/16/11 Denver 24 24 arrested in Denver
11/15/11 El Paso 7 El Paso arrests 7 Occupy protesters
11/18/11 Eugene 17 17 arrested in Occupy Eugene protests
11/25/11 Eugene 1 Protester arrested during Black Friday shopping at Walmart
11/14/11 Eureka 33 Occupy Eureka camp raided, 33 arrested
12/01/11 Eureka 1 Police clear Occupy Eureka structure, detain 11
11/08/11 Eureka 13 Eureka police officers in riot gear arrest 13
11/16/11 Fresno 3 3 Occupy Fresno protesters arrested today
11/12/11 Fresno 1 One overnight arrest at Occupy Fresno assembly
11/09/11 Fresno 7 For a fourth straight night Occupy Fresno protesters arrested
11/07/11 Fresno 8 Eight more arrests - 2nd occurrence in past two days
11/13/11 Fresno 5 Park arrests continue for Occupy Fresno
11/10/11 Fresno 11 Occupy Fresno showdown yields another 11 arrests
11/08/11 Fresno 9 For a third straight night Occupy Fresno protesters arrested
11/06/11 Fresno 13 Thirteen Occupy Fresno protesters arrested at courthouse - released from jail
11/18/11 Ft. Myers 1 Occupy kicked out of Fort Myers park, 1 arrested
11/13/11 Gainesville 3 3 arrested, 20 given notice to appear at Occupy Gainesville
11/25/11 Harrisburg 1 Occupy Harrisburg zombie protester arrested at Mall
11/06/11 Honolulu 8 Police arrest Occupy Honolulu protesters
11/17/11 Houston 12 Houston police arrest 12 for march on bridge
11/09/11 Houston 7 Occupy protesters in Houston remained defiant as police carted some of them off to jail
11/15/11 Houston 1 Dispute over what's a tent leads to arrest
10/27/11 Indianapolis 1 Police arrest 1st Indianapolis Occupy protester
11/15/11 Isla Vista 1 Occupy Isla Vista Protester Arrested for Sleeping in Park
11/17/11 Las Vegas 21 21 arrested in orchestrated Occupy Las Vegas demonstration
11/05/11 Lincoln 4 Four arrested during Occupy Lincoln action at Wells Fargo
11/28/11 Los Angeles 5 Five arrested after deadline passes for Occupy LA
11/17/11 Los Angeles 72 Occupy L.A.: 72 people arrested in downtown protests
11/10/11 Los Angeles 11 11 arrested during protest near UCLA
11/30/11 Los Angeles 292 Occupy L.A.: 292 arrested in camp shutdown
11/18/11 Los Angeles 14 14 arrested in anti-Wall Street protests at UCLA
11/15/11 Los Angeles 5 5 Occupy LA protesters face charges in camp crimes
11/02/11 Milwaukee 3 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photojournalist, two college students arrested at Occupy protest
11/19/11 Minneapolis 2 Two arrested as protesters 'occupy' U lecturer's house
10/20/11 Minneapolis 7 Occupy MN: Seven arrested at US Bank protest
11/17/11 Minneapolis 11 Police arrest 11 during Occupy Minnesota protest
10/15/11 Minneapolis 1 First arrest made at Occupy MN rally
11/09/11 Mobile 20 About 20 Occupy Mobile protesters were arrested early Wednesday morning
10/29/11 Nashville 53 State troopers for the second time arrest more than two dozen Occupy Nashville protesters
11/10/11 Norfolk 6 Norfolk police arrest 7 Occupy protesters
11/14/11 Oakland 32 Cops dismantle Occupy Oakland, arrest 32
10/25/11 Oakland 75 Riot police fire beanbag rounds and teargas, arrest 75 at Occupy Oakland
11/24/11 Oakland 1 One arrest after protesters confront police over portable toilets
11/03/11 Oakland 80 After a night of confrontations with police, 80 arrests in downtown Oakland
11/25/11 Oklahoma City 10 10 Occupy OKC protesters arrested in Del City
11/04/11 Olympia 2 5 'Occupy Washington' tents removed, 2 arrested
10/22/11 Orlando 19 19 arrested at Occupy Orlando
11/06/11 Orlando 12 Protestors arrested during a First Amendment "teach-in"
11/18/11 Philadelphia 12 Occupy Philly Protesters Arrested At Center City Bank Sit-In
11/03/11 Philadelphia 10 Ten arrested at Occupy Philadelphia sit in at Comcast
11/30/11 Philadelphia 52 More than 50 arrested as police clear Occupy Philly
11/17/11 Philadelphia 24 Occupy Philly Moves Following Arrests
10/24/11 Philadelphia 15 15 arrested at Occupy Philadelphia
11/18/11 Phoenix 8 8 protesters arrested at Occupy Phoenix
10/16/11 Phoenix 40 40 arrested in Phoenix
11/05/11 Phoenix 3 3 arrests connected to Occupy Phoenix
11/16/11 Pittsburgh 5 5 arrested in Occupy Pittsburgh protests
11/17/11 Portland 25 25 arrested in Portland
11/13/11 Portland 50 Portland police arrest over 50 as protest camps cleared
10/30/11 Portland 24 Dozens of Occupy protesters arrested in Portland
11/16/11 Portland 1 Occupy Portland: 4 hour-long rally and march from PSU includes arrest
11/07/11 Portland 2 Police arrest 2 at Occupy Portland camp
11/18/11 Portland, ME 2 A violent overnight at Occupy Maine site
11/25/11 Portland, ME 5 Five arrested at Occupy Maine
10/28/11 Raleigh 8 Eight at Occupy Raleigh arrested after standoff
11/25/11 Raleigh 6 Six protesters arrested at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh
10/16/11 Raleigh 19 19 arrested in Raleigh
