Battle for the Soul of Occupy

Round #5 - Will MoveOn knock us out?

As we prepare for the May uprising, two power centers of our movement have announced plans for a spectacular bi-coastal May 1st bridge blockade. On the West Coast, Occupy Oakland and Occupy San Francisco are planning rush hour disruptions on the Golden Gate Bridge while in New York City, occupiers say they will block one or more Manhattan-bound bridges. These acts of nonviolent direct action will set the tactical tone for the next phase of Occupy: they signal the turn towards Strike actions aimed at disrupting the flow of money. And, on a deeper level, these blockades come at a pivotal moment for Occupy as the movement grapples with a battle for its soul.

The question many occupiers are debating is whether the spirit and voice of Occupy will stay with the new left horizontals who launched the uprising or whether it will move towards MoveOn’s 99% Spring, and their old left buddies at The Nation magazine, Ben & Jerry’s, et al.

For the first most spectacular days of Occupy – such as on September 24 when eighty Zuccottis were arrested and shocking footage of women getting maced was replayed on national television – MoveOn ignored our movement. They decided to jump on board much later when 700 nonviolent occupiers were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge. They saw this mass arrest as an opportunity to fold Occupy into their electoral Rebuild the Dream campaign to bolster Obama. At a time when Occupy was inspiring hundreds of thousands of people across the nation to take the squares, set up leaderless encampments and reinvent democracy in people’s assemblies, MoveOn held an October 5 online “Virtual March on Wall Street” with their friends at Rebuild the Dream.

At the peak of Occupy, when the people’s movement had catalyzed a global day of action on October 15 that saw millions of us in 82 countries rally in financial districts and capital cities for real democracy, MoveOn tried to cash in on Occupy’s momentum with a donation pitch. “We have to capitalize on this momentum now,” wrote MoveOn in an email to its members. “Can you chip in $5?”

And now, MoveOn wants to hijack our movement with their 99% Spring.

MoveOn is an existential threat to our movement because they don’t have a revolutionary bone in their body … if we give these clicktivists any more room then they will pull off a managed cooling of our revolutionary fervor … they will neuter the kind of bold, militant nonviolent direct actions that are the key to the next phase of our movement. Don’t let them do it!

Jump, jump, jump over the dead body of the old left!

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142 comments on the article “Battle for the Soul of Occupy”

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There is not going to be a revolution in this country. Dream on. The only way you can change things it to have people in EACH representative district influence the election of the next Representative to the House. It's not a sell out, it's the way our nation works. You are not the 99% and neither is MoveOn, but who will win the hearts and votes of the citizens?? It's going to take one precinct at a time. I am speaking from the Massachusetts bubble and I know that just listening to like minded people will not give you a real picture of or influence what happens across this great country. You don't need 99%, you just have to capture the hearts and minds of 51% of the voters in each district. Can you do that???? If not, all you are going to do by shutting down bridges is annoy commuters and alienate voters you need to win the day.


Sisters and Brothers, this is the same stuff we heard during the Civil Rights movement. It's the same thing that women heard during the struggles of the suffragists. It's the same thing that is heard in every upsurge and movement for social change. "Your only hope is with the Establishment; be realistic--settle for a half a loaf, water down your demands, the time isn't ripe, come back (indefinitely) later..." This is the voice of the status quo, sometimes masquerading in the garb of those who *did* something, stuck their necks out, took the heat, got arrested and beaten for their effort, and too often, worse...

But you hear the same "realistic" voices of those who offer *nothing* in the way of stopping the murder-by-drones, the destruction of basic freedoms, etc. No, you've got to support the very persons who are imprisoning, torturing, rendering, and eventually marking for assassination, those who are inconvenient to the 1%.

The one grain for consideration in the post I'm responding to, is this one: when we do things like close down a bridge, we should *at all times remember we are part of the 99%* and this means considering the real inconvenience we cause to others of the 99%. There can be crucial emergencies (ambulance needs to get through); we must make provision in our plans for such contingencies and not leave them to chance. That is a good and valid point, and let's not be arrogant. It's right to keep faith with the 99% and do whatever it takes to bend with their needs, which ultimately are ours as well.

