Actually, I think the immediate problem of co-optation may subside by itself as the media and the public begin to understand that OWS is not marching into the Democratic Party.
On the other hand, OWS, at some point, has to face the reality that it is not consistent with the Republican Party's MO, and its voters view us as a threat to their interests while -- and because -- Democratic voters are sympthetic to OWS's program. Maybe OWS should begin to strategize with that big, bald, national, practical fact in mind, rather than merely insisting on principled self-denial. Self-denial frustrates, retards and derails effective strategy.
If the movement grows, only Republicans will throw stones at us; the Democrats will appeal to us all the more for our votes. Already they are trying hard. (The president, who, as head of state, sees himself as a peace broker between parties, is an exception.) I see no harm in letting them come begging. It gives us more power and strength. The appeals from the Dems will lose us support with staunch Republicans, but there are not many to lose there, unfortunately, despite our serving the interests of the 99%.
Inspirational language on a negative statement like this inclines to polarize and alienate. If the perception of Democratic Party-leaning remains, and polarizes the public towards OWS, an unobtrusive, unalienating statement might yet be useful:
"Occupy Wall Street does not endorse candidates of either the Democratic or Republican parties."
We can leave the inspirational statements for other purposes and moments.
On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 1:27 AM, Jon Good <email@example.com>
People seemed to like the statement initially, and liked the sentiment and much of the wording. However, I did find myself agreeing that right now isn't the time to make people take sides between the occupation and the major parties. Right now the two parties are mostly keeping their lips tight, and occasionally crack a joke or say they can "sympathize" with us and our plight, but they are not actively cranking up the media noise machine, calling us terrorists, drumming up fear, or spreading misinformation.
If this movement continues to grow, they'll need to do all that eventually. It is in our best interest not to hasten its coming.
In the meanwhile, we can keep workshopping so we get a totally beautiful statement when the time comes.
On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 11:50 PM, Winter Siroco <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rob, I am glad that you have energy go keep trying.
Reversing the order of the disclaimer would probably please more those who do not want to upset anybody.
On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 11:35 PM, rob hollander <email@example.com>
My take on tonight's response: the GA is unwilling to accept a statement that alienates sympathetic political organizations and voters. I can think of two options for the co-optation statement: we could write a simpler (though much less inspirational) statement like
"Occupy Wall Street does not endorse candidates of either the Democratic or Republican parties."
or we can keep our inspirational statement, adding a disclaimer to it without weakening it. Something like -- just to get the ball rolling:
Participants in Occupy Wall Street may vote as they wish, or not vote at all if they chose. We encourage full freedom for the 99% to participate according their choice. But Occupy Wall Street's General Assembly itself does not support or endorse Democratic or Republican party candidates. So the whole statement would be
The Democratic and Republican parties do not represent the people because they've been bought and corrupted by Wall Street, and the occupation does not support their candidates. With the collusion of both parties, the top 1% has profited at the expense of everyone else. We have moved beyond false hopes, submission to eloquent speeches, and populist manipulation. We rely on cooperation and solidarity among us to imagine and create the changes needed for a sustainable world. From diverse multicultural, racial, ethnic, gender and sexual backgrounds, from different walks of life, we have begun to unite on common ground to oust the global financial powers that have bought our government and who hold us hostage to their greed.
Participants in Occupy Wall Street may vote as they wish, or not vote at all if they chose. We encourage full freedom for the 99% to participate according their choice. But Occupy Wall Street's General Assembly itself does not support or endorse Democratic or Republican party candidates.
On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 6:28 PM, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I think it speaks for itself.
On 10/19/11, David DeGraw<David@AmpedStatus.com> wrote:
is this is the final statement that will be proposed at the GA, or were there more edits?
