Friday 14 October 2011

Dear Occupy Wall Street,

Mic check? Mic check! Ok...

Right now, I know that things are tense. I know that you're waiting for the word on whether or not you will be evicted from Liberty Plaza tomorrow, from the beautiful occupation you've built right in the the belly of the beast of global corporate power. I know that you are worried that there will be police violence, or another mass arrest. I know this because right now, I'm reading news reports about what you're doing from across the globe, and talking to people sitting in the square, even though I'm thousands of miles away. You see? The whole world is watching. You did that. Whatever happens tomorrow, the whole world will be watching the New York authorities try to clean the people of America off the sidewalks of Wall Street.

You knew this was coming. After realising that pepper spraying a few peaceful protesters wouldn't make you go away, they've been trying to evict you for weeks, and the pretext that Bloomberg and the NYPD have finally found is that Occupy Wall Street is 'unsanitary' - full of rubbish, attracting rodents. Anyone who has been to the Plaza and seen the water filtration system you've built and watched volunteers from across the city sweeping the sidewalks and handing round the antiseptic gel knows what nonsense that is.

We know what they really mean when they say 'Liberty Plaza is full of rubbish.' The trash they want to sweep out of their nice clean financial districts are the ordinary people of your country - the 99%. They are tired of seeing you on their way to work in the mornings, cluttering up the pavements with your uncomfortable little placards about grinding unemployment, a broken healthcare system and a feral business sector holding the party system to ransom. They are tired of seeing old women asking for medical attention, little children asking for education, young adults asking for work. They want those people tidied away. The question is: are you going to let them tidy you away?

You knew, deep down, that this was coming. If the occupation of Wall Street was ever going to succeed as it was meant to, there were always going to be crackdowns. And of course it's scary. It's always scary when you take a stand in the face of power, because power tends to fight back when it is threatened, and you have certainly become a threat. You are a threat because you are clever, and angry, and peaceful, and you refuse to stop asking difficult questions, and you refuse to go away. Hundreds of you have already been arrested. There is every chance that more of you will be arrested tomorrow, simply for daring to dream of a different future, simply for demanding the individual and collective human dignities that most Americans consider theirs by right. When the NYPD refused to let you march through Wall Street a week ago, you chanted, hundreds of you with one voice: "who are you protecting?" It is a question you must keep asking until you receive an answer you can bear to accept.

Your efforts at cleaning today prove that they aren't coming to scrub away actual dirt, but to sterilise the energy that this protest has inspired across America and around the world. Whether or not you let them is up to you. Whether or not you stand firm and resist, whether or not you come back to Liberty Plaza and to Wall Street, whether or not you take the fight through the winter and built a movement too big to kettle, is entirely up to you. It's up to you to stand firm or falter, and there are certainly good reasons for doing both. Being arrested in the United States is no joke.

But know this: what you decide to do tomorrow will touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

You could go home right now, and tell your kids in twenty years' time how wonderful it was when you were young and idealistic and you slept under tarpaulins in Liberty Plaza. Or you could take a risk, and see what happens next. Choose wisely, please, for all of us. With love, and greatest respect, but most importantly,

With solidarity,


  1. Replies
    1. Peace is good, and so is love. But what do we want from Wall Street and our governments?

      "Why can't we voice a path towards our objectives? It is because we have been told that ideas such as Globalization and the consequent free movement of capital and labour are inevitable, good ideas.

      Why are we paralysed? We are paralysed because if you believe in Globalization you cannot fully regulate the banks or limit top salaries. If you believe in Globalisation you cannot have a vibrant national culture and you cannot truly be Green. The current economic slump is due to globalisation but no one bothers to look at the data because they are believers. Our paralysis is due to our beliefs being out of step with our own reality. We have second hand beliefs fed to us by the governing classes. We have been convinced by the media that Globalisation is almost "holy" when it is itself the problems we are confronting. " See The Occupy London Movement.

  2. Awestruck. You put into words exactly what I have been feeling.

  3. Viva la revolucion!

  4. Hmm. The capitalists have tanks. Soldiers will use them.

    The priority is tackling the issue of the prevailing common sense in the homes of those who might raise soldiers or take out a pension whose fund invests in stock.

    Any occupation needs to understand this, and be geared to that end - not constructed as an end in itself. As such, it needs strategic political ends beyond just the tactical. But there is no leadership, public face, common forum, wider policy, or common strategy. There is no implication or synthesis. Just a cycle of action, frustration, action, frustration.

    The crisis at present therefore exists entirely in that "the old is dying, but the new cannot be born". Morbid symptoms indeed. Change is required.

    Strategically, how this comes together remains a mystery to me. So I'm going to have a yoghurt.

