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Intro: "America's politicians, it seems, have had their fill of democracy. Across the country, police, acting under orders from local officials, are breaking up protest encampments set up by supporters of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement - sometimes with shocking and utterly gratuitous violence."

Naomi Wolf was recently arrested while obeying the terms of a permit and standing peacefully on a street in lower Manhattan, and questions police brutality against Occupy protesters. (photo: Adrian Kinloch/flickr)
Naomi Wolf was recently arrested while obeying the terms of a permit and standing peacefully on a street in lower Manhattan, and questions police brutality against Occupy protesters. (photo: Adrian Kinloch/flickr)



The People Versus the Police

By Naomi Wolf, Project Syndicate

02 November 11

 

Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns

 

Corporate bosses worry that citizens will reclaim their rights during Occupy protests, says an arrested activist.

merica's politicians, it seems, have had their fill of democracy. Across the country, police, acting under orders from local officials, are breaking up protest encampments set up by supporters of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement - sometimes with shocking and utterly gratuitous violence.

In the worst incident so far, hundreds of police, dressed in riot gear, surrounded Occupy Oakland's encampment and fired rubber bullets (which can be fatal), flash grenades and tear-gas canisters - with some officers taking aim directly at demonstrators. The Occupy Oakland Twitter feed read like a report from Cairo's Tahrir Square: "they are surrounding us"; "hundreds and hundreds of police"; "there are armored vehicles and Hummers." There were 170 arrests.

My own recent arrest, while obeying the terms of a permit and standing peacefully on a street in lower Manhattan, brought the reality of this crackdown close to home. America is waking up to what was built while it slept: Private companies have hired away its police (JPMorgan Chase gave $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation); the federal Department of Homeland Security has given small municipal police forces military-grade weapons systems; citizens' rights to freedom of speech and assembly have been stealthily undermined by opaque permit requirements.

Suddenly, the United States looks like the rest of the furious, protesting, not-completely-free world. Indeed, most commentators have not fully grasped that a world war is occurring. But it is unlike any previous war in human history: for the first time, people around the world are not identifying and organising themselves along national or religious lines, but rather in terms of a global consciousness and demands for a peaceful life, a sustainable future, economic justice and basic democracy. Their enemy is a global "corporatocracy" that has purchased governments and legislatures, created its own armed enforcers, engaged in systemic economic fraud, and plundered treasuries and ecosystems.

Around the world, peaceful protesters are being demonised for being disruptive. But democracy is disruptive. Martin Luther King, Jr argued that peaceful disruption of "business as usual" is healthy, because it exposes buried injustice, which can then be addressed. Protesters ideally should dedicate themselves to disciplined, nonviolent disruption in this spirit - especially disruption of traffic. This serves to keep provocateurs at bay, while highlighting the unjust militarisation of the police response.

Moreover, protest movements do not succeed in hours or days; they typically involve sitting down or "occupying" areas for the long hauls. That is one reason why protesters should raise their own money and hire their own lawyers. The corporatocracy is terrified that citizens will reclaim the rule of law. In every country, protesters should field an army of attorneys.

Protesters should also make their own media, rather than relying on mainstream outlets to cover them. They should blog, tweet, write editorials and press releases, as well as log and document cases of police abuse (and the abusers).

There are, unfortunately, many documented cases of violent provocateurs infiltrating demonstrations in places like Toronto, Pittsburgh, London and Athens - people whom one Greek described to me as "known unknowns." Provocateurs, too, need to be photographed and logged, which is why it is important not to cover one's face while protesting.

Protesters in democracies should create email lists locally, combine the lists nationally and start registering voters. They should tell their representatives how many voters they have registered in each district - and they should organise to oust politicians who are brutal or repressive. And they should support those - as in Albany, New York, for instance, where police and the local prosecutor refused to crack down on protesters - who respect the rights to free speech and assembly.

Many protesters insist in remaining leaderless, which is a mistake. A leader does not have to sit atop a hierarchy: A leader can be a simple representative. Protesters should elect representatives for a finite "term", just like in any democracy, and train them to talk to the press and to negotiate with politicians.