11/10/11 Richmond 2 Occupy Richmond protesters leave park
10/31/11 Richmond 9 Police erase Occupy Richmond tent site - 9 arrested
11/30/11 Riverside 3 3 arrested when police clear Occupy camp
11/06/11 Riverside 11 Riverside police arrest 11 protesters
11/03/11 Rochester 50 16 arrested at Occupy Rochester event in city park, bringing total to 50 in past week
10/24/11 Sacramento 74 Lawyers May Sue Sacramento City Over ‘Occupy Sacramento’ Arrests
11/12/11 Salt Lake City 19 19 arrested for failing to remove tents; site razed
11/24/11 San Diego 4 4 arrests at Occupy San Diego
11/13/11 San Diego 5 Despite arrests, Occupy San Diego protest continues
10/14/11 San Diego 1 At least 1 protester arrested in San Diego
11/29/11 San Diego 1 Activist cited for trespass at Occupy SD
11/16/11 San Diego 9 Occupy San Diego: 9 arrested in sweep of homeless encampment
10/28/11 San Diego 53 51 Occupy San Diego protesters arrested Friday morning and two more were arrested later in day
11/20/11 San Francisco 6 SF police arrest 6 Occupy protesters in early raid
10/12/11 San Francisco 11 11 protesters arrested in San Francisco after shutting down entrances to the Wells Fargo corp. headquarters
12/01/11 San Francisco 2 2 Occupy SF protesters arrested in scuffles
11/16/11 San Francisco 100 San Francisco police arrest 100 in Bank of America protest
10/22/11 San Jose 8 8 'Occupy San Jose' protesters arrested, man in wheel chair cited
10/25/11 San Jose 7 7 More ‘Occupy San Jose’ Arrests; Protester Remains On Wall
10/22/11 Santa Ana 4 Four protesters arrested in Orange County for camping
10/06/11 Santa Barbara 8 Occupy S.B. Protesters Get Arrested and Go on Record
11/11/11 Seattle 2 Occupy Seattle protesters square off with police
10/14/11 Seattle 41 Protesters arrested in Seattle
11/15/11 Seattle 6 Elderly woman, priest pepper-sprayed during Seattle Occupy protest
11/03/11 Seattle 7 Occupy Seattle: Street clashes, arrests as bank leader speak
11/12/11 Springfield 8 Police arrest eight Occupy Springfield protesters
11/21/11 Springfield 15 Police arrest 15 at Massachusetts foreclosure protest
11/12/11 St. Louis 27 27 Occupy St. Louis protesters arrested
11/17/11 St. Louis 14 Fourteen arrested as unions, Occupy St. Louis protestors unite
11/29/11 Tampa 2 2 arrests at Occupy Tampa
11/09/11 Tampa 3 Three More Protesters Arrested in Public Park; First Amendment Struggle Continues
10/28/11 Tampa 11 3 arrested at Occupy Tampa - 2 charged with felony battery on police officer; total arrests now 11
12/01/11 Tampa 29 Police make first mass arrests of Occupy Tampa protesters
11/17/11 Tampa 3 Police arrest three more Occupy Tampa protesters
11/07/11 Tampa 8 Four Occupy Tampa protesters arrested for second night
11/02/11 Toledo 2 2 Occupy Toledo supporters arrested
11/30/11 Tucson 11 11 Occupy Tucson protesters arrested Wednesday night
11/26/11 Tucson 2 Two more early morning arrests at Occupy Tucson
11/24/11 Tucson 34 Police cite 34 'Occupy Tucson' protesters
11/07/11 Tucson 24 2 dozen Occupy Tucson protesters arrested
11/29/11 Tucson 2 Chalking, assault lead to arrests of Occupy Tucson demonstrators
11/25/11 Tucson 1 Former mayoral candidate arrested at Occupy Tucson
11/10/11 Tucson 11 Tucson Police make 11 more Occupy Tucson arrests
10/28/11 Tucson 370 Tucson police arrested 18 Occupy Tucson demonstrators, bringing the total to nearly 370 arrests
11/14/11 Tulsa 6 Arrests resume as Occupy Tulsa members return to civil disobedience
11/04/11 Tulsa 23 10 more Occupy Tulsa protesters arrested - total now 23 in past 24 hours
11/17/11 Wall Street 300 Police: 300 Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in NYC
11/05/11 Wall Street 20 Around 20 arrested at Wall Street demonstration
10/22/11 Wall Street 30 30 Occupy Wall Street protesters, including Cornell West arrested in NY
10/01/11 Wall Street 700 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested on Brooklyn Bridge
11/15/11 Wall Street 200 Occupy Wall St. cleared out, 200+ arrested; court upholds eviction
11/03/11 Wall Street 15 15 Occupy Wall Street protesters, including Chris Hedges, arrested outside Goldman Sachs
10/14/11 Wall Street 14 Protesters arrested in New York
09/24/11 Wall Street 80 At least 80 arrested at Occupy Wall Street march
10/18/11 Washington, DC 19 Cornel West, 18 others arrested for protesting at the Supreme Court. *CHARGES DROPPED*
10/11/11 Washington, DC 6 Occupy DC protesters arrested after unfurling banners in Senate building
10/13/11 Washington, DC 8 U.S. Capitol Police arrested eight anti-war protesters in D.C. for disrupting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
11/28/11 Wilmington 1 Occupy Protester arrested in Wilmington
11/05/11 Worcester 21 Occupy Worcester activists arrested after move to Common

