The Wittenberg Trail

Some Thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Some Thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street Movement

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

 

Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good--" At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the  monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark.

 

G. K. Chesterton, "Heretics", 1908

 

Now, I happent to be of the opinion that the "Organize Wall Street" movement is being orchestrated and encouraged by some rather nasty people toward some nefarious end.  I may be wrong in substance but, as Chesterton points out, it matters little.  Human nature being what it is (sin-filled and depraved) even the most benign interpretation of the OWS movement reveals an undercurrent of lawless anarchy which can only end badly for those on the street and our society as a whole. 

 

One need only recall the French Revolution is a more accurate template for OWS than the American Revolution and then look to the consequenses of that period in history. The French Revolution was led by libertarian idealists resisting an irresponsible and oppressive regime.  It was not organized by nasty people for nefarious purposes.  It had far more legal and moral justification than the OWS movement.  But when the mob acted the world crumbled.  It turned upon itself with unprecidented savagery and destroyed everything in its path. The mad thrill of pure destruction.

 

When the madness reached its apogee and he horror (the Terror led by Mm Guillotine and the Mob) was universally appalled by the rank and file citizens, in stepped the "Strong Man", Napoleon, with his cannon and a "whiff of grapeshot", stepped to the forefront and seized power.  His ambition and hubris led him to attempt the conquest of Europe with all its consequent death and destruction. 

 

And that is the fruit of the misguided idealists.  The "nasty people of nefarious ends" have viewed and calculated this fruit as a necessary and desirable price for the attainment of their goals.  So, even if I am paranoid and wrong about the nasty people orchestrating the OWS movement that should not be cause for relief.

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Comment by James Robertson on April 16, 2012 at 12:55pm

NYC Occupy Smashes Starbucks, Shouts 'All Pigs Must Die'
by Lee Stranahan - Breitbart.com - 16 Apr 12

We’ve told you in previous reports to expect the increasingly broke, desperate and nomadic Occupy movement to continue to make police the enemy and to make more flailing ‘direct actions’ in an attempt to stir up headlines. In New York City this weekend, they did not disappoint.

As The New York Times East Village Local reported...

Last night’s riotous atmosphere resulted in a sergeant and lieutenant suffering minor injuries while scuffling with anarchist protesters at the Astor Place Starbucks, the police said.

According to police, around 25 people tried smashing the windows of the cafe with eight-foot long steel pipes at around 8:45 p.m. after attending the Anarchist book fair earlier in the day. “Patrons fearing that they would be hit by flying glass hid under tables,” the police said in a statement. “Several” officers were assaulted with pipes and bottles, the police added.

As the news reports, the clash started after the Anarchist Book Fair. Lest you think this is mere coincidence, let’s take a quick look at the some of the workshop offerings presented at the Fair -- which advertises that they welcome children, by the way. So what was being taught at the Anarchist Book Fair prior to Saturday’s attack on a Starbucks and subsequent march calling the police pigs? Here’s a couple of the courses offered:

Occupy Anarchism; Commons Not Capitalism - Saturday, 12:45-2:15pm Think Coffee Basement

Cindy Milstein

As the do-it-ourselves occupations that have swept across the globe from Egypt to United States are proving, direct democracy and cooperation are becoming powerful everyday experiences for millions, with people self-organizing everything from civic defense and trash collection to tent encampments and general assemblies. This compelling and quirky, beautiful and at times messy experimentation has cracked open a window on history, affording us a rare chance to grow these uprisings into the new landscape of a caring, ecological, and egalitarian society--a world of our own collective making and doing. This talk will draw out some of the promise as well as dilemmas of the occupy moment, focusing specifically on the anticapitalst/antistatist opening of notions and lived practices of "the commons," and then facilitate a conversation, in hopes of better strategizing toward increasingly expansive forms of freedom.

And...

Food Justice for Anarchists, Come One, Come All! - Saturday 11-12:30pm Judson Garden Room

Alice, Ashley, David, J."g."J., and Lana

New York City is alive with projects and people working toward a more sustainable, accessible, responsible, and delicious food system. However, many groups operate within state, corporate, or non-profit frameworks.

As anarchists, we must ask: what does it mean to work toward food justice in a way that is non-hierarchical and anti- oppression? How do we build a better food system while nurturing community and fighting the state and capitalism? How can food be relevant in a successful fight against gentrification?

You’ll also not that J.”g”J., listed as one of the panelists at Food Justice was also scheduled to teach the following course on Sunday.

