What do they want? They’re not really sure.
When do they want it? For a couple of months, or until the weather gets too cold, anyway.
A bunch of adrift Alinskyites and disorganized organizers from a group called “Adbusters” are converging in New York City for some reason or other. They’re bringing tents, sleeping bags, yoga instructors, face paint — and at some point, they’ll get around to deciding what their “one demand” is:
On Saturday thousands of us will occupy Wall Street. We will wave our signs, unfurl our banners, beat our drums, chant our slogans … and then we’ll get down to business and hold several people’s assemblies to decide what our “one demand” will be.
Shall we demand that President Obama reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act; outlaw flash trading; impose a 1% tax on all financial transactions?
These are good ideas but not very energizing.
How about we demand the revocation of corporate personhood?
Feels a bit too abstract. Many Americans don’t fully grasp what’s at stake with this one. And besides, even if he wants to, President Obama cannot deliver this immediately. In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling, a reform project like this requires a constitutional amendment that would take a few years and a whole movement to achieve.
We could demand Obama set up an American Democracy Reform Commission tasked with ending the monied corruption in Washington? Or perhaps a Presidential Commission to rethink the American banking system?
Most Americans know that Washington is awash with corporate money and undue influence and would like to see democracy vibrant again. And most would also love to see the “too big to fail” banks broken up, downsized and made to serve the people, the economy and society again. A demand along those lines just might capture the public’s imagination.
What if, try as we might, we just can’t come up with only one demand? Well, then maybe we can decide together on an END THE MONIED CORRUPTION OF AMERICA MANIFESTO – a rousing compendium of our most urgent demands. And on the seventh day of our occupation we publicly deliver our manifesto to the White House and to the American media, letting Obama know that we won’t leave Wall Street until he responds.
On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat our one simple demand until Barack Obama capitulates.
Hey, someone notify Attttaaaaack Waaaaaatch!
Steve Eggleston tweets: ” If it’s anything like the Madison [WI] Days of Rage, they’re in Cabela’s tents with a Starbucks in 1 hand & an iPhone in the 2nd.
Gas and riot shields. We must be guerilla
Posted 3 days ago by anonymous
Be prepared. We need to be a mobile force. A modern army of nonviolent protest. They will bring tear gas, riot shields, undercovers, and rubber bullets. I’m sure they’ll have choppers a waiting too.
We will bring our bodies, spirits, our legs to stand on, our voices to speak with, and our hearts.
America will know the truth. We are legion. We do not forgive, we do not forget.
Our strength will be in our numbers, and our ability to mobilize. We can blend in with the general population. And we will carry our message by standing with signs and sleeping on our homeland, our right as Americans. We are tired of the never ending lies. America needs to find her new path, and we will not rest until we are there.
Get ready to stand, speak, and sleep for months on the streets of NYC. This revolution will not be stopped by riot shields, teargas, or force. We are legion. We demand change. Our force is in our multitude, and our ability to mobilize.
The aimless revolution will be televised. Day of Rage festivities are streaming here.
It’s fitting that the name of the biggest “celebrity” promoting Day of Rage rhymes with “Loopy Fiasco:”
Rapper Lupe Fiasco has donated tents for the day, and written a sort of poem called “Moneyman” to inspire protesters. On Twitter, supporters rallied around the hashtags #usdor, #sept17, and #occupywallstreet. The plan to “occupy” Wall Street has already spread to plans for protests in Los Angeles, Austin, Portland, Ore., and other cities.
It is unclear exactly what these protests might look like — whether they will take on energy of the protests in Egypt or fall flat like those in Israel today. Survival Web site Off the Grid Living is worried that the protests could turn violent.
But one supporter, a geographer in California, wrote Thursday: “I’d like to say (that to begin) to take back your freedom, all you need is to stand on the sidewalk on September 17.”