Protests should model the kind of civil society that their participants want to create. In lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, for example, there is a library and a kitchen; food is donated; kids are invited to sleep over; and teach-ins are organised. Musicians should bring instruments, and the atmosphere should be joyful and positive. Protesters should clean up after themselves. The idea is to build a new city within the corrupt city, and to show that it reflects the majority of society, not a marginal, destructive fringe.

After all, what is most profound about these protest movements is not their demands, but rather the nascent infrastructure of a common humanity. For decades, citizens have been told to keep their heads down - whether in a consumerist fantasy world or in poverty and drudgery - and leave leadership to the elites. Protest is transformative precisely because people emerge, encounter one another face-to-face, and, in re-learning the habits of freedom, build new institutions, relationships and organisations.

None of that cannot happen in an atmosphere of political and police violence against peaceful democratic protesters. As Bertolt Brecht famously asked, following the East German Communists' brutal crackdown on protesting workers in June 1953, "Would it not be easier ... for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?" Across the United States, and in too many other countries, supposedly democratic leaders seem to be taking Brecht's ironic question all too seriously.

Naomi Wolf is a political activist and social critic whose most recent book is "Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries." A version of this article previously appeared on Project Syndicate.

 

Comments   

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+88 # Barbara K 2011-11-02 12:38
There is something so diabolical about our police, who are sworn to protect us, would attack us, the citizens of this country. Not criminals, just people peacefully trying to call attention to wrongs and trying to get action to fix the wrongs. We know that the Koch Bastards have paid people to go in and stir up trouble, they already did that in Wisconsin early this year.

NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN !!
 
 
+64 # Doubter 2011-11-02 13:56
They are not "police" any more. They are now "STORM TROOPERS."
 
 
+29 # Michael_K 2011-11-02 14:57
Quoting Doubter:
They are not "police" any more. They are now "STORM TROOPERS."


No, this goes back further in our history. They are Pinkertons.
 
 
+10 # rradiof 2011-11-02 15:22
Hot Town! Pigs are in the Street! But, the Streets Belong to the People! Dig It!
 
 
+40 # Doubter 2011-11-02 14:00
We are now plagued by Storm Troopers instead of Police and Department of Offense instead if Defense.
Let's call them by their right names!
 
 
+5 # in deo veritas 2011-11-02 16:35
And the Pentagon is now the Pentagram!
 
 
+57 # MainStreetMentor 2011-11-02 12:39
In NYC at least, (perhaps more American cities), it appears that the NYPD is at the beck and call (and payment) of the corporatocracy. But ... as in the union gathering conflicts of the 1920s and 30s, the same was true, i.e., if there was a gathering not to the liking of the corporate elite - just pay the police to perform the "up-close-and-p ersonal" miscreatn actions of the elitist malfeasant dictates.
 
 
+2 # Michael_K 2011-11-03 14:16
This history, that is repeating itself, is why I refer to today's NYPD as the New York Pinkerton Delinquents
 
 
+47 # fredboy 2011-11-02 13:36
Doesn't have to be this way. Occupiers, be sure all are civil and kind. And mean it. Cops, chill--when you lose it, everyone loses confidence in you.
 
 
+42 # Andrew Hansen 2011-11-02 13:43
Ms. Wolf,
Thanks much for writing this piece and moreso for your action standing up through your recent arrest. It is important to the Occupy movement.
 
 
+32 # Raging Granny 2011-11-02 13:47
This headline should read, "The People vs. Conservative Politicians". There are no doubt rotten officers, but they can only do their rottenness when encouraged by the politicians in their city/county.
 
 
+6 # Cassandra2012 2011-11-02 20:14
Quoting Raging Granny:
This headline should read, "The People vs. Conservative Politicians". There are no doubt rotten officers, but they can only do their rottenness when encouraged by the politicians in their city/county.


Call these thugs by their correct name —
These are not "conservatives" at all --- afer all, what are they 'conserving'? What these are, are right wing radical extremists ready to tear out our once-democracy by its 'roots' [that's what RADical means.]
 
