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Galindez writes: "Unemployment sits at 9%. So-called 'real unemployment' is much higher. Millions of homes are being foreclosed upon. Students are being buried in a mountain of debt from student loans. And the cost of a college education grows yearly. While most Americans are struggling, those who are thriving were bailed out at taxpayers' expense and profit from the majority's pain. The Occupy movement has skin in the game, they are invested in the outcome. That's why when each Mayor or Police Chief cracks down, they simply fan the flames instead of putting out the fire. In fact, each time they just gather up more fuel to be thrown on the growing fire."

Seattle activist Dorli Rainey, 84, was pepper-sprayed on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. (photo: Joshua Trujillo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Seattle activist Dorli Rainey, 84, was pepper-sprayed on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. (photo: Joshua Trujillo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer)



Fanning the Flames of Revolution

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

17 November 2011


Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns


he day was January 17th, 1991.

About 500 of us marched out of Lafayette Park, peacefully taking to the streets of Washington, DC without a "permit" to do so. By the time we got back to the White House our numbers had swelled to over 2,000. The reason for our "un-permitted" march? The start of the first Gulf War. We'd gathered in front of the White House and began marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, but were met by a row of mounted police. They ordered us to disperse and clear the street. When we refused, police drove us out of the street with their swinging batons.

Fast forward to August of 2001.

Progressive rap band Ozomatli was on an open-air stage in Los Angeles just outside of the Democratic Party Convention. Suddenly, LAPD cut the power to the stage and ordered the crowd to disperse. Just fifteen minutes later a hail of rubber bullets drove the crowd out of the area.

These tactics worked for the police in 1991, and again in 2001. But in 2011 these ham-handed tactics seem destined to fail. Instead of being intimidated, the people are resisting such tactics and, quite to contrary, only seem emboldened by the batons and riot gear. The pepper-spray incident, Brooklyn Bridge arrests, the first Oakland raid and the wounding of war vet Scott Olson are all examples of how this time the crackdowns are fanning the flames of the Occupy movement. In fact, Mayor Bloomberg’s pre-dawn raid of Liberty Plaza will likely re-energize Occupy Wall Street in New York.

"Why," you ask? Why don’t these intimidation tactics work in 2011?

I think it's because this is a movement led by the people, and not a protest guided by "top down" leadership. When the police "crack down" in 2011, they are cracking down on the entire movement. Crack down on one protester and you crack down on all of them--from Portland to Atlanta to NYC. Back in 1991, it was the Campaign for Peace in the Middle East--a coalition of various political groups--calling all the shots. The rank and file marchers supported the cause, but were not as invested in the movement. So, they were easily intimidated.

Movements become uprisings or revolutions when the people become fully invested in the outcome. A march against a war is, for most, an expression of their position on the issue. It is an important act, but it is also easier for the opposition to deal with it. The protesters go home and may not protest again. Or, if they do, there is enough time between protests that the individual doesn’t really become invested in a "movement."

This was readily apparent for military families and vets. They felt a deeper connection. The war directly affected their daily lives. So, for them there was deeper investment in the anti-war movement. But most Americans had no skin in the game. For them it wasn’t worth marching repeatedly against the war, each time facing a baton.

Which brings us to the roots of the Occupy movement. Unemployment sits at 9%. So-called "real unemployment" is much higher. Millions of homes are being foreclosed upon. Students are being buried in a mountain of debt from student loans. And the cost of a college education grows yearly. While most Americans are struggling, those who are thriving were bailed out at taxpayers' expense and profit from the majority's pain.

The Occupy movement has skin in the game, they are invested in the outcome. That’s why when each Mayor or Police Chief cracks down, they simply fan the flames instead of putting out the fire. In fact, each time they just gather up more fuel to be thrown on the growing fire.

In New York, the pepper-spraying of the young girls, followed shortly thereafter by the arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge, solidified the movement. Are we seeing the effect of Tuesday morning's crackdown today as the Occupy movement engages in a "National Day of Action?"

