I spent a few hours with the Austin Occupy City Hall movement today. Like much of the movement, most of the time of the meeting was spent with dealing with internal problems, such as sleeping arrangements, camping equipment such as tarps sheets and blankets, rules regarding excess clothes, powerwashers, first aid, food arrangements and other “incidents” that may have happened.
Very little time was spent penetrating the issues occupy stands for, as Pops the leader of the group said very poignantly “we’re homeless, we cant do much. our best hope is to possibly make an impact on an individual” he implied that what the group needed was patronage and financial support of the middle and upper class.
There was a well-rounded documentary film maker, he’s working on a project and we’ll see how it turns out. Otherwise, most of the occupiers more or less believe their best hope is getting people to read signs, become educated, and more informed “on the issues”. basically a liberal progressive means of rebellion. It reminded me of the scene from CHE when he’s camping in bolivia trying to start another revolution, this time a latin american one (in the hopes of emperor BOLIVAR) the revolutionaries find out that the communist party of bolivia does not support an armed struggle and cannot afford to pay their stipends. Most of the men quickly turn despairing “How will I take care of my family?” Most of the urban farmers could only fight the revolution on the terms that the communist party would still continue to support them, and once they found out they would be getting no help the movement quickly died.
What we need is something like the original 80 guys who conquered Cuba (only 12 survived to see it to the end) which simultaneously already works with existing movements but also has members that are completely self-sacrificial without any deep worldly attachments. If Occupy can create an international dialogue with those around the world who are also fighting their ruling classes, international bankers, and global power elite (india/syria/saudiarabia/yemen/libya/south africa/argentina/venezuela/spain/ [parts of the eurozone opposing neoliberal economic policies ]/ the french insurrection/london riots/anonymous/) it might go further than the battle of seattle, and other left leaning egatlitarian democratic movements againts globalization. If it continues to isolate itself, and have general meetings purely on interntal regulatory problems (problems that only deal with perpeuating occupy, not actually DOING a beligerent political action) it will continue to disolve, and will be used to constrain the debate in the future
“…well you saw what happened with OWS, do you really want another movement like that?”