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Home > Knowledge has vagina dentata so don't you fuck with it, Politics or: the art of looking for trouble > Overview of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Videos and Information.

Overview of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Videos and Information.

The congregations of protestors loosely associated with the “Occupy Wall Street Protest” has hit the 12th day of their resistance movement in Lower Manhattan today, September 29, 2011.

Occupy Wallst dot org is the unofficial de facto planning group committed to providing support to the protestors supporting the movement against political influence of the business world.  While a “leaderless group”–they have no official goals or support specific legislation–their base shares a general spirit to persuade the US people and government, according to the site,  “to no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the [top wealthy] 1 percent.”

Video of arrests here:

Many more amateur videos can be found with the youtube search term “Occupy Wall Street.”

In their Sept. 29 video, Democracy Now! interviews Michael Moore and talks to one of the protestors that allegedly experienced police brutality.  Michael Moore participated with the crowds, who were not allowed by public law to set up PA systems, by rallying them to repeat anti-Wall Street corruption chants aloud as a group in Liberty Square.

It is perfectly legal to video tape a police officer on duty.  Stand up to police brutality.  (Do this discreetly, when possible; police are often ignorant of the law and will destroy evidence of their abuse in situations with less accountability.)  The right to film police was recently upheld as a constitutional right in New England’s First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Police who were caught on film pepper spraying female protestors, are currently under investigation by the NYC DA.

A Civil Rights Attorney comments on the right of the people to assemble and establish temporary tents of a reasonable size:

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  1. October 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    One of the most glaring problems with the supporters of Occupy Wall Street and its copycat successors is that they suffer from a woefully inadequate understanding of the capitalist social formation — its dynamics, its (spatial) globality, its (temporal) modernity. They equate anti-capitalism with simple anti-Americanism, and ignore the international basis of the capitalist world economy. To some extent, they have even reified its spatial metonym in the NYSE on Wall Street. Capitalism is an inherently global phenomenon; it does not admit of localization to any single nation, city, or financial district.

    Moreover, many of the more moderate protestors hold on to the erroneous belief that capitalism can be “controlled” or “corrected” through Keynesian-administrative measures: steeper taxes on the rich, more bureaucratic regulation and oversight of business practices, broader government social programs (welfare, Social Security), and projects of rebuilding infrastructure to create jobs. Moderate “progressives” dream of a return to the Clinton boom years, or better yet, a Rooseveltian new “New Deal.” All this amounts to petty reformism, which only serves to perpetuate the global capitalist order rather than to overcome it. They fail to see the same thing that the libertarians in the Tea Party are blind to: laissez-faire economics is not essential to capitalism. State-interventionist capitalism is just as capitalist as free-market capitalism.

    Another symptomatic problem of the Occupy […] phenomenon is its own self-conception as an expression of “resistance.” Ever since the close of the Second World War, the concept of “resistance” has risen to prominence within the discourse of the Left, ennobled by the French experience of La Résistance during the Vichy regime. Unfortunately, the teleological valorization of resistance as a sort of virtue unto itself has had a rather perverse effect on protest culture over the last several decades. Instead of calling for a broader project of social revolution, activists have substituted the notion of simply “resisting” the forces of structural domination that surrounds us. Somehow — though the precise way that this operates is never made clear — this is supposed to “subvert” or “disrupt” the powers that be. “Resistance” thus becomes fetishized as a supposedly heroic act of defiance, no matter how effective or ineffective it might ultimately be.

    Nevertheless, though Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy [insert location here] in general still contains many problematic aspects, it nevertheless presents an opportunity for the Left to engage with some of the nascent anti-capitalist sentiment taking shape there. So far it has been successful in enlisting the support of a number of leftish celebrities, prominent unions, and young activists, and has received a lot of media coverage. Hopefully, the demonstrations will lead to a general radicalization of the participants’ politics, and a commitment to the longer-term project of social emancipation.

    To this end, I have written up a rather pointed Marxist analysis of the OWS movement so far that you might find interesting:

    “Reflections on Occupy Wall Street: What It Represents, Its Prospects, and Its Deficiencies”

    THE LEFT IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE LEFT!

  2. scandalousmuffin
    October 28, 2011 at 2:01 am

    “Moderate protestors hold on to the erroneous belief that capitalism can be “controlled” or “corrected” through Keynesian-administrative measures.”

    For it to be erroneous assumes a larger problem with the “global capitalist order,” and that’s where the disconnect between you and I, one of those moderate progressives, occurs. I base my preference for economic policies not on philosophically vague, idealistic notions like “social emancipation,” but mathematical models that indicate concrete things. (I can give examples, but this debate seems to be more philosophical, and all economic models can get theoretical if you deconstruct them far enough.)

    Sure, capitalism has intrinsic problems and the average OWSer isn’t going to talk about core-periphery models or other socio-economics paradigms. But I notice that arguments against the system entirely avoids cost-benefit analyses, ignoring the benefits of capitalism or claiming they don’t exist.

    Ignoring the benefits of capitalism requires ignoring the dramatic rises of standards of living during 20th century. I hate to agree with Milton Friedman on something, but it’s a good point. It’s really hard to argue that the current income plateau and growing wealth inequality of the last decade outweighs capitalisms role in the entire modern world.

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