Associated Press (excerpt)
"Occupy Wall Street, priding itself on being leaderless and not subscribing to one unified voice, will struggle more to define itself against that backdrop, experts say..."
NEW YORK (AP) — How can a movement that claims to speak for everyone turn anyone away? Occupy Wall Street is struggling with how to police unwelcome elements as sex arrests, hate speech and activists pushing causes from the Chinese Communist Party to gas drilling threaten to muddle its message.
The fires and shattered windows at protests in Oakland, Calif., a sex assault arrest in New York's Zuccotti Park and complaints of drug use elsewhere have drawn blanket statements from demonstrators against violence and unsafe behavior.
But to a large degree, the movement that welcomes everyone with a gripe against the system — any system — is embracing its fringe,
In Portland, Ore., many protesters complained of drug use, the presence of homeless and mentally ill,..."We let in former criminals, people who have criminal records," he said. "There's no use in locking them out if they have served their due process and served any judgment against them."
We, the occupiers have come here after having passionately made the commitment to remain where we stand in The Movement, being resolved to give of everything we have to give, just to be here, to live in camp on the lawns of civic centers and city parks across the nation. We have forsaken homes of warm showers and a full fridge, said good-bye to our cats and loving pets, so long to our systematic, secure modus operandi in the grind of our own suburban paradises; left our prize roses, our herbal gardens, our enthusiasm of all things aesthetic to us individually, all things material and unnecessary; things of which were at one time our pride and joy. Some have forsaken the L.A. style of ambiance in everything we once lived within, from the expressions worn in finely sewn threads pulled out of our closets with those pink soled Versace stilettos, to our hosting skills in our wine, fruit and cheese get-togethers.
There are occupiers all over the globe that have made the commitment to leave the lives we love behind; and without any second thoughts we rose to the call at the first news of the uprising. Many came in a response immediate; without hesitation, kind of like Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters...". and although we are not suddenly O.C.D., and building strange replicas and miniatures of some mysterious Devil's Tower before leaving the homestead, each one of us heard the calling in our own native languages, be it Jazz or Classical, Urban, Chinese, Nauhtl, Tagolog... Poetry, Spanglish, Greek, Cockney and/or etc..
The calling came and presented itself irrisistibly potent enough, so that each of us recognized the long anticipated subversive signal that whispered, "Now... this is it. Now... we must rise, it is our time to win for once... once and for all."
And we would rise all of us together, to take part in the Revolution with the dutiful answer to that whisper, our calling that to every one of us, was absolutely impossible to ignore. Why? Because, in the pit of our stomach and at the bottom of our hearts, we find the words etched and burned within us: This is it... it's the final move that will represent our last ditch attempt to fight for the freedom we know is ideally ours and surely long overdue.
The same Freedom we sang about in the transitional beginnings of these times, in the earliest signs of rebellion which showed itself in the 1960's, and as time is passing, we know completely, that this is the end of the Capitalist Greed of the Western World that has oppressed, annihilated, robbed, destroyed, abandoned and disillusioned us all since then, until now. The greed that has infected the rest of the globe that share the same one spirit and risen too with us, like Egypt, Tunisia and Spain before us, and like Australia, Italy and London after us.
But alas, like a child at Christmas ..."while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads" most of us had envisioned the arrival of the final stand of this Revolution as the most glorious of times, with the romanticism of epic feature films like perhaps "Reds" meets "Sneakers".
The film "Reds", starring Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton was about romance inspired by the idealism of Revolution. John Reed, the revolutionary communist, journalist, and writer who chronicled the Russian Revolution. There is Love during revolution, sex during wartime; and of course, there was the intelligent and potently sexy and suave Warren Beatty.
The movie "Sneakers", starring Robert Redford and Ben Kingsly was about two men, Martin Brice and his friend Cosmo who had broken into a university's computer, hacking into other computer networks. They shared visions that they would use thier unique hacking skills toward their shared fantasy of a revolution, to destabilize the world's economy, bringing about total anarchy as a remedy for the world. In the end, one rebel and his dreams of revolution dies while the other's morals die under social bitterness, a fatal toxicity upon his dreams of revolution.
And now, here at Camp OLA, the crises is strangely similar, but unfortunately much more immediate. In the journey of this unfolding history we're all a part of, we find the rotten in Denmark elements, defining the enemy amongst us. And, as the masks of the betrayers are removed, we see that in our growth, the enemy is revealed and recognizable, and the shocking truth is that the enemy amongst us, is ultimately, ourselves.
The Movement... is endangered. This is the crisis.
We are diseased in the most vital parts of our body. We are infiltrators and plants, we are agents provocateur, here to distract and ultimately destroy, we are drug addicts, narcissists, control freaks and insecure. But alas, and above all, we are redeemable. How? Firstly, we are human. And secondly, because as Revolutionaries, we rise. We rise to an impervious truth in which all are in agreement with. A truth shared, believed in and accepted by all. This precious truth is the nearly frayed thread that runs throughout the camp to bond us and keep the divine movement together:
We are the 99% every last one of us. We. are. the. 99%...
The time is now, we all know this as a reality unique to each of us in our romantic or courageous individual visions of the way it is supposed to be. But the reality is an unforeseen presence that is a diabolical but symbiotic component of the evolution of the movement. This dream that is in fruition during our generational cries for freedom, inherited from the revolutionary minds that came before us. Inherited, and then driven by catalytic stories of the Revolution's earlier times; of political assasinations, political prisoners, and of the politically oppressed.