  5. @Transatlantic, 'viva la excruciating stasis' and 'viva la bemusement' are both (lamentably) less romantic, but IMO rather more applicable. :-/

  6. Thank you. You've have said everything I've been wanting to put into words. Beautifully said!

    We will all be watching early tomorrow morning to see what our next step is, once again taking our cue from New York. I'm nervous, but excited.

  7. Thank you, Penny Red, for keeping us enthralled, informed, outraged and delighted.
    Thank you, Occupy Wall Street, for your bravery and your sanity.

    In solidarity and a little trepidation ... Chrissie

  8. Interesting analysis from Brad Hicks:
    I Dreamed Joe Hill Tweeted Me Last Night #OWS

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  10. Forgive my ignorance, but I don't understand what the aim and purpose of the movement is exactly. What do they hope to achieve? What do the occupiers want to see happen?

    It doesn't seem like most of the people protesting are among the starving masses. Really the protests hurt more than just the Wall Street/financial big-wigs in that there are many smaller investors and retirees who have money in the market. Must they be pushed into the poorhouse for the wants (not needs, but wants) of this group?

    In ten years what is it that the group hopes will exist? What system do they hope to see replace what is there?

    Again, I mean these as serious questions because I am trying to understand, and don't.

  11. Tillie, if you want to understand, look at this blog:

    What the protesters "want" is a roof over their heads, food on their table, healthcare without bankruptcy, education without crushing amounts of debt.

    Some of those *are* needs, not wants. And the wants strike me as being relatively basic provisions of civilized society. Nobody is asking for luxuries. What they are asking for is basic human dignity.

    Record numbers of Americans are living in poverty, are on food stamps, are without health insurance, and are unemployed. Meanwhile the American government bails out banks to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars (and the Federal Reserve shells out $16 trillion to banks, according to a recent audit). Trillions more are spent on waging senseless, illegal wars abroad. The top 1% of the country controls 43% of the wealth; the next 9% controls another 40%, and the bottom 90% control only 17%.

    This has to stop, and the system that brings it about must be stopped. The protests are simultaneously expressions of outrage and assertions of the sovereignty and solidarity of the people.

    Hopefully that answers your questions.

  12. Tillie, to answer you succinctly, they are protesting against economic injustice that fuelled this recession.

    Also, yay! The eviction has been moved back. :)

  13. Thank you for your continued reporting and presence.

  14. As of October 17th occupy Wall Street overcame the Bloomberg "power washers" which I suppose can be seen in a double sense.

    Around the country and here in the Midwest USA we turned out 250 for the day.

    As with the Madison WI protests in March, I'm reminded of a favorite quote from Howard Zinn.

    In addressing his students at Howard University during the Civil Rights movement he said that as arriving graduates they had the choice of teaching history or making history.

    I hope more people make the choice to make history.

    As always, will read In The Red in the New Statesman to continue with Laurie Penny's take on things as they develop.

  15. Thanks for speaking my mind - and so movingly.

  16. I posted a 13 minute film I made of the Occupy Perth, Australia action at my blog.

  17. What a joke, you're oxford educated, you can afford to bop off to Spain for fun, you're a journalist (not exactly hard labor" and you tried to hire a lackey for under minimum wage, yet here you are trying to be one of the "99%" how hilarious.

  18. Is it wrong to point out that actually, 'the whole world' isn't watching?

    I'm just not sure this type of self-conscious hyperbole really does anyone any good. You might as well have just wanked all over the screen and published that.

    I remember the days when this blog used to be good. What happened to you, Penny Red?

  19. Here are 30 similarities between feminism and Nazism.

    Feminism and Nazism have both ...