Endorsements

Elected Officials

The following State & Federal Representatives and Senators have expressed their support for the Occupy Movement:

Organizations

The following organizations have expressed their support, or actively supported the Occupy Movement:

Events

Day of Action

OWS demonstrators march in the NYC financial district, Nov. 17

Writing in the CPUSA's newsletter People's World on Nov. 17, 2011, John Wojcik explained the reason for the "Day of Action",[25]

"After a week of clearing Occupy Wall Street protesters out of city parks and with the "Super Committee" in Washington threatening to slash Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, the nation errupted today in coast-to-coast demonstrations...
...On this the second day after the crackdown on Occupy Wall Street in New York, the labor movement and its allies are showing up at rallies all over the country in a "Day of Action" that shines the spotlight on the economic disaster facing the country's 99 percent. Demonstrators in the labor-backed actions are calling attention to everything from broken bridges and crumbling schools to the historic levels of unemployment."

Speaking on the phone from his union hall which is festooned with a banner, "Defend the Picket Line, Defend Free Speech," Dan Coffman, president of Local 21 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in Washington State stated,

"The one percent are not seeing a people who are defeated today but an electrified and unbeatable movement. There is a direct connection between evicting Occupy Wall Street demonstrators and the attacks on unions. Just for fighting for our jobs and exercising our civil rights our union members have faced police attacks and arrests. The police, whose salaries are paid by our members have, in effect, been used as a private security force for the grain companies on the docks..."
...The one percent are really worried these days about people uniting to win economic justice. Both the rapid spread of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations across the country and the increasing militancy of union workers determined to defend their jobs are easily explained - Poverty in the United States is higher than it has been in over 50 years. Maritime companies, like the big banks and other big corporations, want to cut good paying jobs. It's a threat not just to all waterfront workers but to all workers across the country."

Coffman stated that he would be in Oakland all day Thursday, "fighting for our union jobs and for the rights of our members and the rights of all Americans to the exercise of free speech."

Civil rights and legal groups, including the National Lawyers Guild and the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, have filed papers demanding any information, that the Department of Justice and the intelligence agencies have, relating to a possible nationwide or coordinated crackdown on Occupy Wall Street. They say that the almost-simultaneous crackdowns in cities across the country are cause for concern.[25]

Associated Events

The following is a list of events not officially affiliated with the Occupy Movement, but that have been inspired by the movement:

Statements of solidarity

CPUSA on the Occupy Movement

In a Nov. 1, 2011 article in People's World, Sam Webb, National Chair of the Communist Party USA wrote an article on the Occupy Movement. Excerpts from his article follow:[26]

