NEW YORK (Frameshop) – As OWS heads into its first winter, the time has come to have a serious discussion about whether or not the movement should shift its focus and take up as its top priority the goal of influencing the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election? Should OWS become “occupy the Democratic Party” as a strategy of influencing the outcome of 2012 elections–yes or no? My answer is: No, it should not. Why not? Let me answer that question with another question: Is it possible to transform a gambling casino into a public park or a school or a hospital, simply by walking into it and playing blackjack? Of course not. If a park, school or hospital is what you want, you need to go out and build it.
NEW YORK (Frameshop) – Yesterday, at 1am, the three-term billionaire Mayor of New York City sealed off all bridges, roads, and public access to lower Manhattan, then sent police in riot gear to raid Zuccotti Park in the name of public safety. Don Hazen expressed it best when he described Bloomberg’s offensive–thrust upon the protesters like a knife in the night–as the latest failure of imagination by America’s ruling class. Beyond all the legitimate outrage against ridiculously out of proportion police violence, Hazen directs us to a clarifying keyword. What has OWS achieved in this first stage of the movement? It has pulled back the veil for so many millions of Americans, helping us find the courage to see past the endless cycle of corruption, violence, and failures.
NEW YORK (Frameshop) – During an appearance on David Letterman’s show, Bill Clinton took the time to praise the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) for sparking a positive debate, but then warned the movement about the need to get “specific”:
I think that, on balance, this can be a positive thing, but they’re going to have to transfer their energies at some point to making some specific suggestions or bringing in people who know more to try to put the country back to work (link)
Good advice or bad advice? That is not such an easy question to answer. To evaluate and decide whether Clinton’s advice is good, we need to step out of the more common discussion about political celebrity and force ourselves to engage and, ultimately, lead a much more important discussion about political power.