    1. discriminated against individuals on the basis of their genetic code.
    2. promoted the view that the targeted group was inferior genetically and behaviourally, e.g. see AH's Men Bear a Striking Resemblance to Slugs.
    3. promoted propaganda that led to the targeted group being labeled as 'parasites', e.g. see AH's Steven Jones - A Parasite?
    4. promoted propaganda that led to the targeted group being constantly ridiculed e.g. see Incredible Shrinking Y by Maureen Dowd
    5. promoted propaganda that led to the targeted group being laughed at even when mutilated e.g. Bobbit jokes.
    6. demonised the target group by labeling them as perverts and sexual criminals, e.g. see Put Up or Shut Up by Wendy McElroy
    7. sought to break the target group away from their families e.g. see The Federal Bureau of Marriage? by Professor Stephen Baskerville.
    8. promoted the view that the targeted group was responsible for most of the major ills in society.
    9. disseminated lies and disinformation about the targeted group in order to further promote their own ideology, e.g. see Msinformation by Professor Christina Hoff Sommers
    10. disseminated lies and disinformation about historical matters, e.g. see AH's Did Women Really Want To Go Out To Work?
    11. used intimidation, threats and coercion to prevent their opponents from speaking out e.g. see AH's Feminists are nasty things.
    12. promoted the lie that the privileged group consisted of innocent 'victims' of the targeted group e.g. "women have been oppressed throughout history."
    13. demanded special privileges in the workplace for members of the privileged group e.g. preferential job placements for women
    14. discriminated against the targeted group in educational matters and in the workplace e.g. see AH's Well Done the Girls?
    15. perverted the justice system so that members of the targeted group were easily discriminated against in the law e.g. in family courts.
    16. arranged matters so that accusers from the privileged group could be shielded by anonymity in the courtroom e.g. in sex-assault cases.
    17. arranged matters so that defendants from the targeted group had to 'prove' their innocence e.g. in sex-assault and domestic violence cases.
    18. arranged matters so that members of the privileged group could capriciously define what, legally, was to be deemed 'a crime', e.g. where nowadays the 'feelings' of women rather than the behaviours of men are the determinants of what constitutes 'a crime' e.g. see The Real Goal Of Feminism by Antonia Feitz - 18 min
    19. arranged matters so that members of the privileged group could capriciously define how the law was to view certain matters e.g. a fetus inside a woman can now be deemed by her - at her whim - to be a worthless piece of tissue or a prospective baby - with all the ramifications of this - regardless of how the father might feel about it all e.g. see AH's Rant Against the Child Support Agency. (Also sexual harassment etc.)
    20. arranged matters so that the law punished members of the targeted group more severely than members of the privileged group for the very same crime e.g. in domestic violence and murder cases.
    21.arranged matters so that members of the targeted group were made responsible for the choices and behaviours of members of the privileged group e.g. in paternity fraud cases where duped fathers still have to pay child support.

  20. 22. arranged matters so that members of the privileged group who harmed, or even murdered, members of the targeted group were shown undue leniency - and were often actually applauded for their actions, e.g. see Killer given domestic violence award and AH's Loose Women.
    23. arranged matters so that the law punished members of the targeted group severely for even trivial offences - e.g. domestic violence, sexual harassment.
    24. arranged matters so that members of the privileged group earned a right to the property of members of the targeted group for no other reason than that they were members of the privileged group e.g. alimony, child custody.
    25. arranged matters so that certain speech or attitudes directed against the privileged group were criminalised e.g. biased 'hate speech' laws.
    26. demanded subservience to the prevailing ideology and to the government.
    27. effectively controlled the mainstream media and the academic institutions and arranged for them to present a dishonest and dishonourable point of view in support of their ideology.
    28. consistently highlighted and exaggerated the achievements and the suffering of the privileged group while downplaying the achievements and the suffering of the targeted group e.g. see Human Rights are not for Men by Melanie Phillips.
    29. ran government-funded educational courses in universities (e.g. Women's Studies, Title IX) and in schools to promote the privileged group at the expense of the targeted group.
    30. persisted in a long term campaign of hatred toward the targeted group, e.g. "Women need men like a fish needs a bicycle." "Men think about sex every 15 seconds." etc. Also see AH's Permanent Menstrual Tension.

  21. Western women are the most evil scum on the planet. Hundreds of millions of western men have had their lives destroyed by western women through the following crimes:

    1. False rape accusations (it has been proven that up to 80 percent of rape accusations are FALSE)

    2. False DV charges (same as above)

    3. Financial RAPE of men in divorce courts

    4. Emotional destruction of men by ex-wives who have stolen their children from them and forbidden contact

    5. Divorced dads who commit suicide as a result

    Now, how many western women do you know who have PROTESTED and CONDEMNED the western women who committed these crimes? I know of NONE. That means, 99.9% of western women SUPPORT these crimes against fathers and men by default. Silence means consent.

    Therefore, it is NOT an exaggeration to say that western women are evil, monstrous scum that needs to be flushed down the toilet. My suggestion to all men who are reading this, NEVER MARRY A WESTERN WOMAN!

    Western women claim equality, but they refuse to demand EQUAL punishments to men. If a man kills someone, he will get 20 years in jail. If a woman kills someone, she will get maybe 5 years in jail. HOW IS THIS EQUALITY?

    Western women are the biggest hypocrites on earth, and they are evil vicious scum that ENJOY destroying men's lives. Therefore, STAY AWAY FROM WESTERN WOMEN LIKE THE PLAGUE!

  22. Penny Red.
    This is how women talk about me. How about you women start to pull you women sisters up on the hateful bile they spew at us men, eh?

    And you might also get them to stop the slander of calling men like me paedophiles, wife beaters and dead beat dads. A man who is a paedophile or wife beater is a criminal. So any such allegation that is baseless is slander, a crime.

    Here you go. This is what HATE SPEECH looks like.

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