In Oakland, the tear gas and Scott Olson’s near-death led to a general strike which shut down the Port of Oakland. In Berkeley, when students were prevented from setting up camp last week, they called for a student strike, returned to Sproul Plaza even stronger and set up camp late Tuesday night.

Now in Seattle, Dorli Rainey, 84, was pepper-sprayed on Tuesday along with a 19 year-old pregnant woman. With authorities threatening to evict Occupy Seattle from their camp, it would have been wiser for the police not to add fuel to the fire. But it's too late for that. Seattle is primed to be the next hot-spot in the Occupy movement. If Seattle Police move in, they will only be fanning the flames further.

There are hundreds of other encampments around the country, many of which see city officials quietly waiting them out. The encampments we hear about are those where the government chooses to add fuel to the fire.


Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+47 # MidwestTom 2011-11-17 16:21
Wall Street is the visible American target, and the games that WS invented and plays are what has created a derivative market of over 610 Trillion (yes Trillion, not Billion). Those that play in the game can make 100's of billions in a single event. A lot of the players are not U.S. citizens. Many of them could literally write a check for America's debt. My point is that not just WS must be stopped, but the entire world financial system. The destructive games, insured by we taxpayers, have left the world with no choice but to cancel all paper wealth and restart with a gold and silver based system under which we prospered until the Fed started quietly devaluing our currency.
 
 
+33 # Erdajean 2011-11-17 16:50
I fear you are right, Tom -- and what a daunting job it will be. We need a team of the world's smartest and most ethical experts in finance and currency to sort all this out -- and from recent displays of evidence, I don't believe any of them will come from the current "Best of the GOP."
 
 
+20 # Doubter 2011-11-17 20:47
They've cornered all the marbles. How do they expect us to keep on playing?

The Fed! (mostly private bankers) I want an explanation of how "we" can ever pay it back with the same "money" it furnishes while charging interest for it. This is a bald faced Ponzi Scheme guaranteed to keep us in bondage (debt) forever. (and ever)
 
 
+55 # DaveM 2011-11-17 16:32
I look at that picture and cannot believe it was taken in the United States of America.
 
 
+21 # Doubter 2011-11-17 20:55
"You Better Believe It," as a long gone friend used to enunciate.
 
 
0 # Capn Canard 2011-11-19 15:09
DaveM, I heard about a great deal of unrest that was going to bloom in 2011. At the time it seemed so otherworldly. At first I was not convinced it could happen in America but now... Next I am told we need to watch for the food riots in the coming year. This will be interesting because it is all of this so very avoidable. That said you will have to actually make an effort to watch for this because the MSM will not cover it.
 
 
+46 # Carolyn 2011-11-17 16:35
The Seattle police are known all over the world now. That picture is etched in our hearts and minds forever. It is a picture of life in America, for all to see.
All over the world, it is also known, what American policemen do to the Iraq war veterans. the police will live on in American history.
 
 
+12 # X Dane 2011-11-18 02:24
And the idiots should know that they can be in the same position any day? Both police and firmen have been laid off. The police should stand with the people. The one % don't give a damn about them. For the one % they are only a tool, which can be tossed aside, when it is no longer needed.
 
 
+46 # Paul Scott 2011-11-17 16:48
One of the things that I shall most remember from the cops beating, on the OWS activist, is the name of the city mayor and police commissioner; because with me their political career is over; never to be again considered for public trust.
 
 
+37 # pernsey 2011-11-17 17:05
Everytime I look at this picture I see my grandmother, and think how would I feel if this women was her? How sad is this?

Policemen should be ashamed of themselves!

GO OWS!!
 
 
+17 # Bluesguy 2011-11-17 18:17
Quoting pernsey:
Everytime I look at this picture I see my grandmother, and think how would I feel if this women was her? How sad is this?

Policemen should be ashamed of themselves!

GO OWS!!

