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Battle for the Soul of Occupy

Round #5 - Will MoveOn knock us out?

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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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