Thursday, September 29, 2011

OccupyWallStreet: Big Damn Heroes

This was the first thing I remember hearing about Occupy Wall Street. It was posted by fellow Kossack AoT on Daily Kos on August 18, 2011. I don't know how anyone on the Left can be scornful of these young people - who are unquestionably brave and sincere (in my book, two of the most important virtues). So, here is what he wrote:

I gave notice today. I'm leaving to go to go to Wall Street. I'm going to stay there. This is an occupation not just a protest.

I'll be honest, I'm scared. I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know if this is going to be some short one off that gets shut down after a day. But what I do know is that I'm going and I'm staying.

I told my dad that I gave notice and he freaked out a bit. Not because of why I did it, but because I did it. In a lot of ways it really was a terribly bad decision, but as far as I'm concerned I didn't really have a choice. Something has to be done and this is the best thing I know to do.

I don't really have a lot that I can say right now, but I feel like there's a lot that needs to be said. I'm doing this for a lot of reasons, the most obvious is because there is clearly something wrong right now, and the traditional ways of dealing of it aren't working. Protests are ignored. Voting can work a little, but given the amount of money in politics it only has a limited effect. But occupation seems like it can work, or is at least worth a try.

I don't know what will come of all of this, but what I do know is that for the first time since Wall Street crashed the world economy and unleashed untold destruction and suffering, someone - at long last - is "stand[ing] outside of the right buildings and yell[ing]":

I'm not sure what the people now occupying Wall Street ultimately will accomplish, but . . . [t]here has to be something to be said for people who at least direct their anger at the people who deserve it. The president has not been interested in doing that . . . . The Democratic party doesn't seem overly concerned any more. Among the Republican presidential candidates, the issue is largely invisible . . . .

[Wall Street] is where the people who created the financial crisis work. That's the scene of the crime. . . . Thank Whoever that there's at least a few people who will stand outside of the right buildings and yell.

And that's exactly right. As Jayne Cobb said (quoting Sheperd Book): "If you can't do something smart, do something right." So, I don't know if their tactics are smart (although so far, I'm impressed), but I do think they're right. And that's a damn sight better than anyone else in this country has managed.

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.


  1. Lots seems to be going on right now. Talking Points Memo has some new info and pictures. TPM is saying that protests are appearing in other places, plus England's about to get in the act.

  2. I'm liking this post a lot. I think the only threat to the action is lack of an agenda, but then, maybe not. Maybe their just mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. And no one can possibly blame them. The Tea Party doesn't have a monopoly on outrage, and these young people are laying that fact out for all to see...

  3. Sorry, but thought I'd append to include the link to the "official" OWS" site:

  4. Someone at The Left Coaster, a couple of weeks back, said that we might be approaching an "LBJ moment." It's feeling more and more like that.

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