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How (and Why) to Co-opt Those Cops on Wall Street

Posted on Oct 6, 2011
David Shankbone (CC-BY)

By Joe Conason

The young (and not-so-young) protesters who came to Occupy Wall Street—and have stayed despite mass arrests—deserve thanks from the “99 percent” of Americans they claim to represent.

Without articulating a clear set of demands, they have nevertheless voiced the frustration felt by millions of ordinary people who have lost homes, jobs, income and security in the post-crash economy and see little help coming from government offices or corporate suites. Soon, however, someone will have to decide whether Occupy Wall Street eventually concludes in mere symbolic success, which would be little more than glorified failure, or evolves into a powerful political current that can rival the tea party.

If the pivotal moment of this protest continues to be a video of a high-ranking police officer brutally “macing” innocent women, then it is unlikely to grow far from its anarcho-bohemian roots. There are simply too many Americans who will never side with “hippies” against cops, no matter how wrong the cops may be. But if the sympathetic statements from labor leaders of the past few days turn into supportive action—and if teachers, bus drivers, firefighters, nurses and, yes, police officers show up to demand change—then this could be the beginning of something very, very big.

Don’t scoff too quickly: Last winter, hundreds of off-duty law enforcement officers from around Wisconsin repeatedly joined the statehouse sit-in against Gov. Scott Walker’s attack on labor, even though their own unions were exempt from his proposed law—and even as their fellow officers were standing guard over the protesters.

In those circumstances, the cops were just as capable of understanding the stakes behind the protest as any other workers, or the students who supported them. A policeman who had retired from the Madison Police Department after 20 years on the force explained to USA Today that “we all see this as union busting and wage suppression. This is a long-term, downward spiral of wages for working families.”

Such progressive insights probably don’t fit the anarchist stereotype of the cop, whose enmity is cherished as a token of the alienated lifestyle. But not all of those who have flocked to Zuccotti Park and the other protest sites that have sprung up around the country are committed to political irrelevance as proof of authenticity. Many, perhaps even a majority, might be intrigued by an opportunity to provoke something more significant than a cloud of tear gas or a court summons.

The protesters have serious grievances, from mass youth unemployment to burdensome student loans that cannot begin to be paid off if there are no decent jobs.

What would happen if they began to articulate the connections between their own problems and the assault on the living standards of public employees and unionized workers? How would the angry middle class respond if the “kids” made common cause with those downwardly mobile working families—demanding debt relief for everyone, a special prosecutor for the financial crooks and higher taxes on those who have profited from the crisis? Why shouldn’t the students (and former students) stand with teachers against cuts in education and for rebuilding public schools and colleges? Even those who understandably disdain partisan politics, with its endemic money corruption, could swiftly change the direction of the national debate.

It is encouraging that many young activists came down to Wall Street from Wisconsin, where they have conducted themselves with impeccable style and effectiveness. Four decades ago, the goons in Richard Nixon’s White House egged on construction workers in downtown Manhattan to beat up anti-war students, who had allowed themselves to be portrayed as enemies of working-class soldiers and cops. Repeating that same mistake now would be tragic for everyone—except the 1 percent.

Joe Conason is the editor in chief of



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By Bill Jones, October 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
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“A policeman who had retired from the Madison Police Department after 20 years on the force explained to USA Today that “we all see this as union busting and wage suppression.”

This piece of parasitic filth retired after working for 20 of his likely 80 odd years is a part of the solution?


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By drbhelthi, October 9, 2011 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

It made me laugh that there is an advert for get your american green card here on a page
filled with all that is wrong with a damaged crumbling country.  Ian

With an increasingly significant percentage of the adult men in the USA without a
steady job, there can be only one interpretation of the ad: “bring more people in, to make
more Americans jobless.” 

The american green card ad, which seems to be found all over the internet, tends to
prompt me to throw up, rather than laugh.

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By Shenonymous, October 9, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

You, oddsocks, and the conservatives who read, interpreted it and
intuitively howled at seeing the reality of Alinsky’s rules of ethics
as being a mirror of “their ugly ethics.”  They are his observations
of the way the world is.  I think they showed what are the premises
by which humankind often justifies their actions and are to be
measured against by one’s own set of ethics and morals.  Many
people agree with them as a moral way to behave, others, like you
and I, do not. The way I read him, especially regarding Rule of Ethics
#3, if there are wars, then it is always the case that the ends justifies
almost any means. These rules he gave as a ‘test’ of whether
power tactics are ethical, not that any one of them is an example of
what an ethics should be.  And he gives examples of the reliance on
expediency at wartime.

