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Gibson writes: "Now imagine if, instead of angrily reacting to the horrible things these corporations and their bought and paid-for congressmen do to us on a daily basis, we started taking radical action that made them angrily react to us on a daily basis. When we go from reacting to acting, our power grows exponentially and all the entrenched powers can do is huddle under a table in fear of the awe-inspiring populist wave crashing upon them."


Less Reaction, More Action

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

11 May 13


love Wisconsin, and the fighting spirit of the people who live here. As Ed Schultz said during a show in Madison, "It's called the Badger State because you fight like hell." But the one thing that's been paralyzing us here in the Deep North more than anything else isn't the cold, but the reactive nature of the left. When Wisconsinites showed up by the hundreds of thousands in spite of the achingly cold weather in the Winter of 2011 to stand up for workers, both Scott Walker and his corporate puppet masters hid in the shadows, terrified of what the people would do in large numbers. Since the unsuccessful recall attempt, the movement, somewhat deflated, has likewise remained in the shadows, terrified of what Walker, a gerrymandered GOP legislature, and the well-heeled corporate power circle running the show will do next.

Occupy Wall Street experienced something similar. At the peak of the movement's power and influence in the Fall of 2011, Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD backed down from a threat to evict the thousands occupying Zuccotti Park for alleged "cleaning." Occupiers took up brooms and mops, cleaned the park themselves, and vowed to clean up the mess on Wall Street rather than leave the space they occupied. Though we had our victory that night, eventually the police would move in during the cover of night, sequester credentialed journalists into an obfuscated corner, and forcibly arrest over 200 nonviolent protesters after rousing them from their sleep. Municipalities soon followed suit all over the country, and the movement lost its central organizing spaces. Since then, we've largely been reacting to politicians, their corporate owners, and their horrific actions with our protests, while they plug their ears and pretend not to hear us.

Now imagine if, instead of angrily reacting to the horrible things these corporations and their bought and paid-for congressmen do to us on a daily basis, we started taking radical action that made them angrily react to us on a daily basis. When we go from reacting to acting, our power grows exponentially and all the entrenched powers can do is huddle under a table in fear of the awe-inspiring populist wave crashing upon them.

Students in NYC are occupying Cooper Union demanding their education remain free. Fast food workers have been on strike in St. Louis, demanding their employers treat them like human beings and pay them a living wage. Students and teachers alike are in the streets of Chicago, protesting the closing of the schools that define their communities and a corrupt mayor who's lying to them. Students in Philadelphia walked out in protest of budget cuts that are cheapening their education. A massive student-led movement spanning over 400 campuses is actively pressuring university administrations to divest their school endowments from the fossil fuel industry, with recent success at the Rhode Island School of Design. And in Madison, Wisconsin, students occupied their chancellor's office demanding the school cut their contract with a food vendor known for willfully abusing its employees.

Activists in Baltimore are celebrating the anniversary of Martin Luther King's Poor People's Campaign by marching all the way to Washington to protest the cruel, intertwined systems of mass incarceration, police brutality and private prisons. The weekend after, a group of long-term unemployed activists are marching 150 miles from Philadelphia all the way to DC to go after the corporate lobbyists and special interests that have taken our government hostage. On May 25, people in over 30 countries are participating in the March Against Monsanto, shining light on the corporation that's poisoned food supplies and bribed politicians to keep quiet about their crimes.

Documentarians like Crystal Zevon of Searching for Occupy and Vicky Bruce and Karin Hayes of We're Not Broke are capturing this powerful movement on camera and sharing it on the big screen. Livestreamers are bringing it to our screens in real-time. Citizen journalists like Dustin Slaughter, Allison Kilkenny, and Steve Horn give us second-by-second updates of our movement's progress on social media. The tacticians of our movement like Citizens for Tax Justice and the Center for Media and Democracy are assembling and distributing new knowledge that enriches our words and provides sustenance for our arguments. Bold and fearless elected officials like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are crafting the policies that will be the bedrock of the new society we dream of and fight for.

