Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Behemoth Staggers Ahead Blindly

(Updated in paragraph 5)

Facebook is simply exploding right now with new Occupy Wall Street groups here and abroad and with support for them, owing to the blundering and violent attempts by the power establishment to put the movement down, attempts which have been perfectly, if unwittingly timed to ensure that the movement's momentum is maintained.

The latest incident is the pepper spraying of seated protesters at the University of California-Davis, which is the Sacramento branch of the UC system. The incident was recorded by many people, and from all different angles. The protesters are so obviously non violent and non threatening that it is almost impossible to portray the pepper spraying as anything but gratuitous.

Below I'll repost two different videos of the incident that have been posted on Youtube, taken from opposite sides of the group of seated protesters. Each video is about eight minutes long. The actual pepper spraying lasts only a few seconds, and takes place right away in the first video.  If you are interested in seeing what led up to it and what followed, you can watch all of either video. The second video seems to show things more from the point of view of the police.

My previous post talks about how the movement has responded to the violent evictions from encampments earlier in the week and goes into some detail about how the movement governs itself and what it's goals are.

(Karl Rove actually said that)

There are many very creative people involved, and the movement has had no trouble adapting to each new reality it is faced with. This is acknowledged by Wall Street itself, which is already plotting to undermine the influence of OWS, by the screaming rants against it in the conservative media, as evidenced in these lists of articles tagged "OWS" from the Washington Examiner and Fox News, by how much distance petrified Democrats are keeping between themselves and the movmenet,  and by the attacks on the encampments launched by the Obama administration, proof for which is slowly filtering out. (See my last post and here.)

But the overall sense from the comments I am seeing today is that the peoples' resolve to prevail in this struggle is absolutely unshaken. Nowhere do I see the slightest second guessing. People are more steadfast than ever.

This is a new place for most people to be in, to be dissenting, to be taking on that much power. I would not say that people are confident yet, but they are steadfast.


 Incidentally, the people of Egypt have taken to the streets again, in all the major cities, to try to make sure that the country's vast, powerful and corrupt military establishment does not co-opt the Spring revolution that saw the downfall of the US-backed Hosnai Mubarak dictatorship. The military has been running the country until elections can be held, but a draft constitution the ruling military council released this week would leave the military and its budget not subject to civilian oversight.

It was always known that the Egyptian revolution was incomplete, that the military would have to be taken on. The Arab Spring revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Algeria, and Syria, some of which have succeeded and some of which are ongoing, were in large measure what inspired the Occupy Wall Street movement. Occupy borrowed many of its ideas on how to govern itself from the protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Now, maybe, inspiration is flowing both ways, which would be a very good sign for the working class as it struggles to match the might of global Capital.


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