"This is a volatile moment. The class struggle is intensifying and the outcome is still to be decided. The battle is for the future - the future of our democracy, economy, and country. On one side are the majority of the American people, buffeted by the economic crisis, angered by unconscionable inequalities, tired of war-making, worried about environmental catastrophes, and convinced that a "more perfect union" is within our reach. On the other side are the upper-crusters and mammoth transnational corporations - the 1 percenters - who grow filthy rich off the labor of working people, live in luxury, corrupt our political life, and parade as patriots...
...Some organizations - AFL-CIO, NAACP, Jobs with Justice, MoveOn.org, etc. - have been on the scene for a while. Others - Rebuild the Dream, the Occupy movement, Bottom Line, etc. - are relative newcomers. What is striking is the degree to which they blend and work together. In an upsurge of any significant size and scope, new and spontaneous forms of organization and struggle are almost inevitable...
... The occupations may seem to have come "out of the blue," but they didn't. Since the spring we have witnessed an uptick in class and democratic struggles on a global scale from Cairo to Athens and beyond. In our own backyard, major struggles broke out in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and elsewhere. And streams of young and older activists who threw themselves into the campaign to elect Barack Obama are looking for ways to leave their political mark going forward. Thus, the occupation movement draws inspiration from and is rooted in home-grown and international struggles...
...The potential of further building a broad youth movement has never been greater. It could eclipse the youth rebellion of the 1960s. And that movement as we know left a definitive mark on the politics and culture of our country...
...What young people do hinges on many factors, including if the broader movement gives them support and space to express their specific concerns and styles and construct their own forms of organization. Obviously the Occupy movement faces challenges. In some ways the least of them is articulation of a series of demands. Looming larger is how to expand the movement especially among the young; how to deepen and solidify relations to other key forces, especially labor; how to avoid unnecessary confrontations with the police that draw attention away from Wall Street robbery; how to reach youth of color and young women; and how to approach the 2012 elections. Both as Occupy participants and as activists in social movements we should turn our attention to these challenges in a constructive way. This includes a vigorous response by the entire progressive and democratic community to attempts by local government to evict the occupiers from public space."

Occupy isn't running for office - it's aiming higher

An "Outlook" section column in the Washington Post of Jan. 15, 2012, entitled "Occupy isn't running for office - it's aiming higher", by Sarah Seltzer, P. B3, ... FINISH

The Post's coverage of Occupy DC"

A columnn on the Occupy DC movement by Wash. Post Ombudsman Patrick B. Pexton, P. A17, "The Post's coverage of Occupy DC", explained the WP's position on covering the Occupy DC story after having received complaints about either too much or not enough reporting on this story.

Other Information

Marxist Eric Hobsbawn Supports Occupy Movement

One of the leading British marxists, Eric Hobsbawm has come out in support of the Occupy Movement. In an information-filled article by the BBC World Service News, Andrew Whitehead, on Dec. 22, 2011, "Eric Hobsbawm on 2011: 'It reminds me of 1848...'", the mid-ninties marxist gave his opinions on the Occupy Movement, the Arab Spring, and other protest movements around the world, except for similar movements in Communist countries, which he ignored.

Some selected quotes and information from the article include:

"It was an enormous joy to discover once again that it's possible for people to get down in the streets, to demonstrate, to overthrow governments."...

"Born just months before the Russian revolution of 1917, he was a Communist for most of his adult life - as well as an innovative and influential writer and thinker. He has been a historian of revolution, and at times an advocate of revolutionary change."

"Now in his mid-ninties, his continuing passion for politics is reflected in the title of his most recent book "How to Change the World" - and in his keen interest in the Arab Spring."...

Hosbawn's observation on the "Arab Spring" are worth noting because he accidentally (or intentionally), exposed the fallacy of the thinking in the West that those who started it will be those who control its' direction and ideology. A few related quotes of his point out this conundrum (because it also serves to warn people that many revolutions against authoritarian regimes which were democratis in aims, were preempted, taken-over, and then solidified by trained communist agitators, street thugs, and hardened marxists).

Whitehead wrote that Hobsbawm noted that "Not enough notice has been taken, he says, of the differences between Arab countries in the throes of mass protests."

"We are in the middle of a revolution - bit it isn't the same revolution."

"What unites them is a common discontent and common mobilisable forces - a modernising middle class, particularly a young student middle class, and of course technology which makes it today very much easier to mobilise protests."

"The actual occupations in most cases have not been mass protests, not the 99%, but the famous 'stage army' of students and counter culture. Sometimes that has found an echo in public opinion - and in the anti-Wall Street, anti-capitalist occupations, that is clearly the case."...

"The traditional left was geared to akind of society that is no longer in existence or is going out of business. It believed very largely in the mass labour movement as the carrier of the future. Well, we'be been de-industrialised, so that's no longer possible." [KW: This is not necessarily true in the western countries, including Latin America, where trained communist cadre can and have shown up as leaders of anti-capitalism protests, especially in the U.S., England, France, and Greece, to name a few).