 
+38 # William Bjornson 2011-11-02 13:59
It might be clever of all of us to begin asking our local enforcement agencies to sign sworn oaths that they will never allow deadly force to be used against their fellow Americans, no matter the circumstances (presumably outside of day to day ops where deadly force against the drugged and mentally ill is a daily occurrance). That they currently have no such inhibitions is undeniable. Again, even if you cannot imagine yourself in a crowd of angry people, your children, your friends, maybe your parents, will find themselves facing police guns sometime in our not too distant future. Electing people as, say, sheriff, should require an oath by them against allowing mass violence aimed at American citizens. This will be a priceless gift to your children and to your country. Talk to any military reserve members you know about this (e.g. Kent State). Start now. Let these people know they live in a community that does not want its own members murdered by the hired help at the orders of the rich and, if such occurs, it will be redressed in most appropriate ways and not necessarily just against the immediate official perps but their own families as well. They must choose sides: The parasite or the People.
 
 
+32 # Michael_K 2011-11-02 15:00
They already swear an oath to the US Constitution first, then to their State Constitution. Neither Constitution allows this sort of behaviour against the citizenry, and specifically forbids it when said citizenry is exercising protected speech. Bloomberg and Kelly are already guilty of violating their oaths and the rights of the citizens they are supposed to serve.
 
 
+7 # spercepolnes 2011-11-02 19:44
and as such, have forfeited the mandate of the people they claim they have......
 
 
+53 # Tee 2011-11-02 14:15
What a difference in how occupy wall street is treated and how the tea party was treated.

Imagine if occupy wall street started carrying side arms and spitting on politicians.

The double standards in treatment screams at you. Could it be that the tea party posed little threat to the oligarchs who control our politicians?
 
 
+14 # Jorge 2011-11-02 20:39
The Tea Party dupes/chumps are funded by the Koch brothers and organized/coord inated by ultra-conservat ive Repugs like Dick Armey. Yes, the OWS folks need an unbiased media. I was at the Oakland Occupy protest today and the AP story said 3,000 people attended and we estimated up to 20,000 or 30,000 people (an Oakland City Council member said she was told there were 20,000 people for the downtown Oakland Occupy protest). Oakland Police last Tuesday looked more like soldiers fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan than "Peace" Officers protecting the public.
 
 
+31 # arizona kid 2011-11-02 14:49
Most police departments for many years now have been trained at what are nothing more than paramilitary academies. They are taught that everyone is suspect and whatever force is necessary is acceptable.
 
 
+19 # iggypops 2011-11-02 15:00
when the police break the law, there isn't any law. it's just a fight for survival.
- billy jack
 
 
+35 # Ryguy913 2011-11-02 15:07
Police in the capitol city of Albany, NY have refused to arrest OWS protestors.

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/10/26/police-defy-orders-to-arrest-occupyalbany-protesters/

Awesome!
 
 
+24 # Kneebiter1 2011-11-02 16:35
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"- JFK 1962
 
 
+13 # in deo veritas 2011-11-02 16:41
God bless 'em! They are the real police who do serve and protect! Rest of the police forces-follow their example or take off the badge.
 
 
+9 # disgusted American 2011-11-02 15:09
All of you above:

Obama & Co. is behind the police repression. Wake up those who think Democrats are innocent bystanders. They eat at the same trough as Republicans, and they are also 100 percent responsible for turning this country into a Banana Republic.

I guess it's easier for you to blame the Koch brothers or the Repukes, but it would be better if you would educate yourselves regarding Obama and the Dems.

And, no, I'm not a right-wing plant. I'm one of the 99 percent. However, I no longer support Democrats b/c I have seen who they are.

Most cops are thugs, but not all. Ever notice that the worst-behaved kids in your high school class became cops?
 
 
-5 # badbenski 2011-11-02 17:49
Quoting disgusted American:
All of you above:

Obama & Co. is behind the police repression. Wake up those who think Democrats are innocent bystanders. They eat at the same trough as Republicans, and they are also 100 percent responsible for turning this country into a Banana Republic.

I guess it's easier for you to blame the Koch brothers or the Repukes, but it would be better if you would educate yourselves regarding Obama and the Dems.

And, no, I'm not a right-wing plant. I'm one of the 99 percent. However, I no longer support Democrats b/c I have seen who they are.