He believed too often people become expedient in the moment, and
then ways are found after the fact to justify it as a consistent and moral.
This seems to have found a reality in the G W Bush War in Iraq.  There
are arguments for and against wars.  Alinsky’s example was when
Churchill was asked how he could reconcile himself to siding with the
communists, given his stated opinions. He replied, ‘I have only one
purpose, the destruction of Hitler, and my life is much simplified
thereby.’  Yet before England entered the war he said ‘One may dislike
Hitler’s system and yet admire his patriotic achievements. If our country
were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as admirable to restore
our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations’). During
the war the allies, and Britain in particular supported the communist led
resistance in Greece. Yet after the war Churchill turned British guns on
communist partisans who had fought with the allies in the second world
war, in the Greek Civil war, and supported the return of a monarchy for
Greece.  This does not say that Alinsky agrees with the action as being
ethical, but that it is an ethic created in the moment in the face of war. 

Alinsky also used the example of the American Declaration of
Independence to enlarge on this statement: To the Colonists who
drafted it, the Declaration was self evidently true; to the British, it
deliberately ignored the benefits of the British presence. The colonists
recognized at the time that the document was not balanced and was to
some extent propaganda.  Yet they felt it was ethical on behalf of the
oppression of the British monarchical government. 

Ethics are what a society says they are.  While they are abstract ideals
they are not universal.  I think that is what he polemically was showing.
Also that for him, there was a difference on what morals people ‘should’
hold, but to understand the morals which in fact directs people in

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By oddsox, October 9, 2011 at 7:58 am Link to this comment


Shenonymous, I admire and respect Alinsky as a tactician. 
But when the subject turns to ethics, I’m off his train.

No one outside of politics or academia could succeed using his cynical, self-serving list of excuses for the LACK of ethical behavior.

—How do we feel about world leaders who believe #3?

—Or the college football coach who ascribes to #6?

—Or the historian who applies the post hoc, revisionist justifications of #10.

The value of an insight into Alinsky’s “ethical” rules test is becoming better able to read rhetorical spins and snake-oil sales tricks when you see them.

For that reason only, thanks for sharing.

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By Ian, October 9, 2011 at 3:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It made me laugh that there is an advert for get your american green card here on a page filled with all that is wrong with a damaged crumbling country.

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By Shenonymous, October 8, 2011 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

Yikes!  oddsox!  My apologies. Since I had not heard there were
13 Alinsky Rules for Radicals, I re-researched and found two sites
that listed the “missing” one. Not only that, the one from the site I
listed omitted Rule 8 when I went to compare them with the other
sites.  Thank you!  I do appreciate being corrected, much obliged. 
Some sites list 11 for some odd reason, most of them give 12, and
the two I found lists the 13.  I do not yet have the Rules for Radicals
book but it is ordered and on its way.  From the horse’s mouth is the
best way to check it out.

Alinsky was regularly criticized that he wasn’t ethical, and being a
sensitive minded man, he wrote and included a set of rules for the
ethics of power tactics.  As highlighted from his book:

Rules to test whether power tactics are ethical:

1. One’s concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely
  with one’s personal interest in the issue.
2. The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political
  position of those sitting in judgment.
3. In war the end justifies almost any means.
4. Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the
  action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point.
5. Concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and
  vice versa.
6. The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to
  engage in ethical evaluations of means.
7. Generally, success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.
8. The morality of means depends upon whether the means is being
  employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.
9. Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition to be
10. You do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral
11. Goals must be phrased in general terms like “Liberty, Equality,
  Fraternity,” “Of the Common Welfare,” “Pursuit of Happiness,” or
  “Bread and Peace.”

Two sites that have the 13 Rules for Radicals are  that also has a decent
biographical sketch, and

The gawd awful irony is that conservatives who have criticized and
demonized the union maker Alinsky up the wazoo, have found his
Rules so useful and have appropriated them to be included in their
own list of required reading for their minions to devise strategies for
proselytizing to the public.  Guess Alinsky has the last laugh after all,
even dead as he is. Or maybe I do, LOL

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By Leefeller, October 8, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

She and I just exampled what the percentages are all about as we see them.  OM, in your usual appearance one man act showing blind dogma desire to stereotype, it seems you OM cherry pick, confiscate and pull what ever you can from where the sun don’t shine. But I am not absolute about it, just an observational specialization!

Yes, I as a wealthy corporation too, speak for everyone on the left and everyone on the right even you OM who seems someplace in Never Never Land, for I am the one percent and everyone one who cannot be bought and paid for is trash to be tread on! 