In commenting on the Arab Spring and Islam, re the protests, Whitehead wrote that Hobsbawn viewed these movements as "not a harbinger of wider revolution", but as "a wider push for gradual reform of the sort of which, he makes of point of harking back to Iran in 1979, the first revolution to be counced in the political language of Islam."

"One aspect of that revolution has found an echo in the Arab world in recent months", wrote Whitehead.

"The people who had made concessions to Islam, but were not Islamists themselves, were marginalised. And that included reformers, liberals, communists."

"While the Arab Spring has brought him joy, this aspect of it he regards as an 'unexpected and not necessarily welcome.'"[28]

"What emerges as the mass ideology is not the ideology of those that started off the demonstrations."

Story on the use of Guy Fawkes/V for Vendetta mask in the Occupy Movement

A long story on the various uses of masks by the Occupy Movement, especially the one from the movie "V for Vendetta" was published in the Washington Times, nov. 7, 2011, as a story by AP writers Tamara Lush and Verena Dobnik", (Tampa, FL and NYC, resp.) with additional reporting by Cassandra Vinograd, London, and Manuel Valdes, Seattle). Entitled "The man behind the mask of Occupy Protesters", it focused on Alexandra Ricciardelli, 20, Keyport, NJ, about the meaning of the mask, as well as talking to Jason J. Cross, who was selling them for $5.00 a piece. He had bought over 100 Chinese-made masks online to sell at Occupy Wall Street protests/sites.

He was quoted as describing them as "The origins of this mask comes from the idea of rising up against the government. Guy Fawkes represents the fact that the people have real power."

Guy Fawkes was described by the AP writers as "a criminal who tried to blow up a government building" in London in the 1700s. He was also described as "a Catholic insurrectionist" who was executed "for the bombing attempt." November 5th was England's "official celebration for defeating Fawkes" according to Prof. Lewis Call, assistant history professor at California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo.

Call noted that "The reputation of Guy Fawkes has been recuperated. Before he was originally seen as a terrorist trying to destroy England. Now he's seen more as a freedom fight, a fighter for individual liberty against an oppressive regime. The political meaning of that figure has transformed."

A London protester said that "People hide behind the masks, put the masks on and their identity is hidden. Therefore, they can do a lot more than they would if they didn't have the masks."

The unidentified protester also claimed that "Anonymous UK has imported 1,000 copies from China, and the distribution goes 'straight into the pockets of the Anonymous beer fund rather than the Warner Bros. Much better."

An Occupy Seattle protester, Hudson Williams Eynon noted the irony of using "corporate" products in the Occupy Movement, including Smartphones, cameras and the Internet service" in order to organize. "There's a lot of inherent ironies in protesting corporations in a corporate world, Williams Eynon said in early October."

Paul Le Blanc's on Occupy

International Socialist Organization member Paul Le Blanc wrote in LINKS, February 2012 of the socialist activism inside Occupy Pittsburgh;[29]

The Occupy movement has been having a profound impact on the socialist left in the United States. I want to share some information on this, focusing on my own experience, and relate it to broader issues of Marxism and organisation that I have been engaged with for some time.
In my native Pittsburgh, members of the International Socialist Organization, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Workers International League and Committees of Correspondence, plus a number of independent socialists have been active (some more, some less) in the Occupy movement. I know similar things can be said of the Occupy movement in a number of other cities. More than this, one can easily find substantial reports, animated discussions and analyses about the Occupy movement in publications and on websites associated with the International Socialist Organization (ISO), Solidarity, Socialist Action, Committees of Correspondence, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Socialist Party, Socialist Alternative, Workers International League, Workers World Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation – and I am confident that the list is not complete. All of this is easily accessible online. And all of these organisations, I think, are wrestling with the question of what new tasks are raised for us by the Occupy movement in which many of us are actively involved.
Some (for example Pham Binh in a recent contribution published in Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal) have called for us all to merge together in a single revolutionary organisation, implying that this would make us more effective at this key moment. Based on my own experience, it seems obvious to me that this would be a serious mistake. Here I will argue that there is a better approach, consistent both with my experience and with a party-building perspective that I have been writing about for some time.

