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Infra violence

By Michael J. Smith on Friday November 18, 2011 09:52 PM

I've been pondering my mixed feelings about last night's OWS event at Foley Square. Might as well confess that I was a little disappointed that the crowd was so well-behaved. I'm deeply convinced that no real social change ever happens without some lawbreaking, and that stopping traffic is the very least you can do. But last night, a crowd of 30,000 people -- by some accounts -- allowed themselves to be squeezed onto the sidewalk, so louts in SUVs could continue to drive down Centre Street.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a connection here to the union contingents. It's wonderful that the unions have come to the party, of course. But they really seemed to be in charge last night, and their recent history -- I mean in the last half-century or so -- and institutional culture are anything but insurrectionary.

Full disclosure: It creeped me out to see all these SEIU types wearing T-shirts with the word 'MARSHALL' [sic] printed on them in big type. And at the narrowest point of the Centre Street sidewalk bottleneck, in front of the municipal building, one saw an extraordinary spectacle: a double line of these 'marshalls' lined up in front of the police cordon, and facing, like them, toward the crowd -- rather than toward the cops. Have I made the picture clear? It was like the 'marshalls' were the first line of defense against the crowd, and the cops were the second. I thought then, and still think, that there's something very wrong with this picture.

During the tense ten minutes or so when barricades were getting kicked over and the cops were sweating big greasy smelly beads of coward sweat, there was a young chap -- not a union guy, I think; looked just like a regular mid-20s Occupier -- who did a 'people's mic' thing and tried to calm all us hotheads down. I can't reproduce his exact words, but what it came down to was that the right-wing media -- which is to say, all the media -- would have a field day if we got out of line.

The kids are all right. But all of us, of course, are still dragging around various selections of mind-forg'd manacles. Among them, the fetish of law-abidingness, and the fear of backlash and bad press, are surely among the most burdensome.

But I don't want to turn into some kind of Jacobin-magazine alter-kaker, so let me end on a pleasanter note:


Comments (60)

James Nostack:

Shorter me: Hey man, nobody is stopping you from breaking the law, except the cops.

TL;DR version:
Speaking as only an occasional participant, it seems like the Occupy thing isn't so much a political event with an explicit agenda, but instead a societal or cultural event with a moral critique. It's not that this particular campaign finance law or whatever is inadequate, but rather that our governing class is incompetent, immoral, and unaccountable, and likely a dumb idea to begin with.

I think you risk that moral critique by engaging in violence. It might ultimately be necessary, but it doesn't seem like many of the protesters feel it's reached that point yet on anything other than the occasional scuffle.

Instead, Bloomberg and the NYPD (and maybe other cities too) are intermittently treating the sheer act of sitting around doing nothing much as a revolutionary act. They're making it so that your existence at a particular point in space and time is the battlefield. You're fighting them just by showing up, just by breathing. Because apparently that's the fight they want to have.

The more the system freaks out over dudes standing around, the stronger this thing will get, but I think it will take a long time. Sufficient unto the day are the Class A misdemeanors thereof.

Anyway, peace, warmth, safety and good luck to you when you're next out there.


Yes. Just being there is the crime. Time to embrace the implicit criminality of our existence, and our desire for bread in our mouths and a roof -- or even a tent -- over our heads.


Yeah, I was unnerved by how freakin' quiet the crowd was. 30000 people oughta be able to make some fucking noise. I also chalked it up to the union crowd.

I'm not usually one for chanting or sloganeering at demos but I made a point to chant and shout as often and as loudly as my voice could stand. Probably right around the time you were kicking down barriers I was stuck on the corner of Chambers and Park Row where the cops were trying to corral everyone onto the sidewalk of Chambers instead of just letting us go down Park Row to the bridge. Not sure what the plan was there.

Anyway, I was pissed because we weren't getting anywhere and started to shout 'Let us march!". The crowd around me picked up the chant and a few minutes after THAT, the cops opened the barricades and let us just go down Park Row after all.

So I have to cop to be kinda disappointed to hear people behind me were kicking down barriers because I had convinced myself that I was the king of the march for starting up my little chant.


In the aftermath of (hangover from?) N17, I am beginning to get a nagging sense that OWS is Hopeychangey in another form. This was what lurked beneath my question to you, MJS, about missed opportunity.


civil disobedience
takes plans repared participants
and disciplined execution

not black block stink bombing
not burning cans full of dog shit
those are stunts

stopping traffic is one of those venerable political antinomies

are you yet
the synecdoche of the larger "multitude "
you want to mobilize
at the time of this action ?
will they see you as their agency ??

if you are not
then shit ya
consider the down side

if you are
there is no down side

and part of that "you are"
is a matter of assertion
clear forceful ascertion

"we are the 99 "
does that

but now you must act the part

ask the question
do the 99 want some one
to bring this nasty fucker to a hault ???