"The Democratic and Republican parties do not represent the people because they've been bought and corrupted by Wall Street, and the occupation does not support their candidates. With the collusion of both parties, only the top 1% has profited through fraud, at the expense of everyone else. We have moved beyond false hopes, submission to eloquent speeches, and populist manipulation. We rely on cooperation and solidarity among us to imagine, create and materialize the changes needed for a sustainable world. From diverse multicultural, racial, ethnic, and sexual backgrounds, from different walks of life, we have begun to unite on common ground to oust the global financial powers that have bought our government and who hold us hostage to their greed."
is there going to be a title / headline to the statement, ie: Statement From the We Will NOT Be Co-Opted Working Group - something like that???
On 10/19/2011 9:26 AM, shaista husain wrote:
Hey Gail i like your point on Obama, a lot of people of color, despite not approving of Obama' policies, still echo that same broken record of the lesser evil argument to continue reluctantly supporting Obama, good folks who don't want to succumb to Tea Party or Republicans. We need to have some way of addressing this huge base of supporters, honest hard working folks, balanced folk, who have no alternative to the democratic party. I am speaking specifically of the black working class (aka black middle class.) I do make the point that no matter who you vote for in 2012 the republicans have already won, their policies are already in motion, no matter who wins. We need to think strategically how to address this sensible bases--but there lies the dilemma--and they are the ones who, when they move, they usher in change, as was evident with the overwhelming support given to obama--initially, he was able to mobilize this base with enormous support behind him for changes he promised but never delivered. This base is in limbo now--and looking to this movement for a way forward.
On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 9:01 AM, gail zawacki <email@example.com>
Thanks, Sebastian - signed with the following comment!
I was a huge Obama supporter but it's now obvious to me that we do not have a real democracy in this country, and the media is pure propaganda. If MoveOn members (I'm one) want to join OWS (I did) that's fine, but as an organization that represents the pseudo-electoral politics as usual, MoveOn has no role in OWS.
On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 1:09 AM, Sebastian Fernandez Giraldo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sorry I haven't been following the conversation but I thought you guys might want to know about this it was posted to reddit http://signon.org/sign/moveon-please-stop.fb1?source=s.fb&r_by=1390101. Obviously it's a matter of personal opinion. Just thought I'd share.
Full disclosure: I signed it. "I'm not for or against you guys but I it's true that your involvement could keep a lot of people who are against you from coming out and joining. Sorry but we are not your tea party. "
On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 10:40 PM, Doug Singsen <email@example.com>
I'm not saying we should be hostile. In fact, I specifically said that we shouldn't be. What I said was that we should clearly differentiate ourselves from MoveOn. And yes, humans can change. But we're not talking about an individual human here, we're talking about an organization. And organizations have identity and inertia. They're created to serve a purpose, and that purpose has a definitive effect on their viewpoint and practices. I think it's very unlikely that MoveOn will ever be anything but a liberal wing of the Democratic Party. If people grow disenchanted with that model, they're more likely to leave MoveOn than to change its fundamental politics.
On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 10:34 PM, Jon Good <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Those forces are not immutable, Doug. Human beings have opinions, and they can be changed. WE are starting to change them.
The success of our movement has provided evidence to people that what they believed to be impossible (a belief they held partially because those in power want us to think it's impossible) can actually happen.
Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't be careful. But I disagree that we should be immediately hostile.
Supporting MoveOn is inconsistent with the idea that we don't support the Democrats, since MoveOn is joined at the hip to the Democrats. I don't think we should start attacking MoveOn, but we need to distinguish our agenda from theirs so that people outside the movement understand that we are pushing for much bigger changes than MoveOn wants, and that we don't support the Democrats. If MoveOn still wants to support us once we've made that clear, great, but if we don't make that clear, then MoveOn will be able to present their agenda as representing the Occupy movement, thereby co-opting it and blunting its transformative potential. And we need to be realistic about what MoveOn represents: they are for all intents and purposes a support group for the supposedly "progressive" wing of the Democratic Party. But that "progressive" wing, which still sees Obama as its ally, is in fact not progressive at all, but supports Wall Street to the hilt.
Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Developmenthttp://savethelowereastside.blogspot.com/
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