Apart from that, the zero-contributing apologists for Business As Usual can go stuff it.


yeah, keep voting for the demopublicans/republicrats:

"The so-called ruling class of government officials and elected politicians, to which Feinstein - Democrat and Snowe - Republican clearly belong, is little more than a gaggle of white-collar criminals which facilitates and benefits from the diversion of taxpayer money into private coffers. It all takes on the appearance of legitimacy. Unfortunately, this is not a victimless crime. Like Washington, thousands of students who attend these subprime institutions are left with tens of thousands of dollars of nondischargeable debt which ends up ruining their lives.

There is a vast network of former and current government officials who actively participate in the for-profit college swindle. Some of the conspirators are well known, and include: Mitt Romney, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina), John Kline (R-Minnesota), Alcee Hastings(D-Florida), Trent Lott (R-Mississippi), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Steve Gunderson (R-Wisconsin), Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran, Snowe, Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi (D-California), and John Boehner (R-Ohio). The group also includes Obama administration officials and supporters such as Lanny Davis, Anita Dunn, Hilary Rosen, Anthony Miller and Charles Rose." from

It's a two party swindle, and if you think you can change it by working within the System, either you're ignorant of history or part of the problem. BTW, the reason Obama's past (and his family's past) is so vague and hidden is that he, his mother and grandmother worked for the CIA or CIA front organizations: "Ann Dunham Soetoro and Barack Obama as “flexible cover” agents

Before he was sacked as CIA director in 1976 and replaced by George H. W. Bush, William E. Colby commissioned a study of the agency’s priorities in a five-year plan. The Secret NOFORN plan, titled “Director of Central Intelligence: Perspectives for Intelligence 1976-1981,” described the importance of agencies like USAID in the CIA’s operations. The report states: “Contributions of such agencies as State, Defense, Treasury, USAID, USIA, Agriculture, and Commerce can be enhanced substantially by more effective approaches to information gathering and in the reporting aspects of their activities. We need particularly, gains in the interrelationships between overt and clandestine and technical and human sources. We must establish more direct lines between our human collectors and our technical collectors.”

Classified CIA documents from the late 1970s, while Dunham Soetoro was working for USAID, the CIA-linked Development Alternatives, Inc. and East-West Center of the University of Hawaii, describe in great detail the type of deep agent “flexible cover” under which she worked for the CIA. A Secret paper written by C.D. Edbrook as a basic text for CIA agent training and titled “Principles of Deep Cover,” describes the environment in which Obama’s mother worked in both Indonesia and later, Pakistan.

Edbrook defines “flexible cover” as “a logical reason for interest in diversified local groups” and “mobility.” Dunham Soetoro’s varied employers in Indonesia suggest that her career met the definition of a “flexible agent,” either a non-official cover (NOC) employee of the CIA or a career contract agent. The latter became highly favored in the late 1970s after CIA director Stansfield Turner sacked a number of career clandestine services officers. On career contract agents, Edbrook clearly favored their use in stating: “many of the problems of deep cover are avoided when a service can recruit suitable agents already embarked on legitimate careers.”


You don't get it. Anarchists are working under David Graeber's act-as-if principle, google The Make-Believe World of David Graeber, its a good article and will explain how they can pretend there are hundreds of thousands or millions involved in #Occupy and how they can talk of revolution when its obvious most americans are not interested in revolution or how they can call themselves the 99% when they are too radical for the 99%. Its their "if you build it they will come" axiom working here. You will only waste your time talking about representative government because they are against all government. They're wish is to dismantle government not reform it.




"militant nonviolent direct actions" Sounds like double-speak. How can you be militant and non-violent at the same time?


Easily. Militant non violent tactics have been used extensively and repeatedly for protest and reform.


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