IS this the nasty fucker ???


father characterizes the stopped traffic as SUV'S
like a good bike nut should
are the 99 bike nuts

stop traffic to me has its power as a metaphor
its literal imperative strikes me as
a tactic to be used selectively

the seiu hierarchy is indeed creepy

high school student council like

opportunistic manipulative
field trips
and gym class exercising are more its venue

there comes a time for street scraps

greece reached that a ways back
the people have taken their sides
the sides have hardened
the tests of strength are what remains there

will in a few locations thye sides are polarizing
but are we there
are we spain
let alone egypt ???


the civiol rights movement was explicitly non violent

the black power movement was willing to go the next step

the black nation had its sides well consolidated by the time black power
"upped the ante "

aren't the OWS more like the civil rights ground swell

and consider this
if the target equivalent to jim crow is corporate hegemony
then the black nation here
is the job nation

they in their overwhelmning majority
commute in cars and on buses
to earn their wages ......on thursdays


i am that alter-kaker father s

and talk of tactics is in my estimation
not kvetching its harmless kibitzing

my guess a line is crossed when an old gas bang like me tries pulling rank on these raw ones

in matters of rebellion there is no higher authority
just actions
feed back
and re organization

get organized
have a plan
act and act boldly and keep acting boldly

but only when and where the iron is hot
the hammer sound and the blow won't miss
its mark

play to win


"The more the system freaks out over dudes standing around, the stronger this thing will get"
there's much in that

the co ordinated raids the 18 mayors call
the whole biz
was a shot in the arm at a timely moment

the challenge is the new "face " of the OWS
the post encampment face
the dudes standing around in public
the loitering as rebellion stage
is now past

recall the homeless movement this can't just be a petty bourgeois simulated
homeless movement
next ??

coaxey's army ??
assemble the OCCS from everywhere
but slowly over months

with a fuuture plan to become
a massive nation touring rabble ??

a childrens crusade ???

go south for the winter
muster the national tour in charlotte nc
then move south for the winter
to miami florida for training exercises
you know like base ball and the circus


i like the swallowed intricacy
of attitude

implied by this

"A vicar, two topless girls, and six people dressed as cardboard houses walk into a demonstration....."

makes my day

James Nostack:

I agree that this thing will have to change its tactics eventually. But there's no rush. There hasn't been anything like this in, like, 40 years. I'm happy taking the time to get it right.

For all the chanting that "We are the 99%," I think the, um, greater multitudes aren't totally on board with that. (Just as no one person can speak for the Occupiers, I'm not sure how any group can speak for 297 million people.) Anecdote follows:

On Friday I spent an hour or two at the park. A number of "straights" voiced sympathy, but had the usual complaints: (a) you guys need leadership, (b) you guys need goals, (c) you guys need to get better optics than a bunch of longhairs playing hackey sack and ranting about the Delaware Chancery Court being the Demonweb Pits of Lolth the Spider-Goddess.

I tried to defuse these criticisms as best I could - I think they seriously miss the point - but the fact that we're still hearing them 2 months into this thing despite pretty extensive (if shallow) media coverage says that the broader public isn't quite on board yet.

The other thing is that even if violence were tactically helpful, I don't think that makes it right. One of my major beefs against "state capitalism" or whatever you call it is precisely its eagerness to use violence and coercion whenever its cost-benefit analysis suggests that's the way to handle problems. Bloomberg, for example, doesn't have to use thousands of cops and 6 helicopters outside my apartment window to handle this thing. But that's his instinct. And because that's his instinct, I don't like him.

If it becomes necessary, I guess that's a different story. But I think we'll know when that happens. In the meantime, I agree with "op" that discipline and strength can take other forms, and that's something to work on.

Sorry for being so long-winded!


good "input"

"That there will be violence between now and 'then' goes without saying, but that actually offers no perspective at all on whether violence (or rather,law-breaking) on a given occasion is called for. "

"In reference to the Occupations,
they are not The Revolution;
we don't know what they are really,
We have to do more thinking than has been done so far, and I'm not even sure where it should begin"

" criticism
(a) won't change the behavior or practice criticized,
(b) won't contribute to the process of theorizing what is happening. More has to happen,"

" We have an embryonic left now
of enormous but not understood potential. "


I don't think many of the elites are really aware how many hits their credibility - as an accurate source of information or as competent managers of the nation - in the last decade. Enron, Iraq WMDs, the housing bubble and crash.

They still believe the image - no doubt backed up with polls and surveys and market data - that things are going well for most people. OWS was an unwelcome reminder that their numbers are about as accurate as a Brezhnev era production report.

Even now they are planning press strategies and PR blitzes to "discredit" OWS because that's how it's done - and why it won't work. Are they going to try and demonize people who are un or underemployed - that's a growing number everyday.

James Nostack:

fledermaus wrote:
"I don't think many of the elites are really aware how many hits their credibility - as an accurate source of information or as competent managers of the nation - in the last decade. Enron, Iraq WMDs, the housing bubble and crash."

Yes, exactly! When I was playing tour guide yesterday, I made that point repeatedly. People at the Occupy events have a zillion different perspectives, and probably don't agree on very much. There are some dudes in Zuccotti who are professional Communists, and others who are professional punk rocker types. But they all agree that the Emperor has no clothes, because he doesn't. And anyone who's been alive over the past 10 years knows it.


