As I have been following the development of the Occupy movement, I've experienced much internal struggle in terms of what it means to support it, to support its intent, to support those physically protesting and physically present at any global march/rally, to support its tactics, to support its claims...to support. I am therefore writing this brief statement not as an absolute position on the matter, but more as an invitation for dialogue regarding reasons for such inner struggle, and an invitation to discuss alternatives to the current Occupying "tactics" (for lack of a better word).
When I first heard of the Occupy Wall Street movement around the second half of September 2011, I was excited to learn that there was this "enough is enough" vibe brewing in NYC which seemed to have the potential to grow into a massive protest against the inequities of wealth which are extremely obvious to most of those who are now labeled the 99%. Then, very rapidly, the news of Occupy movement events throughout the United States and other nations began to reach me in a massive way, which made me feel that this was not a small event or a march or a rally, but perhaps the beginning of a global revolution which is certainly necessary. And this may in fact be just that, a necessary revolution.
Now, being from South America and having been born and raised there in the 70's, I am not new to massive protests, to tear gas, to inequities of wealth, to corrupt law enforcement, to laws that benefit the 1% who control everything; therefore there was nothing that shocked me about the response from police throughout global cities in regards to this movent...nothing that scared me or that I did not expect (as I'm sure many people who were raised elsewhere have felt). I remember clearly being a young boy and waiting for my teenage brothers to come home for a protes, from which they would eventually show up with a broken arm or nose, with red-shut eyes from tear gas, and wet from high pressure hoses used on them by mini armored tanks.
These were common events growing up, and events which continue to this day. Not too long ago, a huge portion of the my country's capital, Quito, took to the streets and successfully outed the then president, pursuing his exit all the way to the main international airport which was completely taken over by the protesters.
But that's Ecuador, and there are huge huge differences between Ecuador and the United States (which I will use as example, simply because I am more informed about its infracstructure than England's or France's per say). The situation here in the U.S. is completely different and the power of law enforcement and military force is exponentially, overwhelmingly more massive than anywhere on the planet. This difference makes it so that an attempt to pursue a movement/protest through violent means may not be the best idea, as gangsta as some people may feel they are, or as numerous as they may feel the population of protesters is. So what we are left with, fortunately in many ways, is a non-violent Occupy movement that invites all people from all ages, races, ethnicities, economic classes, and genders to participate in peaceful ways. Because there have been many decades of brainwashing going on which have made the population here (the U.S.) believe in voting, in democracy, in freedom of this and that, in constitutional rights, in human rights for that matter....there is an air of surprise among protesters when they get beaten, pepper sprayed, gassed, abducted, (soon tortured), which quite frankly baffles me. What baffles me most is that people protesting corruption among law enforcement somehow expect law enforcement not the be corrup/brutal/violent during a protest (I thought you already knew that and that's why you were protesting); that people who are protesting against non-negotiating stinking rich evil greedy forces are expecting those forces not to retaliate.....SUP WITH THAT!!!
SO, here's an alternative way of looking at the Occupy movement, perhaps through the eyes of the 1% who control everything (which is why there's protest to begin with). The economy is greased by the working bees who call themselves the 99%. These working bees need to be rounded up and held captive because if they will not grease the economy while living in this blissful illusion of democracy through ultra consumerism, then they will grease the economy from a detention center. We therefore need to get as many people into the main cities, and kill their movement by depriving them of their immediate needs (water and food), and then we need to place them in these detention centers. First, however, we need to pass laws or to support continuity of already existing laws which allow us to grab these working bees right off the streets and detain them indefinitely. To enforce that, we need to bring back some of the troops from Iraq and from any corner of the planet where we have troops at (literally everywhere on the planet), and we need to employ them....what else would the troops do when they are brought back, other than become law enforcement? (and this is not even mentioning mercenary groups like Blackwater, Xe, Triple Canopy which we saw show their face during Katrina, that's another subject for another blog post, for another scenario).
With this scenario in mind, if you really think about it, the Occupy movement, combined with the idefinite detention laws that have existed since the 80's where FEMA just takes over, like Rex84, or the new National Defense Authorization Act, and the "bringing back the troops" reality, this somewhat "conspiracy theory" does not seem that far fetched. People actually voluntarily rounding themselves up in places where they have absolutely NO control over their food and water sources does not seem like the best idea when dealing with those who have already been identified at the ruthless greedy rich powerful fat cats with full control of all resources. Imagine being in Manhattan along with fellow protesters, by the thousands, and water is shut down, and all transportation is shut down, and supermarkets, bodegas, stores are not restocked with food because all streets coming into the city have been blocked...LEGALLY!!!! whatever that means, particularly when those making up these laws are the ones who control the road blocks....and those employed to control the roadblocks are members of "bring back the troops" unemployed work force, or private mercenary companies...then what?
So, although I am not criticizing or diminishing the efforts/intentions/tactics of the Occupy movement as it exists right now, I would offer the possibility for the scenario which seems to be brewing and ideally implemented by the "law makers" and the military complex and the prison system/detention complex (state, federal AND PRIVATE) which I just mentioned. With this, I would also offer the alternative to the occupy movement, which would be to actually disoccupy the big cities and start to migrate away from these huge economic machines that we are greasing simply by living and working there. This may quite possibly result in less investment in products sold in big cities, less poor underpaid working bees supporting the wealthy who happen to live in these big cities, greater access to rural land which can expand self suffieciency and means to obtain water and food that is not being shipped from elsewhere by those who control everything including the roads in which these products are being transported, and a better fighting chance against being rounded up and caged up (which we are now making it easy to do).
Think about it, think about where you are and where the sources of water exist, where is the food grown, and entertain the idea of what would happen if you can move there. For those here in the state of NY, where I'm at, there's the Catskills, the Adirondaks, both which have enough water and food resources to last the entire population of NY and many more peripheral states for YEARS!
I will stop there and see what you think. Just a thought.
AIM East Coast General (New York)