In Minneapolis, a core of occupiers have launched an Occupy Homes campaign that is unique for its edgy tenacity. “What is unusual, in fact utterly unprecedented, is the level of aggression and defiance of the law by these activists,” a spokesperson for Freddie Mac, a U.S. corporation that trades in mortgages, told a local paper. “Over the past week … the city has tossed out protesters and boarded up the house, only to see the demonstrators peel back the boards and use chains, concrete-filled barrels and other obstacles to make it more difficult to carry them away,” the article reports. Last Friday, police were so desperate to prevent a re-occupation of the foreclosed home that they surrounded the house with “30 Minneapolis police officers with batons” and “over two dozen marked and undercover squad cars and a paddy wagon.” Occupiers responded by laughing and signing songs… joyous in their struggle to elevate the home into an symbol of democratic resistance to the banks.
This afternoon I’m taking food and a picnic blanket down to Public Square in Cleveland to take part in the Occupy Cleveland second bi-weekly potluck. The Occupy movement has many faces — perhaps too many, but that is not yet certain — and I want to convene a downtown edition of the Cleveland Socrates Café to consider the meta-issues involved with Occupy.
Over the past week I’ve been considering the following:
Occupy Wall Street can choose to be a loose confederation of volunteer fire departments fighting to put out fires set by the empowered and deep-funded gang of international arsonists that make up the One Percent, and that is an honorable and worthy task; but Occupy Wall Street can also choose to be a unified focused arson strike force intent upon identifying the societal miscreants setting these economic fires and dedicated to rendering them and their civilization-wrecking conflagrations harmless. While the former is important and appropriate for a great number of citizens, the latter, this meta-function to shift society more toward equality and fairness, is, for me, the greater and more important task.
The above statement is only a draft and as my thinking evolves, so too does my attitude toward this duality in the movement. Please stop by my blanket-on-the-square between two and four o’clock this afternoon and share with me what you think the meta-issues are.