Most cops are thugs, but not all. Ever notice that the worst-behaved kids in your high school class became cops?


History supports your assertion. We all know about right wing death squads (South America), Hitler, Mussalini and their ilk. However, if you want to talk about serious body counts resulting from state violence you have to look to the left; Stalin, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao, et al.

The Air Force Qualifying Exam (Circa the 1960's) was the hardest test I've ever taken (and passed). The Air Force used it to help calculate your military career path. Those who did not excel in any of the four major categories usually ended up as Air Police. When I was younger I didn't understand the implications of this fact but now I do.
 
 
+7 # Ken Hall 2011-11-02 21:01
The US gov't, within my lifetime (baby boomer) has been responsible, either directly or through it's proxy armies and proprietary puppets, for the deaths of something like 20 million people. That's a conservative estimate, it's been years since I bothered to itemize and add up.
 
 
+18 # William Bjornson 2011-11-02 18:31
Nice that you've caught up to some of the political realities facing our children today. Professional politicians are mercenaries and have always been so. Because you fall for one lie over another, it is not the politician's fault. It is yours.

With that said, the 'democrats' seem to still have a few more people of conscience on their rolls than the 'republicans' do, and, projecting the (slightly) more intelligent image, they must do a bit more to maintain their perceived front. The republicans have it easier, limiting themselves mostly to the lower end of human capacity, they can invent the most imaginative and fanciful lies and their constituency laps it all right up. The basic lesson here, though, is that when something does not meet one's expectations, it is one's expectations that are inevitably wrong.

Don't blame BHO. His life is way more at risk from the elite than yours is. The Kennedys found that out the hard way. There is also a tidal wave of subtle anti-obama propaganda extant as well, so there is much to the question that needs to be grokked before final condemnations are handed out. The one sure thing is that the elite will only continue to get worse in their thievery and murder, will cause the government to become much more repressive to protect them, and need to be removed right down to the top reaches of the sycophant level.
 
 
+24 # Texas Aggie 2011-11-02 15:19
And the Oakland police are whining that people consider them the "bad guys." They can't figure it out. They were just following the mayor's orders.

But when you look behind the scene it turns out that the mayor didn't tell them to mount a violent assault. That was something they did by themselves. The cop mentality is such that it never occurred to them that something other than beating up on people would be more productive. If the problem was where the protestors were camped, they could have arranged for another place. If the problem was permits, they could have issued permits. If the problem was garbage or sanitation, they could have brought in a dumpster and portopotties. The latter would certainly have cost fewer taxpayer dollars than paying a bunch of sadists to mount an attack. But doing things peacefully wouldn't have satisfied their urges, so they never even considered working on the problem. This has become too typical of police mentality in all parts of the nation. Minneapolis, Denver, NY, Boston, Miami, Atlanta, and numerous others have been sites of police brutality during the last fifteen years.
 
 
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-02 20:11
Mayor supposedly on news today says she supports the OWS Movement..speak ing with split tongue like Bloomberg?
 
 
+18 # 666 2011-11-02 15:30
Re-reading the author's "10 steps to fascism", the replies to Chomsky's denial of future fascism and other material across RSN (e.g. DHS security buildups across the US), my attention was also drawn to a message from my employer... Today was the first EVER national test of the Emergency Alert System on all channels of all media...

In the immortal words of 1984:
"’Smith!’ screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. ’6079 Smith W.!
Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying.
Lower, please! That’s better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad,
and watch me.’"

Yea though I walk through the valley of hope, I fear the omnipresent shadow of evil; thy guns and thy spy networks frighten me; thou preparest a cell before me....
 
 
+3 # futhark 2011-11-02 16:51
Yes, I heard that alert today, on classical music station KDFC, of all places!
 
 
+11 # Kneebiter1 2011-11-02 16:07
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." -- John F Kennedy, 1962 as reported in my old copy of Life magazine.
 
