As the Occupy Wall Street movement moves past its first month of peaceful protest of the relationship between the U.S. government and corporations and continues to be a threat to the establishment, the orders are being handed down from the 1% to do something about it. Like yesterday's leftovers, the establishment wants to send the liberty lovers packing -- and what better way than a good old-fashioned infiltrate and divide strategy.
An inside source of the NYPD has let it slip that the strategy, termed "Operation Disturbance," is to bargain with inmates from the City of New York Department of Corrections to infiltrate the inner circles of Occupy Wall Street and to become violent. Only inmates nearing the end of their sentences will be considered for the task. In return, they will be set free with a cash bonus and sealed lips. The goal of Operation Disturbance is to divide the demonstrators and instigate violence as a means of disintegrating the integrity of the movement.
The scenario just described is a figment of my imagination, but the Egyptian government used similar tactics in Tahrir Square last spring to disrupt the peaceful demonstration that was intended to remove President Mubarak from power. The demonstration, as a result of infiltration by plainclothes policemen, turned violent, with more than 800 casualties and over 6,000 injured. The populist Egyptian Revolution is still being fought today because, even though the Mubarak regime has been disassembled, the military has filled the power vacuum with an even tighter fist of control.
A revolution is not fought at the point of a gun but in the minds of the participants. The Egyptians are experiencing this reality in their ongoing struggle for freedom from oppression and tyranny. Their struggle began with a strong emotional desire for a change in the governance of their country, lacking any specific demands, outside of the removal of President Mubarak from power, necessary for any real change in their day-to-day lives. Only when enough people rein in their instincts and examine the situation with a touch of rationale and logic, will a revolution of ideas take place -- and only then can real positive change occur.
Even though Mubarak has been removed from a direct position of power, the zeitgeist is the same. Occupy Wall Street has something to learn from the Egyptian uprising. Perhaps most important is self-education of the principles behind the mantras. It does no good to punish or retaliate against one class or another only because you feel betrayed or exploited. It is now that the pro-liberty movement in America must pause for a moment and discuss the principles of their actions. What are the ends we, as a nation and as individuals, wish to attain. Certainly we are capable of realizing that a continuation of what has been done is no strategy to create a future that is truly free from oppression.
Another lesson to be learned from the Egyptian case is that as soon as violence entered the picture, the goals of the people became distorted -- intentionally or not -- and in many ways, incommunicable. It is advised that the people occupying Wall Street keep careful watch for any signs of impending violence and extinguish them immediately. Wrongs will be righted when We stand United.