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OWS: The Next Phase From Protest to Organization?

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 11/13/11

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The Next Phase: From Protest to Organization?
Where Will The Next Phase of Occupy Wall Street Take Us?

By Danny Schechter, Author of The Crime Of Our Time

A week ago, I produced a TV documentary on inside the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York. http://www.presstv.ir/Program/208834.html

It was already somewhat obsolete by the time it aired globally.

Liberty Park, once a buzzing center of debate and open-air meetings has gone residential in the sense that virtually every square inch of what was a half-acre political terrarium is now dominated by tents, an effort to insure more protection from the elements and some better level of personal security.

As private spaces proliferated, public space shrunk.

Now, public health officials are raising the dangers of the spread of germs while violent incidents in other cities have police nationwide threatening to shut down the occupations in the name, of course, of preserving public safety.

The first happened in Oakland, a town with a long history of police violence that was on display when cops overran the camp, seriously hurting an Iraq veteran, and triggering a call for a General Strike. Now the gendarmerie are hoping to shut it all down.

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Reports The Digital Journal http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/314301#ixzz1dViEGFiQ

"Police warned that the camp was illegal and that protesters face arrest if they did not break up the camp. Police have lately been complaining about the presence of the camp, saying it was drawing needed personnel from policing crime in the city. An open letter the Oakland Police Officer's Association issued after the shooting, said:

"With last night's homicide, in broad daylight, in the middle of rush hour, Frank Ogawa Plaza is no longer safe"Please leave peacefully, with your heads held high, so we can get police officers back to work fighting crime in Oakland neighborhoods."

There followed two more tragic events that Occupy organizers deny they had anything to do with:

"On the same day the Oakland shooting occurred, a military veteran from Chittenden County committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. The incident occurred in an Occupy tent in City Hall Park, Burlington, Vermont".' A similar tragic event occurred at the Salt Lake City Occupy encampment on Friday. A man was found dead in his tent. Police suspect he died from a combination of drug use and carbon monoxide."

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These incidents are being blamed on the occupations and may become the pretext for another effort to crush the movement. That could lead to bloody confrontations that the movement may not be able to win. Already, police are infiltrating,  as this video makes clear.

At the same time, Occupy Wall Street may be facing a fork in the road as the protest movement wrestles with how to become a more effective political force.

The tension between achieving reforms through protests and promoting a deeper revolution is evident in intense debates and discussions that take place outside the park in churches and at a atrium at 60 Wall Street, a public space next to the Deutshe Bank building,

So at various points in the days, bankers leaving their offices unknowingly walk by intense circles of people in far funkier and more practical clothing huddled into circles to discuss strategies and tactics in work groups operating on principles of open discussion an effort to find consensus.

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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 Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

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