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/leftypol/ is a non-sectarian board for leftist discussion. Join the Matrix: https://matrix.to/#/+leftychat:matrix.org Visit the Booru: https://lefty.booru.org/

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Occupy wall street critique Faggo 11/21/2020 (Sat) 09:44:43 No. 1157081
started a thread a while back asking for criticisms on the CHAZ and now im wondering what leftypols analysis of the occupy movement was and what are some of its successes and failures and what can we do into the future to make sure similar projects into the future are more successful
>>1157081 My guess is that its main failure was a lack of organization. Its main success seems to have been the rejuvenation of the left, which in turn lead to Bernie Sanders' 2016 and 2020 runs and the revival of Democratic Socialists of America after 2016. It also changed the narrative in American politics, with issues like income inequality and student debt more attention than they previously did.
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The novel / creative thing that OWS did for its time was to lasso the local activists in cities all over the country into a plan to just sit in a park in the middle of the city and build little protest camps with signs everywhere. Because why not? It gets attention. And then people are like "oh a protest, so what's it about? You don't like Wall Street and the 1%? Huh. So when is it over? Uhh, it's not?" And then it just... sits there... for weeks. If you think about it on the basic level like that, it's just funny. The media also got really angry about it. The corporate / mainstream liberal media haaaaaated Occupy Wall Street and did everything they could to be like "bluhhhh they don't have any demands blaahhhh." You're making Obama look like a goddamned fool! If those guys are mad and whining, then you're doing something right. But you know, it had to end eventually. I think the brief success of that tactic was also its undoing because the cops could sit back, then infiltrate, disrupt, etc. And then once most people went home, they moved in with force in every city that still had them and cleared them out. I think the adaptation to that was first seen in North America in Montreal in 2012 (over student tuition hikes). The activists would not stay in one place but meet at a park and then do wildcat marches all over town. Just cause random disruption with zig-zaggy marching routes to keep the cops on their toes. And then build momentum with that and a bunch of other tactics, leading to mass demonstrations w/ union support that would just swamp the financial / downtown district. I think they won, actually, and contributed to bringing down the right-liberal provincial government. BLM in 2020 seems like it was influenced by it, even if by sheer accident. BLM uprisings and protests have been going on since 2013 or so, but they were mostly small and relatively isolated, like Ferguson. But then it merged in 2020 with the white left and just took off and would also suck in liberal fairweather supporters so you could have real mass demonstrations that can be a force in downtown areas. But also not staying put in one place. You just go out every night and march all over the city. Of course the state gets its act together and they come up ways to counter it. And then you learn from that and think about the next thing.
>>1157100 i think im many peoples minds (even left leaning liberals) have a generally positive view of the OWS movement or at least thats what i see from their news narratives i feel my biggest gripe is the fact that we need to do something bigger than just express dismay with capitalism because now in 2020 most people feel that way even fascists can made snide remarks about how capitalism is a plot of (((them)))) my suggestion would be large scale strikes across key jobs in many essential industries to force our demands within neo liberalism show the powers that be that democracy is already within their hands. TLDR: unionism and wildcat strikes should be the bedrock of the next big anti capitalist project.
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>>1157110 Yeah I've learned not to rule anything out. It could happen. I never expected what I saw this year to happen, but it did. And it's funny because all these /pol/yps were cheering on the Yellow Vests because /theirgirl/ Le Pen lost to the globalist liberal Macron, but then Americans suddenly decided to do the unexpected and get Frenchy with it and throw down with the cops, and the /pol/yps' reaction was totally predictable: they ran screaming straight into the arms of those same cops like good little boys. Like lambs to the cops. And they call themselves revolutionaries? It's pathetic. Also, with the BLM protests, they really kicked off after that multi-racial, working-class crowd burned down that pig pen in Minneapolis and then had a fireworks party in front of its gutted interior. And I think symbolically that was big because a lot of people don't like the cops and felt that was a long time coming, and deserved, because they murdered that man. It's our fucking country. It's not theirs. If this is a democracy like we've been told, then people need to be players in the game. Of course the liberals will disavow that because they want to sand off the radical edges. It's standard liberal recuperation. There was one Boogaloo Boy who apparently took part in the Assault on Precinct 13 and the liberals have used that to say "oh that was just the far right doing that." And it's like, no, it was one libertarian guy in a big crowd who later got arrested because he fired some shots into the station. And this frustrates the right because they hate BLM and they're getting blamed for the freaky stuff, while I think it's a good thing that the police faced repercussions from the public for committing crimes. And as far as getting Frenchy with it, well it made me proud to be American in a cheesy way for a second, because it showed the democratic, working-class fighting spirit of the people when they've had enough. They think we're freaks? We are freaks. It's freaks vs. fear. So IMO, whatever happens in the years ahead, I think it's important that anons don't lose their nerves. Or spend all this time second guessing events as they happen. There will be plenty of time for that later. What people need in that moment is solidarity. If you're on the left, all that you have is that. You have your word, and having other people's backs when the rubber meets the road. And that's what people want in the left -- a fighting left.