The politicians, the corporations and the media they own want us to believe we're all alone, that the movement is dead, that there's no hope, that all we can do is helplessly scream at our screens and buy more crap to make us feel better about the horrible ways of the world. What they desperately don't want is for the fed-up populace to take their anger to the streets and demand radical change.

It's time to make them react to us for a change.

Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

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+40 # curmudgeon 2013-05-11 09:10
Great advice...!!!!!!
Let's do it.

At least one additional ngue in cheek....or not?

Bring your torches and pitchforks and tar and feathers and maybe a rail or two.
+6 # tedrey 2013-05-11 10:02
No, no, curmudgeon. That's the NEXT step . . . if they don't listen this time. (Last time we didn't mean it, obviously.)
+35 # jwb110 2013-05-11 09:23
This was bound to happen. Once a population gets enough wrinkles in their stomaches literally and the equivalent in the psyche, they move forward. Mobilized this population would render the police department toadies useless.
The history of America has been to use the police and military against its own citizens. There are a lot more citizens now then when the Veterans marched on Washington or the steel worker or the garment workers had picket lines. This new movement is about the "Quality of Life" issues that Mayor Guilliani so went on about to rid Manhattan of what he considered people ill fit to fly in the face of the Uber-Rich.
The tables are turned and chickens have come home to roost. Americans are taking back America.
+28 # ladypyrates 2013-05-11 10:00
I couldn't agree more. I had an "old time activist" liken what we've been doing to a bunch of firefighters repeatedly putting out individual forest fires while there's a plane overhead dropping fire bombs whenever they please. We need to neutralize their actions before they affect us rather than wait to undo their next assault.
-23 # Carrol 2013-05-11 10:34
I liked this up to the point where he dragged in Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders. But all they do is give a gloss of legitimacy to the main enemy, the Democratic Party. There will be no substantial action until leftists realize that the alleged lesser evil is actually The More Effective Evil.

The DP is the main bulwark of corporate power. Forget the crazy Republicans and focus on the real enemy, the U.S. state & the Democratic Party.
+4 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-05-11 22:11
Oh, Carrol,,,you are so right and look at all the brain dead Dimocraps who rate your comment down. Don't they know that both of the political parties funded by the wealthy have the exact same agenda? They both work to help the rich get richer and don't give a damn about the working people in this nation---especi ally those of us who lost our jobs as the jobs go to foreign nations who workers get very low wages and no regulations to see that they have a safe place to work. If you buy clothes made in foreign sweat shops you had a hand in killing all those young girls. Hey, loyal you know about the NDAA? Guess not. That is a law the O bomb a passed on New Year's Eve that gives him the right to have anyone killed on just his word. No trial. No evidence needed. Just get picked up by the military, held indefinitely, tortured and killed. All on the say so or our Dictator. Google it...and cry for our nation.
+4 # NAVYVET 2013-05-12 18:32
ALL the current political parties, not just the Big Two, should be retired! Let's start over with a real People's Party, founded on Occupy's principles, which NONE of the current ones live up to. I'd like to make the Democratic Socialists of America--curren tly a learning and teaching group--into a real grassroots party.
+28 # grouchy 2013-05-11 10:49
YES, YES, YES!!!!! And this will eventually happen in some very nasty form (see curmudgeon above) when things get bad enough for us. But we will have to suffer massively leading up to that point--which isn't at all necessary! A vision of "torches, pitchforks with tar and feathers" is thus such a wonderful vision indeed! Let's get on with it before the suffering becomes massive.
+27 # reiverpacific 2013-05-11 10:58
Corporate cowardice has long been been enforced by the now-militarized police -but I've always said, there are more of us than them and their fink-ploiticos need to be reminded of why they were put there and the difference between "meum" and "teum", including the airwaves, education, transportation and public services.
BTW, I'm proud that my daughter was one of those running food and supplies into the occupiers of the Capitol in Madison, Wis' during the mass protests at Walker's anti-union and public works reign of rape.
And for the economic picture, read Prof' Richard Wollf's "Capitalism Hits the fan". He's truly the people's economist and I wish that RSN would feature some his many incisive analysis (which eve I can understand) instead of more or less sticking with Reich and Krugman, excellent though they might be.
This would help to close the circle of people's knowledge about what is being wrought upon them.
Then -to the streets and barricades again!!!
+8 # Majikman 2013-05-11 11:27
Agree completely, rp, on Richard Wolff.
+18 # photonracer 2013-05-11 11:04
We should not let this concept die of loneliness. I have my scythe sharp! I am ready to march on DC, Phoenix, Hartford, Boise or where resistance is most needed. It is put up or shut up time.
+21 # mikehz 2013-05-11 11:30
I'm encouraged by the resurgence of active protests and campaigns. Let's not forget though, that the way we really need to bring about change is with the ballot box! Our current politicians rely on low voter turnout to work their gerrymandered control and to win reelection.