Self-defense and street combat for anarchists... - Sunday, 4:15-5:45pm Judson Assembly Room

J. "G." J.

will provide a basic overview of offense and defense when dealing with recalcitrant fascists and / or pig police. We will deal with holds, strikes, traps and disarming techniques. No prior martial arts experience is necessary. The techniques are simple and effective, derived from the Yip family Wing Chun lineage (invented by a womyn, for wimmin and slight-bodied people). Anyone with experience, ideas and techniques of their own are welcome and encouraged to share! Come prepared to move, and preferably with someone you trust to work with. I try to make this as fun and non-triggering as possible! *appropriate for teens.

It's good to know that it's appropriate for teens. It's hard to find good leisure activities for today's youth.

The NYT Village Local also reports what else happened on Saturday night.

According to police, part of the rowdy group — some of them masked — marched near Washington Square Park, chanting “cops are murderers” and “all pigs must die.” The crowd eventually grew to around 150, with some tipping garbage cans and spray painting anarchist symbols on buildings, the police said.

Remember that Andrew Breitbart was derided by the mainstream media for shouting “Behave yourself!” at the Occupy shock troops who were assaulting CPAC 2012 and Andrew was castigated for calling them ‘filthy animals’. Those cams critics will, of course, be silent on the Black Block masked anarchists shouting “all pigs must die!”, breaking windows and spray painting New York City.

The Occupy movement is a nihilist attack on Western civilization, including the warm fuzzy organic white bread NPR eco-leftism of a modern American company like Starbucks. The radicals of Occupy see right through the mix of fair trade good intentions, acoustic guitar soul patch hipster design and affluence aspiring capitalism and their answer was an eight foot long steel pipe The gave-at-the-office latte drinking liberals aren’t able to donate their way out of the path of broken glass because at their core, they romanticize these thugs the same way the J-School Occupy fetishists do.

Comment by James Robertson on April 17, 2012 at 7:36am

Comment by James Robertson on April 17, 2012 at 11:33am

Comment by James Robertson on April 20, 2012 at 3:40pm
Comment by James Robertson on April 21, 2012 at 1:36pm
DUmmie FUnnies ^ | April 20, 2012 | DUmmies and Charles Henrickson

Ah, spring! The trees are greening up like so many broccoli sprouts across the landscape. The daffodils and daisies and dandelions are dotting the lawns of many a foreclosed home. Young men's hearts turn to thoughts of beer. And the Cubs are in last place. Yes, spring is in the air (see the pollen and mold counts). Spring. It's a magical season. The earth comes to life, and we do with it. So it is with the young progressives. Their hearts turn to thoughts of occupying places.

Comment by James Robertson on April 23, 2012 at 2:38pm

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Training: Their Target is the Tea Party
Trevor Loudon ^ | 4/23/12 | Trevor Loudon


Hundreds of OWS training workshops took place this month throughout the country, in all 50 states, including small rural areas. Inside one of the training workshops, attendees report that OWS is “specifically instructed to go to any and all Tea Party gatherings, rallies, etc., to be confrontational and create havoc and disruption.”

They are being trained to recruit and enlarge their numbers in their assigned geographic locations, to use the correct messaging, to incite any opponents, engage in confrontation, employ tactics to evade police blockades and create gridlock.

OWS workshops are extremely organized and clearly well funded. Each workshop had a trainer, DVD’s, handouts and a training manual.

OWS has deep pockets and they will be providing food, water, entertainment and more… just as we saw last Fall with the gourmet meals, tents, hotel rooms and printing presses for their newspapers.

OWS is not a grassroots movement, as demonstrated by the training, resources and coordination at their workshops. OWS is orchestrated and organized by George Soros’ MoveOn.org and Media Matters, Van Jones, Steve Lerner, Francis Fox-Piven, Barack Obama, Union leaders (e.g. SEIU, AFL/CIO, UAW), Communist Party USA (CPUSA), Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and other radical far-left anti-American organizations who are dedicated to the destruction of our free market system and the overthrow of our Constitutional form of government.

Comment by Dave Gosse on April 26, 2012 at 9:37am

Reuters' Chris Francescani has written a detailed article that paints a far more sympathetic portrait of George Zimmerman than most media coverage to date.

Francescani visited the Twin Lakes neighborhood in Sanford, Florida where Zimmerman shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February.

He talked to many residents of the neighborhood, who provided details about Zimmerman and a recent crime spree that had plagued the neighborhood in the months before the shooting.

The George Zimmerman that Francescani describes is quite different from the "violent racist vigilante" that many have made him out to be.

The background information doesn't make what happened any less tragic, but it does provide more color about Zimmerman's behavior.