Fleder, my understanding is the polls, surveys, etc aren't too encouraging to the powers that be either. The public wants a lot of things that the elites are refusing them. The savvier elites are actually all too aware of the polls and surveys. They paint a threatening picture.

Here's just one: about 35% of the population is favorably disposed to socialism. Pretty damn good when you consider decades of relentless propaganda , Joe M, etc.


One of my Lefty email list correspondents recently made a very good point: 'non-violence' is a meaningless term when it purports to describe a strategy or a tactic, but 'non-violent civil disobedience' does mean something. The civil rights movement of the 60s practiced the latter, to good effect. Note however that it absolutely implies breaking the law.

James Nostack:

Sure, and that's a very good point. But my understanding of the civil disobedience movement in the 1960's is that the people who were doing it received a fuck-ton of training.

Wasn't a critical part of Gandhi's method that those engaging in civil disobedience had to discipline themselves, so they wouldn't give in to the perfectly human instinct of reciprocal violence?

If you've got a few thousand random people who suddenly get attacked by cops, it's going to be PR disaster because by-and-large our culture is absurdly pro-police. People only turn against law enforcement when the police are shown to be totally and completely in the wrong. Quelling a riot, regardless of who started it, isn't going to be seen as "in the wrong."

I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with you: at some point this has to step up. But that stepping up isn't just an event in the physical world, it's going to require a maturation of commitment and internal responsibility as well.

Here is a question! On a couple of occasions when I've been down there, I've seen one or two guys shouting crazy stuff, like "Kill! The! Cops! Kill! The! Cops!" (Might just be one guy on multiple occasions.) How do you approach a guy like that and tell him to knock that shit off in a respectful way?


James: you tell him to go back to the precinct, eat his doughnut, collect his check. Perhaps nominate him for a Tony.


Another old Red comrade of mine used to refer to "non-violence training", disparagingly, as "boot camp for pacifists". I always thought the insistence on it reflected the educational/managerial/bureaucratic mentality that a lot of Pwogs bring into movement work with them. How much training do you need to sit down and not move?

That's precisely what it is, Mr. Smith: the importation of a managerial insistence on divisible labor, with trained professionals doing the business of securing the market for a particular kind of "protest" and the brand awareness associated with it.

Fuck' em, and fuck that.

I agree that non-violent civil disobedience has a place as a set of tactics within a larger strategic approach to the state we have. But it still doesn't matter. This isn't 1963, and it sure as hell isn't 1917. The means of control are often disguised as disinterested entertainment, and they function simultaneously as the only form of a continental information distribution. People are fragmented within that network of lies, even as it pretends to unify its consumers in a national and cultural story of norms.

As compelling as the Occupy thing is, they really, really don't actually represent the 99%, as was mentioned above. They represent, and mostly symbolically for those of us not lucky enough to live near a financial district, dissatisfaction, but they are themselves are perhaps the least likely to appreciate how little their confrontations with the police matter, in terms of changing the minds of the other 280 millions who are either not direct managers of the empire, nor their ownership.

This isn't to dismiss confrontations with the police, which are good and valid on their own rights. As we discussed below, every head hit by a baton is a potential radical in the making.

But what's happening in NYC, Oakland, Atlanta and the other urban expressions of discontent is still nonetheless a sideshow, as far as our earthly masters are concerned.

Which is why they are content to take the temporary hits to their image by sending in the peace keeper goons.* If they were really worried, or better yet, frightened, the initial response would not be ranked officers and LRADs. It would be the appearance of concessions, a manufactured criminal justice round up, including the stage managed sacking of "corrupt" politicians, and the prosecution of a banker or two, accompanied by concerted efforts to break off the black contingent from the white college one, the anti-war faction from the anti-finance one, and the liberals from the socialists.

No doubt, some of that is happening as we discuss this from the remove of the ethernet, but the conditions don't really obligate it, yet. We approach the Iowa caucuses, the NH primary and the start of the silly season. A number of those in the streets can and will be corralled into electoralism, especially as the Republicans do their level best to pretend to be falangists and other crazy people who hear the voices of the gods.

As fond as I personally am of any opportunity for people to be radicalized by resisting the police, we are not at the historical moment for an alternative to the bourgeois managerial training of pacifists, yet. And it pains me to type it, because they deserve only contempt. The middlers still have their hands all over the "99%" and the good liberals are still firmly in control of the identity defining narrative of reform.

* - and IranWar or Hizbollah Strikes! will probably by enough to obviate the need for direct confrontations with the blue line; conversely, on reading the police sites like PoliceOne, it's becoming more than apparent that they're starting to rethink the Quan-Bloomie overreaction. The "Madison Method" is getting a lot of play.


