New Orleans Perhaps the easiest organizing I can make right now as an organizer is that the Occupy movement needs to prepare to meet the resistance. Well, maybe it would be even easier to mention my concerns about the fact that winter is approaching in many areas, but later for that.
In the last week 400 riot cops swept through the site in Melbourne, Australia and obliterated the encampment. The reports and pictures from Oakland were somewhat horrific with their own body count. Atlanta saw more than 50 arrests in another political turn of the wheel that literally pulled the ground out from underneath the Occupiers. In both of the American cities the excuses were prompted by reports of crimes in the encampments. Having survived Katrina, I’m still skeptical until I hear more about these alleged incidents to know whether they were real or rationalizations.
Oakland is the right battleground for Occupy, so let the fight be engaged there on this issue where the support base is potentially among the largest one can imagine for this movement. 3000 people gathered during the night to retake the park and the conversation circles about next steps that were photographed and sent out by David Bacon were telling. It was also gladdening to see that Occupy Wall Street in New York City undertook a solidarity march in support of the Oakland Occupiers. Good politics and good organizing!
No doubt general assembly’s in all Occupy cities are having planning discussions on how to respond to political and police attack. This will be hard ground to hold, and we can’t allow the right tactical response to distract from the main thrust of the movement.
Meanwhile we have the feel good moments and ridiculous asides that one can find alongside any movement. The Times had a story with pictures of families taking their children to “experience” something of how a movement feels. Ok, I believe in that, too! I hate to think how many meetings, marches, and similar events our children plowed through before they were teenagers!
For ridiculous asides it is hard to beat the fake Fox fury that my old friend, Megyn Kelley, and others are trying to summon by trying to find ACORN lurking somehow behind and underneath the Occupy Movement. A denial by the spokespeople at Occupy Wall Street was not enough of course, but it was nice to see a blogger for the Washington Monthly do such a good job debunking this madness and putting a needle in their balloon in the piece called “When in Doubt, Blame ACORN!”