I have always thought the Occupy Wall Street was a phony movement
As an anti-capitalist activist in my early twenties, I believe that I was, at the time this was occurring (the anti-capitalist protests of the early 2000's), engaged in a real resistance movement against the capitalist exploitation of the United States and third world countries in Latin America and elsewhere. I had my own college radio show and I attended every protest anyone could conceive of, huge demonstrations in Canada and in the States.
Thousands of people would crowd in the streets and I swear, there was this contagion, of a momentum, of an excitement. Everyone I knew was talking about THIS, and I couldn't understand how someone could ignore THIS and proceed with "normal life". All this crazy stuff was going on, and the world was gonna change! It WAS changing! (Obviously I thought I was living in my generation's version of the sixties, without any drug use on my part).
And I knew THIS was a legitimate movement; I could feel it in my gut, because the movement was being ignored by the mainstream media.
My radio show was a shambles; I was the only person who produced it and I would regularly be up at four the morning of the show printing off articles to read on the show and unfortunately, not allowing enough time for guests to speak their minds and for callers to ask good questions ( yes, I had call-in sessions, but with no one to screen the calls, so I got called an idiot a lot).
But the guests I did have I could get without much problem because they were mostly people that the mainstream media didn't want to interview, didn't want to hear from; they were happy for my meager platform (well, you know; I'm not trying to be presumptuous)
Then 9/11 happened, and I'll tell you this: to this day I believe 9/11 was an inside job. Cui bono? oh yeah. patriot act. justification for foreign wars. insurance scam
It also had a chilling effect on the burgeoning anti-capitalist movement
The movement that my heart was sailing on came to an abrupt halt with the events of September 11th. I remember to this day the meeting convened at the radio station (whose FM frequency happened to be 91.1) and everyone there hushed, a little scared, subdued, unsure, afraid to speak
But the station manager, who was no big activist, bravely and wisely told us that we shouldn't allow the new atmosphere of fear to silence our voices. We should keep on being the voices we were before (well, to those of us who had public affairs shows, which was quite a few of us in those days)
But the damage had already been done, and the anti-capitalist movement, whose ardor had been so strong, fizzled out and disappeared in a cloud of wispy-piss, to be replaced by insipid anti-war movements and their accompanying demonstrations, focusing on one foreign entanglement after another, and not the silver bullet that the anti-capitalist analysis had been.
Many years followed, years of emptiness in my life (and depression), years of little to NO political ardor in my life, until the flames again, seemed to start flickering
seemed to be
and the headline went like this...
I don't rightly recall when I first started hearing about the Occupy Wall Street movement. But I'm pretty sure from that very moment it made me cringe
Made me want to vomit a little
in my throat
An ex-friend (at the time we were friends), who had never been interested in politics before, suddenly became interested in its message, and she seemed empowered by it ( like the lady who works at the tv station in the article above)
But I was like "WHAT IS that 99%"?
And who the fuck cares?
Think about it - what a vague concept
YES WE KNOW
Most of us are not as wealthy as the few of us
I think this situation has always existed, so what new thing are you all saying here?
Oh that's right - NOTHING. Nothing new. Nothing controversial. Nothing out of line.
Of course people are poor. And the rich keep getting richer. Wow
The power of cliche
I have a problem with political movements that are so watered down that the most apolitical among us can get on board
When you are that general, you don't stand for anything
When your message is that broad, your message means nothing
You have to be a little offensive, you have to rock the boat a little
Yes, we know. War is bad. Poverty is bad. Only the most cynical capitalist thinks they are okay.
You have to poke holes through myths and blast flames through lies; you have to find the secret levers and press the buttons and get at the angles and hit some targets! when you really start changing things, you're gonna bump up against individuals and groups who obviously benefit from the status quo. so if this isn't happening, you're kinda just stating the obvious
you're a like a susan g komen of political activism: yes, we know breast cancer exists - are you gonna put any money into actual research?
World capitalism was probably like "hell YEAH! this movement ROCKS! it says nothing at all, but all kinds of people can get on board, and they challenge and question absolutely nothing! we love you occupy movement! Here be your neutered hippie moment! Would you like to be an NGO as well?"
"Hell! We'll even give you a lil' diddy cover article on Yahoo! news!" the bozo news of all newses
The movement I was involved with received hardly any news coverage at all, let alone a cheesy human interest story on two feuding sisters. The reason for the emergence of the Indymedia movement was the total media blackout of coverage of our protests and activities. The numbers in attendance at demonstrations were regularly downplayed and hardly a blurb in most papers at the time. The only impression demonstrations were able to make on the public conscience were those lame beverage commercials where the protesters are parched and thirsty and the cops oblige by assaulting them with water cannons ( and I cannot for the life of me recall for what product that was for).
The media's reaction now is telling - it only talks about things that are useful to it or that are not threatening. That's why it wastes its time on Antifa and white nationalists because they play into a great "divisive" narrative for the country, pitting ordinary people against each other
And as we see, the Occupy movement has been pretty nonthreatening. Nobody even talks about it anymore
Except for Putin
And Putin asks "Yes, where did they go?"
And as Putin implies, the movement contained fifth columnists; the Wikipedia article dedicated to Occupy makes a weak indication that some of its members may have been neoliberal wolves in sheeps clothing, and that the movement failed to mesh with other social justice causes.
But these fifth columnists aren't really anything special and for me, they may or may not have existed, I don't really know, and they're not really the point - the fifth columnists were the ordinary people like my ex-friend who were attracted to a movement that didn't really require them to do much. Or to think much.
I'm not really criticizing the movement for being a scam, or being "controlled opposition"; i'm criticizing it because from its very foundation, it was built to fail
But I don't care, per usual, what other sources say. I say the results speak for themselves.
The last dregs of the Occupy movement I saw in the movie Adult World, when the main character's friend is protesting "wealth disparity" with a generic group of protesters, whose signs say ludicrous, protest-y, things like "imports not exports" and "serve the people"
Coranda Cashew had to write all the articles this time; everyone else is on that wintry Christmas break that extends into the new year