Joyce L. Arnold: Liberal, lesbian, Independent, equality activist, writer.
The rumors were there last night, that Bloomberg may choose to close down the Occupy Wall Street camp, due to “sanitation” reasons. This afternoon he followed through. See Taylor’s earlier post for details.
EMERGENCY #OWS EVICTION DEFENSE:
Prevent the forcible closure of Occupy Wall Street …
NEED MASS TURN-OUT, SHOW UP AT MIDNIGHT, NOT 6 A.M.
This is an emergency situation. Please take a minute to read this, and please take action and spread the word far and wide.
Occupy Wall Street is gaining momentum, with occupation actions now happening in cities across the world.
But last night Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD notified Occupy Wall Street participants about plans to “clean the park”—the site of the Wall Street protests—tomorrow starting at 7am. ‘Cleaning’ was used as a pretext to shut down ‘Bloombergville’ a few months back, and to shut down peaceful occupations elsewhere.
Bloomberg says that the park will be open for public usage following the cleaning, but with a notable caveat: Occupy Wall Street participants must follow the ‘rules’.
NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said that they will move in to clear us and we will not be allowed to take sleeping bags, tarps, personal items or gear back into the park.
This is it – this is their attempt to shut down #OWS for good.
And this. Clearly they are not backing down. How To Hold Your Ground:
Basic Strategy: Sit down, link arms and do not let go! If the police drag you away, you can comply or go limp (both calmly and silently) which is arguably not resisting arrest. Please also respect a diversity of tactics.
For those of you who plan to stick around PAST MIDNIGHT—which we hope will be all of you—make sure you understand the possible consequences. Be prepared to not get much sleep. Be prepared for possible arrest. Make sure your items are together and ready to go (or already out of the park.) We are pursuing all possible strategies; this is a message of solidarity.
I wrote in yesterday’s Occupy post that, “The efforts from the Left seem to be morphing, predictably, into co-opting, with 2012 in mind. That is, and will continue to be, resisted, I think.” I also noted a recent piece from William Rivers Pitt, at Truthout, in which he concluded that, “distasteful as it may be,” the better choice by OWS is to accept the offer of support from the Dems.
Including the Democratic Party will raise the profile of the movement, and make it more difficult for it to be undermined.
My comment then, and now, is that “this way leads to co-optation.”
If you’re OWS, why should you trust the Democratic Party, and at least some of the progressive organizations with very close ties to that party, all of whom are looking with great concern at 2012? And none of whom have been particularly interested in you until you worked your way into the news cycle? Add this: would you maybe be tempted to do so if, say, Mayor Bloomberg said he was going to shut you down? Of course, there’s also the possibility that the Dems and some of those progressive organizations will be (behind the scenes) cheering Bloomberg’s steps … they can say they (finally) supported you, even that they’re really sorry it all had to end with the closing of the camp, but hey, why don’t all you OWS people join the Obama campaign, where professional organizers will show you how to get things done? Or, just go away.
Okay, pure speculation on my part, with a side of conspiracy theory. So I might as well add a couple of more pieces. First, this Saturday is the international “October 15” event, and Occupy, in NYC and many other places, have planned to participate with big action, and likely lots of participation. Maybe the largest so far. OCTOBER 15TH:
719 cities – 71 countries
UNITED FOR #GLOBALCHANGE
On October 15th people from all over the world will take to the streets and squares.
From America to Asia, from Africa to Europe, people are rising up to claim their rights and demand a true democracy. Now it is time for all of us to join in a global non violent protest.
Second, this from The Denver Post Occupy Denver protesters hold meeting in preparation of expected nighttime eviction:
Protesters who have camped on a strip of state land in front of the Capitol held a meeting this afternoon to warn about an expected clash between police later tonight.
‘You have all heard the rumors. Something is going to be happening tonight. Things are going to get hairy,’ said Becca Chavez at the 3 p.m. ‘general assembly meeting’ among Occupy Denver protesters.
Chavez and a group of about 50 protesters were meeting in reaction to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s press conference this morning with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, where the three ordered the protesters to disperse from the State Capitol Grounds Park after 11 p.m. or face arrest.
Occupy will keep up the fight. It could even be that this decision will end up providing even more energy and bringing more people to the Occupy movement.
( Photo via Alternet )