This is what it’s all about! Occupy Wall Street is making a smart transition. They are inspirational.
The New York Times just posted a piece to their website about the founder of Adbusters Kalle Lasn. There’s one paragraph in the article where Lasn outlines his goals that he’d like to see OWS achieve.
Mr. Lasn has long believed that Wall Street and vast corporate wealth have sent the United States into what he calls “terminal decline.” But unlike many people involved in the protests, he also has specific goals he would like to see reached. He wants to see, among other things, “a Robin Hood tax” on all financial transactions, a restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act that erected barriers between banking and investing, a ban on certain types of high-frequency trading and the overturning of the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case.
And who said the movement didn’t have any goals? I’m quite sure there are many who would agree with Mr. Lasn.
Tomorrow Occupy Oakland protesters have called for a general strike to protest the tear gassing of activists and the injury of Scott Olsen a US veteran. After reading a book on non violent protest recently I have come to realize the power and effectiveness of a general strike if carried out successfully. When the opposition has all the financial and physical power on their side it is only non violence that can prevail. The minute you start to use violence against violence then you loose all sympathy and support from the public which you are trying to win to your side.
The main ingredient for any state or organizational structure being able to assert authority is the consent of the people. Once people withdraw their consent through non-cooperation and resistance the tides are turned. Yes, often force will be used to gain consent or like Noam Chomsky has said consent can be manufactured, but once it is withdrawn a sea change begins.
This quote below says a lot to me:
“We’re the one’s losing our homes and having city services cut because of what bankers and Wall Street have done,” said Dwight McElroy, President of 1021’s Oakland chapter. “Occupy Oakland is out there taking baton blows and tear gas to protest what has been happening, so it is incumbent on the labor movement to protect them.”
He’s absolutely right. That’s why I’m hoping participation is as wide as possible tomorrow in Oakland. Shut that city down!