 
+11 # Rara Avis 2011-11-02 16:12
The people who run this world (the G20 meets within the week) cannot tolerate any organized opposition to what they do. Coporate power and political power have competly merged and in the United States we have all the law in our Constitution and Bill of Rights but when push literally comes to shove on the right to free expression and peacably assemble for redress from government the police are used to enforce control. We cannot let them do it. Non-violence must be seen as being hit by violent reaction to peaceful protest under the law. The rest of the folks around the country are beginning to get it.
 
 
+9 # Cassandra2012 2011-11-02 20:18
Quoting Rara Avis:
The people who run this world (the G20 meets within the week) cannot tolerate any organized opposition to what they do. Coporate power and political power have competly merged and in the United States we have all the law in our Constitution and Bill of Rights but when push literally comes to shove on the right to free expression and peacably assemble for redress from government the police are used to enforce control. We cannot let them do it. Non-violence must be seen as being hit by violent reaction to peaceful protest under the law. The rest of the folks around the country are beginning to get it.


"Fascism should rather be called corporatism, as it is the merging of government and corporate power." --Benito Mussolini
 
 
+17 # treehugger 2011-11-02 16:21
Naomi Wolf thank you for such an intelligent, well written expose. Homeland security has always represented a threat to U.S. Citizens. Living behind the Iron Curtain for several years, I witnessed the gargantuan riot-control apparati controlled by the police. Patriot Act monies are being used to strengthen our police departments against our patriots here at home. How bout those drones in Texas? We need stronger neighborhoods and weaker police forces.
 
 
+9 # futhark 2011-11-02 16:50
Police are justifiably employed to protect people and property from injury or damage. If they are not protecting the public safety, but rather jeopardizing it, they are guilty of criminal misconduct and should face penalties and sanctions appropriate to their offenses.

Because the police are often armed with instruments of lethal violence and authorized to exercise considerable force when it is deemed appropriate, they need special training for delicate situations in which the rights of citizens are not infringed by their actions.
 
 
+7 # iggypops 2011-11-02 17:28
i'd like to suggest it's time to start going into the cozy hamlets where the 1% live for small-scale, short-duration occupations. not to intimidate so much as to bring it all home to folks just a bit more. it's one thing to stand in front of the bldg a person works in; it's a whole 'nother thing to have a presence at the gate of his country club or downtown where she shops for her jimmy choos. i'm in fairfield county, ct & towns like new canaan, greenwich, darien, westport & southport all come to mind.
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2011-11-02 18:40
Read "The Nightmare Years" and/or "Berlin Diary" by William L. Shirer for a pretty compelling comparison to the lead-up and beginning of the Third Reich. It's almost scary in it's relativity to this stuff.
And think of the ensuing annihilation or irreparable damage to so many people, places and everything related to them in the name of "victory". They will fall, like all Empires, but they'll take so much down with them.
All I can suggest is that, as well as resistance, try to find something to have a good belly-laugh at every day as often as you can (and I know it's hard sometimes when all seems to be crumbling around you, no job, no prospects, home lost, poverty staring you in the face). It is so healing.
Take note of who you elect in future and learn to penetrate the shallow slogans and jingoism which seems to have replaced dialogue and taken reason prisoner.
 
 
+4 # Bill Clements 2011-11-02 19:44
"After all, what is most profound about these protest movements is not their demands, but rather the nascent infrastructure of a common humanity. For decades, citizens have been told to keep their heads down - whether in a consumerist fantasy world or in poverty and drudgery - and leave leadership to the elites. Protest is transformative precisely because people emerge, encounter one another face-to-face, and, in re-learning the habits of freedom, build new institutions, relationships and organizations."

An excellent point that I haven't heard anyone else to date make! This is how real change happens. Our electoral choices seem designed to thwart the possibility of real change. Look at how completely hamstrung and pathetic (not to mention corrupt) our two party system is these days. It says a lot when one lone figure like Elizabeth Warren emerges and chooses to enter the fray for the sake of the people (and not the corporations, the banks, etc.). We need to find more like her to run for office.
 
