Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for May 1st, 2012

Follow Occupy May Day protests

Posted by Charles II on May 1, 2012

Greg Mitchell has been doing yeoman’s work (via Meteor Blades, DK)

I remain a little disheartened by some of the ahistorical and vapid rhetoric I hear from Occupy. For example, Marina Sitrin and Amin Hussein are unwilling to say that violent tactics should be excluded. Hussein really should know better. His first protest movement was the First Intifada. While that actually went a lot better than the Second Intifada, this is what a sympathetic account says:

The Palestinians realized that their greatest power lay in mass civil disobedience — boycotting Israeli goods, refusing to pay taxes to Israel, establishing their own mobile medical clinics, providing social services, organizing strikes and demonstrations and unarmed confrontations. The tactics they used took Israel unawares and captured the attention of a hitherto unreceptive Western media. Specifically, the images of Palestinian boys throwing stones at advancing armored tanks totally upended the David and Goliath myth that Israel had propagated so effectively….

This is precisely what Chris Hedges points out in the debate in asserting that the power of protest movements is in their powerlessness. Kids with rocks against tanks is essentially non-violent protest, since there’s no chance of the rocks killing anyone. Any protest movement can only succeed by getting people–especially people inside the power structure–off the sidelines and supporting the movement.

This gets obscured in vapid rhetoric, as illustrated by the DemocracyNow debate, when panelists challenge the meaning of words like “movement” and “we”. It may sound clever to say that this is not a movement, it’s an attempt to stop things. It might even be wise to re-consider words, since they can limit creativity as well as enhance it. But really. Most past movements have been attempts to stop things. What is a factory strike, after all, except an attempt to stop production? Being clever with words doesn’t change the underlying reality.

And I think there’s a certain element of narcissism in refusing to define goals. Sure, getting very specific just leads to conflict. But there should be general agreement that corporations have too much power relative to individuals and wealthy individuals too much power relative to everyone else. So there should be no objection whatsoever that a goal of the movement should be to equalize how much power any individual or entity possesses.

I do believe that Occupy is performing a valuable function in teaching people what real democracy looks like. Maintaining what they call a “horizontal structure” (what the rest of us might call “pure democracy”) not only helps to develop everyone, it helps to make everyone a leader–and therefore immunizes the movement against divide-and-conquer tactics. But I wish that the movement would listen a little more to the old fogies, who were once at exactly the same place that Occupy is, and know what went wrong and why. The old saying goes that if you learn from the past, you get wisdom, and if you don’t, then you get experience.

I suspect Occupy is going to get a lot of experience.
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Adding: Now that the Ohio bridge plot can conveniently be connected to Occupy, despite the fact that it almost certainly could not have reached the level of a conspiracy without the generous assistance of the federal government, the usual suspects (FOX) will doubtless smear the entire movement.

Not that that will solve any of the grievances that are behind the Occupy movement.

Posted in history, Occupy movement | 4 Comments »

May Day For The Murdochs: UK MP Committee Says Rupert Unfit To Run NewsCorp, James Not Much Better

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 1, 2012

Could it be?  Could the biggest evil media empire in the world finally be toppled of its own foul weight?

It’s beginning to look like it:

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Parliament’s cross-party Culture, Media and Sport committee said News International, the British newspaper division of Murdoch’s News Corp., had deliberately ignored evidence of malpractice, covered up evidence and frustrated efforts to expose wrongdoing.

The 81-year-old media mogul has insisted he was unaware that hacking was widespread at his now-shuttered News of the World tabloid, blaming underlings for keeping him in the dark.

The legislators said if that was true, “he turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies.”

“We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company,” the report by the panel of 11 lawmakers said.

The judgment on Murdoch implies that News Corp., which he heads, is also not a fit to control British Sky Broadcasting, in which News Corp. holds a controlling stake of 39 percent.

Somehow I don’t think the full takeover of BSkyB is gonna happen now.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

 
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