YES YES YES YES! FOREVER OPEN
I used to laugh at Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi telling journalists ‘don’t worry about the firecrackers, everything is fine’ while his city fell. Who believed that crap I thought to myself. Well as it turns out, things aren’t very different in our western world:
Statement from Mayor Jean Quan about today’s enforcement action:
"Many Oaklanders support the goals of the national Occupy Wall Street movement. We maintained daily communication with the protest0rs in Oakland.
However, over the last week it was apparent that neither the demonstrators nor the City could maintain safe or sanitary conditions, or control the ongoing vandalism. Frank Ogawa Plaza will continue to be open as a free speech area from 6 am to 10 pm.
We want to thank the police, fire, public works and other employees who worked over the last week to peacefully close the encampment. We also thank the majority of the protestors who peacefully complied with city officials.
I commend Chief Jordan for a generally peaceful resolution to a situation that deteriorated and concerned our community. His leadership was critical in the successful execution of this operation. City Administrator Deanna Santana developed the plan and secured mutual aid from other departments and the State of California. She will direct departmental teams, including safety, public works, communications, to restore conditions at the Plaza so that it is available for public use.
The City welcomes all Oaklanders to continue to use the Plaza during daylight hours for peaceful protest.”
Very peaceful indeed. Typical cover of a typical British newspaper today:
I’m genuinely stunned.
Update: thank you to the people who directed me to : http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/26/1030222/-BREAKING-PHOTOS - with direct evidence of the rubber buckshot shell and pellets despite police statement stating these were not deployed.
Have you noticed that libertarians, tea party members, anarchists, marxists, zeitgeisters, freemen, venus-project supporters, green-party members, vegans, US marines, left wingers, socially conscious right wingers and oh, well, just about hundreds of groups out there (yes even Christians) all roughly share the same views that:
- Banks operate what basically is a giant pyramid scheme
- Private parties (banks) keep the profit when there’s some but the government (us) absorb their losses (through cuts) due to their irresponsible speculation
- A tiny minority controls a vast majority of the world’s resources
- Our society is constantly manipulated by the main stream media
- Progressively both the working and middle class are treated as cattle
- Eventually there will only be two classes: the rich and the poor
- The two party system is a farce
- Our respective cultures are collapsing (English people not knowing who Churchill is, French not knowing who De Gaulle is, Americans having no understand of geography - yet ALL would know who won the X-Factor!)
- Our liberties are eroded (kettling, mass arrests, indirect pressure through private parties (wikileaks))
But while everyone seems to love this kind of picture:
(Copyright Evolve Love - used without permission, terribly sorry :-)
…. and it may not be such a bad thing.
Today #occupylsx publicly stated that “The Venus Project has something of cult like process” to great uproar. And I’ll be honest, as for me, witnessing the lefties’ ‘wiggly fingers’ voting processes and ‘human mikes’ have been just as uncomfortable!
But you see, the thing is: what you resist, persist. Mr Libertarian, focus long enough on these bearded union members waving red flags and soon enough the #occupy camp will feel like the arena where YOU are the bull. Mr blue-collar Marxist, spend enough time staring at the riot police, then the privileged middle class kids who came to hijack ‘your’ movement, and soon you’ll be talking about the 96%, then the 89%, etc.
And if everyone did that, over time the movement will fragment, then collapse, and all of us will be free to moan about how, once again, the corrupt few divided and conquered.
So instead, here’s what I propose: when you notice these differences next time, don’t turn your head, instead, be grateful about the contrast of opinions (how bland would it be if everyone thought the same). Progressively allow yourself to focus on what unites us instead (the values at the beginning of this article for example). Start with baby steps, and over time you’ll be amazed how much we all have in common, and how strong this movement can be. Heck, we might even be the 100%.
I visited the #occupyLSX camp this morning - people were just waking up. I was glad to see how much the camp grew from the 4 tents I had seen on Saturday! They have a kitchen going and are in need of supplies if they want to last as long as #occupywallst - check out their twitter and unnoficial supply request page.
If you cannot sleep there (which is understandable), they are at St Paul’s station - supplies are welcome of course, but kind words are free :-D
A wonderful look at the human angle behind the movement in Wall Street. Doesn’t hurt that it’s beautifully shot, too.
I took these pictures yesterday. The signs really stood out, I missed quite a few including one on which a middle-aged lady had written ‘I have lost everything, so I have nothing to lose’.
This was touching - a tiny sign held by a young couple - truly reflected how vulnerable some people currently feel.
I felt most signs erred on the funny/sarcastic sides of things, which says a lot about this movement.
Of course, not everyone saw a funny side.
Top marks for creativy on this one - so good I kept it as my Tumblr avatar.
There was a plethora of signs discarded just about everywhere.
Although many groups were present, all shared that particular view.
This was written on the back of one of the signs located at the top of the stairs. I think it’s not a stretch to say that a lot of people there felt like #occupylsx was an exercise in practicing our democratic rights.
The view that the current democratic system controlled by two major parties is either corrupted or non functional was also widely shared by most present.
Anonymous was out in force
Another commonly shared view
And a #11 for the road, just before I left. These people kindly posed for the picture. At that point I felt it was time to go home, the police officers were getting closer and closer as part of a technique called ‘kettling’. It felt very intimidating (riot gear, large numbers, ‘mobile processing centers’) and I felt keen to leave. I heard the kettle was closed 5 minutes after I took this picture.
I placed my pictures on a picasa album under the creative commons license.