Occupy Oakland – A Brief Historical Primer

This might make you feel hopeful about OWS. It is a kind of solidarity that hasn’t been seen for a long time

Unfortunately those images are not compelling to the majority who like change as long as its served without inconvenience, muss or fuss.

There are better than good reasons to believe that the images will be supplanted by pictures like these.

  the Oakland raid

and this

All this despite the fact that claims suggesting that the encampment was dirty and rat infested appear to be in serious question. vancepetrunoff.zenfolio.com/

In New York, cops are allegedly referring homeless individuals to Zucotti Park. These are the real outside agitators.

I hate to return once again to the lessons of the civil rights movement and Solidarity but …

Those movements took the time to rigorously train their members. OWS struggles in dealing with disruptive forces tells me that they need to immediately take time to figure out how to deal with the violent and mentally ill who will take down the movement even if unwittingly.

The discipline of the old heads was formidable. At meetings, they would not allow others to derail their agenda. Example, if a group was getting together to find day care solutions, different ideas about how to do that were encouraged. People who disagreed with the notion of day care were shut down.

Martin Luther King was influenced by Gandhi and supported by dozens like Ella Baker and Septima Clark who had been teaching and laying the groundwork for decades. OWS doesn’t have that luxury.

I wish that OWS knew that it is okay to support the distracting elements but not focus on them right now. This is the OWS moment. It is okay to reject the violent and mentally ill from participating. This isn’t about civil liberties. Theirs is not a problem that OWS can solve. If, on the other hand, OWS is successful, there is a chance that these problems can be addressed.

So while I support Occupy’s yoga classes, I think some mandatory workshops in basic civics and rules for dealing with police along with practice drills might be much more in order.

Prepare and expect success.


About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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