"Sad" is not the emotion I feel; (of course it is painful and traumatic for her, and gut-wrenching ,too, for us all) these bastards, the police, are going to lose.
My...problem? is that I want them to pay, in a way they can't ignore, a way that will make them not want to do that illegal crap again.
Ditto for the sociopathic gamblers, who continue their completely non-productive ("finance") rampage.
Stay strong, focused, and demand TOTAL restoration of our civil liberties.
Thousands of individual lawsuits in every locale; the Fed's are agin us; we still have each other, yes ?? !!!
maybe there's a way to incorporate those who will do the work for the new OWS Credit Union Infrastructure Enterprise into an Occupation of abandoned/forec losed homes where they're working, perhaps with an option to buy;or, rent rooms only from underwater homeowners.
It's hard to not be bleak dealing with these loathsome creatures; but all of us can contribute, somehow; it's inside most of us; they really aren't motivated like we are, are they ?
 
 
+3 # X Dane 2011-11-18 02:27
No they are not Bluesguy
 
 
+35 # AMLLLLL 2011-11-17 17:22
One of the few tools we have left at our disposal is our vote. Don't skip voting, even at the city level. If the 99ers in the nation all voted, it would be easier to overturn this rotten apple cart.

Saying government is the problem is akin to disowning your kid because they're acting up.

We need to make our government in our own image; we Americans must insist on justice, transparency and eqluality among ourselves as well as the rest of the world.
 
 
+2 # wantrealdemocracy 2011-11-18 09:31
Yes, we must vote but not for the corrupt scoundrels in office now. Our Congress is totally unresponsive to the working people of this nation. We 99% must stop voting for the two headed corporate monster. The Dimocraps and the Repukelicans are ONE AND THE SAME, and they are not on your side.

We need a clean sweep of our Congress and the new Congress's first act must be to convene a Constitutional Convention. It is past time to update and clarify our Constitution and INSIST THAT IT BE HONORED.
 
 
+38 # Vivelevin 2011-11-17 17:42
Our strength in OWS is to remain nonviolent and visible. Also it is important to remember that for every person who attends a protest, there are thousands of people at home or at work who are supporting the movement. They are probably focusing on how they are going to vote, whether they should move their money, etc. OWS is affecting the lives of all Americans and the world is watching. Some of the world must be amazed that our police response to civil disobedience is over the top and as Fascist as anywhere else..no they haven't brought in the tanks or the real bullets but stayed tuned...
 
 
+23 # in deo veritas 2011-11-17 17:43
A great way to help OWS is to BOYCOTT the citiesd with their stormtrooper mentality. Find somewhere else to shop or vacation. Obviously some of these city governments have no hearts or souls, so hit them in the one place that counts-their finances. They will spend a ton of money on their cxrackdowns and sooner or later the citizens will start a taxpayers revolt. Then if the Koches and their fascist comrades want the repression to continue they will be paying for it with their own blood money.The boycott was our most effective weapon against the economic tyranny of the Brits
 
 
+5 # X Dane 2011-11-18 02:42
In deo I agree, and i think people should write mayors in the repressive cities, that they had intended to vacation in said city, but they are now changing their plans. Mention also how much money WOULD have been spent.
If a lot of people will do that,It will really hurt and may make the guys think.
 
 
+8 # mwd870 2011-11-18 09:59
I have emailed the leaders of the House and Senate as well as Mayor Bloomberg and the Mayor of Seattle and will continue. Given the integrity of some of these politicians, I wonder if they just delete the emails they don't like. I'm still going to continue - it's therapeutic.
 