 
+6 # m... 2011-11-02 19:53
30 years of pursuing one obsessive CORPORATE CONservative TALKING-POINT became the umbrella under which America was transformed from Republic to Corporatacracy and the wealth and power of 'WE THE PEOPLE' was systematically transferred from 99% of AMERICANS to the 1% Global Corporate Wealthy Class.
That ''TALK-TALK'--- > 'SMALLER GOVERNMENT'
According to CONservatives, We The People ALWAYS need SMALLER GOVERNMENT.
Why is this such an accepted 'CONcept'?
LOOK AROUND. What has the obsessive pursuit of LESS Government (of the People) through LESS REGULATION (of the The Corporate Class) and LESS TAXATION (of the Global Corporate Wealthy Class), as well as the Relentless CORPORATE CONTRACTING OF ALMOST ALL FUNCTIONS of GOVERNMENT into a millions bits and useless pieces while treating 99% of American Taxpayers as Corporate Cash Cows to milk for all we're worth actually brought to America?
We suffer chronic Starvation of Government through less Taxation of the Wealthy Class. Relentless Deregulation Schemes rendered OUR Government impotent and led to the fact that almost all media in America is now owned and exploited by just a very few Global Corporations.
Where do the loyalties of a Corporate Contracted 'Government' employee lie?
MAYBE NOW THE GREAT HOODWINKING IS FINALLY EXPOSED FOR WHAT ITS BEEN ALL ALONG-- A BIG CORPORATE CONSERVATIVE CON JOB.
 
 
+6 # Ken Hall 2011-11-02 21:27
You're quite right, corporations want smaller gov'ts that they can easily control and manipulate, and they spend a lot of money on PR that spreads their propaganda. RR started the current conservative assault on gov't, and look where it's gotten us! The results are in, defend them if you can, conservatives! In my youth DDT was banned by gov't action, a law which probably saved many birds from extinction. Does anyone believe that such a ban could happen in our current corporate-contr olled= weakened-gov't political milieu? We need a strong federal gov't, one that is able to stand up to and regulate corporations, one that is responsive to the will of We The People. "Smaller gov't" has not worked!
 
 
+1 # Michael_K 2011-11-08 07:33
The size of the Government hardly seems to affect their ability to control it. It's bought and paid for.
 
 
+6 # Bill Clements 2011-11-03 06:35
Excellently put. Lets hope many, many more wake up to this conservative con job. True believers (those who believe in small or no government) are unlikely going to wake up and that's just the way it is.
 
 
+6 # KittatinyHawk 2011-11-02 20:21
I had to laugh at the NY now listening to whomever, esp Bloomberg says their business are failing due to barricades...as OWS member said, we put up no barricades. With the tourists coming to see the OWS, the phone in food, if a business is doing poor it must have been doing so before hand. Do not blame oWS, slob. Then some TP/GOP are interviewed says the barricades limit the ease of walking...yeah so tell Bloomberg.

Barricades are now coming down...Tourists are coming to see and support.

Fact, due to Agency that is supposed to give Passes to Tourists to come into USA for tourism..they because the do not hire more workers have turned away millions of Tourists. This is costing us betweem $3500 to $10,000 a couple.
From Diane Sawyer Program that alone would create over 1.5 million jobs in America. Yearly. So tell me just how stupid we are being played.
Agency says they have to do better screening due to terrorists so Visas are back logged.

I WANT TO KNOW...WHERE ARE THESE TERRORISTS? NY, NJ THRU NEW ENGLAND ARE POWERED OFF AGAIN...WHY IS THIS NOT NOTICED? Politicians are the Terrorists, Pentagon are the Terrorists, Corporations are the Terrorists. There are Terrorists, however, they do not seem bright enough to take advantage of the past 11 years of disasters and not once did they destroy us...why not?
 
 
+2 # Michael_K 2011-11-08 07:36
Few people know who mini-mayor Bloomberg really is, but his arrogant irritation is causing him to let the mask slip. He's revealing that, instead of the "compassionate and reasonable conservative" he wishes to project, he's really a miniature Mussolini minus the cunning.
 
