I haven’t commented much on the Occupy Everything movements in a while. They have my attention though. The movement has gone on long enough and is diversified enough that corporate media have been forced to acknowledge it. Occupy Wall Street has grown into a world wide movement.
Movements come and go, but overall, I’ve been a bit surprised on how this one is unfolding. There’s been violence, but mostly started by the cops. It’s a good thing I’m not there, as I’d be arrested for punching a cop by now. It’s simple. Someone hits me, I hit back. Tactically, that’s the wrong response, but I am what I am.
OWS has resisted being taken over by organizations with their own agenda. Remember when the Tea Party was anti-corporation? They wanted an accounting on where all the money was going. Big business gave them money and took them over. OWS has rejected self proclaimed leaders and a specific message.
That confuses the press no end. They interview a Socialist, and then the movement is socialist. Unions march, and suddenly it’s a union movement. College kids who are debt slaves speak out, and it’s a young people movement. Retired folks complain about losing their pensions and now that’s what it’s about.
Can we just call it a general speaking out for economic justice?
Where’s it going to go from here? James Howard Kunstler is waiting for the first broken window. The old curmudgeon is expecting trouble, violent trouble. The elements are there: angry people in the street, oppressive police tactics, and the 1% and their minions in their financial towers.
The right spark could turn things nasty -bankers hanging from street lamps nasty. Some politicians want to get in front of the movement. They’d better have solutions, and pretty darn quick. Business as usual with a thin veneer of new rhetoric isn’t going to satisfy the masses. Corporations won’t reform themselves from within. Those people sipping champagne in high towers may feel the occasional cold shiver down their backs -a premonition of danger ahead.
The economic situation is poised to get worse, not better. The Euro is going down. Can the dollar be far behind. There’s unrest in the world, and a lot of it is in places of strategic interest to the USA. A sudden Middle Eastern war could cut off oil imports in days. Even something like a major earthquake or storm could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Those people in the street won’t take kindly to more austerity measures, especially when the big boys got bailed out in high style.
Right now, protests are mostly peaceful. Decisive action could turn things around. Prosecute some rich law breakers, institute reforms, provide relief to the poor and middle class, and we could muddle through. Screw up, and cities go up in flames.
I don’t see any hint of that decisive action. It looks like the powers that be hope to wait it out until the protesters get tired and go home. (if their home hasn’t been foreclosed.) In New York, eventually it’ll snow and living in a tent on the street won’t be a good option. Will those first windows get broken before the snow flies?
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