 
+11 # in deo veritas 2011-11-17 17:55
So much is focused on the first amandment that we tend to forget other freedoms in jeopardy. When asked what we were fighting for in WWII. FDR outlined the four basic freedoms. First was freedom of expression. Now we have freedom of REPRESSION by municipal oligarchs. Then there was freedom of worship. The right-wing fanatics who dare to consider their brand of blashemy as the only religion seek to deny that to all others just like1600's Puritans. Thirs was freedom from fear. We have been transformed into a country where we have to fear those who are supposed to "serve and protect". Freedom from want? What a cruel joke. Unemployment much higher than the government will admit. People losing their homes, jobs, and everything else necessary to have a decent stasndard of living while the predators reap record profits. Good god! Is this what we have to show for the millions of lives lost fighting the fascist monsters in WWII? If so than it is tantamount to desecrating the graves of every man or woman who has died to protect this country in past wars and gross disrespect to those currently serving. The four freedoms listed are vital to everything we cherish and more than word on a piece of paper. The oligarchs trashing our country ignore even that. It is more about saving our immortal souls than saving our skins that is at stake.
 
 
0 # Doubter 2011-11-17 21:12
"what we were fighting for in WWII,"
"saving our immortal souls"

Nice sentiments and I agree with most of what you wrote but everyone I shared a foxhole with in WWII was simply "fighting" to stay alive. They might tell their grandchildren otherwise but I don't. I even stopped believing WWII was a "just" war since I've found out how Americans (from the so called 1%) helped finance Hitler. Fortunately my sons would prefer to go to jail than to the Army...

Oh, and I recommend you use a spell check so as to not distract from your worthwhile message.
 
 
+31 # Buddha 2011-11-17 18:08
Did anybody else see the interview of Dorli Rainey on Olbermann last night? What a far out old lady, she's my new hero (along with that Sargeant who berated the NYPD for their brutality against peaceful protestors). But what was very telling what that she apparently was born and raised in pre-and WWII Germany...and it was very poignent how she saw parallels between the corporate media lies and how the Nazi regime lied to the German people on "how the war was going", etc. Guess little is different between Police States, and as these crackdowns are showing, the recent arrests and blocking of media coverage of police crackdowns, we are seeing the Iron Fist behind the smileyface of America.
 
 
+14 # Vivelevin 2011-11-18 01:26
Yes, I saw the interview. I loved her perspective from her years of paying attention to the political climate wherever she goes. I also loved the fact that Keith Olbermann never interrupted her once. He let her talk. He is a truly enlightened man.
 
 
+13 # panamericans 2011-11-17 18:33
The '1%' know why we are angry. They also know demonstrations alone will not make change...regard less how loud we rant and rave.

They know a Third Party is a splinter party and it is business as usual, regardless which of the two major parties wins.

The truth is..

If we don't have a strong Presidential alternative to challenge Obama at the Democratic Convention, we are going to lose big time...and time for many of us is running out.

We need a candidate who can cut through what this government has become.
 
 
+15 # jcdav 2011-11-17 21:49
YES! A Bernie Sanders or Eliz. Warren would be fine, thank you. We need a well intended leader, trouble is JFK was such a man and it got him killed- the REAL powers don't like disobedience or allegence to a cause other than them.
 
 
+6 # epcraig 2011-11-18 00:08
I just know I cannot vote for anybody who is as proud of his nuclear power donors as Obama is.
 
 
+11 # Vivelevin 2011-11-18 01:33
The Republicans have said "no" to everything Obama has ever tried to do. Why? The want him out of office. He started as a "peoples President" and Republicans hate anyone for the people. Furthermore, which party is still racist? Right, the Republican Party...I am sure no current member of the KKK is in the Democratic Party. Give Obama a chance. He has disappointed us but not on every level and much of what he is up against was not his doing. He will be a Lame Duck and therefore he can probably do a lot more and be a lot tougher than he's been in this first term. I will be voting for him because I can't think of anything worse than a Republican President. in 2016, Elizabeth Warren and/or Bernie Sanders are my choices. Let's get her to the Senate first.
 
 
+6 # boudreaux 2011-11-18 11:01
Quoting Vivelevin:
The Republicans have said "no" to everything Obama has ever tried to do. Why? The want him out of office. He started as a "peoples President" and Republicans hate anyone for the people. Furthermore, which party is still racist? Right, the Republican Party...I am sure no current member of the KKK is in the Democratic Party. Give Obama a chance. He has disappointed us but not on every level and much of what he is up against was not his doing. He will be a Lame Duck and therefore he can probably do a lot more and be a lot tougher than he's been in this first term. I will be voting for him because I can't think of anything worse than a Republican President. in 2016, Elizabeth Warren and/or Bernie Sanders are my choices. Let's get her to the Senate first.