Feeble done Feeble dee!

Far as I see it the Tea Party was bought and paid for from the begins, so far Occupy Wall Street has been a far larger melting pot of the populism then the Tea Party was in its fair and Balanced Foxy Koch Brothers dreams!

Free thought requires a permit, but regulations need cease to exist, just like the middle class!

OM, maybe you could go down to Wall Street and carry a sign which says ‘you are the 98 percent not the 99 percent’. To open some dialogue telling everyone how special you are and your 1 percent not like anyone else is.  Recommend you follow the law and get your stinking permit first like the right to life folks before they go out doctor hunting!

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By oddsox, October 8, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

@Shenonymous:  Ha!  This discussion crosses many threads, but I knew our paths would meet again.

Point of order:
Alinsky’s Rule #10.
“The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”

It’s ommitted from your link, hence the misnumbering.  Thanks for sharing anyway.
Henceforth, I’ll defer to you on matters Alinsky, you’ve clearly done a lot of research on him.

@Anarcissie—are you out there?  I’ll defer to YOU on the distinction between “Anarchy” and “Chaos” in the political context.
(alas, what becomes of your oatmeal cookies if one doesn’t follow the recipe?)

back to you, Shenonymous - my point, and I think we agree here, is the inevitable unpredictability of outcomes (chaos) if OWS doesn’t take the next step and begin to offer goals or solutions.

Now you chided me on another thread when I suggested breaking up the Too-Big-To-Fails using existing Anti-Trust legislation. 
As applied to Alinsky’s list of Rules, it does break a few (#2,#3,#6) but falls in line with what is possible now (“Do what you can with what you have where you are”—T.Roosevelt) and maximizes Alinsky’s #1 (Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have) and #9 (The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself)

Right now, the 1% in the Wall Street highrises have nothing to fear from OWS. 
The movement isn’t even an annoyance to them from what I’ve read—more of an amusement at this point.

Anti-trust action might change that.

And, because increased competition is a pure free market principle, you might attract some strange allies from the ranks of the Tea Partiers as well.

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By OzarkMichael, October 8, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Leefeller asks: “Martha & Thomas are the cause of this whole thing?”

Nope. never said that. I refer to the class concept. “99% vs 1%” is a refinement of Martha/Thomas class system. She has nothing to do with the Occupation, or the 99%, but her Leftist class view was very similar, and her type of Leftist analysis was just taken up a notch by whoever planned the Occupation. Sure 70/30/10 was only symbolic. But symbols have meaning. Words have meaning.

Leefeller also said: “But OM you gets your dander flying around and slobbering snail slime all over the place when I suggest you may be a one percent supporter? (you sound like one, you act like one and so I suppose your are one?)”

Remember how Martha/Thomas used to claim that if you didnt go along with her, that proved you a member of or working for the 10%? Well, you have learned to parrot that accusation. My dander isnt flying about that. you choose your path and you are welcome to it.

But for the Occupiers to make their demands in the name of 99% of us is absolutely outrageous. You are not welcome to use the rest of Americns that way. I am pretty sure most Americans wont go for it. Strange that you dont understand that.

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By Shenonymous, October 8, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Yes, Leefeller, I think that is what I said, perhaps not clearly
enough.  99% and 1% are symbols. It would be nearly impossible
to assign a real number to how many make up these two symbolic
percentages.  They are symbols used to represent the extremity of
the situation.  One could of course go with the facts given about
the number of people making over a million dollars a year verses
those who don’t but that would be putting the protest in the money
category which this protest is not about.  Right?  It is a generalizing
method to represent those discontents with how Wall Street and all
the corporate world, which I call the Corporatocrats, the 1%ers, has
creeped over history to control nearly every aspect of American life,
for the express purpose to provide a citadel, a wall if you will, Wall
Street, from which to conduct their power to provide the means to
accumulate more wealth and power.  In this sense power feeds power.
It is canabalistic and at the same time is savagely carnivoristic and eats
up the well-being of the common people, the 99%ers.

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By Leefeller, October 8, 2011 at 8:47 am Link to this comment


It seems 1 percent and 99 percent is really a symbol of what portrays the ugly truth as I see it.  99 percent and one percent are not intended to be factual numbers, but a symbol of the inequities sponsored by those moneyed few over the many! (Yes,... not all of everything).

Lets face it our government is bought and sold to the highest bidder like NASCAR drivers and it surly is not me or the majority of the people who are the monied political sponsors, thus the 99ers Occupying Wall Street actually represent what I believe to be political reality.

