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November 10, 2011


I initially supported the "Occupy" protesters(Few people don't agree that the way Wall Street works is broken and in need of more reform)until I looked at their webpage and found their agenda to be identical with hard-line Marxism such as "for protests to organize and disrupt the system","We call for workers to not only strike, but seize their workplaces collectively","We call for the seizure and use of abandoned buildings, of abandoned land","We call for the organization of people's assemblies(Soviets) in every city, every public square, every township": with these "modest proposals" they list it's no wonder the Occupy movement is also supported by both the Communist Party USA and the American Nazi Party!

I can not agree with you on your filtered observation of the PDX occupy encampment. Propaganda is a bludgeoned force used in our democratic (small "d") Republic. PDX has one of the largest camps in the nation and is an example of peaceful organic people conscious change to this system. Your blog is what the 1% want to see happen to the movement. I wonder if you would say the same thing to the Civil Rights Movement, " time to start riding those buses again...", "...be proud of the beatings you have taken and fight by their rules...", not the ones constitutionally granted. This in not just a hippy movement from the late 60's, there is powerful technology that is being used very effectively, and if so called "progressive" don't understand this, and time is on our side, change will never come and we'll all limp along with corporations "ruling" our lives. I appreciate your blog and the wisdom you apply to it, but your message on this is really off. There are social ills everywhere, many of those folks are "refugees" of a horrible unjust system... the encampments gives it "face" that this is all of our responsibility, and we are failing globally! With all due respect, if your gonna take a progressive title for your family be progressive and kill your corporate media filters.

m-peas-ee, I'm not wearing corporate media filters. I watch the TV news; I read the newspaper; I follow blogs and other independent sources.

When the oh-so-liberal Portland mayor and city council say "enough," I agree -- it's enough. Look, I don't know how old you are, but probably I was doing this demonstrating stuff way before you were born.

In the late 60s I took part in some pretty damn extreme protests against the Vietnam War. There were marches, sit-in's, student strikes. I learned that the most effective protest is peaceful. It isn't screaming, throwing stuff, breaking windows.

It is peacefully putting yourself on the line for a cause. But what cause? When would Occupy Portland declare victory against Wall Street? There's no way for this to happen. Without a clear goal, like getting our troops out of Vietnam, there's no defined end point.

Are you going to camp out and occupy public parks until corporate greed ends? Won't happen. Can't happen. This is a long term struggle that requires the support of the 99%. Turning off a good share of the 99% through extreme anarchist tactics isn't going to help the cause.

This question is of course moot, but I have wanted to get my 2 cents in about it. My first reaction was this is not your call. But a guiding principle of the Occupy movement is that every voice counts. But I would like to share some thoughts about your position. Yes, the encampment in Portland, like those in many other cities, had problems - problems that come with the grave unaddressed inequities in our society. I have been involved with Occupy Salem Oregon, not camping out, but attending many rallies, marches, presentations and meetings, bringing food. I'm on the education committee. Maybe you read the news, etc., and see sensationalized events (and by the way, civil disobedience is NOT the same as violence - often the violence comes from the police or from a few people who do not represent the whole movement - but I think you know that).

Do you know how much people involved with Occupy struggle with the social problems they are faced with? How and why they come to decisions to allow homeless people to stay in the camps, to feed them, share space and supplies and provide rudimentary first aid. How to deal with the social problems that come from extreme poverty and alienation. Clearly these microcosmic settlements can't solve the problems of society, but do you get how conflicting it is to confront decisions to not feed people, to turn people out who have nowhere to go? Occupy folks are well aware that people like you are becoming disaffected by too much up close and personal engagement with society's problems and this diminishes opportunities to expand the movement..

Occupy Salem's camp at Willson Park will close down by December 1 by order of the state Parks Department. There are appeals in the offing and other ideas about what will happen to homeless people in the camp, to the kitchen and other services. What is certain is that the group will maintain a lawful presence in the Capitol area for the purpose of engaging in political messaging around inequaolity and the corrupting influence of money on our political system; and will continue with rallies, events, and educational and awareness-building activities at the Capitol and at other venues in Salem.

What's next for Occupy Salem Oregon? There will be a public forum December 7 at 7 pm in the Anderson Room of the Salem Public Library to talk about where are, what ideas for the future are being discussed and to invite the community to get involved with that discussion and to get involved with the ongoing Occupy Salem Oregon.

I will be out of town on that date - actually am writing this on a plane and will upload it from the LA airport But if you are interested, I hope you will attend.

Laurie, thanks for the informative comment. It'd be great if Occupy Salem could continue to have a presence around the capitol and keep the message of income inequality front and center.

I've got no problem with that. In fact, I think it is highly desirable. People need to keep being reminded of how our nation's policies have tilted way too far in the direction of the 1%.

My concern has been that this message gets drowned out when the Occupy movement gets overly focused on, well, occupying. Taking over a public park isn't the goal; bringing more awareness of income inequality is.

The New Yorker had an interesting piece about how anarchists have dominated much of the Occupy movement. This is a problem, in my view, because anarchy isn't a viable way of running our country. Nor is it a viable way of making Occupy decisions, where a few people can disrupt the will of the vast majority.

So there's a lot to like about the Occupy movement, plus areas for improvement. Hopefully the Occupy Salem folks are learning some lessons and will keep on evolving better ways of getting their message across.

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