What will prove to be either the last gasp of the Occupy Movement, or its Renaissance as a social powerhouse, will lie in the success and its embrace of a highly-publicized #WaveOfAction which launches a major 90-day program of protest and resistance on April 4.
The Wave begins, symbolically, on the date of the assassination of Martin Luther King and ends, symbolically, on July the 4th. It will run from the date of the death of a dream that will not die to the date of the birth of a vision which has yet to be fulfilled.
So, what is the purpose of this ambitious campaign, who is behind it, and what can we expect of it – and of ourselves? The purpose is stated on its website and is quite clear.
We are a Movement of Movements
“The Worldwide #WaveOfAction begins April 4th and runs through July 4th.
During this three-month cycle, people throughout the world will be protesting corruption, rallying around solutions and taking part in alternative systems. The new paradigm will be on full display.
Studies have proven that it only takes 3.5% of the population taking nonviolent action to create meaningful and positive change. The #WaveOfAction gives all of us who want change a powerful opportunity to #EvolveSociety.
Change-makers all over the world will be engaged at the same time in an unprecedented wave of transformation.”
OK, that sounds acceptable (to most of the 99%, and certainly not the 1%). Now, who is behind this?
I confess that I can’t say that I have figured that out. It appears to be nobody. Or, perhaps everybody. Or, a coterie of patriots/anarchists/misfits who – such as when Zuccotti Park came to be occupied – are taking it upon themselves to rekindle that Occupy fire.
Word has it that #OWS #Anon and its allies put out a call to action for a World Wide Wave of creative community coordination and collaboration this winter. There were two organizing conference calls prior to April 4. One on March 25, and the other on April 2. (David Degraw is one of the facilitators)
For an organizing call, it attracted verifiable luminaries: Barbara Max Hubbard, Marianne Williamson, Russell Brand, Kevin Zeese, Patricia Ellsberg, Dylan Rattigan, John Perry Barlow, and Lee Camp. If “you are known by the company you keep,” #WaveOfAction is keeping good company.
Whoever started it, it can be said that occupiers around the world are standing with it, and many called in to declare that support and to announce events they were planning locally.
But, they are coming up against a very familiar foe – themselves.
The Naysayers…and worse
Anyone familiar with Occupy knows that it is rife with the usual suspects: gripers, snipers and full-blown trolls whose only purpose seems to be that of making sure that “solidarity” will never be had. “How dare (someone/something) do/be (provide the offense).” Everything is suspect, and anyone taking a lead roll is to be suspected.
Whether or not this will affect the success of #WaveOfAction will not be known for some time, but the offenders are being put on notice. Activist and creater of Occu-Evolve, Sumumba Sobukwe, had this to say:
“The Irony of those complaining about this ‘Wave of Action’ is that it will only be a failure if they continue to find fault with EVERYTHING that ‘reeks’ of coordination that might make people move beyond facebook, twitter and other social media ‘activism’ as well as their own silos of causes and interests to actually go out and organize with others in the streets.”
He continues, “When did an ‘occupy’ action ever draw more than a few hundred people that didn’t have unions, grassroots or other groups involved? Who are we fooling here? Occupy has ALWAYS been made up of different groups and individuals, and that’s where the concept of the ’99%’ came closest to being real or at least unifying in theory.”
So, in addition to proving Pogo’s theorem, “We have met the enemy, and they are us,” what other odds militate against the campaign having any major effect? Let me count the ways:
1. A largely indifferent press. Activists deride the “MainStream Media” for not paying attention to even the largest of its protests and greatest of its triumphs. Occupy is hardly alone. Last year’s March Against Monsanto which attracted a half-million marchers or more worldwide did not find its way into print or broadcast in any meaningful way. (P.S. Occupy folk helped make that march happen, as well).
. 2. A police force dedicated to crushing public dissent. Naaaah, that can’t be happening here in America, right? That’s what you find in Russia, or Egypt, or China. Thank God that “to serve and protect” applies to citizens in the street and peaceful protestors, yes? Here’s a retired cop who has a word or two on that, Captain Ray Harris. Oh, and not to forget Cecily McMillan’s experience with the Boys in Blue which finds her at risk of jail time for resisting their abuse.
3. 3. Elected officials. One would think that people who are elected to represent us will actually represent us, and that they will be at the front of any parade or protest demanding justice and protecting civil liberties. Think again. If you ain’t got the money (and few occupiers/activists do), they ain’t got the time. And, if their party can’t co-opt your movement for their betterment, they’ll be the first to applaud authorities who arrest you. Hell, they will demand that force be used.
4. The 1%. You can be certain that the #WaveOfAction will be countered by a #FloodOfMoney spent to discredit its work and mission. Did I mention Fox? CNN? Stay tuned and see how money talks.
So, I leave it to you, the reader. Will this be a “Wave,” or a “Wave Goodbye” on the part of Occupy and its brother and sister causes? Will you listen to the detractors within and the enemies without and surrender to the impossible forces against you?
Or, will you take comfort in your own, amazing numbers and brilliance and continue to fight the good fight as so many have before you in America’s history. You are the dream that Martin referred to, and the nightmare that the 1% are waking up to.
When you realize that, the others in the 3.5% of the population will as well. Won’t that be exciting.