Sunday, September 25, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Update

Things are still unfolding so rather than give a full continued analysis now (I gave a perspective earlier here, which was picked up on Disinfo), I'd like to share a couple videos I've come across in the past few days.

There are many, many more examples of footage like this on YouTube if you look around. Girls getting penned up and maced, a guy getting stomped and dragged off.

Here's my thing: it seems to me that these protests are, relatively speaking few people, and that if they were left alone they could get their message out but it would likely fizzle away without too much incident. But the more the NYPD ratchets up the pressure, the more likely that something is going to snap. Do they not realize how close we are to a flashpoint in many areas in this country? Or do they know it and want that so the "story" can be about violent mobs?

Also, check out this commentary from the Guardian:

Why are people occupying Wall Street? Why has the occupation –despite the latest police crackdown – sent out sparks across America, within days, inspiring hundreds of people to send pizzas, money, equipment and, now, to start their own movements called OccupyChicago, OccupyFlorida, in OccupyDenver or OccupyLA?
There are obvious reasons. We are watching the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt. Most, I found, were of working-class or otherwise modest backgrounds, kids who did exactly what they were told they should: studied, got into college, and are now not just being punished for it, but humiliated – faced with a life of being treated as deadbeats, moral reprobates.
Is it really surprising they would like to have a word with the financial magnates who stole their future?
Just as in Europe, we are seeing the results of colossal social failure. The occupiers are the very sort of people, brimming with ideas, whose energies a healthy society would be marshaling to improve life for everyone. Instead, they are using it to envision ways to bring the whole system down.
But the ultimate failure here is of imagination. What we are witnessing can also be seen as a demand to finally have a conversation we were all supposed to have back in 2008. There was a moment, after the near-collapse of the world's financial architecture, when anything seemed possible.

Everything we'd been told for the last decade turned out to be a lie. Markets did not run themselves; creators of financial instruments were not infallible geniuses; and debts did not really need to be repaid – in fact, money itself was revealed to be a political instrument, trillions of dollars of which could be whisked in or out of existence overnight if governments or central banks required it. Even the Economist was running headlines like "Capitalism: Was it a Good Idea?"
It seemed the time had come to rethink everything: the very nature of markets, money, debt; to ask what an "economy" is actually for. This lasted perhaps two weeks. Then, in one of the most colossal failures of nerve in history, we all collectively clapped our hands over our ears and tried to put things back as close as possible to the way they'd been before.

Occupy Wall St page.

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1 comment:

  1. "Do they not realize how close we are to a flashpoint in many areas in this country"

    Have you seen any political discourse at all in the last hree years? They not only don't realize - they don't care as long as they got theirs.



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