Prisoners such as Black Panther Party leader Geronimo Pratt of 1960's Oakland; American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Leonard Peltier, who is to this day incarcerated still, and undoubtedly awaiting our victories. As does Mumia wait, and countless other powerful soldiers persecuted. As do the families of our warriors murdered and silenced. With voices that first carried the sound of this same cry for justice that we, the Occupiers have adopted. But this time the cry is adopted with strength, faith and... technology.
We, the occupiers are engaged in a New Wave of modern warfare, backed by a new technology unlike the old technology of bombs, weapons and the military strategies developed to be embededed within every young man eligible and ripe of age to die for the freedom that They, our own heartless leaders described with propaganda, subliminal quickening and the influence of commercialism.
They, who we now peacefully defy in the Occupy Movement.
They, the nameless named in conspiracy theories and in rumors of their agendas. They, who are are now more clearly seen, because They made a terribly huge mistake which today, has begun the unfolding of their own demise. They pulled a heist upon the people of this generation born to ripen with that new, more powerful and truly "Free" technology. The virtual reality, the powerful cannon that is social media, and an army more fierce than any other ever noted in the history of warfare; a most unlikely sharp shooting battalion, the original "Geek Squad", that Anonymous army of cool and righteous computer nerds. And us, the Occupiers in Eddie Bauer and Uggs, as equally as fierce, because the weapon of choice is of all things... peaceful protest at the front lines, and computer hacking for leaks as the last resort, much like the bomb was the last and cruelly unleashed horrible last resort.
That heist was their final move and now, their downfall. They, who we now zero in on and have identified and even named: "The One Percent". We, the Occupiers are the greater, we are the 99%. They, fucked up.
And without M1 Abrams and Stealth bombers, without uniform fatigues nor rows of disciplined marchers, we Occupy in peace, with intelligence of the regimented armies of the past. We occupy in denim and tapestry, in hoodies and sweats, standing in food lines and sleeping in the parks of our own cities. And the only mandatory code for enlistment is, that one believes in the need for Actions toward Change, and always for the greater good for all. Each that has come, has learned the ways of a decentralized order, the decentralized order itself a battle as we must accept a process that refuses to discount any one voice in the movement that has come to take part for whatever reason, and without knowing how, we are to include all of this with a new weapon called "Trust". Even after the trust we had and lost in the past was used to destroy us. Still, we stay to learn to trust again in this leaderless and vulnerable campground, forced to learn how to trust again, but this time not "them", but instead, trust ourselves as we gather to self govern and battle the powers that be. The powers that still unleash violence and terror upon us which we, the Occupiers shall endure to the end awaiting the dawn, because like dawn, victory will surely come.
The Great Occupy Movement has shown to have a "life of it's own" and in addition to the brilliant strategies executed by the catalysts of this Revolution, this movement's crises is the internal affairs of daily life within a community of diverse expression and ultimately, of diverse wills.
The symptoms of this Nations faults range from the effects of financial imbalances leaving pockmarks upon all, from the qualities of lives in the middle classes to the poor that are the disparate impoverished homeless. Symptoms we display as all are gathered together presenting to one another, symptoms caused by the social disease, Capitalist Greed and we are the stricken in an arena of blatant realism. Each symptom has a name and a representative. Each has a tent or a tarp, a sleeping bag and a sign. Each are backed into fighting corners defending the lives we lived before we came. We want our medication, it's what we did before we came. We want order, it's what we had before we came. We want quiet in the night to sleep, it's what we were accustomed to before we came. We want to party and be high all night. It's what we did before we came. We all need what we did before we came. We have all somehow forgotten that what we did before we came are the very reasons why we came. And that we came together, this is the one thing that we must remember. And ...trust.
And this is the crisis.
The Occupiers, all victorious in matters great and large, all weakened by the consistent onslaught of the cultural differences we are forced to accept or we fail. And also, forced by our own inner convictions that all of us must learn to trust.
While the occupiers are the last to read the news since some are cut off from the Internet that called them here, and from nearly every luxury of home living the internal crises continues to pull on the fabric of each Occupy camp. The good news is of successes made by the many faces that we are.
We are winning great battles.
Battles are won by the very core of the Occupy movement, the occupiers themselves who live here and those that come everyday to work all in the struggle to defeat the symptoms of oppression inflicted by the 1 %.
From "Morning Report: More BTD Backlash" (exerpt)
"So how much effect did Bank Transfer Day have on these mega-monopolies. Was last Tuesday's disaster strictly the result of problems in Europe?"
And while we are all for the most part without nourishment and even water at times, we here living in the Occupy Los Angeles camp are often hungry, due to the calculated cutting-off of foods donated to us. The Health Department has been routinely shutting down our food tents and therefore our food supplies. A restaurant that regularly sent donations of food donated to us is now under seige and facing charges against them for serving the Occupiers hot food. And of course, what established restaurant will risk their own existence one they've heard the story, unjust as it is, who would ask, much less expect them to feed us?
And the voice of the politicians and of our opposition, the 1%, is the mainstream media who has tactfully reported us as ineffectual and therefore unworthy of support to the point that any food and shelter donations have dwindled and yet, while we stand together with our empty stomachs growling, we are patient and humble when the food does come. We line up quietly to be finally fed. In the food line, there are no yelling matches or bitterness felt nor displayed. Any, and all animosities are not there for the moment when in that line. All grievances become forgotten. And these very moments are the reflections of the symptoms of our own making... we ultimately love one another, each of us, despite our vast cultural differences and the love becomes apparent when we call out to our annoying cultural opposites living here and forced to live with one another here, in Occupy Los Angeles.
Indeed, when the food does come, the camp is filled with cries of "Come on! come eat! the food is here! ... come on!"
And when all are filled, the cries are inevitably followed by laughter, and of course, laughter is followed by drumming.