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Occupying a "Street" Will Ultimately Fail

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I receive daily emails from David Swanson, a fellow I met at a seminar in Washington, DC.   I appreciate those emails and hope to continue to receive them.  

I have a mailing list and I'm a bit timid about asking people to join my mailing list.   People don't want to read the same stuff over and over and over again.   They know where I'm coming from.   I hardly send out any rants or information anymore because it's all been said and done.   Most of it has, anyway.

Mr. Swanson sends or forwards two or three rants/articles per day.   And they all say the same thing.   They all urge us to "do something about it."

I remember Mr. Swanson saying something like, "If you've never been arrested for protesting against inequality, you're not trying hard enough."   Really.

In my thinking, in my feelings, I may be left of Karl Marx.   If everyone was able to live in a world in which one person says to another, "How many do you have?" and the other says, "None", so the first person says, "Well, I have two and I only need one, so, here, you have the other", I'd consider that as close to religious Nirvana on earth as possible.   But we are dealing with "brains" - literally, physically speaking.   I'm not a doctor in any field, including medicine.   However, I've found that our brains control us, not the other way around.

Mr. Swanson and others, including me, have been trying to change minds for many years.   When's the last time you've heard that someone's received a "mind transplant" or "mind surgery".   The "mind" is every bit as real as a "soul".

Hearts, as we know, do exist.   However, there really has never been a contest in which the prize is a heart, as far as I know.   There are lotteries of sorts for heart transplants, but no contests in which one can "win a heart".   Yet, what Mr. Swanson wants to do is to change people's minds and win their hearts.   I'll keep my heart, thank you.   I need it to live.

We are going after the wrong parts of people.   In fact, we are going after parts that people don't even have.

Who is the 1%?   Do members of the 1% get out of bed in the morning (or night), put on uniforms, strap on belts that carry guns, pepper spray and hand cuffs and show up where the "99%" are protesting and become caught up in the disorganization of city blocks?   Does this confusion send their blood pressure sky high and cause the brains of some of these people to tell them to pepper spray the protesters?   I don't think that the people about whom I'm writing are part of the 1%.

First of all, there are so many of them that it would be difficult to believe that there's only 1%.  

There's a person who claims to be part of the 53% who've been foreclosed upon, who are finding it hard to make ends meet, who've lost jobs, don't blame Wall Street.   This person's body reacts to hormones/substances in his brain which tell him to be too lazy to read books like Matt Taibi's book GRIFTOPIA, which explains clearly and in no uncertain terms how Wall Street gambled America's GDP away; how Goldman-Sachs backed the bets so that the betters wouldn't really lose, even if they actually lost in reality and how we bailed out Goldman-Sachs and the other losers with our tax money.   There are other works in the library or in book stores which corroborate Taibi's revelations.

We're now seeing an uprising of what people are calling "the left", to differentiate them from the teabaggers, and it, at first blush, seems exciting and refreshing to many.   However, what about the so called "53%"?   Most of the police who are pepper spraying protesters are protected by unions.   They are protecting the very same people who want to totally deunionize, if you will, the entire Formerly United States of America.   They aren't really the 53%.   They're part of the 99%.   They're jobs are daily on the line.   Their lives are daily on the line, but it's not that to which I'm referring this time.   There's no telling when a Corporatocracy friendly governor will take collective bargaining rights away from the union to which the pepper sprayers belong or even privatize the policing of an entire state with a policing version of Blackwater.  

Yet, there they are, arresting Mr. Swanson and others who are protesting on their behalf.

The word "occupy" has an interesting meaning as well.   In the late '60s and early '70s, protesters physically overtook offices of university presidents and actually physically occupied those offices.   They didn't "occupy" the road that led to the offices.   As long as the "action" continues to happen out on the streets and as long as half of the 99% are stopping the other half of the 99% from actually entering the buildings and occupying the offices of the CEOs and vice presidents of the greedy Corporatocracy, there will be no change.   I submit that the people who are working in those monolithic buildings couldn't care less how many times David Swanson or anyone else is arrested.   Those arrests are between the arrested individuals and the judicial system.

While Mr. Swanson and others are being processed, gambling still happens inside the buildings which half of the 99% is stopping the other half of the 99% from entering.   The gambling is happening using whatever mortgages are left with which to bet and are being backed by Goldman-Sachs and this will lead to another bailout, which Congress will approve.   Just as the teabaggers are learning that all the tough talk from teabagger supported members of Congress was bullshit and that there are parameters inside which Congress must work, so, too, will the so called "occupiers" learn that candidates will come forward and promise every bit of what the occupiers demand, only to either forget about it after they're elected or possibly pass watered down legislation that doesn't even come close to doing what the occupiers are demanding needs to be done.

Why the cynicism?   Do I believe that the occupiers are wasting their time?   Not totally.   It inconveniences people to give up whatever it is they do to gather and protest.   It must be very uncomfortable to be arrested.   However, if one is going to be arrested for something, one should be arrested for more than making a policeman, who's too stupid to understand that he's defending the wrong people, angry.   If it stays totally non-physical on the part of the protesters, with all of the offensive physical action being conducted by the half of the 99% who believes it's OK for Wall Street gamblers to use their mortgages as gambling money, the gamblers can comfortably, albeit not as comfortably as it would be without the racket and disruption outside, count our their bonuses and CEOs and top officers can continue to sign contracts with corporations, something that the very same CEOs don't believe workers should have the right to do, for multimillion dollar compensation packages.  It'll still happen.

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Michael Bonanno is an associate editor for OpEdNews.

He is also a published poet, essayist and musician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bonanno is a political progressive, not a Democratic Party apologist. He believes it's (more...)
 

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Occupiers need to occupy, not loiter.Michael Bonan... by Michael Bonanno on Monday, Oct 17, 2011 at 9:13:24 AM
As only one black woman occupying one front seat o... by michael hersch on Monday, Oct 17, 2011 at 11:34:07 AM
You don't have to occuply the streets to win. &nb... by Mark A. Goldman on Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011 at 9:27:34 AM