Posts Tagged Protest Strategy
Progress, Occupy Wall St. & the Need to Keep this Leaderless and Without Demand
Posted by progressiveideas in Occupy Wall Street on 10/15/2011
I just read that Geithner has proclaimed that “dramatic enforcement actions” will be taken against Wall St. wrongdoing. Although I’m in the ‘believe it when I see it’ camp, it is certainly progress to have a top administration official even threatening to take an action that the 99% would love to see.
In the last couple of weeks, the constant chant from the mainstream media has been “what are their demands?” The fact that without demands, the administration is moving toward a more just position simply reinforces the notion that we don’t really need demands. Our demands are voluminous, too prolific, too robust to state in a simple list; we want social and economic justice. Creating a list of demands would hem the movement in, make it containable and do more to harm the it than all the police in New–York, Boston and Denver combined.
By keeping the demands of the movement general it allows more people to feel comfortable with the message. The message, we are the 99%, means we are the people, we are united, and we’re fed up with our unjust and unfair system. It also provides no help to policy makers who then must flail about for answers to our call for a more just and equitable system. If they end up arresting banksters, fantastic. We didn’t have to demand that. If they believe that maybe we want to see increased financial regulation that will actually work and go about implementing that, excellent, we didn’t have to demand that either. Maybe they’ll think, gee, this movement really wants us to tax the wealthy more and they’ll raise the top tax rates. Again, we won’t have to specify what will appease us.
This is the truly interesting and beautiful part of this movement, the fact that it is leaderless and lacks any specific set of proposed demands. This allows the utmost in flexibility and in the innate inability for a decapitation. We’ve seen movements in the past that were halted by the assassination of their charismatic leader. Not having a leader is a great solution to this. It also prevents us from being pinned to something one person says or feels that may not be representative of the vast majority of us. The same goes for having no written demands. If demands were created, they would inevitably alienate a segment of the movement or supporters thereof. While this may sound counter productive to many who have worked on social and economic justice causes in the past, allowing the vast majority to claim allegiance to the 99% can only further the cause.
Keeping the pressure on while not enunciating the specific solutions we want keeps the movement from fracturing and forces the policy makers to attempt anything and everything to make us happy. We should use this to our best advantage by keeping it going and growing. Maybe they’ll decide we want medicare for all, maybe they’ll decide we want strong global warming/environmental legislation, maybe they’ll decide we want full equality for LGBT citizens, maybe they’ll decide we want comprehensive immigration reform, maybe they’ll decide we want a new WPA/CCC/TVA/etc., maybe they’ll decide we want a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood, “maybe they’ll settle for publicly funded elections?, an increase in the minimum wage??, lowering the social security retirement age while removing the cap??? No? Perhaps they want us to break up the monopolies??!?, or some vague notion of “liberty and justice for all”!!!?!?!!!. What the hell do you people want anyway?!??!?!?!”
Maddening? Crazy like a fox.
Lets keep ’em guessing and keep ’em relenting on issue after issue.
Cross posted on Dailykos