The Just Anger of the People

I am the anger, the just anger of the people, and that is why they listen to me and believe in me.

Why Tents Have Little to Do with Reason Behind Occupy Wall Street Eviction

By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedog Lake

Tuesday November 15, 2011 11:01 am

Bloomberg’s statement on the major police operation that resulted in hundreds of arrests, including the arrest of a reporter and city councilman, who was injured, shows once again the contempt and scorn the power elite have for democracy. He claimed, “The law that created [Liberty Square] required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day. Ever since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with, as the park has been taken over by protestors, making it unavailable to anyone else.”

Essentially, Bloomberg is saying it had become nearly impossible for someone to go down to the park and be apathetic and ignore the critique of corporate greed and impunity for Wall Street criminals, which the occupation has been making since its first days. He is suggesting that if one cannot go down to the park for their lunch break and eat in peace, without having to hear about issues of unemployment, poverty or debt, then the city has to intervene on behalf of New Yorkers that want to be able to tune out.

This is similar to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s argument against Occupy Oakland camping. “Camping is a tactic,” she stated after the second raid of Occupy Oakland on November 14. “It is one that has divided Oakland, a city of the 99 percent. It’s time to work together on the issues of unemployment, foreclosures and education cuts. While the camping must end, the movement continues.”

The notion that camping should not be allowed because it presumably “divides” the 99 percent or that it should not be allowed because it does not allow for “passive recreation” all stems from the ideology of politicians like Bloomberg or Quan. They see themselves as democracy managers. As Sheldon Wolin writes in Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, they find that one of their main functions is “to foresee the unexpected, eliminate or cope effectively with the unforeseen (“risk management,” “crisis management”); to exploit or contain change insofar as it affects his or her enterprise; and to seize opportunities and aggressively use them to advance the power advantage of the firm – and of him- or herself.”

(I)t is all too clear why the encampment had to go today, Tuesday, November 15. It has less to do with the presence of tents and more to do with the growing power of Occupy Wall Street.

On November 17, occupiers had planned a massive day of action to mark their two-month anniversary. They planned to hold a massive demonstration at 7 am in front of the New York Stock Exchange. They were preparing a “block party the 1 percent” would “never forget.” They said they would “shut down Wall Street.” After that, they would get on subway trains to tell the “stories of disenfranchised Americans.” The occupiers planned to march across the Brooklyn Bridge and even hold a demonstration in Foley Square at 5 pm.

The massive day of action scared Bloomberg, the NYPD and city officials. It frightened the 1%, comrades of Bloomberg. They did not want to see what would happen on November 17 because they have already suffered from this movement. They have already seen it stop banks from slapping fees on debit cards and push hundreds of thousands of people to move their money from Big Banks into credit unions. They have been paying attention to how the people are building up organization to prevent banks from foreclosing on homes. And, those on Wall Street, more than anything, tremble at the movement’s momentum because it could produce investigations that would strip them of the immunity from prosecutions that they have enjoyed since contributing to the collapse of the economy in 2008.


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