Occupy Wall Street: The Revolution Will Not Be a PowerPoint Presentation

by on October 5, 2011 · 13 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights, Popular

Everybody freak out!  Occupy Wall Street is now in its eighteenth day and the swelling ranks in Liberty Park and tandem actions that have spread to 148 other cities have not provided the rest of us with their goals/DEMANDS/solutions.  By God, they owe us an explanation so that we can decide whether we’re for it or against it. Do they really expect us to watch raw unedited footage on the internet and make up our own minds?  Exactly how soon is the blood going to start flowing in the streets- I need to take my car in Friday for an oil change.

Can it possibly be true that we, as citizens, no longer know what democracy looks like?  A loosely aligned group of individuals, predominately the young at first, has provided the organic grit in the oyster around which a pearl of moral clarity has begun to coalesce. Their declaration begins “we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice,” and continues with “a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.”  It is apparent that moral clarity is what we have needed to interject in a powerful, unequivocal way, into our policy discussions and political action.

The protesters have taken up peaceful, non-violent residence in a public space, and without leaders have established a way of communicating without amplified sound, of feeding each other, and establishing a makeshift infirmary and library.  They participate in general assemblies, have provided a cogent description of why they are there, published a newspaper and established on online presence. They have inspired similar actions in 46 other states. All in eighteen days.

Unless you subsist solely on Fox News, you cannot be oblivious to the local and national solutions that have been suggested to deal with the grim economic inequity that exists in this country.  We have advocated an end to the wars on not only moral but fiscal grounds.  The majority of us expect the wealthy to assume their fair share of the tax burden.  The majority of us support closing tax loopholes and eliminating corporate subsidies.  We want the banks that we bailed out to renegotiate mortgages instead of foreclosing on our neighbors.  We want Citizens United to be thrown out. The solutions, the demands, the goals, go on and on.

The legitimacy of Occupy Wall Street is not contingent upon a list of “demands” although that may very well be part of the outcome of their efforts; the legitimacy of Occupy Wall Street derives from the moral clarity it provides and the solidarity in which we can express a feeling of mass injustice.  It is not a PowerPoint presentation. It is the real deal populism, and it is firmly rooted in the democratic process.


Occupy San Diego: OccupySD.org, #OccupySD, Twitter, Facebook

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar doug porter October 5, 2011 at 8:14 am

the movement has succeeded in putting up a defense against cooptation that works. this is not about getting to the finish line and getting Congress to vote on a couple of half-assed reforms.
it’s about STARTING something, a dialogue, a process that cannot be compressed into a thirty second news clip and then dismissed because some celebrity passed gas. this will undoubtedly make some people uncomfortable, but it’s not nearly as troubling as the increase in families struggling to make ends meet while fat-cat bankers drink champagne and pontificate about the benefits of trickle down economics.


avatar mr fresh October 5, 2011 at 8:20 am

latest GOP confusion over Occupy movement (aka, when in doubt, blame it on Obama):
SDGOP Big Gun Tony Krvaric on Twitter: “Wooly #OccupyWallStreet hordes are the new @BarackObama Zombies.”


avatar mike turco October 5, 2011 at 9:21 am

The more we know the stronger we are. Informative pulitzer prize winning book, Lords of Finance 1929, the great depression and the bankers who broke the world,by Liaquat Ahamed. A good read


avatar Lauren October 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

A long long overdue beginning of a movement we need if we have any chance of restoring our democracy and saving our asses.

Count me in!


avatar bodysurferbob October 5, 2011 at 10:57 am

great tribute to democracy, anna. the OB rag’s man in manhattan said it best: “The whole point here is that the system has failed, and the occupation of public spaces across the country is where the development of a more just and equal system will occur.”


avatar Steve Zivolich October 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm

the revolution will not be televised…


avatar Shane Finneran October 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm

probably lots of YouTube though ;)


avatar Steve Zivolich October 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.


avatar annagrace October 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Thanks Steve. Long live Gil Scott-Heron. He was very much on my mind when I wrote my post.
And then there is the other reason why the revolution will not be televised. (Yes Shane, it has been “youtubed” ;) :


avatar Patty Jones October 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Aye, Aye Shane!


avatar MaoTzu October 6, 2011 at 7:42 am

Just what America needs, another leaderless, spontaneous, uprising that will go nowhere because there is no unity on the left. It’s really time for all left of liberal groups to stop acting like congress and unify themselves into the leaders of real Class Struggle.


avatar Allthink October 6, 2011 at 8:57 am

What do you think is happening at OWS? They’re unifying under one message: Unite. No other messages needed. Occupy together.


avatar malcolm migacz October 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I feel the same way when i see the 99 percent communicating in hand signals and the human mic echos at the occupy sites > the 1 percent at least dumb enough to use modern communications.


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