Coming together in a common revolutionary party

In Pittsburgh, members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Workers International League and my own ISO are not in the same organisation. This has not prevented us from working quite well together in anti-war, pro-public transport and Occupy-related struggles. If instead – in an effort to create a single socialist group – we were enmeshed in struggles with each other over what should be our common political program, how we should define the very conception of socialism, etc., I think our ability to work effectively would be undermined. Now we can agree to disagree on certain principled questions (to be discussed and debated in appropriate contexts) while forming a positive working relationship around questions where we stand on common ground.
Ultimately, people from these groups may come together in the same revolutionary socialist organisation – just as many Bolsheviks, for example, found themselves together in the Russian Communist Party with comrades who had been Mensheviks, Left-Socialist Revolutionaries, Bundists, anarchists and others. There was a similar coming-together process in the formation of the early Communist movement in the United States and other countries. Momentous experiences and historical forces have a way of bringing revolutionaries from different backgrounds together. Such forces are at work, and such experiences are shaping up, that can bring such an outcome to the United States in the future.
Many of us on the US socialist left agree on the need for such an organisation. A working-class revolution and socialist transformation in the United States will not come about spontaneously. It will come about only if knowledgeable activists and skilled organisers, dedicated to such goals, work very hard to bring them about. This would add up to a US equivalent to what Bolshevism was in Russia. Such a thing cannot be forced through cobbling together different socialist groups. Nor will it be a replica of Russian Bolshevism. But the effort to bring such a thing into existence can be strengthened, as we are intimately involved in the struggles of our time, by critically engaging with the ideas and experiences of Lenin, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Antonio Gramsci, and other revolutionary Marxists from the 20th century’s early communist movement, as well as by the history of US class struggles and revolutionary traditions.
As we engage in the struggles of today and tomorrow, the theory and history of those who went before should be pondered and shared as widely and deeply as possible. Those who are growing into effective activists and organisers in the mass struggles unfolding in our time can benefit from this. Such activists, and the growing number of workers and oppressed people who increasingly share in their vision, also absorbing their knowledge and political skills, can grow into a powerful force to bring about the political, social and economic transformation that we need. As a mass phenomenon, this becomes part of a broad labour-radical subculture, nourishing a revolutionary class consciousness that will animate a substantial and increasingly influential layer of the working class – which constitutes a working-class “vanguard” that is the only serious basis for the US equivalent of Bolshevism.
As Lenin explained in Left-Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder, any effort to create a cohesive, disciplined revolutionary party in the absence of such a development will result in phrase-mongering and pretentious clowning destined to fall flat on its face. (Many of us have certainly seen examples of that!) Yet as Lenin, Trotsky, Luxemburg and others have also emphasised, it will take the dynamic and creative interplay of genuine mass struggles and a serious party of the socialist vanguard to bring about the revolutionary power shift, the radical democracy, and the socialist reconstruction of society that are so badly needed. That is the goal, and its realisation transcends current existence of all existing organisations on the US socialist left.
Today there is no Leninist party in the United States. There is no “embryo” or “nucleus” of such a party in our country (although some would-be Leninist groups would not agree with this, because they think they are that). The responsibility of all is to help create the preconditions for the crystallisation of a labour-radical subculture, a revolutionary class consciousness, a mass vanguard layer of the working class, an accumulation of experience and understanding, and cadres that will bring into being an organisation, a genuine party, that can help usher in what Eugene V. Debs once called “the third American revolution”. The coming together of a revolutionary workers’ party is not possible now – the effort to force that into being, whether through self-appointment of one or another small group or through some hot-house mergers of small groups, will be counter-productive.
For now, we must immerse ourselves in the struggles of our time, create united fronts of socialists and others, carry out serious education on what actually happened in struggles of the past, engage in the serious-minded discussion and debate necessary for continuing political clarification. Debate and united struggle can go together. In 1905, Lenin called for “a fighting unity” of socialist and revolutionary groups against the tsarist regime while urging Russian activists “not to spoil things by vainly trying to lump together heterogeneous elements. We shall inevitably have to . . . march separately, but we can . . . strike together more than once and particularly now.” Insisting that “in the interests of the revolution our ideal should by no means be that all parties, all trends and shades of opinion fuse in a revolutionary chaos”, Lenin emphasised that “only full clarity and definiteness in their mutual relations and in their attitude toward the revolutionary proletariat can ensure maximum success for the revolutionary movement” (“A Militant Agreement for the Uprising”, in Lenin, Revolution, Democracy, Socialism, pp. 177, 179-180).

The challenge of Occupy

As one who has been immersed in Occupy Pittsburgh from its inception, I am seeking to apply this orientation to the realities around me. Along with many others in this remarkable movement, I have been engaged in an intensive thinking, thinking, thinking process, finding the new experiences challenging and changing me in multiple ways. There is much that I still must process before drawing all of the conclusions that are inherent in the unfolding reality of Occupy. But there are several things I am certainly able to state for purposes of this discussion.
The statement of principles adopted by Occupy Pittsburgh in November 2011 (consistent with those adopted by Occupy Wall Street in New York) gives a sense of the nature of our struggle:
We recognize that this prevents genuine democracy and deprives us of our liberties, sacrifices our health, safety and well-being, threatens our relationship with the rest of the world, has destroyed and continues to destroy cultures and peoples throughout the world, and critically compromises the ecological systems that sustain life itself.