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>>1157081 >Given the militant opposition Obama faced from Republicans in Congress, it’s unclear whether he could have used the financial crisis to dramatically curtail Wall Street’s power. What is clear is that he did not. Thus, less than three years after the election of a president who had inspired them like no other, young activists looked around at a country whose people were still suffering, and whose financial titans were still dominant. In response, they created Occupy Wall Street. When academics from the City University of New York went to Zuccotti Park to study the people who had taken it over, they found something striking: 40 percent of the Occupy activists had worked on the 2008 presidential campaign, mostly for Obama. Many of them had hoped that, as president, he would bring fundamental change. Now the collapse of that hope had led them to challenge Wall Street directly. “Disenchantment with Obama was a driver of the Occupy movement for many of the young people who participated,” noted the CUNY researchers. In his book on the movement, Occupy Nation, the Columbia University sociologist Todd Gitlin quotes Jeremy Varon, a close observer of Occupy who teaches at the New School for Social Research, as saying, “This is the Obama generation declaring their independence from his administration. We thought his voice was ours. Now we know we have to speak for ourselves.” I'll give my take on it. Occupy wall street was largely a movement of liberals, union activists and millennials who felt betrayed by Obama who portrayed himself as some sort of antidote to the Bush era. While there was a leftist presence, it was mostly a liberal/anarchist movement, although in the earliest days, there were a few goldbug libertarian schizos hanging around as well complaining about the fed. It's difficult to imagine now, but the idea of coordinating a social movement over the internet/social media was a relatively new phenomenon. This was the "techno-utopian" moment Nagle talked about. The idea was that through the power of social media, you could have decentralized and spontaneous protests and you didn’t need leaders or structured organization, because technology enabled this. This was part of the zeitgeist of the era, you can see this in the hacker group ‘Anonymous’, to the general assemblies of OWS – there’s this obsession with the idea that the failures of previous movements, such as the Black Panthers, was caused by centralization, and that decentralized movements were somehow ‘unstoppable’. For the most dedicated activists, Occupy Wall street was not merely a protest against wall street deregulation, economic inequality, greed, or even capitalism. It was a “social experiment” in direct/consensus democracy, the experience of the Occupy General Assemblies. In other words, for some people what was so great about OWS was that it involved LARPing direct democracy. Many people think OWS “burned out”. It didn’t burn out, it was crushed. People forget that the OWS movement was brutally crushed by federal enforcement and local cops. >The Occupy movement has been met with a variety of responses from local police departments since its beginning in 2011. According to documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, the FBI, state and local law enforcement officials treated the movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat and used fusion centers and counterterrorism agents to investigate and monitor the Occupy movement. “Fusion centers” a.k.a. the cops/feds would literally set up in the offices of major banks and coordinate/communicate in person with bankers overlooking zucotti park or w/e. At occupy Oakland and several other cities you had violent clashes between protestors and police similar to what we saw in the George Floyd protests. I feel like a lot of this shit is forgotten history at this point. The real reason OWS failed IMO, was really a failure of it’s core thesis: The idea that a decentralized movement would be resistant to being infiltrated/crushed by law enforcement, was proven wrong, with terrible consequences for it’s participants. To this day I meet old millennials who participated in OWS and became quasi deradicalized and borderline apolitical/PTSD as a result of having been beaten/peppersprayed/jailed. I think this is why generations become more conservative with age, because the young radicals of a generation are imprisoned, killed, or simply beaten into submission. Also there was the messaging/optics aspect of OWS, in that because it was decentralized/intersectional where every left of center group just sort of glommed on to it resulting in no coherent demands. This was the beginning of the anarcho-liberal tendency to do performative protests for “total liberation” or at least a laundry list of demands which realistically couldn’t really be given. Opposite of for example a union striking where they actually COULD get some demands.
Many people here have said that is also went to shit because it was the first big staging ground for idpol maniacs
>>1157171 thats true but heavy idpol didn't really kick into true gear until around 2013/2014, in OWS times it was still more of a mixed bag and IDPOL only controlled like 30-40% of the left as opposed to like 90% that it does now
>>1157081 I'd say occupy's main failure was not actually occupying wall street. RATM managing to disrupt wall street for like a few hours probably did more harm than all of occupy.
I genuinely think the whole consensus model for decision-making is incredibly undemocratic and a great facilitator for wreckers.
>>1157868 I have in mind to point just this thing out to some local anarchists who have a "100% of members must agree to changes" thing going on
>>1157090 >revival of Democratic Socialists of America after 2016 Excuse me, I'm not American. Are you telling me that DSA, this really cringy radlib group that I've seen around here and elsewhere on the internet have *effectively* only been around for 4 years? If that's the case it honestly makes me think that they have potential. It'd be one thing if they were this retarded after 20 years of activity, but (apparently) it's still a young org that just needs proper leadership and organisation. Imagine if ML's began to fill the ranks and give gentle guidance to current members into taking a more firm and practical stance.