What's the Madison Method?




here is a sinister move :

"Today it is the "We Are Ohio" movement and the Wisconsinrecall campaigns, rather than Occupy Wall Street, that represent the modern equivalents of the civil rights movement's grass-roots organizing campaigns. "

a completely destructive formulation

the writer goes on to urge...
anti union busting balloteering
as a contemporary paradigm
for real grass roots organizing
sure in some ways that's like the sncc voter registration drives post 64-65
but only in form brother

one is a fresh exercise of a state recognized right
the other is the winning of that right
for the first time in 90 years !!!!

this however is why organization
gets into building tappering stacks
above itself

coordinating complex multifunction efforts

as in

" these recent campaigns against laws designed to eliminate the right to union representation"
because unlike the motley blob of occ
" thousands of volunteers engaged in door to door canvassing, literature distribution, the manning of tables in shopping centers and the operation of phone banks - the hard, grueling, unsung work that is indispensable for successful grass-roots campaigns."

" The one-on-one, face-to-face organizing techniques of the Ohio and Wisconsin movements actually displayed substantial similarities with the techniques of traditional trade union organizing as well as with the civil rights movement."

voter rights drives here get morphed to

the generality of civil rights

i like efforts to scold and shame the free form expressing of the OOC
by suggesting real movements involve hard unsexy work


real movement roles are like ...errr gosh


the irony of this is nice so i'll repeat it

" The one-on-one, face-to-face organizing techniques of the Ohio and Wisconsin movements actually displayed substantial similarities with the techniques of traditional trade union organizing as well as with the civil rights movement."
a bear growls ...like a bear

the crow gets in a few good caw caws

but i must gainsay this bit:

"what's happening in NYC, Oakland, Atlanta and the other urban expressions of discontent is still nonetheless a sideshow, as far as our earthly masters are concerned"

no its not a side show
they'd like to make it one but it isn't not yet
in fact the wave of synchronized raids
was a blunder on their part

it might have degenerated into a side show
though i saw signs of refocus and re ordering underway among them raws
but at any rate the state coulda let it roll on a ways

reminds me of waco
the fuckers just seem to find it irresistable
to show us helots just who's in charge

"the initial response would not be ranked officers and LRADs. It would be the appearance of concessions, a manufactured criminal justice round up, including the stage managed sacking of "corrupt" politicians, and the prosecution of a banker or two"

i think this not followed scenario
marshalls evidence for a contrary conclusion

the question today is indeed
why has the state not taken this soft approach ???

but its not because its confident it can ignore this playfull kids stuff

i submit the state in its collective mind
at this point already
yes already
dares not
feed the beast
not even a few judas goat heads
starve it
lest it grow confident hungrier and more ambitious

the instinct to avoid throwing up demands
is exactly the correct response
they ain't gonna give here

don't make demands
take action !!!

if this ground swell becomes near enough
to smell like rebellion
i see perhaps
a deng "shoot a few of em " moment
at the far horizon

not yet
nor even approaching
but perhaps

there it is over there
like a distant buzzard on a limb

maybe if this escalates enough ....

you know
we all get to the point where
if your obummer's backers
and pulling the strings above the heads
of the league of sitting mayahs and gubners
you damn well don't give the protesters
anyone's brass balls on a platter
you smash them ragin' free rangin'
little critters
and crush em frightfully

we're not there yet of course not

not by a country mile

hell greece isn't there yet

syria ??
ya their there and then some

but i hope its out there for us too
up ahead

ten ...a hundred kent states

but maybe
that second wind of sanity might set in
instead it does now and again
and we get not token heads that won't get it done
and they know it
but a big change
a spring time in america for jobblers

--- to get any shot at that
i say
not just the parks and streets
must be ours
but the job sites
the source of it all
we will need to rise up there too
those sacred places of private profit
must come apart at the seams
before anything with a stomach to it
is posible .....of course ...right ?? --

at an rate
cops will give way to national guard
by then
and it goes without saying
we won't have to provoke state violence
if we gain that sort of momentum
that potential purchase
on their financial throats


parting thought

the two party state is as hated here as the one party state in dng's china



the silly season presents as much
the likeihood of opportunity as opportunism

if ever SMBIVA needed to cow girl up

its this coming year

i recall distinctly the feel of the farther side of ballot box democracy in the summer and fall of 68

its here again and there'll be no
wooden duck
no decoy
no clean gene this time

ohbummer would have to get shot..and even then ....

this is not a time when biden could play lbj
and shit look where that went

exciting times ???

why the fuck not


i agree with gloomy jack
on the madison method fad
about to wash over cop nation

we will see a cop stand down now
for now

obviously just the time to zap the nerve endings of corporate amerika


One of the questions that interests me just now is to what extent the cops have become a kind of loose-cannon force -- a political element in their own right, like the Praetorian Guard back in the day. Did Quan really decide to release the Kraken, or did the Kraken release himself, and take Quan along for the ride?

Seeing the cops at Occupy venues here in NYC, I've had the strong feeling that they'd really, really like to do a Chicago '68, but that Mike is holding them back, at least some of the time.

Years ago, an aphorism occurred to me, during the period when the NYPD was growing into the Baby Huey of New York politics: A police state is not only run by the police, it's run to some non-negligible extent for the police -- or more precisely, by the police for their own gratification to the extent that they can indulge it.