Om speaks you seem to constantly speak for every lefty on TD, with the regularity of EXLAX.  How many times have I read you OM write, ‘all you lefties this’ and ‘all you lefties that!’  But OM you gets your dander flying around and slobbering snail slime all over the place when I suggest you may be a one percent supporter? (you sound like one, you act like one and so I suppose your are one?) How dare I?

Sincerely, Cicada pompom waving Leefeller here!

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By Shenonymous, October 8, 2011 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Unless one claims to be part of the 1%ers, then there is no
reason to think OWS does not represent the 99%ers.  The symbol
99% does not represent annual income earners, as some in the
OWS have admitted to making six-figure salaries, or whether they
are leftist liberals (some of them make six-figure salaries too) or
rightist conservatives, but it stands for those, as Leefeller observed,
who are controlled by Wall Street and corporatocrats.  That would
include conservatives, liberals and independents alike, and I think
that is what Leefeller meant, but he would certainly have to verify
that.  If one is wrongly assumed to be part of the 99% and conservative
or otherwise, a simple disavowel, without whining, of being part of it is
an option.  There are always variations on a theme. 

The OWS has been protesting for quite a while now, and there has
been no groundswell out of the 99%ers protesting who are or who
are not the protesters anywhere across the entire country!  Many
of the protesters are carrying 99%er signs declaring they are part of
this movement, I don’t see anyone being bashed with TG/MA Clubs by
someone standing next to them, so consent for inclusion is a reasonable
assumption. The 99%ers is the unofficial name of the movement, and
OWS is the protest action being taken by the 99%ers.

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By Leefeller, October 8, 2011 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

How dare I? 

Martha & Thomas are the cause of this whole thing? Ripping away OMs right to a high financed fixed vote? NO, it is not about those Red states and their Special Interests sponsors the one percent who are stacking the elections at state level in favor of conservative voting. Bought and paid for disenfranchising of the poor, the bad and the ugly!

Damn what happened to Billy Bob Airs, so now it is Martha Thomas who are behind whole Occupy Wall Street, 

Yeah! How Dare I be the deluded one!

Get real OM,... this is not about you!

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By OzarkMichael, October 8, 2011 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

“Talk about bought and sold, I suspect Ozark Michale may be part of the 99 percent and just don’t know it yet?”

I think the name “99% “is inspired by the likes of your friend Martha/Thomas, who built a 70%/20%/10% system and used that to determine a doctrine of direct action.

The 99%/1% scheme is really an improvement on the Martha/Thomas Communist model and the Truthdiggers have swallowed it whole and without question.

How can the Occupation presume to speak for 99%? How can they(you) present your demands as representing 99%?

How dare you affix everyone else’s signature to your direct action, which is a form of force? Maybe most of us still believe in the vote as the preferred agent of change. Did you ever think of that?

99%? How dare you? Not in my name!

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By Leefeller, October 8, 2011 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Geebeibiz on a cracker! Here we go again, the right to vote is not the subject. Permits are not the subject!  Special rights of the self appointed people too, the one percent, who have most of the money to buy and sell government like hookers is the subject! 

It’s the money stupid! 

Politicians are bought and sold like drivers at NASCAR they have their sugar daddy sponsors.  Karl Rove and friends sort of like pimps for their political hookers. So the Hookers are directed by their benefactor sponsors   on what affects the 99 percent. It is quite simple really. 99 percent have been getting hosed, except some people do not want to admit it.

Permits? Permits, they don need no stinking permits they have super packs, special interests, Carl Rove Fox and friends.

Talk about bought and sold, I suspect Ozark Michale may be part of the 99 percent and just don’t know it yet? 

During the Revolution there were the Loyalists, who supported by the Kingy only because they were conservative or maybe their bread was buttered on the other side?

This is not a right or left issue Ozark Michael except is appears for your myopic convenience of it!

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By Shenonymous, October 8, 2011 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

Sanitation obviously becomes a problem when protesters do
not carry toilets or trash cans with them.  When a body has to
go it has to go and if it is on a police car, especially police who
rounded up 700 or so people, well Amen.  Might as well make
it count!  It might be that a civil rule needs to be made a
municipal law that protesters who intend long protests carry
trash bags with them in anticipation.  Then the city could make
some money on ticketing those who don’t.  LOL The police
themselves, according to the linked article chose to ignore the
protester crapping on their car. The article also noted “many
of the protesters are understood to be making strenuous efforts
to clean up after themselves.”  It is picayune to use the fact that
thousands of protesters would be making trash. Such is the nature
of huge populated protests.  It will all level out eventually, when the
passionate moment to protest has calmed down. 

