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Does Occupy Wall Street Have An Agenda Or Need One?

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Not only have they survived mass arrests and continuing harassment, they showed they could brave what Mother Nature threw their way. They are in the best tradition of the post office which still projects this creed despite the spectre of cutbacks:"

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"

Occupy's "couriers" have self-appointed rounds in self managed occupations run by work groups and guided by participation in a daily   General assembly where activists listen to each other and disagree without being disagreeable.

They have raised a war chest of several hundred thousand dollars. They keep their sites clean with their own sanitation department. In New York, they feed their own with their own kitchen that also serves homeless people in the neighborhood. They even have their own "people's library."

In many ways,   they are creating ways of cooperative living that they want society to be like. The key to it all is commitment and engagement on the individual level. This way of fusing pragmatism and idealism is what makes it so impressive.

Movements that function from the top-down are more controlled but not necessarily more effective.

At this point, the Occupy movements is still growing, and still spreading its aura more than its message. When you think of how many unemployed people there are and how many others are coping with foreclosures or student debt you can see its potential for organizing and outreach.

Already activists in Oakland where attacks by police from 19 different jurisdictions has galvanized a mass reaction, are calling for November 2 "general strike."

Are they well organized enough to pull this off and to shut down a whole city?

This may be a case of overreaching in reaction to a brutal police action. But, bear in mind that since it occurred, no one is cheering. The City's Mayor says she now supports Occupy. The Police are now supposedly   investigating their own conduct, and the occupiers are back in the plaza they were forced to abandon.

Thee police attacks often boomerang with the public siding with citizens, not cops.

There is a lot to be optimistic about.

Slavoj Zijek writes in In These Times, "The Western Left has come full circle: After abandoning the so-called "class struggle essentialism' for the plurality of anti-racist, feminist, gay rights etc., struggles, "capitalism' is now re-emerging as the name of THE problem.'

Let's put the emphasis on words like "emerging" and "awakening," Politics is always a process. Give people time to distinguish their friends from their enemies. Let's trust the wisdom of the people.   They seem to "get it" much more than the media or the pols.

It is significant that there has been talk of National Convention in Philadelphia on July 4th next year.

Right now, as for a definitive agenda, action always speaks louder than words.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at See

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Thats the issue that the media is obsessed with. W... by Danny Schechter on Monday, Oct 31, 2011 at 12:01:09 PM
it really has helped me to understand the whole ph... by M. Wizard on Monday, Oct 31, 2011 at 12:54:06 PM
Their very existence reflects the "agenda": Som... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011 at 5:21:53 PM
One of the great messages that just the existance ... by Marika on Monday, Oct 31, 2011 at 1:32:50 PM
"Wall Street" is term used for nearly 100 years to... by michael hersch on Monday, Oct 31, 2011 at 2:13:20 PM
An unrecognized threat from Solar Superstorms is c... by Mark Goldes on Monday, Oct 31, 2011 at 7:38:33 PM
It is no wonder then that America is unable to c... by greg timmons on Monday, Oct 31, 2011 at 9:39:41 PM
To 'name leaders' and 'set agendas' at this stage ... by Jack Flanders on Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011 at 12:01:37 AM
Danny Schechter, you "get it". Why should OWS shou... by Timothy Gatto on Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011 at 1:42:40 AM
If you read 200 or so OWS signs, it's pretty clear... by Healthy Breeze on Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011 at 4:08:25 AM
Before real change will happen the consciousness o... by Philip Pease on Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011 at 5:56:01 PM
Acting alone OWS will not be able to end Amer... by Gary Brumback on Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011 at 8:04:48 PM
Perhaps in some ways the Democrats would be more u... by Justin Samuels on Wednesday, Nov 2, 2011 at 8:12:54 AM
An excellent point is raised here. We're all condi... by Robert McNiff on Thursday, Nov 3, 2011 at 7:03:47 PM