Here are some of the details that Francescani reports:

  • Zimmerman grew up in a mixed-race household
  • He was an altar boy at his Caltholic church from age 7-17
  • He is bilingual
  • After he finished high school, he studied for and got an insurance license
  • In 2004, Zimmerman and a black friend opened an Allstateinsurance office (which soon failed)
  • Zimmerman's 2005 arrest for "resisting arrest, violence, and battery of an officer" occurred after he shoved an under-cover alcohol control agent at a bar when the agent was trying to arrest an underage friend of his (he was 22 at the time)
  • Zimmerman married his wife, Shellie, in 2007. They rented a house in Twin Lakes. Twin Lakes is about 50% white, 20% Hispanic, and 20% black.
  • In 2009, Zimmerman enrolled in Seminole State College
  • In the fall of 2009, a pit bull broke free twice and once cornered Shellie in the Zimmermans' yard. George Zimmerman asked a police officer whether he should buy pepper spray. The cop told him pepper spray wasn't fast enough and recommended that he get a gun.
  • By the summer of 2011, Twin Lakes "was experiencing a rash of burglaries and break-ins." In several of the cases, witnesses said the robbers were young black men
  • In July 2011, a black teenager stole a bicycle off the Zimmermans' porch
  • In August of 2011, a neighbor of the Zimmermans, Olivia Bertalan, was home during the day when two young black men entered her house. She hid in a room upstairs and called the police. When the police arrived, the two men, who had been trying to take a TV, fled. One of them ran through the Zimmermans' yard.
  • After the break-in, George Zimmerman stopped by the Bertalans and gave Olivia a card with his name and number on it. He told her to visit his wife Shellie if she felt unsafe.
  • The police recommended that Bertalan get a dog. She moved away instead. Zimmerman got a second dog--a Rottweiler.
  • In September, several concerned residents of the neighborhood, including Zimmerman, asked the neighborhood association to create a neighborhood watch. Zimmerman was asked to run it.
  • In the next month, two more houses in the neighborhood were robbed.
  • A community newsletter reminded residents to report any crimes to the police and then call "George Zimmerman, our captain."
  • On February 2, 2012, Zimmerman spotted a young black man looking into the windows of a neighbor's empty house. He called the police and said "I don't know what he's doing. I don't want to approach him, personally." The police sent a car, but by the time they arrived, the man was gone.
  • On February 6th, another house was burglarized. Witnesses said two of the robbers were black teenagers. One, who had prior burglary convictions, was soon caught with a laptop stolen from the house.
  • Two weeks later, Zimmerman spotted Travyon Martin and called the police. The last time he had done this, the suspect got away. This time, he disregarded police instructions and followed. A few minutes later, Martin was dead.

Again, none of this makes Trayvon Martin's death any less tragic. But doesn't it make you feel a bit differently about Zimmerman?

Read Chris Francescani's article here >



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/george-zimmerman-before-the-trayvon-...

Comment by James Robertson on April 26, 2012 at 10:04am

One has to go to the foreign press for such facts. The domestic press is more about "the narrative" than the facts.

Comment by James Robertson on April 27, 2012 at 2:13pm

So come with me and smoke pot. I got some stashed inside my backpack and a good idea it's a lot. I got some friends from the insane, the profane, the birdbrain, and the upshot is that we complain about our place in this world, okay? Sweat and strain? No, let's not. Because to build a better world, all you really gotta do . . . is jack squat.

OccuPoet Misty Rowan of Minneapolis

Comment by Dave Gosse on April 29, 2012 at 9:57pm

Meet the New Farm, Same as the Old Farm? Occupy Seizes Berkeley’s “Gill Tract”

April 29, 2012 - 5:15 pm - by Zombie

 

Are you ready for the most ridiculous and pointless Occupation ever?

Last week, on Earth Day, the Occupy movement illegally took over an entire farm and transformed it into…a farm!

So proud are they of this revolutionary act that they showed off the farm to the media yesterday, so naturally I had to check it out.

 

The farm they seized was not a working farm per se, but rather a “research farm” for the University of California, near its Berkeley campus. The only difference between the way the farm used to be (prior to a week ago) and the way it is now is that the Occupiers have transformed what was essentially a well-maintained and important open-air laboratory into a disheveled and ultimately purposeless pretend-farm for trustafarian dropouts.

The struggle over the farm is not just a struggle over land; it is a Battle of Narratives. The “Occupy the Farm” group (loosely affiliated with Occupy Cal and Occupy Oakland, but a new separate group) has already put up a slick web site called “Take Back the Tract” which explains the “philosophy” justifying their behavior:

We are reclaiming this land to grow healthy food to meet the needs of local communities. We envision a future of food sovereignty, in which our East Bay communities make use of available land – occupying it where necessary – for sustainable agriculture to meet local needs.

…followed by a raft of conspiracy theories involving Whole Foods and senior centers and baseball fields.

The university, on the other hand, has fired back with a devastating press release of its own, dismantling Occupy’s ludicrous theories and moral gymnastics:

[...]

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