It is encouraging to liberals that as reported (taken from the linked
article) by the Financial Times, the President himself is unofficially
backing their cause.  The paper wrote: ‘While not endorsing the
protests, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have expressed under-
standing of the movement that has spread rapidly across the

‘Mr Obama said people were angry because Wall Street had not
been ‘following the rules’.  [Rules mean civilized consciousness]

‘His vice-president even compared the movement on Thursday to
the Tea Party, the conservative movement which has upended
national politics in the past two years.’ [This comparison must
aggravate the Republicans to no end!  It is hilarious.]

It is an absurdism to say the Left is going to blame the OWS on the
conservatives.  The OWS is the Left.  You won’t see a conservative
among them.  If there is any blame it is all the politicians,
Republican and illiberal Democrats that legislated the very
problems the Occupiers are protesting.  Those names ought to be
limelighted, writ large in a public forum for everyone to see and
memorize so that when elections come up for them, they are
trounced out of office.

There is no argument that right wing politicians and corporate
interests quickly took over the Tea Party for their own special-

Contrary to the Tea Party, the OWS protesters do not want to
overthrow the government, they are not anarchists nor will they
return to the days when rich white men controlled political
administrative action.  Neither are they libertarian.  These
protesters have a list of wants:

They want the government to act on behalf of the people.
Where the Republicans swayed confused and embittered Tea
Partiers to oppose healthcare reform, the 99%ers want government
guarantee of health care for all. 

Where Republicans persuaded Tea Partiers to oppose the regulation
of Wall Street “freedoms,” the 99%ers want the government to strike
an effective blow to Wall Street that would include prosecutions and
regulation, not in that order. 

Where Republicans proselytized Tea Partiers to oppose all taxation,
the 99%ers want a return to the progressive tax structure of the
50s and 60s that provided adequately for the health, education,
and welfare of the society.  They are not opposed to responsible
audit of expenditures.

Doubt no longer exists that Tea Partiers are pawns of secretly-
financed ad campaigns.  The 99%ers want drastic campaign finance
reform. They demand the government to answer directly to the
population, not to moneyed magnates who finance politically
slanted campaigns that will insure their continued vast incomes
that leave the populous in terrible economic straits.

The OWS protest has now become a monument to the power and
will of the people.

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By OzarkMichael, October 8, 2011 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

“You just want your people to have the chance to vote while denying anyone who just might want to vote against you.”

Completely untrue. There isnt a shred of evidence to back up your accusation. But you are right about one thing. i want a chance to vote. I want the significance of voting to be increased and held sacred so that everyone uses and prefers that method for political change. i am conservative after all.

Where did your accusation come from? I must suppose that you are projecting your own desires upon me.

In fact, the Occupiers signalled early on that they were a ‘direct action’ which means they were preferring force to mere voting. I remind you that “Why bother talking to congressmen?” was their slogan from the first day.

“Days of Rage” was not a democratic concept. It was force. It didnt work in the 60s and hopefully it wont work now. Hopefully everyone will vote instead of breaking laws they dont like. Hopefully everyone will engage in the process instead of using force to get what they want.

I would much prefer that force play less a role in our civics. I want everyone to be able to vote, and have never indicated otherwise.

It was very deceptive of you to ask me to ‘chill’ while you make such an attack on what we conservatives hold most dear.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 8, 2011 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael: Take a valium man ... you’re hyperventilating. Why is it that the right wing automatically points to the left and says we want to make the rules in our favor but never does the same for itself? How about all your Republican buddies throughout the states working overtime to change the rules so only good, upstanding Republicans can vote? There has been almost no fraud in the last few elections (other than your buddy Bush using the Supreme Court to steal the 2000 election) but hey, that’s OK. You just want your people to have the chance to vote while denying anyone who just might want to vote against you. Sounds like changing the rules for your side ... doesn’t it? And, please don’t blow that shit about the rule of law. I just need to remind you of the Patriot Act to point out one law that should never be respected. The whole rule of law argument is advanced by those who want to use the law as a bludgeon against everyone else. And, I might want to add ... when you talk about equality and Nazis, remember that they used the exact same tactics being used today in America. What about those Muslims, those illegals, those lazy minorities and those dastardly liberals being singled out for discrimination as I write these words. Is that right by any stretch? I don’t think so. You’re only pissed because, for the first time in a long time, the disenfranchised are fighting back and demanding they have some say in what’s happening to them. You don’t like that ... tough shit.

