Thursday, October 27, 2011

Restraint

A visit to the campsite can go either way – sometimes I feel like I'm invading other peoples’ space, especially when it's a bunch of straight guys sitting around the campfire who look over, and then look back. The younger ones usually do that; the older ones are friendlier. Like the one who just said hi to me, asked me my name. That's all I need, and then I feel better, more welcome.

I do notice cross-class and cross-race (and intergenerational) contact that I don't usually see in Santa Fe. Still, I hear people talking about "problems with homeless people," although it seems to me that some of the people staying in the campsite might be homeless. There's a bit of secrecy I sense from many people there, like they don't want to let you in unless you're staying there. Which could be helpful for safety, harmful for organizing.

But I need to say something about the cops. I can't believe people are still saying the cops are “part of the 99%,” even after 17 different police departments coordinated their efforts to shut down the Occupy Oakland encampment, using stun grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas, and other forms of vicious intimidation. That same night, at the Occupy Santa Fe campsite, people were telling me that the cops were with us, because in Albany they refused to shut down the Occupy site. Probably so they could harass, intimidate, and arrest people of color in another neighborhood. There's this rhetoric in Occupy spaces about an awakening, which sounds awfully Christian to me. What about those of us who were already awake, as much as we've tried to get some restful sleep over the years? And, if this is an awakening, shouldn’t people start by waking up to systemic police violence?

In Oakland, people got shot in the face, ended up with broken bones – an Iraq War veteran is in the hospital with a fractured skull, placed in a coma by hospital staff in order to reduce brain swelling, and the supposedly progressive mayor of Oakland praises the police for their restraint (from out of town, of course).

And still, protesters take back the Occupy Oakland site one day later, call for a general strike on November 2 – that would be the first general strike in Oakland since 1946. Something is happening. I still don't know what it is exactly, but it's something.

4 comments:

vale said...

I agree with you--the police are not a part of the 99%. On wall street, the big banks and investment firms are even allowed to hire police officers as their personal thugs. The police and military are working to protect the interests of the 1%; they are, further, trapped in violent, authoritarian, hierarchical institutions that are the exact opposite of what OWS is working itself around.

Furbird said...

Many people at the start were calling it revolution, we refered to it here as an awakening of people's minds. This isn't the revolution as the vast proletariat is not marching with the well fed children of the bourgeois. Some say that many in the middle class agree with OWH and what they are saying, so that would be I think some sort of an awakening on their part. Before the talk always was the rich create jobs and every one and their aunt wanted to be rich. Let's hope it doesn't turn into a vote for a libeal demonrat. We must have class war above all else but that will take awhile yet. So let the people awake,and hope that they awake in the right direction.

As far as the police are concerned and as I have said many times they are not our friends. Fuck the cops in Albany. Anyone who thinks that the cops will lay down their badges, pepperspray, and nightsticks stay away from. You will get rather sleepy trying to educate them. I suppose its good that all sorts of steps are on this political ladder but I get rather pissy when I see Occupy anywhere carrying an americkan flag. How can one fight the enemy by carrying their flag. (just another bullshit idea to keep folks down.

What next the americkan government staging some sort of terrioist bombing to unite the americkans and fill them full of fear?) And fuck those who think we should take back the flag. I don't want it it is blood soaked.

Here are a few good quotes that I have been collecting.

Just getting rid of the bad capitalists won't solve a damn thing.

American democracy is a sham, not a promise. It is the form that the rulers of the United States have refined and developed and ideologized over two hundred years. It is not a mechanism we want to refine — it is the political form of the system that we seek to overthrow and abolish."

We want liberation for humanity, not merely some “better deal” for the oppressed within U.S. borders.

Remember in all of this, "You can't beat the enemy by raising his flag."

All my love to you Mattilda.Hsve fun with it all and don't take it too seriously as it will pass like yesterday's dinner.

KISSES to You

Richard

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Vale, you're right – there are the police, and then there are the private police, and then there are the police who are private, and of course none of them are part of anything that will ever challenge the "violent, authoritarian, hierarchical institutions"...

And, Richard, I've never been a big fan of "revolution," since I certainly haven't seen a model where it's been much more than someone else taking charge and fucking over everyone else. Class war is a bit too limited, since so much is left out when only class is talked about. As for the US flag, you are certainly right – what could be a more hideous symbol? Or, as you say so eloquently:

"How can one fight the enemy by carrying their flag. (just another bullshit idea to keep folks down."

And, I do love this:

"American democracy is a sham, not a promise. It is the form that the rulers of the United States have refined and developed and ideologized over two hundred years. It is not a mechanism we want to refine — it is the political form of the system that we seek to overthrow and abolish."

Love –
mattilda

davka said...

Very true. I wanted, for a brief moment of intoxicated hope, to believe this, but, alas, I know it isn't true.