Very well said!!!
After we bailed out this country with 800 billions dollars they turned their backs on us and sold us out, then they made an attack on the poor even worse when they went after our homes and refuse to create any jobs for this country. I too will vote for Obama again b/c I know that every republican up there is lying to us again...TAX THE RICH AND NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN...
 
 
+5 # X Dane 2011-11-18 03:24
Panamericans. We should be THINKING about, And start ORGANIZING a third party, but it is too late for the 2012 election.

It takes time for the majority of people to understand what is going on, and we will simply ensure that the republicans win. What a horrible thought.

The OWS should formulate some demands.
which we can push the democrats to adopt. If they do not want to play ball. We can let them know, that they will not get our votes.

In rhe meantime, we should work on third party candidates, and get them ready for 2016.
 
 
+9 # mwd870 2011-11-18 09:38
Quoting X Dane:
Panamericans. We should be THINKING about, And start ORGANIZING a third party, but it is too late for the 2012 election.

In rhe meantime, we should work on third party candidates, and get them ready for 2016.


Both you and Vivelevin express the most realistic strategy for the 2012 elections. Allowing a majority of Americans to assimilate the truths behind the Occupy Movement; getting third-party candidates ready for 2016; and keeping the GOP from winning in 2012. The Obama Administration has made disappointing policy decisions, but I can't think of anything worse than a Republican President either.
 
 
+3 # X Dane 2011-11-18 18:24
mwd870, thank you very much. We really need to keep our heads cool. (and our powder dry) I understand,-- and share the frustration and anger of so many of our citizens and a number of the people commenting here.

However... when you LOOSE your COOL, you LOOSE... PERIOD. We have to WORK at changing things INTELLIGENTLY. I admire Senator Bernie Sanders and Professor Warren.

WE, HERE admire them, ........But in the general population, too many do NOT KNOW THEM, so a Third Party with the two of them on top would FAIL and we would have:

President Romney and ROBERT Bork..the nastiest, most reactionary right wing creep would be choosing the next two Supreme Court Judges.....OH MY GOOD.

Decades of super right wing judges would certainly do a lot to destroy our poor country......Ro e v Wade? ...HISTORY

We must work at finding REAL democrats and help them kick out some of these terrible T baggers, that are so hell bent on destroying us.

PLEASE STAY COOL AND FOCUSED
 
 
+2 # Texas Aggie 2011-11-18 15:31
Third party candidates or primary opponents amount to much the same thing, and the latter has the advantage of requiring fewer resources. If the TP can elect 60 members to Congress (number of members of the house TP caucus) via the republicans, we can do a lot more.
 
 
+5 # Texas Aggie 2011-11-18 15:28
Actually I doubt that the 1% have even a clue as to what the problem is. I just read a report of several interviews with the Masters of the Universe and they feel like they are being unfairly picked on for having successful small businesses. It truly was barf inducing the justifications that they came up with.
 
 
+21 # jwb110 2011-11-17 19:08
The next indicated step is a General Strike and a Tax Payers' Strike. For those of us who cannot lose anything else that is what comes next.
For those struggling to hold onto houses, do you honestly think that the Gov't wants to take the houses that the banks haven't taken already? Both the 1% and the Gov't they think they own are running on your money. They are over a considerably bigger barrel than we are, finally.
While OWS is taking to the streets and the Obama Administration is giving to the 1% every conceivable break and subsidy possible. But they pay for it with the money of the taxes paid by the 99%. STOP PAYING TAXES! We have the streets. NOW TAKE BACK PURSE STRINGS!
As for Lafayette Park , can you be arrested for walking the sidewalks around that park or any park in the US? Can the police arrest 50, 500, 5000, etc. for walking the sidewalks in their own towns, no matter what time of day or night?
We have our cell phones and iPods and all the electrical devices necessary to keep a cohesive unit MOVING thru the streets of the nation that is rightfully ours. Some people will sit in the park and some people will keep on the move and we'll will continue to OCCUPY our Nation and redefine what is the right to peaceful assembly. We all know the story of how hard it is to hit a moving target. Increase the numbers and keep moving!!!
 