This is not to excuse the Quans and the Bloombergs, of course. These people are monsters and the only suitable place for them to end up is a lamppost. But as I've often said, this is not a monolith we're confronting. it has a number of moving parts, each pursuing its own ends.


surely the new york cops are on a leash
and know it

and the pepper spray fiasco suggests
that lease often has a pea brained pit bull
on the end of it

do they wear a choke collar as well ??

well no
but i think for certain
they can be fitted to one rather quickly
if indeed
the right people agree its necessary

there is always the sensible state objective

keep the fuckin cops
at least feared if not respected

and after a series of keystone episodes

watch out !!!!

here comes the clubin' and maimin'


Occupy Wall Street, not the ballot box

By: Mike Tudoreanu November 17, 2011


"Ever since the Occupy movement started, there have beenpeople saying we should take our concerns to the ballotbox. There have been people saying that it isuncivilized and disruptive to start encampments incities across the nation when we can have our concernsmet by voting progressive candidates into office. Theirargument is that we should enact change through theproper channels, and anyone who refuses to do that isjust being a nuisance. As a proud member of the 99percent, I wish to give my reply to such arguments: We already tried doing what you suggest. It didn'twork. In 2008, the Democratic Party scored its greatestelectoral victory in over 30 years. A supposedlyliberal president got elected to the White House, whilethe Democrats swept through the U.S. House ofRepresentatives and won a super-majority in the Senate.If your strategy for change is to vote for liberalcandidates, you could not possibly dream of a betteroutcome than in 2008. I remember people eagerlyspeculating what the new liberal era might hold. WouldBarack Obama be a new Franklin Roosevelt? Would therebe a new New Deal, with bold new infrastructureprograms - perhaps high-speed rail - to create jobs andrevive the economy? Would the government bailoutworking families and stop foreclosures? Would theyrepeal George W. Bush's tax cuts for the rich? Wouldthere be universal health care? Would there be a carbontax or a cap-and-trade scheme to fight climate change?Would the Employee Free Choice Act be passed to defendunions? Would Obama close Guantanamo, stop throwingpeople in prison without charges or end the wars? As it turns out, the answer was none of the above. Nota single one. The Democrats spent two years in controlof every branch of government, and could not pass evenone of the policies demanded by the people whocampaigned for them and voted them into office. Thebest they could do was to pass a pathetic excuse forhealth care reform, which made things only slightlybetter and was actually more conservative than thehealth care reforms once proposed by Richard Nixon. Todefend this amazing record of inaction, the Democratskept blaming the Republicans for being "the party ofno" and continually trying to obstruct theirlegislation. I'm sorry, but if you can't get yourlegislation passed even when you control all branchesof government by wide margins, then you have got to bethe most incompetent political party in the history ofthis planet. So why should we once again pin our hopesand dreams on people who basically admit they areuseless? The Occupy movement arose precisely because mainstreampolitics failed the working people of this country.There are only two political parties to vote for: oneof them is insane, the other is useless, and they areboth receiving hundreds of millions of dollars fromcorporations and banks. Trying to enact change throughthe ballot box has clearly become little more than awaste of time. Nearly all politicians rely on lavishdonations from the top 1 percent to get into office, sothey will naturally do the bidding of the 1 percentonce they get there. It may be possible to elect one ortwo congressmen or senators without relying oncorporate sponsors - that does happen every now andthen - but what can a few good people do inside agovernment where everyone else has been bought and paidfor? And how long could they stick to their principleswhen Wall Street starts making them offers they can'trefuse? Also, let's not forget that the media isdominated by a few corporations owned by the 1 percent.Any elected politicians who really threatened theinterests of the rich would have all major TV stations,newspapers and high-traffic websites turn against them. That is why we cannot win from within the politicalsystem. So we have no choice but to go outside it. Whenthe rules of the game are stacked against you, you havegot to change the game. The Occupy movement does notand must not get involved in electoral politics,because campaigning for candidates who promise hope andchange is a waste of time and energy. As Bush soeloquently put it, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool metwice, shame on ... well, you can't get fooled again." But, one might ask, what else is there to do other thantrying to get candidates elected? There is plenty todo. Corrupt politicians will not listen to the peoplewhen we give them what little money we have or campaignfor them, but they will listen when they fear whatmight happen if they don't. They will listen whenworkers across an entire city or state go on a generalstrike. They will listen when tens of thousands ofpeople march peacefully in the streets in defiance oforders to go home. They will listen when those samepeople occupy parks and keep coming back in spite ofpolice brutality. The purpose of the Occupy movement is to deliver asimple message to the 1 percent and their paidspokesmen in government. That message is this: You rulebecause we allow you to rule. Your government, yourcorporations and your banks exist because we give ourconsent for them to exist. If you will not listen tous, we will withdraw that consent."

Mike Tudoreanu is a Collegian contributor. He can bereached at mtudorea@econs.umass.edu.


a lesson worth learning

in agit prop

there are many takes and retakes

to keep the performance punched up high enough day after day thru repeat after repeat
requires more then the winds of inspiration
you need a well oiled motor


" I've seen one or two guys shouting crazy stuff, like "Kill! The! Cops! Kill! The! Cops!" (Might just be one guy on multiple occasions.) How do you approach a guy like that and tell him to knock that shit off in a respectful way?"


