Should we join ANY other organizations events?
My thought on this is, "No." Strongly, adamantly, blockingly, "No." At least not this early in our movement.
Here's why I think we should not: Conflict of interests. It is not representative of "the 99%" if we do so.
Let me make this clear now as well: I do not mean to dissuade people from going to other organizations' events. By all means if someone wants to go to an event they should go, and they are still part of Occupy as well. I see that as no problem. I think people are welcome to encourage others to go to any and whatever event as well. I encourage that really- people totally should stand up for what they believe in. What I see as an issue is Occupy LA (or any of the Occupy movements, really) OFFICIALLY backing other organizations and their events.
There are MANY causes out there, many are just and good as well. However, "just and good" can be interpreted differently by different people. The 99% is made up of A LOT of different views. If we throw our support behind another organization's event, then should we not also throw our support behind events from EVERY other organization?
Say we went to a Democratic Party affiliated demonstration, well that opens up why not go to a Republican demonstration, or a Libertarian demonstration, etc?
Should we help out Pro Choice demonstrators? Well what about Pro Life demonstrators who are also part of the 99%?
How about we join an NRA event, and heck we can go to an anti-gun event too!
I do not think we can throw our support around to every group. Rather, every group is welcome to come to us, whether as a group or as individual members, find common ground and have their voices heard along with the rest of us.
They are ALL a part of the 99%. However, not everyone in the 99% is a part of their organizations or agrees with their causes.
The 99% is made up of people who disagree and do not get along on many many topics. We are here for our common topics, not about any one special interest.
Other organizations would love to take in our numbers, I am sure. And I wouldn't be surprised if some groups and organizations push really hard to have the Occupy movement join their cause.
In my view it is detrimental to our cause if we join any other cause at this time. If we join one, then join them all- which is impossible to do.
It is harsh, I know. It is very hard to turn someone's cause down when they have a cause you agree with. However, remember that we started this for our common cause and causes. We're still in the process of finding out through the general assemblies what our common causes are- why would we march in someone else's cause before we've solidified our own? How can we march in someone else's cause without betraying other people belonging to an opposing view who are still a part of the 99% ?
I also know it can be very hard to accept an opposing view, especially politically, especially within one's own group/movement. However, we have to be able to get along and discuss or we fail. There WILL be and probably already ARE people in the movement who's ideology that YOU (you the reader) absolutely can not stomach. Well guess what, THEY are the 99% too. So let's concentrate on finding our common ground.
It may seem paradoxical, but the only way to RESPECT every organization is to equally deny throwing our weight behind any of them.
We are supposed to be EVERYBODY except the top 1%. How can we choose one organization's events to attend to over another's without being disingenuous? I do not think we can, and if we do so I think we lose credibility.
Are we the 20%? 55%? The 80%? Either we are the 99% or we are not.
- F. Clark