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By OzarkMichael, October 8, 2011 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

“The OWS personifies Burgess’s notion of reconstruction of the social order, by “harnessing of social forces” through the actions of change agents, the citizen who “in so acting . . .realizes his best self.”

His best self in action:

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 8, 2011 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael: Not a leftist or progressive. Too constraining. And, if the righties want to stage a march in NYC, they can do the same. Permits have always been used to frustrate free assembly. If a march causes traffic problems, so be it. The right to free assembly is in the constitution ... screw the permits.

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By Shenonymous, October 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

How fitting Saul Alinsky’s name would come up in connection
with the OWS.  Alinsky was partly a progeny of the unions,
John L. Lewis, was one of his mentors.  And he wrote Lewis’s
biography in which Alinsky wrote the famous principles of
organizing.  The other part that “fathered” him were a couple
of sociologists, R. E. Parks and Ernest Burgess.  Alinsky had an
extraordinary solid education in empirical sociology, meaning
actual experience in the trenches of the disprivileged, sociological
parenting for his orientation into democratic social changes had
its genesis and emanated from the Chicago School of Pragmatic
Sociology where he completed more than two dozen courses.  The
philosophy the school vigorously taught was that society is in a never
ending process of flux of unending competition and conflict of interests.

Alinsky wrote in his Rules for Radicals that Machiavelli’s The Prince
was written for the Haves on how to hold power.  His book was written
for the Have-nots on how to take it away.  We just need to change a
couple of nouns, from Haves to Corporatocrats and Have-nots to the
American People and it seems to describe current society precisely.

For a definitive version with text for each rule
oddsox – FYI: your rule is actually RULE 11, but you are right, it’s
time to get crackin’
Three others:
RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you
RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

It is a big unknown where this sea change movement is going or what
will be the results of all the energy being spent, and there is a galaxy
amount of energy being spent by the thousands of people involved and
the group that is growing exponentially daily as the “infection for justice”
spreads across the entire country.  But one thing is sure, this country is
in transformation and the people will never be the same complacent
population it has been.  Sure, this transformation is given instigation by
the facility of electronic media and the immediacy of information
dissemination it provides.  It has all of a sudden become a socially
exciting time to be alive, pulled up out of the grave of economic
paralysis and the effect of the national mental depression that almost
had withered all American spirit.  One never knows what a change of
wind will do to the sails of society.  The OWS personifies Burgess’s
notion of reconstruction of the social order, by “harnessing of social
forces” through the actions of change agents, the citizen who “in so
acting . . .realizes his best self.”  In our current case, there are thousands
of change agents who somewhat reminiscent to the mythological Spartoi
army that seems to have risen up spontaneously from the ground ready
to do battle.

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By OzarkMichael, October 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

oops garbled the last line or two of my last post.

Meanwhile, Leefeller, let me know what you think: Do you believe that the Wall Street Occupiers who believe in their cause have a right to break the law?

If so, does that right apply to all of us or only to Leftists? I am pretty sure you only believe that exemption from following the law only applies to your side, and not mine.

The double standard that you have is immense. Do you at least see it? Will you at least admit it?

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By Shenonymous, October 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Aye, oddsox, October 7 at 2:27 pm “Otherwise the movement will
eventually dissolve into chaos.”
And chaos is another name in politics
for anarchy.  And you know what happens to anarchy, sooner rather
than later?  It dissolves.

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By OzarkMichael, October 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

The cops either treat us all alike or they arent cops who uphold the law. Invoking visions of Nazis because they are treating everyone as equals really crosses the line.


Here is the alternative that the Leftists are pushing for:

First the police broke their own code of conduct to help the Socialists because you co-opted them, and you certainly wont speak out against it because you are a Socialist.

Then the police broke their code of conduct to help the Trade Unionists, and you did not speak out—
Because you was not a Trade Unionist.


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By Gorgeous, October 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller: “First they came for the Socialists…”

The police should emblazon this on their shirt sleeves. They are not and never will be part of the 1% and should not work for them or protect them as long as they are unwilling to be American citizens in good standing.

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By Leefeller, October 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

I am sure the Arab Spring folks gather all the needed permits before they go out and get shot, just like I suspect George Washington filed for a permit from Kingpin before he crossed the Delaware River.