"James: you tell him to go back to the precinct, eat his doughnut, collect his check. Perhaps nominate him for a Tony"

a days worth of comment cage crawling
has its sudden unexpected brief rewards

thanx father s for that one


Wish I could take credit for it, but it wasn't mine.


hell it was chom chom again
sorry father

that's two he owes me

James Nostack:

I'll use it next time I see him. I hope to go out tomorrow. (I am a fair weather friend of the Occupiers.)

Here's something I've been thinking about today:

In my very limited knowledge of civil disobedience, the really classic examples (Salt March, Rosa Parks, lunch-counter sit-in's) were all targeted at dramatizing a specific law that was unjust.

What's the modern equivalent? Which "in" do you sit, in 2011 America? Other than Wall Street? Other than everywhere?


Recall narita airport or sea brook ?

The attempts to block those erections brought out the best in confrontation dramatics
In non lethal weapons and tactics

It's easier to attack a position then defend it if the other side is cops

My son in law convinced me the occ has another alternative it might consider

a David and Goliath soap opera
An ongoing series of confrontations
With further efforts to shut off the wall street tit down there

The cops he said had an added advantage they used the press line as a shield
The bridge op was a union gig later in the day
Hence the arrival of father s came when the seiu op was about to commence

This bridge bit was a plan that pre dated the morning action
It was intended to spot light the crumbling infra structure of America

My daughter suggested we might need to understand a union demo
Is designed to get out there get it on and done without trouble with cops
The membership likes to get home to the family in one piece

The rank and file and the staff are not in the kamakazzzi biz

That is an action of another character
The sort of gig father craves
Requires picked troops and a clear plan
With an objective

Or such over whelming numbers and such faulty cop tactics and motivation
That the moment can be seized ala Seattle

Ah these are wonderful times

The martial aspects of this either delight you or they don't

The two of em didn't see fear in the cops eyes
But they both pointed out the hierarchy
Likes to gun em up with stories of lunatics in the crowd capable of anything

And of course the hierarchy knows of what they speak
They put the lunatics there

I was treated to a nice story of police herding of street nuts etc to the zucchini site in the past few weeks
Block it's access streets


" it was a reuniting of Islamist and liberal protest movements that had drifted apart since the early days of the uprising....This time, instead of chanting for the fall of Mr. Mubarak, the demonstrators were chanting for the fall of the ruling military council that initially presented itself as the revolution’s savior"

hot hot egypt !!!!


"Protesters invading the square threw rocks at police vehicles, and by midday had captured a police truck. Rioters danced on the roof and passed out handcuffs, shields and other gear.

Others smashed the sidewalk into rocks to hurl at the police, or threw Molotov cocktails. Vehicles were set ablaze, fires were lit on the sidewalks, and late at night a bank caught fire. Plumes of black smoke from a burning police truck wafted through the white clouds of tear gas that floated along the Nile.

Retreating riot police officers fired nonlethal weapons from their trucks to try to push back the crowd. Clashes broke out throughout downtown Cairo and lasted for hours. An especially pitched battle lasted until well after midnight on the street leading from Tahrir Square to the Interior Ministry, and it was there that a police vehicle charged through the tear gas into a crowd of protesters.

Around 6 p.m., the police appeared to have retaken the square. But as the battle continued, the Muslim Brotherhood called on its members to return to the square, as did the liberal April 6 Movement. An organized group of hard-core soccer fans — experienced veterans of clashes with police, and since the revolution a regular element of street protests here — joined as well, and by about 7 p.m. the police had retreated again from the square as battles continued for several hours on the side streets"

father's notion of mass action

ahh breath this in deeply wall occers
the inspiriting of the arab fsall
must commence now


in a real democracy there would be no wall street laputa for the cops to defend


Thus Owen:

My daughter suggested we might need to understand a union demo
Is designed to get out there get it on and done without trouble with cops
The membership likes to get home to the family in one piece
That was exactly my diagnosis. One has seen a lot of these union demos. But it seems to me OWS needs to go beyond this paradigm, and that a lot of 'em are quite willing to.


Bridge op was a classic SEIU march. Nothing more, nothing less. I've seen a million of 'em depart from or arrive into my 'hood near the bridge.

Al Schumann:

"OWS needs to go beyond this paradigm, and that a lot of 'em are quite willing to. "

but they won't get there won't get beyond the peaceful respectful demo
simply by simulating a riot

it starts with a consensus hive
of wildly pluralistic internally conflicting
and they happen to have
a black block attached to their butts
how this complex "configuration" of humans
produces effective
massively disobedient actions
is yet to be established

my take

you need hand picked well trained
shock troops
a plan that incorporates
these folks
within the broader array
of father s type " willing spirits "

careful planning
respect for innocent skulls
is even more important
if the law is to be effectively broken
not just wrecklesly violated

this seems to be a train of thought
utterly alien to the black block project
with its spontaneous improvized acting out

Al Schumann:

For the sake of clarity, the link I posted


isn't a contribution to a debate over values (e.g. violence vs. non-violence). I think it's a given that people who are attacked are going to act in self-defense and retaliate. What matters is how thoughtful that's going to be—in line with what Owen posted in the previous comment.


