Occupy Class War: #Unity&TransparencyLead2Action

by Adam

Mickey Z.

“The more powerful the class, the more it claims not to exist.”

Guy Debord

If I were attempting to discern why Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has caught on while so many other protests and fledgling movements did not, I’d have to guess it was this fundamental idea: 99%. A steadfast commitment to recognizing classism (without the jargon) is a big part of what’s helping OWS endure and grow.

Class warfare is nothing new. It’s a real war and it’s been waged—top-down—for centuries. However, here in the US—thanks to corporate propaganda—the “top” has more often than not managed to convince the “bottom” that talking/thinking about class is, well…un-American (or just plain delusional).

Therefore, the distinct lack of discomfort with which OWS discusses and encourages class warfare is revolutionary—especially when one contemplates the standard operating policies of both the 1% and activists. Please allow me to introduce an explanation or two…

Class Dismissed

When powerbrokers want to discredit a corporate-owned, Wall Street-funded war criminal like Barack Obama, they fall back on laughably inaccurate labels like “socialist.” Why? Well, much of American society has been deeply conditioned to respond with rage and fear to “Red scare”-style distortion. Such labels usually set the Pope of Hope off on a mass murdering, rights-stomping frenzy to prove he indeed has red, white, and blue blood flowing in his capitalist veins.

To speak seriously of class in such a tyrannical climate is to face relentless mockery or sheer incomprehension. After all, as we’re told from grade school on, the US is a class-free society.

Us vs. Us

When counterculture movements crash and burn, the cause is often single-issue divisions. Unity is spoken of in hushed tones publicly but behind the scenes, far too many activists are drawing up litmus tests for solidarity. From primitivists all the way to MoveOn liberals, it seems the full gamut of lefties has a behavioral checklist and is ready to jump ship unless purity is satisfactorily attained.

What now appears to be uniting formerly fractional factions is the OWS equation of 1 vs. 99. Ninety-nine is a big number, a big tent…there’s room for anyone (including mainstreamers) who recognizes the common enemy.

Finally, broad-based class warfare has been widely acknowledged.

Modest proposals

Now that class war has evolved from proscribed to prescribed, the top-down tactics—unions busted, corporations on welfare, social programs de-funded, mortgage scams, health care rationing, Wall Street bailouts, prison-industrial complex (I could go on for days)—grow increasingly transparent.

Such transparency serves mightily in unifying the victims as never before along with inspiring them to embrace powerful bottom-up methods of class warfare. For example, under the 99% banner, it feels natural—logical even—to plan boycotts, general strikes, and mass occupations. In this spirit, I’d like to discuss a few more class war weapons:

#OccupyCounterRecruitment

Wars do not benefit the 99% but volunteers drawn from the 99% make wars possible. With yet another US military operation looming against Iran, it is more than ever our duty to convince potential soldiers to instead fight alongside their sisters and brothers on the Occupy front lines. In addition, as we are beginning to see, veterans returning from the killing fields are ready to ditch the jingoism and take on the 1%. We must be there to recruit them and remind them: No war except class war.

#OccupyPoliceExposure

Across the nation, police departments are scheming up stratagems to sabotage the subversives. It is their job. It is what they are trained to do. It is what they are paid to do. It is what they are pressured to do. This is why any seasoned activist will advise: Do not trust a cop. In addition, as any person of color will advise: Learn how to recognize an undercover cop. I say we hand out shirts or armbands or buttons at all occupations, anything that reads: NOT A COP.

#OccupyTransparency

There is an “us” and there is a “them” (and let’s never forget that “us” includes far more than just humans). The more transparent we make this reality, the more allies we find…and the faster we can create change. Potential allies are all around us. If someone can evolve from volunteering to wage illegal war to volunteering in the name of defending activists from local police, well, maybe even the cops will eventually accept their 99% status. (Until then, however, refer to the paragraph above.)

#OccupyZinn

As the sorely missed Howie Z. sez: “It seems that human beings, whatever their backgrounds, are more open than we think, that their behavior cannot be confidently predicted from their past, that we are all creatures vulnerable to new thoughts, new attitudes … No human being should be written off, no change in thinking deemed impossible.”

The veil has been lifted and the deceptions exposed. Are you ready to join the fight for holistic justice?

#OccupyClassWarNow&Always

 

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.