I'd love to see a movement to make voting manditory in the US. It should be of interest to note that Venezuela dictatorial government did many very good things for the people... and Venezuela has manditory voting. And the typical VOTER TURNOUT for elections in recent years has exceeded 80%!!

We need to get the current "bought and paid for" Congressmen and Senators out of office, and the ONLY way that will happen is to VOTE them out.

But don't stop the protests... keep the visibility high... and by all means, let's take action.
+2 # tm7devils 2013-05-12 13:17
That's fine...but remember...firs t we have to make sure that voting is honest and above board, and gerrymandering is outlawed. Only then can we assertain the will of the people.
NEVER FORGET 2000 & 2004!
+1 # James Marcus 2013-05-11 12:18
Yes, 'They' don't want the populace in the streets. AND, I think, the FEMA camps are 'Their Preparation' for just such an eventuality (oh, Don't forget, millions of rounds of ammunition for 'Homeland Security')
+10 # Robert Cohen 2013-05-11 13:01
The most powerful direct action is to strike at the root cause of the legalized corruption caused by money-in-politi cs, by simultaneously filing lawsuits, in multiple District Courts, which challenge the pair of mistaken Supreme Court decisions, Santa Clara (corporate personhood) and Buckley ("money is speech").

Recent developments encourage expectations that Santa Clara and Buckley can be reversed, despite the stare decisis doctrine:
• Chief Justice Roberts voted to preserve Obamneycare, saving the nation from being plunged into health-care chaos. Similarly, in ruling on the proposed lawsuits, one of the five conservative Justices may "pull a Roberts" and save the nation from increasing civil turmoil resulting from the legalized corruption and bribery of our elected leaders.
• Polls indicate that about 80% of the citizenry are disgusted with the obscene amounts of money-in-politi cs, hence there will be widespread public support for these lawsuits as they wend their way to the Supreme Court for consolidation and resolution.
• The ruling by Pennsylvania Judge O'Dell-Seneca dealing with the corporate-perso nhood issue.

Assuming success, then:
• The Citizens United decision will become moot
• The liberated dysfunctional Congress can enact public financing of elections, free airtime for congressional candidates, universal health care, raise essential revenue, and exert world leadership in fighting global warming.

You can contact me at
+2 # BLBreck 2013-05-12 20:58
In PA a town just won a suit brought against them by a gas company and will be allowed to ban fracking.
+5 # Dr Binky 2013-05-11 16:06
The only way we can strike back at corporate greed is to hit them where it hurts--stop buying their products. Get rid of your computers, cell phones, cars, tennis shoes, light bulbs, water heaters, air conditioners, faucets, dinner plates, baseball caps, television sets, towels, etc. Teach them a lesson!
+6 # Kathymoi 2013-05-11 18:19
We can stop buying their products, pretty much. We can shop at locally owned stores instead of big chains, like WalMart. That way we are supporting a person in our neighborhood who owns the store. And we can select what we buy in the store. FAirTrade is a good label to look for. Organic is a good label to look for. In food, certified nongmo or certified organic will keep your money out of Monsanto's pockets. Dr. Binky sounded a bit sarcastic to me, but we can avoid supporting corporate greed. Occupy has a wealth of good advice about this too, from banking and investing to socks and shoes. It's possible. And it is important.
+2 # andyseles 2013-05-12 09:20
Hmmm...what do the Left and Right have in common?

Ans: The are both wings of the same dirty bird.

Time to get behind Move to AmEND Corporate Personhood.

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