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>>1159013 >Are you telling me that DSA, this really cringy radlib group that I've seen around here and elsewhere on the internet have *effectively* only been around for 4 years? They've been around since 1982 had some members hold elected office before 2016, but, yeah, it only really blew up around 2016 or so. It used to be full of old people, but most of the new members are under 40. The ideology has also shifted somewhat since young people flooded the group.
The effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of the occupy protests at gaining public support is irrelevant because either way it had no impact on policy and no bankers went to jail. And thats with the Dems in power! As a Canadian I am still incredibly pissed that my 20s were largely interrupted by factors beyond my control and I don't think I'll ever stop being pissed about that, and here we are in the next decade with my 30s being interrupted by factors beyond my control. Its not even like I can vote when its burger policies that led to the crash. If its smooth sailing from here maybe I'll get to retire one day but if there's another crash around the corner I'll probably never get to retire.
>>1157110 I suggest targeting logistics companies like amazon and fedex. That ought to get people's attention. Also you could probably swamp downtown areas, and/or industrial parks (whichever their DCs are located) with demonstrators while the workers engage in a sit in. That way, it makes it harder for scabs to come in.
>>1157150 not american but i feel where you are coming from. i think its great that this year people really showed up in force to stand up against fuckers like your shitty cops. im perhaps kind of cringe for having hopium for the future but the uprisings give me some amount of hope
>>1159084 So what exactly do we do with these people? I mean, they are part of the coalition and you need them I guess. But they don't act in good faith because they are not out to achieve a higher goal really.
>>1157176 Not that anon but post-OWS the public now knows about numerous surveillance state capabilities thanks to the Snowden docs. Some of it is obvious if you understand big data and how much computer a hundred million dollars can buy, some of it is just too clever. It's safe to assume there have been others developed since and left unpublished. https://weakdh.org includes a feasibility analysis of one of the NSA projects, pic related. >>1159272 Are they really? They're the Democratic Party's saboteurs. Simple solution: process compatibility determines the level of cooperation. You have to be class-first to be part of a class-based movement, but popular fronts and multiple membership are possible.
>>1159411 >You have to be class-first to be part of a class-based movement, but popular fronts and multiple membership are possible. I think that’s best. To set up a coalition of movements that collaborate but also do their own thing. That way specific goals can get done but any individual group doesn’t get bogged down by minutiae.
>>1157081 a bunch of retards say it was le evil sjws but ultimately what happened was that the collective groups that made up occupy had no uniting force which would orientate themselves as a single political entity (maybe like class consciousness or something idk) which resulted in them staying too fractured to make any real movement for political action beyond the occupy part and fizzling out as they managed to gain no ground and started having some infighting.
>>1159084 >>1159446 oh look, retards
>>1159440 You kinda see this with groups like NAARPR. It's like a broad front group for all the commie orgs to link together and collaborate with other groups who also join in for a specific goal or wave of protests. The Chicago one is CAARPR for Chicago Alliance. It's actually very old school. During the BLM protests at their peak, there was stuff going on every night where I lived. What I noticed is that some of them would be led by liberals and they'd have photo-ops with the cops, which is stuff I'm not interested in at all. I'd avoid all those. And then there would be weird ones possibly led by some police agent who would just march a bunch of inexperienced kids into a kettle and get them all arrested. But then there would be national protest waves announced by NAARPR and I'd go to the local one and there'd be thousands of people led by a bunch of communists. And I'm like, oh this great, these are my people, and it's more radical and the cops are keeping their distance because they're under orders by the mayor to not provoke a riot. It's like, okay, I trust these people and they know what they're doing.
>>1159440 Another thing about that is look at the banners. These are the Marxist-Leninists and they're not saying "Defund the Police" like the anarchists. It's like, yeah, defunding the police sounds great but that's not going to happen and it's kind of a losing slogan for the public. The Marxists are demanding that the city create civilian police accountability boards that can then get stacked with a bunch of left-wing radicals who will have access to the dirty police files! And there's no way in hell the cops want that to happen. The girl with the hijab there getting the keys to their filing cabinets? And then have oversight powers on hiring / firing decision and so forth? That's a cop nightmare. They'd much rather the protesters demand police defunding. But how do you make that happen? I think you run up against a wall. But the genius here is you might get your city to give in and create one of these boards. They'll resist and try to put up obstacles but it's probably do-able. And it sounds good to the people. Why shouldn't there be public accountability over the local police department? Checks and balances, people. This is a democracy.
Cringe LARP shit that achieved less than an average 10 men BLM protest.
>>1159555 Checked. Private property will spend part of itself to protect its ability to recreate itself. Defund is de facto privatization. I believe that is exactly what the think tanks had in mind when shaping that slogan.

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