 
+20 # DLT888 2011-11-17 19:13
Good points. For the anti-war marches, I could go home afterwards. But for this, this IS our lives. We have no choice. So many of these kids have such college debts with no jobs and their parents lost their home. Where the heck else would they go?? I need my social security and medicare -- so I cannot give up either. Where the heck else would I go? To the street is the only place. We have no choice. We can't continue as things are going so that's why this movement cannot be stopped because the momentum is on our side and only keeps getting stronger each day.
 
 
+23 # DLT888 2011-11-17 19:15
The system is too corrupt right now for a 3rd party candidate to get in. We have to let this ENTIRE system crumble and fall. The voting machines are corrupt, the vote counting is corrupt. The politicians are mostly all corrupt. Nope, there is no fixing this mess. We must let it fall before we can rebuild.
 
 
+15 # frank 2011-11-17 22:07
OK, they got our attention. Good first step. Now, for steps 2 thru 200. The movement has to define objectives, messages, targets and actions.

Much change is made thru legislators. So, like what the Tea Party did, Occupy has to occupy legislator offices at the state and federal levels. They have to have specific demands for change and go beyond the generalities.

They can petition their colleges to put pressure on bad corporations and practices. University endowments control billions in stock. Put pressure on the schools to put pressure on the BAD corporations for reform. Etc.

The movement has to study how to effect change, in detail. And, move on to the next 199 steps.
 
 
+6 # noitall 2011-11-18 12:39
DEMAND AN ETHICAL SUPREME COURT AND DEMAND PUBLICLY FINANCED ELECTIONS then see the change. From there work on getting rid of the career politicians. Those that pass muster, are vetted on the local level should logically become our national leaders.
 
 
+11 # futhark 2011-11-18 06:46
The vaunted "two party system" seems to be accepted by Americans as if were written into the Constitution or, for religious fundamentalists , handed down in the Gospels. It's really just an artifact of the power brokers who have been using it as a tool to maintain a death grip on the American political machine. If you don't like the current set of rascals, vote them out and vote in a replacement set of rascals, all puppets and lackeys of the plutocrats.

The only really clear signal the voters can send to the political establishments is that we are not going to keep being duped by these shenanigans. Re-register with the party that truly reflects your values and positions and support the candidates who do the same. Stop choosing candidates based solely on the letter following their names on the sample ballot.

In my lifetime the so-called Democratic Party has gone from being the party of racism and warmongering to being the party of justice and peace to going back to warmongering and catering to the plutocrats. They are the ultimate shape-shifters. If they can change, well, so can I, so now I am proudly identifying myself with the Greens.
 
 
+7 # fredboy 2011-11-18 09:14
Let's frame and focus clear, most powerful and honest messages and create a wave of change that saves the nation and all of us. If we don't, chaos is coming.
 
 
+6 # noitall 2011-11-18 12:34
This is for ALL OF US here and to come. If we let this fail; if we lose our resolve; we will be lost. This is too big to let fail. They will never let us get this strong again. Have faith, learn, educate, recruit, BE IN THE STREETS. PEACE IS A POWERFUL WEAPON AGAINST THE COWARDLY!!!
 
 
+4 # PaineRad 2011-11-18 18:55
The danger here is that the larger, the important root cause issues get smothered by a police brutality issue. The big issue of the how, why, where and when our economic and political institutions have been stolen by BIG Money is still the primary issue. We must realize that police behavior is just part of that larger issue.

For instance, Bloomberg is not the enemy. He is the enemy's tool.
 

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