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Can this work? - Input Junkie
October 2nd, 2011
09:18 am

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Can this work?
Statement from the demonstrators on Wall Street-- it's a list of the things they don't like.

My impression is that successful demonstrations (more likely, series of demonstrations) make specific demands for particular actions. End segregation, the head of state should resign, get out of Viet Nam, that sort of thing.

A list of the people and organizations in finance that should be up on charges would be nice.

Am I missing something?

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From:nancylebov
Date:October 2nd, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
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If focused protests sometimes (always?) start as more generalized anger, that's a good enough answer.
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From:selenite
Date:October 2nd, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
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Looks to me like they just like going on protests and are casting about for excuses. More fun than going to class I guess.
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From:agrumer
Date:October 2nd, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, because being pepper-sprayed in the face is so much fun.
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From:evilrooster
Date:October 2nd, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
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Well, protests with specific messages seem to get ignored a lot. The media may be discussing what their message is, but at least they're discussing this.
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From:nancylebov
Date:October 3rd, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
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It seems to me that a lot of protests get ignored, period.

I was trying to look at the protests that succeed.
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From:nellorat
Date:October 3rd, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
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Most of the protests of the late 1960s/early 1970s had not only specific messages but specific demands, from national (end the war in Viet Nam) to university based (one Harvard protest I read about semi-recently wanted different scholarship qualifications, changes in school investments, and an end to a then-current project buying up local neighborhoods for more college-owned housing). They got plenty of coverage. Have the media changed so much? Maybe.
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From:st_rev
Date:October 2nd, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
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A lot of the items on that list don't seem to have anything to do with Wall Street at all. If I were a Goldman Sachs executive and I were worried about a movement trying to call me and my coworkers to account, I'd probably be very relieved to see that list.
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From:bugsybanana
Date:October 3rd, 2011 02:46 am (UTC)
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My friend Angus Johnston provides some perspective:

http://studentactivism.net/2011/10/02/ows-demands/

He's been at the scene and is writing some great blog posts.
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From:houseboatonstyx
Date:October 3rd, 2011 05:34 am (UTC)
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I've seen a recent statement from OWS that ties together a lot of things that seemed unrelated. For example, against pollution -- which is done by corporations who don't want to go to the expense of cleaning up or using cleaner fuel.

Sort of D'oh. They're NOT unrelated. It is corporate decisions that actually do all these things.
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From:houseboatonstyx
Date:October 3rd, 2011 05:44 am (UTC)
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I found the document. Here's an excerpt:

We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. [....]
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.


It goes on, tying each item to the corporations by the repeated "They have".
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From:subnumine
Date:October 5th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)
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Nice to see that somebody's been reading Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence made no demands, either; Congress had done that back in 1774.
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From:nancylebov
Date:October 3rd, 2011 01:02 pm (UTC)
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I'm not saying that the charges are unrelated to corporations, I'm saying that there aren't demands for particular actions.
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From:osewalrus
Date:October 3rd, 2011 10:14 am (UTC)
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Mass protests are just that -- for the masses. It is easier to note what is wrong and what the group is collectively fed up about.

This not a criticism, but a necessary element. Building real solutions takes considerable time. But the first step is to force a recognition that the current status quo is not working and that the protesters need to be included in the process.

The WTO protests back in '99-00 worked this way. The protests forced World Bank, WTO, and other global organizations to admit "civil society" observers and to include civil society non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the discussions of trade policy at specific levels. While hardly a solution to all ills, it did significantly change the dynamic and the outcomes.

One may wonder, why isn't any of this in the news. To the mass consciousness, the "anti-globalization movement" protested and flamed out. Well, NGOs sitting in meetings, working with nation blocks, and using resolutions and process to counter corporate influence is boring. It doesn't make the news. So most folks think the anti-globalization movement was a bunch of professional protesters who eventually gave up, whereas the truth is actually far more complicated.
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From:nancylebov
Date:October 3rd, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
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Thanks-- that's a good example for "we're fed up!" turning into something that's quietly useful.

Reread Idris Shah (a popular writer about Sufism) is somewhere on my to-do list. He talks about the importance of being able to notice subtle inputs.
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