Lets see now all the Republicans are opposed to anything against Wall Street because they know what the people want; only the special people; the ones who front their payroll. 10 Million Wall Street dollars for Stinky Brown against Elizabeth Warrens 900 K. (last I checked) 

Hell, the Republicans should wear costumes like the NASCAR drivers plastered with patches displaying all their corporate sponsors, who just happen to be people too, then we can root for which people too corporation we want to to win! I kind of like Monsanto, because Roundup Ready sounds kind of patriotic.  Corporations can purchase their White Elephant President for 2012 like they have most Republicans. Now wouldn’t that be funny if the Pizza clown wins or the guy with the painted rock!

One Person, one dollar, one vote!

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By oddsox, October 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

here’s another tactical nugget from Saul Alinsky:

Rules for Radicals
#12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

*sigh* time for OWS to get crackin’ on this…

Otherwise the movement will eventually dissolve into chaos.

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By Shenonymous, October 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

There is a rational way to view the protest.
The Constitution guarantees peaceful assembly, and the protesters
might have had a permit for some days during the week on Wall
Street, however they didn’t get a permit to block the Brooklyn Bridge. 
Those would not have been given out to protesters, f’sure, anyway.

Also, a permit to assemble/protest is not absolute but comes with
rules such as how close you can walk with respect to the street and
not blocking certain areas, etc.  The city on occasion has actually
diverted traffic to facilitate certain marches.  Nevertheless there are
always municipal rules that are strictly enforced. Protesters know the
rules prior to their protest activities and there isn’t any excuse for
breaking the rules.

The NYT reported “Some observers have credited the police with nimbly
tolerating the Wall Street protests and demonstrations that have received
no official permits.”

Permits are required because mobs often get violent and beastly,
and much damage and looting can and as has been documented has
happened.  Also, if permits are issued then law enforcement departments
can be prepared with enough personnel to take care of the size of highly
attended protests.

A good point made by one commenter said, “...Permits are
Constitutionally required to be given on a content-neutral standard in
order to protect free speech as free speech in public areas is given high
protection.”  Any group would have that protected right.  I have not
checked out the Constitution but the wise advice is to follow the law. 
Laws are only made for those who break them.

All this being said, several articles claim no one needs a permit to
peacefully protest in New York City as long as you do not carry a weapon
or cross certain pedestrian pathways.  For example, the occasional picket
lines and events such as the U.N. General Assembly when thousands of
protesters took to the streets without any police intervention did not
require a permit.

A vivid live report of the fracas was given at

The Marines decided to help the demonstrators out and will protect
them.  Semper Fidelis

The 99%ers are protesting against the corporatocratic control of
American democracy.  This has now evolved to be a movement and
there is no stopping the infection.

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By oddsox, October 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Scratch that last Olbermann link, try this one.

The list of grievences KO reads is long and well-written, but stops short of naming any specific remedies.

May I suggest one?
Breaking up the Too-Big-To-Fails using existing Anti-Trust laws.

Not to punish the big banks (and insurance companies), but to create more competition between them.

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By oddsox, October 7, 2011 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

Here the broadcast you spoke of w/Olbermann?

anybody got a better link?

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By drbhelthi, October 7, 2011 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

In Los Angeles, the police gave the protesters 1000 ponchos when it rained last night. City
Hall is supporting the occupiers.  LostHills

Thus far publicized, the CIA has moved into only the New York City police department, and has altered the “rules of engagement”.  Due to influence of the Rumsfeld-Cheney, torture-prone CIA infiltrators of the NYCPD, obviously approved by the mayor, they would have taken 1,000 ponchos from the backs of the demonstrators, had they possessed them.  Except for the known CIA shills that are among the NYC protesters, who would have been allowed to keep theirs.

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By OzarkMichael, October 7, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

“I’m just curious OzarkMichael: why should they be required to get a permit to perform an action guaranteed by the Constitution (the right to free assembly)?”

Because such space(streets) in a big city is absolutely necessary for all sorts of other activities, such as ambulances and fire trucks. get a permit and the police will route everything around your march.

Do you really want the rules to change? or do you want to change the rules only for your political group?

Double standards… the Leftists comes up with a new one every day!

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By StephenS777, October 7, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Lots of the cops know they are being totally screwed by corporate goons and the servants of the goons which are the politicians of both unified corporate parties.

What the cops need to do is protect the protesters when on duty and join the protests when off duty. The cops also need to report any police abuse or brutality to internal affairs and so on.

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By cpb, October 7, 2011 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

@ C.Curtis.Dillon

Krazo is a troll.  He repeats his BS at every opportunity. 
The Left, those crazy attention wanting Lefties, The Left
The Left The Left….

