Friday, 21 October 2011

#Occupy Protests Update : "Zesty Yet Technically Non-Lethal"

Photo by Ted Kemp - This is acceptable, because A.) that's London, which Guy Fawkes tried to blow up, and B.) I'm not sure if that guy is a cop or not, which is just awesome on so many levels.

The #Occupy protests are still working their weird magic over the globe, with individual protests in large metropolitan areas waxing or waning according to the strength of local organization.

At gatherings in the US and elsewhere, a few noteworthy events unfolded (please forgive me if I've missed anything). Occupy Cincinnati was shut down by the fuzz, who arrested 23 people - which makes me hope we have some fans of Robert Anton Wilson in the house. The Tampa PD collared six protesters just a little while ago. #OccupySLC isn't the only base camp with a robust lending library: meet the Occupy Boston Library and its librarian. #OccupyOakland is about to get ugly.

#OccupyMelbourne was violently torn apart, writes Stephen Webster for the Raw Story:

A large gathering of protesters in Melbourne, Australia was violently disrupted by police last night, with activists forcibly evicted from a public park. The struggle ensued after roughly 100 protesters defied an order to leave City Square, and police said about 20 were ultimately arrested. The number of activists grew to around 400 as police began moving in, according to the Herald from the chaos shows a dramatic and frightful scene, with police beating, choking and dragging young people away.


Photo by Fiona Hamilton

Zesty, but technically nonlethal!

Dave Weigel, conservative-in-the-wilderness for Slate, has an interesting write-up of #OccupyLasVegas. #OccupyLondon has  shut down   St. Paul's Cathedral  for the first time since WWII, which is amazing when you think about it.

Between last night's and tonight's General Assemblies here in Salt Lake City, there should be more answers forthcoming shortly about the medium-to-long-term plans that #OccupySLC has for its base camp.

Meanwhile, the second most offensive thing* I've read about #OccupyWallStreet comes to us from Mr. Fred Wilson, a man whose simple, honest name is unsuited to his choice of vocations as a professional gambler and idiot mouthpiece for CNN Money. After some run-of-the-mill "WELL X BUT ON THE OTHER HAND Y" introductory paragraphs, Mr. Wilson gets to what really bugs him about these protesters:

I empathize with the basic complaint of the #OWS movement - that the rich are getting richer and everyone else is getting poorer. It is impossible not to see that in our country. And yet I am in the 1%. How can I also be part of the 99%?

You can't. Next question!

And I've got issues with some of the subgroups in the #OWS movement.

I said question, but I'll take an "issue" if you've got one. Surely Fred is talking about the nasty antisemitism that some demonstrations have exhibited? If so, I agree with him 100%. That garbage has to stop. What's on your mind, Fred?

I saw a ton of union placards in the marches uptown and that bothered me.

Remember when I said "you can't?" This would be why, Fred Wilson, you utter tool. The reason that unions "bother you" is because they exist to provide a counterbalance against the power of 1%-ers like yourself. The fact that unions still bother you, after you and yours have gutted them for the past forty years, is perfect evidence of why you can't ever be part of the 99%.

I talked to one person in Zucotti Park on Thursday...

You know what they say about statisticians with inadequate sample sizes, don't you, Fred? Me neither, but I bet it's funny as the Dickens.

...He told me how his paycheck gets cut up.

See, Fred, "paychecks" are things that working people get. If you find a paycheck and its deductions hard to understand, that's probably a function of your longstanding job(s) as a gambler.

After the taxes and union dues, he's left with very little. And what does he get for those union dues, I asked? Not much.

I'll cede that point to you. Unions should have much, much, much more power than they currently do. Not because they are longstanding boogeymen of the right, but because in many cases they are all that stands between working people and the Hobbesian jungle of American capitalism at its most brutal.

More updates on #OccupySLC will follow as soon as I hear anything.

*: Did you really have to ask?

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