We are a nonviolent, decentralized movement working to create a just society.
We are claiming a space for public dialogue and the practice of direct democracy for the purpose of generating and implementing solutions accessible to everyone.
To this end, we are exercising our rights to assemble peacefully and to speak freely, thus demonstrating our commitment to the long work of transforming the structures that produce and sustain these injustices.
Also to that end, we are working against all forms of inequality and discrimination including those based on age, ability, diagnosis, size, religion or lack thereof, class, culture, immigration status, nationality, history of incarceration, housing status, race, color, ethnicity, indigenous status, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

We stand in solidarity with those who have come before us, in Pittsburgh and elsewhere, who have fought for political, social and economic justice.
We are united, in strength and courage with the Occupations around the world. We are your next-door neighbors. We are your friends. We are your relatives. We are the 99%.
The Occupy movement, in its opposition of the 99% to the 1%, creates, in highly popularised form, a class analysis that is consistent with Marxism. The modern-day system of corporate rule and exploitation overseen by the wealthy 1% (and their servants in the upper fringe of the 99%) is what we mean by capitalism. The heart and soul, and great majority, of the 99% are the working class (blue collar, white collar, unemployed, etc.). The goal of establishing the democratic control of the 99% over our economic and political life is what we understand as socialism. This actually reflects radical traditions that run deep in the history of the United States.

It was, for example, Martin Luther King, Jr., who emphasised that the triple evils of racism, exploitation and war are interrelated and deeply rooted in the very nature of the US social-economic system, insisting that the “whole structure must be changed... American must be born again!” (See “Where Do We Go From Here”, in A Testament of Hope, pp. 250-251.) What the Occupy movement has done, and the way it has defined itself, has resonated powerfully among millions of people in the United States. We in the Occupy movement have a responsibility to be true to that, and to sustain and expand it to the best of our abilities. What we are about, as defined in the Occupy Pittsburgh statement, involves winning the overwhelming majority of the 99% in support of and struggle for the commitments and goals of replacing the power of the 1% with the power of the 99%.
Socialists involved in Occupy have a responsibility to explain how we see things – that this movement of and for the 99% is basically a working-class movement, and that its stated goal of waging a struggle for universal human rights, a central aspect of which is economic justice (the possibility of a decent life for each and every person), is – along with the notion of rule by the people over our economic and political life – what socialism is all about. More than this, our Occupy movement represents a life-giving revitalisation for the labor movement as a whole.
In the United States, the trade union movement has often been mistakenly identified as “the labour movement”, but it is only a defensive fragment of the labour movement. Once upon a time, the trade unions were built by radicals and revolutionaries – varieties of socialists and communists and anarchists and other labour radicals (some of whose voices can be found, for example, in the anthology Work and Struggle). They provided militancy, broad social vision and tough-minded democracy that gave life to the unions. They also built mass movements for social reforms (universal suffrage, an eight-hour workday, an end to child labour, for public education, women’s rights, opposition to racism, and more), and some of them laboured to build working-class political parties, although this had much less success in the US than in other countries. A full-fledged labour movement consists of all these elements.
Since the 1930s and 1940s, there has been a narrowing of the labour movement to the trade unions alone, accompanied by a marginalisation of the radicals and revolutionaries, and an accommodation with the corporations and the pro-capitalist state (and entanglement with the pro-capitalist Democratic Party). Over the years, the spirit has increasingly gone out of this fragmented labour movement, with hierarchy and bureaucracy crowding out rank-and-file democracy, and with workers feeling increasingly alienated from this fragment of a movement that claims to speak for them. Much of the current union leadership recognises that it is caught in a dead-end. Facing an extended onslaught from the big business corporations of capitalism, combined with economic downturn, it seems unlikely that the unions will be able to survive unless there is a change in the nature and orientation of the labour movement. More than anything the union leadership has been able to generate in recent decades, the Occupy movement has powerfully placed issues of economic justice in the national consciousness and mainstream political dialogue. It has tilted political reality in a way that opens up new possibilities and new, life-giving spirit for organised labour.
This helps to explain the unprecedented support by organised labour for the radicalism of the Occupy movement, and a strong trend within Occupy toward working together with unions and certain reform struggles (for health care, public transport, education, etc.), which helps to bring into being a larger, more diverse, multifaceted working-class movement. One of the strengths of Occupy Pittsburgh has been its commitment to a close working relationship with the unions and other elements of the broadly defined working class of the Pittsburgh area. This defines the primary responsibility of socialists in the Occupy movement: helping to build a sense of class consciousness and class struggle, helping to nurture an undercurrent of socialist consciousness, helping to advance the possibility of a mass socialist consciousness and mass socialist movement in the foreseeable future, connected with real struggles for economic justice through direct confrontation with the wealthy 1% of corporate capitalism.
We have been subjected to evictions of our Occupy encampments from the public spaces (Pittsburgh, one of the last, being finally dislodged several days before this writing), where we directly and vibrantly confronted the authority of the capitalist power structure. There are important challenges we face while seeking to reorient to the new situation.

