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Occupying Wall Street

By Margaret Kimberley – Black Agenda Report – 10/04/2011

The Occupy Wall Street/99% movement has succeeded in demonstrating one important fact. There is a great deal of anger and frustration directed at the financial services mobsters and the political system that gives them such great power. Any mass effort directed against the prerogatives they now enjoy is a positive indication that there is still something left of what we call democracy.

The spread of the Occupy Wall Street movement around the country should be the beginning of a much needed political movement, but at the moment it isn’t clear that will take place. While the righteous and justifiable indignation is evident, organizing and the analysis which it should be based upon are not.

It isn’t really difficult to be angry with the bankster class which has ruined not just the American economy, but which has also devastated the lives of people around the world. It is much more difficult to think outside of the paradigm of the two parties which are both in fact servants of the plutocracy. Collapsing markets and rising unemployment are but symptoms of a larger and more worrisome disease.

In all likelihood the Democratic Party has benefited most from the votes cast of demonstrators at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. Do they know and are they ready to state that they must dump the Democrats if they are to have any opportunity to save themselves and what is left of democracy?

If the “spectrum of thinkable thought” is not done away with, some of these same protesters who are now so valiantly acting in opposition, will one year from now return Barack Obama and his policies of bailing out Wall Street, back to the White House.

The cry for change must include a cry in opposition to the Democratic Party. When Congressman Charles Rangel visited Zuccotti park, he was shouted down by one protester, but then received words of apology from others.

Certainly Charles Rangel is not himself the cause of all that ails American politics, but Democratic members of Congress and the Congressional Black Caucus have time and again been subservient to the dictates of their leadership and to the career trajectory of Democratic presidents. This subservience almost always takes precedence over the needs of the people. If protesters apologize for the righteous anger of one of their members, it is an indication that this movement is not quite ready to look outside of the thought spectrum which allows the economic elite to control both Democrats and Republicans.

The leaderless, mass-led nature of this action presents both benefits and problems. It is good that the corporate media cannot personalize these activities and designate any one person or group of people as leaders. Inevitably, those people are scrutinized in ways that render them useless or in the worst case scenarios are co-opted and bought off.

The down side to this non-organization is that there may not be anyone able to direct the mass action in any effective way. The movement may be doomed to become a permanent gripe session against an obvious villain, but with no means of planning how to end the system that increases income inequality, debt peonage and unemployment.

Make no mistake, Occupy Wall Street should be the beginning of fundamental changes in the political landscape. Whether it will be or not, will depend upon the willingness of activists to stand up for those changes. They must not succumb to fears about the latest Republican bogeyman or woman. Rick Perry or Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney will be mocked as a fascist, charlatan, idiot who doesn’t believe in gay marriage/evolution/global warming and who is therefore unfit to serve as president.

But it is Barack Obama, a man no doubt supported by many of the occupiers, who backs offshore oil drilling and the wholesale resurrection of the nuclear power industry. It is Barack Obama who has forestalled efforts to require cleaner air standards. It is the constitutional law professor who decides that Anwar al-Awlaki or any other American citizen can be marked for death.

Some commentators have likened Occupy Wall Street to the actions at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt which brought down president Mubarak. The Egyptian protesters had a clear demand, that Mubarak had to go. What is the clear demand in Zuccotti Park, that Obama and the Democrats go? That is to say, are they committed to end their support for them?

Right now this site has become a magnet for celebrities and gawking tourists. It ought to become the place where Democratic Party control of the left dies once and for all.


Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. She can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

October 5, 2011 - Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism


  1. […] Occupying Wall Street ( […]


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  3. “The spread of the Occupy Wall Street movement around the country should be the beginning of a much needed political movement, but at the moment it isn’t clear that will take place. While the righteous and justifiable indignation is evident, organizing and the analysis which it should be based upon are not.”

    Heads were already in the baskets before the French Revolution formed the National Assembly.


    Comment by Michael F Rivero | October 11, 2011

    • well, heads will once again be in baskets this time around, sans Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette maybe. but in time, the protests will turn very violent, not because the protesters themselves did this, but because the bottom feeding corporate owned filth known as DONUT GUARDS strictly, will cross a very hard to distinguish line and then kill protesters for no other reason than they could get away with it.

      once that happens, we’ll see heads in baskets, in nooses, and on pikes. THEIR HEADS.

      it won’t take long before the police state fornicates upwards and truncheons to death or shoots a couple protesters, and then may jesus christ almighty help them then, because they’ll need it.

      that’ll be the beginning of the end of the b.s. at some point, these out of control cops will FUCK UP, and when they do,
      then the shit will indeed begin to hit the fan.

      and heads will roll. and buildings will burn. and the powers that be will be in very very very deep kimchee if they don’t immediately flee, because just like the 8 years of ‘The Reign of Terror’ in France, it will perhaps take that long to hunt them all down and punish them accordingly.

      they are about to have a very nasty collision with REALITY once they kill a few protesters. A very NASTY collision.


      Comment by a collision with REALITY is about to happen somewhere soon, and may their god help them then.... | October 11, 2011

  4. I agree Mike, but I also agree with there is no clear direction. I believe the direction should be towards the people that made the rules and laws that were exploited by the financial elite to destroy the country. We need to reinstate the Glass-Steagall act. But as seen on your Website WRH.COM, there is so much confusion and turning on people who know how to do this. I really hope this movement has not been co-opted yet by powers that be, like the Tea Party movement was. I will wait to see who will be the Talking Head of the movement, just like Sarah Palin was thrust into it. Probably will be another pretty non-threatening face.
    I do think it is bringing to the forefront what has been said in backrooms for the last few years.. but is it sustainable in the long term… I hope so.
    The Congresses and the Banksters should first see we are serious in our wishes.


    Comment by Paul Sapienza | October 11, 2011

  5. Out on the streets there is phenomenal exchange of information in action. Those who view the “problem” as solely pertaining to money see that GMOs, fracking and wireless infrastructures are related to what is perceived as imposed “austerity”.

    They learn that police-state impositions on smaller populations, e.g., the Amish, Native Americans, blacks, Arab-Americans and so on represent a downward slope toward the everyone’s demise.


    Comment by earthlingsrings | October 12, 2011

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