17 November 2011

OWS & the Democratic Party

Yesterday in The Guardian Barbara Ehrenreich criticized elites in the Democratic party, including President Obama, of selling the OWS movement down the river. When I first read her piece I thought it was on point. Turns out, however, that her criticism was too understated by half. If the biggest problem were that Obama and other Democratic elites have been silent regarding the Occupy movement things might be better. After all, we now know (reported, for instance, by AP here and Mother Jones here) that the evictions in Portland, Oakland, Atlanta, NYC and so forth are part of a concerted and coordinated strategy by - predominantly Democratic - elected officials to dismantle the movement. Of course they seem to have acted with the full connivance of Obama's Department of Homeland Security, but that has not been definitively established. The local concerns about public health and safety are - regardless of the DHS angle - all just so much bullshit.

Michael Bloomberg concluded his rationalization for attacking the OWS folks in NYC with this statement: "“Protestors have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments." The problem? Bloomberg has not argued with anyone. He sent out the armed (and, in the event, pretty brutal) NYPD. Just as the other mayors have done. That said, it is important to recognize that (as reported here at Democracy Now!) some local officials have in fact resigned in response to the heavy-handed response by the various mayors.

The image above captures the real problem for government officials - including our Democrats. It is a screen shot of this map from The Guardian, showing the location of various Occupy outposts world-wide.

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