Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
“Experts,” from pundits to Electeds to media to scholars, have been scrambling from the beginning, trying to fit the Occupy pegs into their pet theoretical holes. Many of the critiques being offered now sound very much like what was heard during past actions. In fact, sometimes it sounds as if there are lots of 60s Establishment wannabe’s, who are stuck not only in the often simplistic critical assessments of that era, but even in the language.
Building on past movements and their language, critiques and images isn’t unique to the Occupy movement, of course, by Occupiers or its critics. Note the update on a 2008 iconic Obama poster, made by the artist himself, Shepard Fairey. At Wonkette:
Shepard Fairey Remixes His Obama-Hope Poster For #OWS …
… Fairey’s new poster with the sinister Guy Fawkes/Anonymous #OWS protester isn’t going to ‘change’ anything for anyone. But it is a fitting symbol of the complete evaporation of the vast reservoir of good will Obama had access to, when he entered the White House just three years ago.
Movements toward “change” are being created by people who are no longer “hope” it will trickle down from the 1% behind the Two Parties who front for them. A part of the expression of the movements is through visuals and words. Some of those words, in chants and tweets:
I don’t see no riot here, put away your riot gear.
fernman RT @dresdencodak: Dear Democrats AND Republicans: it is no longer politically viable for you to ignore or vilify #OWS. These are the people you represent.
ronaldoca RT @proudlib2: Books are trash. Corporations are people. Tents are terrorism. Pepper Spray soon to be declared a vegetable.
DrDrew42 RT @JohnFugelsang: Ever buy something really expensive for yourself, then regret it? That’s how Bloomberg feels about his 3rd term. #OWS
Some OWS’ news via The People’s Library, on Saturday:
In response to the drum circle, the NYPD has closed E 79th St. near the Mayor’s home and they are now describing it a ‘frozen zone.’ A little research online shows that a ‘frozen zone’ is usually an area where the NYPD use their authority to suspend the law in order to maintain the law. The declaration of a ‘frozen zone’ amounts to declaring martial law or creating a state of exception and has previously been used by the NYPD during terrorist threats. Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones has reported on the ‘frozen zone’ being used to deny reporters access to Liberty Plaza.
Among those in the “drum circle” action near Bloomberg’s NYC home, and part of actions at other Occupy sites, was the “Council of Elders,” including Rev. James Lawson, Dolores Huerta, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Dr. Vincent Harding, Rev. Phillip Lawson, Dr. Grace Lee Boggs, Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Marian Wright Edelman, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rev. Dr. George Tinker, Rev. John Fife, Rev. Mel White, Rev. Nelson Johnson, Joyce Hobson Johson, and Sister Joan Chittister. Read more here:
… they will step inside the nationwide Occupy sites to symbolically share the torch of hope and justice and engage the Occupiers in dialogue about defining movements of the past.
Via Occupy Boston:
In response to the Statement of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples passed by the GA on October 8th, the United American Indians of New England (UAINE) have formally endorsed the Occupy/Decolonize movement and invited members of the Occupy/Decolonize Boston community to ‘stand with them’ on this ‘solemn, spiritual and highly political day.’ Every year since 1970, Native people and their supporters have come together to refute the mythology of the Pilgrims and declare the US thanksgiving holiday a National Day of Mourning for Native Americans.
From Occupy Together, a Call for an Alternative Day of Action on Human Rights Day:
We would like to propose the week starting on the 10th of December … as a time for alternative forms of protest … . The idea is to participate in proposing new forms of action with a creative spirit: we can organize public forums and workshops, flash-mobs, we can promote the movement in local schools and neighborhoods or get in contact with humanitarian organizations working with the same goals.
In Occupy related news, via The People’s Library:
The New York Press Club is calling for an investigation into press suppression during the (Zuccotti) eviction:
‘The Bloomberg administration appears to have made a conscious decision to exclude the press from Tuesday’s Zuccotti Park purge. If true, the New York Press Club strongly condemns what would seem to be a strategic decision to cloak potentially volatile police activity from public view.
Maybe Bloomberg’s decision regarding the press will open some media eyes?
The eyes of significant numbers on the Right, of course, continue to see Occupy as “bad.” Its opposition to OWS was immediate and has proceeded with predictable efforts, including smears.
Of course, some people are just now starting to pay attention. Occupy wasn’t the quick news story of the day or week or even month. And the growing use of repressive measures is doing what many have been pointing out for several weeks, actually for several years – “kettling” of protestors and restrictions on the media aren’t new tactics – actually increasing the attention on something many want to go away.
From much of the Democratic Establishment, including the Obama administration, there has been a lot of silence, with the occasional “of course I understand your concerns and after you re-elect me, we’ll get Right on some solutions” rhetoric. In terms of hearing much by way of actual policy and plans, or about the increasing use of excessive police force, or about much of anything else, mostly there’s been silence. And maybe hopes for a really loud chorus of crickets to fill that silence, or better yet, serve as a distraction.
(Poster via Wonkette)