 
+8 # redjelly39 2011-11-02 21:00
I love this piece Naomi but I am taken back a bit by some of the readers comments. When we start mentioning Democrats / Republicans we risk creating a split amongst ourselves which is exactly what the 1% want. Divide & Conquer. We need to keep this as "We the People" and whatever our political affiliations are dont matter when it has been proven that both sides of our elected officials are guilty. And by staying united we will be able to draw that line in the sand for upcoming elections that will put all politicians on the hot seat as they are either for "We the People" or against us. The ones that have been there and proven their loyalties to the 1% are already endangered and we will all be looking at others more strenuously when running in the future.
BTW: The Patriot Act basically squashes our Bill of Rights so this is another thing we must recover...
Lets keep it positive & moving forward & most of all lets stay - UNITED... 99%
 
 
+1 # Michael_K 2011-11-08 07:37
United, sure, but this probably requires a new party.
 
 
-14 # Robt Eagle 2011-11-03 04:35
Anyone give any thought to the businesses losing customers in the area where OWS set up? Or the folks living in the areas listening to drums all night long? Or the sanitary conditions and illegal and dangerous use of heating equipment as the temperature goes down? Or the Police being threatened as you all have done above this post? Possible that the Obama Administration and left wing sponsors are trying to show why government is a better way to go then capitalism, and why OWS is just a method to get the uninformed involved in giving government more reason to control the populous? Kind of reverse action?
 
 
+6 # m... 2011-11-03 08:47
You're Suggesting that GOVERNMENT and CAPITALISM are mutually exclusive of each other?
I believe in Capitalism as well as a balanced Government that is a big as it needs to be in order to serve and protect the American People. Too little Government oversight of the Financial Markets like we have now is thee absolute direct cause of the current economic disaster dragging the entire world economy over a cliff.
Government cannot be run according to some sort of Business Model as CONservatives would have you believe.
Regulation, Taxation And Tax Structuring and Judicial Sanction together IS the Power of WE THE PEOPLE expressed in the real world. It is NOT some sort of Evil Expression as Corporate CONservatives would have you believe.
We have just gone down a 30 year long road where we have dismantled a government system which was once the envy of the world and which provided the pathway for the creation of the largest, wealthiest Middle Class in Human history.
Government always need finessing, updating, refurbishing, even some restructuring. BUT WE HAVE OPTED TO TEAR OURS APART PIECE BY PIECE BECAUSE OF UNRELENTING, SNOWBALLING CORPORATE WANT AND GREED.
AND TO WHAT END? Look around. Only a FEW became Wealthy. ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE HAS A LOWER, MORE STRESSED OUT STANDARD OF LIVING WHILE WORKING HARDER TO MAKE ENDS MEET.
 
 
+1 # Michael_K 2011-11-08 07:39
I've only seen a very few air-heads condemning Capitalism as a whole... Most people are demanding a Regulated Capitalism, which, if present laws were honestly enforced, would function quite well. For instance, if a Madoff is rightly sent to prison for 100 years, why isn't Blankfein sent to prison for 500 years? Riddle me that!
 
 
+6 # Pufferly 2011-11-03 05:09
Disgusted is right: The Democrats are just the Wimp Wing of the Rethugnicon Party. And yes, the police have become Storm Troopers and double dippers. I voted for Nader, believing Obama would morph into Bush III. Rest my case.
 
 
0 # Granny S. 2011-11-23 08:20
The Occupiers need at least one spokesman who can get the message out clearly and consistently. They need to stop camping out which has successfully given the authorities a bogus issue to focus on, attack the protesters and trivialize the importance of this crisis. Filling the streets every day...peacefull y, policing the trouble makers internally, will move things forward.Think Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Ceasar Chavez. They succeeded against great odds because they didn't allow the movement to be manipulated by such as Bloomberg and the Koch brothers. The Oppupiers must change direction...rec ognize friend from foe. It's ridiculous to turn on people like Michael Moore. They need to get their heads on straight and remember why they are out there. Take down the tents. Stop alienating the general public. Stop scaring those who want to help. Make a short, concise statement that all can understand. We need to win this one. We probably won't get another chance. Read Matt Taibbi. Read M.L.K. Don't be misled by troublemakers. Tents don't cut it. Information does. Go home at night. Come back the next morning and the next. There has been enough harm done to enough people that if communicated properly, we can't lose. The issue isn't tenting but fairness to all Americans. See you at the next meeting.
 

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