Sunday, August 28, 2011

September 17th #OccupyWallStreet US Day Of Rage Demonstrations Provokes Right Wing Blogosphere Panic And Prayer Meetings

My daughter Alexa O’Brien is a thirty something, attractive, well-educated and ingenious woman who was born in Seattle and raised by her hardworking, down to earth, Slavic mother in New York.

In March of this year she reached a moment in her life where she had an epiphany about the political state she found this country to be in and decided to do something about it. The question would be where to start. The intellectual outrage she felt was aimed directly at a number of issues she saw as some of the main causes of the problem.

Her concerns included, but were not limited to: 

  • The Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which deem corporations to be people when it came to political contributions.
  • The corporate financed American Legislative Exchange Council attempts to disenfranchise millions of voters.
  • Widespread government corruption, injustice and clandestine intelligence operations.
  • The general political malaise and dysfunctional way the corrupted US political system works.
  • Political parties pretending to have the people’s interests at heart while in reality their actions only led to the further empowerment and enrichment of the wealthy, corporate oligarchy and too big to fail banks.
  • Politicians more often then not more interested in the vast sums of money they'll need from their corporate benefactors for reelection then the overall good of the people.  

She believed deeply that the toxic political atmosphere was adding to widespread citizen, suffering, demoralization and disengagement. So she decided it was time for some sort of direct citizen action. Additional frustration came after seeing the events taking place in Wisconsin in March. She began to organize a grassroots organization that she named US Day of Rage. The organization was modeled and named after the social media driven people’s ”days of rage” non-violent protests in Egypt and Europe. 

When asked to explain the motivation behind creating USDOR, Alexa offered this explanation in a recent interview with the progressive blog The Public Record.

“What I saw in Wisconsin was a dangerous level of cynicism towards government."

"Every institutional underpinning that upholds the principles of our democratic republic is buckling under the weight of entrenched interests and outdated ideas about the world we live in and the challenges our nation faces.”

"The idea behind this new movement is simple: “One citizen. One dollar. One vote.” In other words, it’s time to return the democratic process to the hands of those for which it was originally intended: the American people."

"Special influence corrupts our political parties, our elections, and the institutions of government. Bought by hard and soft dollars, disloyal, incompetent, and wasteful special interests have usurped our nation’s civil and military power, spawning a host of threats to liberty and our national security. The problem is not a left or right issue, it’s an American issue.” 
The idea was to motivate citizens to take local direct actions to organize demonstrations through the use of social media. These public demonstrations would take place in every State Capitol and major city where disgruntled fed up citizens of like mind were willing to organize. A website, facebook page, twitter account and the hashtag #USDOR, where citizens could #tag their twittered grievances and comments, were created and US Days of Rage was up and running.

“The planning committee started off with a broad state-by-state strategy. Building local and state associations or assemblies of people, not parties around our mission: One citizen. One dollar. One vote, and around four principles, non-violence, principles before party, volunteering and autonomous except in matters affecting the whole.” 
“I see an American moment coming to America. It’s not that Tahrir (Egypt) isn’t inspiring. People all over the world are facing tremendous challenges in the face of globalization, increased institutional complexity, and ancient problems of just and stable governance. But our nation’s problems are our responsibility to fix. Either we face up to that fact, or our nation will perish from the earth.”

During my recent visit to New York in early August Alexa and I talked extensively about the risks and challenges this national effort to organize demonstrations would take. Our discussions were mainly concerned with the complexities of letting a rather large genie out of the bottle. Alexa and her co-organizers at USDOR believed it boils down to a paramount belief that the demonstrations must be built around non-violence, democracy and a citizen's right to assemble. The non-violent nature of USDOR and their soon to be ally #OccuplyWallStreet continues to be emphasized in statements and postings about the planned protests.

USDOR was soon joined by other social media based groups and organizations, the afore mentioned #OccupyWallStreet, Take The Square, October 2011, WL Central, and European Revolution, and additional support is growing. The plan for the Wall Street occupation is modeled after Egypt's Tahrir Square demonstrations. The protesters will camp, then present a list of grievances reached during per-demonstration organizing meetings and any that arise once they've occupied Wall Street.

Many progressive blogs and internet based organizations and entities have come out in support of the idea. Adbusters the popular and influential magazine and social media website has joined in support with a major story in its current issue about the movement and its purposes. Anonymous, the hacker group that supports WikiLeaks released a video last week in support of the actions of USDOR and OccupyWallStreet. Because of publicity and social networking about the protest public knowledge of it has grown exponentially on the web and is now actually spreading worldwide. Demonstrations are now also planned in Madrid, Milan, London, Toronto, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Sydney, Paris and San Francisco. Citizens in several other US cities, including Seattle, are also working to organize bank and financial district protests on September 17th 

What is rather over the top and even hysterical is the reaction of the right wing blogosphere to the September 17th Wall Street protest. The nut-bars have certainly got the message, and in their minds its all the usual suspects. Most right wing and right leaning religious based bloggers are in a panic about what it all means.

Their posts and comments are filled with conjecture and conspiracy theories about the protest and in general accuse USDOR of being one or all of the following:  Marxist, Socialists, troublemakers, radicals, Communists, world wide democracy (why they’d fear that I don’t know, but I presume it has something to do with what the bible says), reconstitution of the weather underground, attempts to trigger martial law, excuse for London type riots, terrorism, globalist revolution, anarchists, an attempt to mock those who died on 9/11, Bill Ayers, funded by George Soros, ACORN, rich kids in $500 jeans, punks, atheists, and ordinary riffraff who may get some banker's suit dirty. One commenter even insinuated that Obama is behind the demonstrations because he wants to declare marshal law, which would give him an opening to then declare himself King of America.

Hail Caesar salad!

My daughter has received numerous threats and the FBI has contacted other members of USDOR. After I returned from New York I created a poster for USDOR and OccupyWallStreet which is now plastered all over the internet and especially on right wing blogs.  They say it stands as proof that USDOR is all the things that Americans should fear. It's main theme being a man turning a sword into a plowshare. You'd think that would be something that the zealots and right wing religious nut bars would see as a biblical teaching which simply points out that war should be avoided even Jesus himself supposedly talked about that. Different Jesus I guess.

Alexa is a clear-minded courageous activist and member of the middle class who is fed up with the bullshit. The right wing blogosphere needs to get it through their heads this is not some widespread conspiracy or throw back to some out of date sixties radical movement.  It’s a brand spanking new movement. Americans still have a constitutional right to assemble and petition their government, one constitution right I believe they haven't completely taken away yet. That is what the USDOR and the Occupy Wall Street September 17th demonstration is all about. It is not based on anyone’s wacky conspiracy theories, it's a simple idea that's taken root in social media and is as all American as apple pie, baseball and the Statue of Liberty. 

What the corrupt and dysfunctional oligarchy and Republican and Democratic parties and their right and left wing supporters who enable them really have to fear is one young social networking savvy woman typing at her computer. Maybe when the nut-bars finally realize that there are  thousands of average Americans just like her out here who've come to the same conclusions she has, i.e. that our political leaders are corrupt, out dated and out of touch, they will then decide it’s their duty as citizens to take non-violent action to improve the situation.

Of course, I also hope they crap themselves when they see my new USDOR poster.

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