SEIU President Arrested at Occupy "Day of Action" by Billy HallowellNovember 18, 2011The Blaze

The Occupiers, despite small crowds at moments, areclaiming that Thursday’s "Day of Action" protest was amajor success. While protesters failed to shut down theNew York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the New York Citytransit system, they were successful at blockingtraffic and changing the city’s dynamics, as theyconverged in New York’s busy streets. Throughout the day, there were more than 200 arrests,complete with sometimes violent clashes between policeand Occupiers. As a result, five protesters werecharged with felony assault and seven officers and 10protesters sustained injuries. Among those notable individuals taken into custody wasMary Kay Henry, the president of the Service EmployeesInternational Union (SEIU). Also arrested was citycouncilman Jumaane D. Williams and George Fresham,president of 1199/S.E.I.U., United Healthcare WorkersEast. Henry and company were blocking a roadway thatleads to the Brooklyn Bridge when authorities detainedthem. Below, watch video of the SEIU national president beingtaken into custody, as she chants along withprotesters, "We are the 99 percent!" According topolice, Henry, Williams and Fresham will post likely becharged with disorderly conduct:

Earlier this week, Henry made the SEIU‘s endorsement ofPresident Barack Obama’s re-election campaign official.Salon has more: Just weeks after issuing a union-wide endorsement ofOccupy Wall Street, the 2.1-million-member ServiceEmployees International Union announced this morning itis also endorsing President Obama for reelection.In an interview with Salon following a conference callannouncing the endorsement, SEIU president Mary KayHenry stressed the union will not try to enlistoccupiers as ground troops for Obama’s reelection-- butSEIU also plans to stay involved with the Occupymovement into 2012. SEIU, then under the leadership ofAndy Stern, spent millions of dollars helping to electObama in 2008. Henry appeared on MSNBC earlier on Thursday to discussher union’s 2012 electoral plans. In her interview, shesays, "The Republican field has made us very concernedthat we need to step out now" to prevent what shebelieves is a dangerous, GOP agenda. And she goes on to call the Occupy movement, "aninspiring movement for change":

Considering her deep involvement in the movement, it‘shard to imagine that she and the SEIU won’t encouragemembers to join in.

SEIU Balancing Act: Support Both Obama and Occupy BY JUSTIN ELLIOTTWEDNESDAY, NOV 16, 2011Salon.com

even as the big union endorses the president'sreelection, its leader tells Salon support for OWS willcontinue. Just weeks after issuing a union-wide endorsement ofOccupy Wall Street, the 2.1-million-member ServiceEmployees International Union announced this morning itis also endorsing President Obama for reelection. In an interview with Salon following a conference callannouncing the endorsement, SEIU president Mary KayHenry stressed the union will not try to enlistoccupiers as ground troops for Obama’s reelection-- butSEIU also plans to stay involved with the Occupymovement into 2012. SEIU, then under the leadership ofAndy Stern, spent millions of dollars helping to electObama in 2008. In the six weeks I’ve been covering the movement in NewYork, the vast majority of protesters I’ve encounteredare fed up with two-party politics; feelings aboutObama range from indifference to disappointment to deepresentment. Pro-Obama signs occasionally appear atZuccotti Park, but they are exceedingly rare. I askedHenry if, given occupiers’ views about Obama, she hastrouble reconciling SEIU’s support for Obama andOccupy. "Not at all," she said. "I think what Occupy WallStreet has done for us is [to] help define the problem,shine a light on the inequality. I think our obligationas SEIU is to make the case to our members and thebroader public about how that problem gets solved." Oneof those ways, Henry said, is getting involved inelectoral politics by endorsing Obama. Will SEIU try to pressure the Occupy protesters to getinvolved in Obama’s reelection effort? "If the occupiers themselves want to participate in theelectoral process, we hope that they’ll join us. But wedon’t want to persuade them," she said, adding: "I seethese things-- working to reelect Obama and supportingOccupy-- as complementary but separate." As I’ve previously reported, there are some segments ofOccupy Wall Street that have begun thinking about 2012;but, as usual with this movement, there is a wide rangeof views about how to proceed. Factions within themovement will likely take their activism in manydifferent directions at once next year-- if Occupy isstill a force by then. In announcing the endorsement of Obama on a conferencecall with reporters, Henry repeatedly invoked the "99percent" rhetoric of Occupy Wall Street. That’s thelatest sign that the movement has created a powerfulnew slogan for progressives. "We believe that as Americans we face a stark choice atthis moment in history: do we want leaders who sidewith the needs of rich corporations and the 1 percent,where they are prospering at the expense of everyoneelse?" Henry asked on the call. "Or do we want leaderswho side with the rest of us, the 99 percent?" Henry also told me the union will continue to donatethings like food and in-kind labor to occupiers aroundthe country, even as it works to reelect Obama. ____________________________________________


Have learned to take all things on a case-by-case basis. So that Jack doesn't think I'm secretly plumping for Gandhi-ji, I'd only say I found that silent protest rather haunting and powerful.

