With a new decision making body substituting for a governing body and a space to inhabit, the establishment of a commune is clearly a revolutionary move. The occupy camps however are protests that regularly invoke the bill of rights and other American ideals allowing them to exercise their right to free speech and expression. The radical separation that occurred in these communes sought and practiced more or less effectively a radical democratic process that could also be called anarchism. The repression by police and the coordinated crackdown that went as high as the White House goes to show how scared the American government is with the Occupy movement.
Question: are they justified in their fear? Would this movement unchecked by the violence of the state destroy that state? Or is the occupy movement simply something the government does not understand and isn’t compatible with or controllable by?
Due to the liquid nature of the movement (no central leaders, hierarchy, goal, strategy, etc.) along with its adequate self-regulation via the general assembly the movement itself is not something that can just be physically assaulted, though that is definitely being tried. It has also been infiltrated, spied on, and terrorized in a coordinated militarized police war scenario. The reaction has been so excessive that it is pushing the nation, supposed to protect its people, into an outright police-state where the dissent and gathering of gigantic masses of its people is swiftly put down. But with a new community with a new name to identify with, is this a revolution seeking overthrow where current powers have every right to be afraid for their power structure? Or is this a gathering of American citizens together to redress grievances (as is their right) though refusing to negotiate, refusing an endgame, and affirming cooperation to care for each other?
I think it is in this place of tension, between a revolution of overthrow and a revolution of community, that the occupy movement must endure – *even if this is not an accurate portrayal of the actual occupy events, or the beliefs of occupiers*. The corporate media at the behest of our scrambled government is perpetuating this narrative and anyone concerned with the occupy movement cannot help but be effected by it.
What this movement has got right is a refusal to play by old rules: we have changed the game. The endless (as it should be) talk of co-option wards off those who are in it to simply “smash the state” as well as “institutionalized liberals”. As long as the dialogue goes on and one checks the other, we can use persuasion to convince people to act in the best interest of the movement. To keep people coming out into the streets we must let these energizing debates go on without letting the movement as a whole adopt either position. This is just a problem we’re going to have to deal with and get through.
From entrapment vulnerable insurrectionists to coaxing democrat organizations, from hyped up vandalists to the non-violent police brigade, please open your ears to each other and don’t be hasty with your decisions. We clearly need to withstand each others differences to keep these massive protests going in this time of crisis.