Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Occupy Until Victory. The Challenges of Occupy Wall Street.

David Ferreria on the challenges of maintaining the Occupy Wall Street movement

Much has been made of the lack of demands put forth by Occupy Wall Street.  Even within the movement some have been dissatisfied by the inability and/or unwillingness of the horizontal body to formulate policy demands to address the severe grievances felt by society on multiple fronts.  However, at this stage, making such policy prescriptions without the leverage to have them implemented is unwise and harmful to the cause.  

The establishment media has forcefully demanded the movement put forth policy prescriptions.  They are attempting to bait the movement and its members into this fatal trap.  For if tomorrow Occupy Wall Street puts forth policy demands challenging Washington DC, those demands would be swiftly shot down by one or both parties.  It would be a decisive demonstration of the weakness of the movement at its earliest stages, before its full potential had been realized. 

At this early stage in struggle the movement can only present demands solely on the terms of the plutocrats in Washington DC.  This isn’t acceptable.  Only by first continuing to raise popular support, undeniable, visible and massive public support, can the demands be made on the movement’s own terms.  Demands must have a mandate and the movement must get that mandate from the public.  The movement must not subject its vision and alternatives through anything else.

The economic crisis is too painful and the legitimacy of the economic policies too broken for the movement to reconcile with the politics of stalemate and austerity dominating Washington DC.  Only when the political establishment acknowledges its failings and the failings of decades of economic and social policies can any sort of dialogue take place, a dialogue where the movement can contribute policies to correct the crisis. 

The occupations must continue and escalate until then.  They must become garrisons of public indignation, rallying their numbers for ever greater mobilization until the resolve of the plutocracy to continue with the politics of public impoverishment is demolished.  Until that moment, no petition will be honestly considered, no matter how articulate.  No plea will be heard, no matter how desperate.  No rights will be acknowledged, no matter how profoundly just.   

Occupy Wall Street’s immediate challenge is not to appease the media but to maintain the momentum of escalation, to demonstrate that the next day will be ever more difficult for the entrenched system of corruption and conspiracy against the public.  The plutocrats in Washington DC must be left with the unshakable impression that only complete capitulation can resolve this crisis of legitimacy.  Altering the degree of corruption or level of economic insecurity must not, will not suffice.  

Occupy Wall Street must remain a participant in its own forums that are sprouting up across the country.  The struggle is to remain, to persist, to refuse to reconcile with a system that has no place for the public it claims to represent.  We can’t go back to the isolation and paralysis we existed in before the occupations.  We must not compromise an inch of our space or our aspirations.  We must occupy until victory.


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