A coalition of three Southern Oregon Occupy Movements is joining forces with a local libertarian/Tea Party goup called Wake Up America Southern Oregon for a Monday February 13th protest in Medford against the National Defense Authorization Act. This is one of the first cooperative efforts between such groups. A statement noted that the joint action will "show that united we can begin to stand up to the problems which face us as a nation and a people."
Joe Snook of Wake up America stated in a message "it is time that We the People (all of us) unite!" Occupy Ashland Oregon and Occupy Meford Oregon: "The indefinite detention clauses within this year's National Defense Authorization Act are a direct attack upon the civil rights of all Americans, and represent another step taken toward eroding the freedoms which lay at the foundation of our society." It also pointed to a link to a speech by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, who was one of only thirteen Senators to vote against the bill. (See speech at bottom of this article).
Speakers at the protest will include Gil Gilbertson, Josephine County Sheriff, Joseph Snook of Wake Up America, Ben Playfaire of Occupy Medford, Linda Sturgeon of Occupy Ashland, and Jeff Golden, affiliated with a public TV/Internet show called "Immense Possibilities."
Others have called for cooperation between the two groups in those areas where their interests overlap. Preservation of the rights defined in the U.S. Constitution appear to be one of the prime areas of mutual concern. The Wake Up America Southern Oregon states that "Written in plain English, the learning of the Constitution is pivotal to guarding each American's liberties. As it is learned, it will be shared with others so that they, too, can understand that through the Constitution they can be protected." The Occupy Movement bases the act of occupation upon "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" as defined in the first Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Some of the writers that have called for cooperation include Conor Friedersdorf of the Atlantic, whose piece "Why the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Should Cooperate" appeared in the early days of OWS, noting that both Tea Party and OWS were both against "phony capitalism."
In 2010, Ralph Nader wrote an article entitled "Where Left and Right Converge (Anti-Corporatism)." He cited cooperation between Barney Frank and Ron Paul on military cuts, and stated "A convergence of liberal-progressives with conservative-libertarians centering on the autocratic, corporate-dominated nature of our government may be growing."
There has been reaction against such cooperation, such as this from a conservative news organization, and this from a writer who has studied and written about the Tea Party and who predicts that such an alliance would be "unproductive."
A libertarian presence in the early stages of the Occupy Wall Street movement is undeniable, but has diminished, possibly as a result of OWS groups advocating causes such as helping the homeless that libertarians may have fundamental problems in understanding. Noam Chomsky, speaking at the University of Madison during the 2010 protests is reported to have called to the left to reach out to the Tea Party:
Chomsky, the firebrand liberal who spent most of his life critiquing and attacking US hegemony and foreign policy, said the left is failing the country by not reaching out to those in the Tea Party movement, who are frustrated and fed up with American government.The Oregon coalition's call to action addressed both uniting disparate groups and the process of generating solutions toward solving the problems of the nation together, as addressed in OWS' Declaration of the Occupation of New York City."
"They shouldn't be laughed at. It's not a joke," Chomsky told the packed theater. "Ridiculing the Tea Party shenanigans is a terrible mistake. Why are those voices of discontent being mobilized by the extreme Right?"
A demonstration uniting groups and individuals from across the political spectrum will be held on the 13th to show that united we can begin to stand up to the problems which face us as a nation and a people."
This article was originally published at scribillare.com.