Doesn't apply in all situations and everywhere, but was quite powerful right then and there.

Al Schumann:

CZ, agreed.

The same incident inspired an awful thumbsucker.


If you don't feel like reading the whole thing, it shortens to "it was the system, man, the system made him what he is."


Al, as someone who has, among other pursuits, waded through the fields of journalism, I have to give props to the headline writer on that piece. It's so straightforward and barf-worthy, it spared me the trouble of having to read on. Truth in advertising, at least.

One can only hope the author himself comes in for a pepper-spraying some day --- which will, of course, precipitate the inevitable follow-up chin-scratcher, to be sure.

Al Schumann:

He achieved something that takes incredible fortitude. Many pundits can train themselves to disappear up their own assholes, and do it while bleating sanctimoniously, but it takes something extra to disappear up the asshole of a cop who would casually pepper spray his media benefactor.


Inveterate rubber necker that I am, I did read the piece.

Had to reach for my Nexium when I saw it end on this acid-reflux-inducing flourish:

"while the kids may cough up blood and writhe in pain, what happens to the man who does it is in some ways much, much worse."


Or: "Vile ze leetle children who are taken from zer families und led to ze ovens may scream in terror, vat heppens to ze guard eez in some vays much, much, vorse."

Excuse the reductio ad Hitlerum; I am usually wont to loathe it. But in many quarters, it really is the only way to get ze point across.

Al Schumann:

It was the best bootlicking he could manage under the circumstances. There's no way to spin the stunning defeat the UC Davis kids dished out. They did everything right, for the time and place they were in. The cop's sadism and the chancellor's perp walk are everywhere now.


Sadism. No other word for it. And there for everyone to see.

What's worse (or make that, better, for the cause): He seemed to be relishing it.



In Beirut, two Hezbollah double agents pretended to go to work for the CIA. Hezbollah then learned of the restaurant where multiple CIA officers were meeting with several agents, according to the four current and former officials briefed on the case. The CIA used the codeword "PIZZA" when discussing where to meet with the agents, according to U.S. officials. Two former officials describe the location as a Beirut Pizza Hut. A current US official denied that CIA officers met their agents at Pizza Hut.

From there, Hezbollah's internal security arm identified at least a dozen informants, and the identities of several CIA case officers.

Hezbollah then began to "roll up" much of the CIA's network against the terror group, the officials said.

One former senior intelligence official told ABC News that CIA officers ignored warnings that the operation could be compromised by using the same location for meetings with multiple assets.

"We were lazy and the CIA is now flying blind against Hezbollah," the former official said.


Hezbollah !!!!!!

Palsgraf V. Lawnguyland:

Nifty jargon, cant and insider lingo shared here. Gosh, you folks must be "experts" at this protest stuff. That "op" character seems the wisest of all -- he must be, since his posts are nearly impossible to understand. He reminds me of the rock and roll outfit called "Mr Bungle" whose intricacies and complexities are not comprehensible to 99.9% of listeners. Oh to be in that rare 00.1% of listeners!

Where do I drop my tribute coins for the mighty "op"?


People in favor of over throwing society use language not prevalent in same, and some of them are odd?? stop the goddamn presses!!

Al Schumann:

I don't share Palsgraf's view, but he's got a damn good screen name. It's packed with mischief.


"That "op" character seems the wisest of all -- he must be, since his posts are nearly impossible to understand."

i'd like to share palsgraf's "view "
in fact i'm gratified
to be the target
of a thoughtful mockery
err even a thoughtless one

my stuff hard to figure ??

don't i wish
i'm all too easy to comprehend ....no ??

i wish i had a gallic obscurity
to hide inside
some of them anarchos come for me
in torch light
to plague me with a chorus of "yawns "

" He reminds me of the rock and roll outfit called "Mr Bungle" whose intricacies and complexities are not comprehensible to 99.9% of listeners. Oh to be in that rare 00.1% of listeners!"

i'm too old and out of it all
to know of
"Mr Bungle " or gleen any irony
or razzle dazzle "packed " into that reference

"Where do I drop my tribute coins for the mighty "op"?"

pay a union membership due to HERE
help pay my daughter's handsome pie card salary

in fact i'm gratified
to be the target
of a thoughtful mockery


"touch on crooning, falsetto, screaming, opera, death growls, rapping, mouth music, beatboxing, and scatting"

don't i wish ....

Milf V. Cheerleader:

NPR spots possible future problems for newly Nato'd Libya.



That likable daughter of yours has actually got a union *job*, Owen? That's wonderful. I well remember Comrade Fox Addressing The Masses from her cradle.


"...workers ..... have been left with a “’subsidy mentality’”
a “’job-for-life outlook
which has ill-prepared Libyans
....the world of competition.’”

ah but they are freeeeeeeee to lose !!!!!!!!

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