One thing the originators of this protest understand is
that the Left vs Right things is, as typically understood,
nothing but public relations artifice.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, October 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

I’m just curious OzarkMichael: why should they be required to get a permit to perform an action guaranteed by the Constitution (the right to free assembly)? Permits give the city a vehicle to deny the march and thus destroy the movement. These protestors don’t have a permit to occupy Liberty Park but they are anyway. Screw the permits ... the lack of one is no reason for the police to crack heads. The real reason for all this anger by the police is the white shirts (senior police officials) want any reason to attack the protestors. Have you asked yourself why all the attacks on protestors have come from the white shirts? Why would management want to pick a fight? Because the higher ups want to kill this thing before it gains too much traction. The blue shirts aren’t hurting anyone ... only the white shirts. Doesn’t that seem more than a bit strange?

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By ash, October 6, 2011 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The OWSers have released a document containing a clear set of what they are fighting against. Keith Olberman read it on air, and it is available online.

It is easy to think that their occupation has done little. But look at the country, I live in Idaho and we have OccupyBoi (boise). There are occupations all over. Even in canada.

The only power we have is to draw attention to the inequity in our society, and we have to do it for months.

The people in charge will continue to do as they have done because it makes them money. Once the money starts to go, they will be forced to come up with other options.

Also, Anon has announced that on the 10th they will “erase the NYSE from the internet”

So keep an eye out for things to come. America deserves this.

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By LostHills, October 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

In Los Angeles, the police gave the protesters 1000 ponchos when it rained last
night. City Hall is supporting the occupiers.

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By seeman, October 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The protesters are America’s only hope, period. Who else?  The 1% who wrecked the place?

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By grokker, October 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Even if the cops were co-opted the State would move to its next line of oppression, the military. Could they be co-opted as well? Let’s say they were, leaving only a thousand or so madmen attacking us from some safe, secluded bunker using drones.(that’s primarily why they were conceived.) The State never cedes power willingly.

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By OzarkMichael, October 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Now I absolutely do not agree (from what I saw) that anyone should have been struck.. the police should have just backed off and called it a day.. lacking any hooliganism or whatever from the crowd. Yet that officer was fearful and enraged.. why is that?

The Left could have obtained permits to march on the street long ago, but they refused the permits. now… why is that?

Because the Left needs a confrontation with the police. Thats the Lefts M.O. for getting attention, interest and a bigger following. Hoping for some violence, thats the Left!

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By Norman Trabulsy Jr, October 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is the State allowed to use violence, but not us? Change cannot come about while the oppressors use asymmetrical warfare. The 1% hire the cops to protect whom? I think All options must remain on the table. Cops that use violence to attack peaceful protesters need to be dealt with at the moment, in any fashion necessary.

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By Robespierre115, October 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Don’t wait for the state apparatus to join you! Fight back!

Learn from our comrades in Chile!

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By Robespierre115, October 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Let’s not delude ourselves. Didn’t the firefighters and police unions join the Wisconsin protests? And the result was…?

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By SoTexGuy, October 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

I watched the short videos of the white-shirted officer lashing out at the demonstrators with his baton.. I was struck with strong emotions.. Sadness and regret but also a kind of empathy for that officer..

Here he was placed in a looming situation where he was not in control.. He’s the Police, he has always been in control.. what a shock that must have been. From what I could see his fear was palpable.. fear, not duty or rage or whatever.. plain fear. And how strong it must have been for him to lash out against people
who simply were crossing some barrier of mark on the sidewalk?!

Now I absolutely do not agree (from what I saw) that anyone should have been struck.. the police should have just backed off and called it a day.. lacking any hooliganism or whatever from the crowd. Yet that officer was fearful and enraged.. why is that? Has his concept of duty replaced his notion of community?

I’m sure I have not adequately communicated my thoughts on this.. yet I think that something like what I’m feeling is a key in the kind of divisive and competitive society we have.


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By gerard, October 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

No doubt some of the more “liberal” police are feeling some “conflict of interest”. This may help contain some of the more primitive urges in a crunch.
Hopefully, the majority of protesters themselves recognize that standard police training doesn’t put much emphasis on the rights or protesters under the Constitution, or on the philosophy and practice of nonviolence.  The best thing about Amy Goodman’s successful suit is that she and others were able to arrange some re-training of police in Minneapolist/St.Paul with a view toward putting more emphasis on the rights of reporters to report.
Let that be extended everywhere to re-train all authorities and make sure they remember that they are dealing with fellow-human beings.  Address the problem of fear latent in the back of the minds of many police officers, with its resultant tendency to employ overkill.

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