A peaceful occupation of Wall Street is entering its second night, having started Saturday, September 17th. Protesters plan to take Wall Street Monday morning and disrupt New York City’s Financial District. #OurWallStreet is alive with chatter that the cops, who until now have been tolerant of the protest, will begin making arrests Monday morning. The message here is clear: protest all you want on the weekend, but come Monday morning get back to work. The powers that be will only tolerate freedom of speech, political protests, and demonstrations as long as such activity remains ineffective and refrains from actually accomplishing anything. Protesters are bracing themselves for a true test of their resolve tomorrow morning.
From the Occupy Wall Street Website
On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up beds, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.
Like our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America. We also encourage the use of nonviolence to achieve our ends and maximize the safety of all participants.
In addition, an October 6th occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C. is planned.
A large majority of the American people consistently support the following agenda:
- Tax the rich and corporations
- End the wars, bring the troops home, cut military spending
- Protect the social safety net, strengthen Social Security and improved Medicare for all
- End corporate welfare for oil companies and other big business interests
- Transition to a clean energy economy, reverse environmental degradation
- Protect worker rights including collective bargaining, create jobs and raise wages
- Get money out of politics
“I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day or the days immediately following, for as long as I can, with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine by occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America’s resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning.”
In these movements we may be seeing a reboot of the largely ineffective war protests leading up to the invasion of Iraq. These protesters are better equipped with tried and true social media tactics and an acknowledgment that effective protests must extend beyond a weekend warrior mentality.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have our own protests. This October 10th will mark the fourth annual Columbus Day protest in Seattle, WA organized by the Old Growth Alliance. Also see this protest in Arizona. If October’s occupation of Freedom Plaza can hold on into the weekend, then we have an opportunity to participate in a nationwide protest against imperialism and tyranny. We may end up riding the wave of a wider movement while helping to ignite it.