One challenge is represented by two fractions among some of our anarchist brothers and sisters – some of whom want to build more or less utopian “communities” and activist “families” as alternatives to the status quo (apart from both the 1% and from the 99%), others inclined to break with the unions and mount masked minority confrontations against the 1%, independently of the 99%. In either case, the resulting isolation of Occupy activists, it seems clear, would be bound to marginalise our movement.

A very different challenge comes from powerful forces – particularly among our trade union allies – that will be pushing in this presidential election year to draw all activism into the camp of the pro-capitalist Democratic Party. “There is one common feature in the development, or more correctly the degeneration, of modern trade union organizations in the entire world”, Trotsky noted as World War II was beginning to unfold. “It is their drawing closely to and growing together with the state power.”
His analysis is worth lingering over: “They have to confront a centralized capitalist adversary, intimately bound up with state power... In the eyes of the bureaucracy of the trade union movement the chief task lies in ‘freeing’ the state from the embrace of capitalism, in weakening its dependence on trusts [the big business corporations], in pulling it over to their side” (Trotsky, “Trade Unions in the Epoch of Imperialist Decay”, in Writings in Exile, p. 211). But the state in capitalist society is essentially an instrument for preserving the exploitative system of capitalism. Likewise, the presumed means for winning this capitalist instrument to “our side” – the Democratic Party – is absolutely committed to preserving the capitalist system. Given these realities, subordinating our struggle to a hoped-for Democratic Party victory is a highly dubious pathway for Occupy and the working class as a whole.
Such challenges are hardly new. Rosa Luxemburg noted the two dangers many years ago: “One is the loss of mass character; the other, the abandonment of its goal. One is the danger of sinking back to the condition of a sect; the other, the danger of becoming a movement of bourgeois [capitalist] social reform” (Luxemburg, “Organizational Questions of Russian Social Democracy”, in Socialism or Barbarism, p. 101).

This challenging moment is exactly the wrong time for socialists to channel their attention and energies into the project of merging into a multi-tendency socialist organisation. If all the members of all the socialist organisations in the United States were prepared to adhere to some ideal program and orientation free of “non-essentials” and sectarianism, and were able to do that quickly and efficiently, then such a notion could be considered reasonable. But to state the matter like that is to highlight its impossibility. On the other hand, I know from my experience that the kind of “fighting unity” Lenin spoke of – involving cooperation among members of different socialist groups, and united front type efforts – is something that is definitely possible and fruitful.
What we need to build with others, in this context, is an increasingly influential, dynamic, explicitly working-class current in the Occupy movement, a community-labour Occupy, which is both inclusive and politically independent. “The Occupy moment” may pass before the end of 2012. But for now socialists must remain committed to Occupy, and to helping draw its energies and activists into mass struggles of and for the working-class, around issues of transit, health care, education, housing, jobs, economic justice, environmental preservation, opposition to war, etc., at the same time doing what we can to build class consciousness and socialist consciousness.

In this context, and in the future struggles, socialists and their various organisations will have an opportunity to help create the pre-conditions a unified revolutionary party. This will involve the development struggles and a subculture that will help bring into being a class-conscious layer of the working class. It will also involve the accumulation and education and development of cadres, the organising experience and testing of political perspectives, the united front efforts and more that will create the possibilities for the creation of a mass revolutionary party of the working class. Many of us, currently in one or another organisation or in no organisation at the present, will be part of that.

Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky

In the face of new and challenging realities, it seems to me that it makes sense to share and make use of the ideas of Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and others associated with their revolutionary Marxist orientation. Their theorisations are based on a considerable amount of political experience accumulated by the global labour movement, buttressed by analyses coming from some of the finest minds associated with the revolutionary tradition. Given the persisting dynamics of global capitalism, the Marxism of Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky and others from the early Communist movement continue to have considerable resonance for our own time. The Occupy movement, and the larger revitalised working-class movement that is struggling to come into being, can be helped enormously if revolutionary socialists engage in critically and creatively applying our perspectives to the realities around us, and within the next phase of Occupy and working-class struggles.

External Links

References

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  2. Adbusters: #OCCUPYWALLSTREET, July 13, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 25, 2011)
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  29. LINKS, February 2012, Paul Le Blanc: Revolutionary organisation and the ‘Occupy moment’