Where Are the Grown-Ups? by Lila York [uh-oh]

flickr image  By Nick Gulotta

Before this upsets you, let me suggest that I think Lila is coming from the old paradigm. The young people protesting aren’t coming from a place of anger, not like I sense Lila is. This is another generation, a very different time, and I think it’s very likely that these young people will lead us right through the door into the new paradigm. Rather than taking them down because they aren’t protesting a certain ‘successful’ way – the old way, maybe, I think we need to continue our support and let these folks figure it out as they go along. I think they are very capable, and I think they will find a way forward that works for them. Unlike protests of years ago, these protesters have high-powered positive energy and the coming paradigm change, which they are already demonstrating, at their backs. ~J

As a veteran boomer protester who has been waiting for resistance to the corporate state to show up in the next generation, Occupy Wall Street has left me frustrated and pissed off.   What the &^%$#%#$ does taking the Brooklyn Bridge have to do with breaking up the banks, getting back representative government and getting money out of government?    What exactly does this nonsense accomplish?    So 700 young men and women just lost their passports and will never again be able to even cross over the border to Canada. great.   I have hoped, and still hope, that the unions joining up will bring some clarity to this amorphous, goal-less protest, but so far that has not happened. Yes, I did “go down there” and I did fund their occupation at considerable expense to myself. And I came home more frustrated, came home understanding that these kids had no idea how the country got to this pathetic state, or what it will take to put it right again.  They are flailing blindly at the injustices heaped on themselves and their families.   And just as they were set up for mass arrest on that bridge, the movement is being set up for a declaration of martial law.

The protesters in Cairo took the square and held it, marching resolutely through police lines, married to concrete goals – Mubarak out, civil liberties guaranteed.  These were serious people, who understood the stakes in a profound way. They stood their ground, many of them suffering grave injury from police assaults.  They stood there. They did not stage silly marches around Cairo because they got bored standing at the square.   They stood there.   And what are the demands of  OWS ? Nobody knows, and while the movement complains of biased, derisive reporting from the mainstream press, they are   occupying a park in what can be interpreted as a party by unemployed post-college kids who have nothing better to do.   Yoga, free hugs, zombie marches – well all of that is cute, but it is not going to effect change in the system.  Marching on One Police Plaza? across the Brooklyn Bridge?   huh? . And what the +&%W(&%# does “occupy everything” mean?   Get a grip, people.   Get a list of demands. You want one? I can reel it off for you, about 100 pages of demands. But not one word is coming out of this protest, and this kind of directionless taking to the streets is going to give the feds every excuse they need to call for martial law. My take? This protest is blowing it. big time. That is how I see it, and many others see it as well. And I don’t care who calls me names.   I am way too old to care what people think of me.   What I care about, allI care about, is getting democracy back in America.   I am one who does not believe that we are going to get there with these tactics. Somebody on these pages, in a reply to a column said “they will tolerate it for a while and when it gets too threatening they will squash them like bugs”. Probably. Martial law looms like a giant flyswatter.

But it does not have to go that way. It will go that way if the protest continues with the naivete it has so far. But there are other possible outcomes – if and only if the protest gets serious and engages in economic warfare – boycotts and general strikes.   And IF it gets serious, it will gain support and grow in numbers and scare Congress – and the bankers and corporations who bribe them – into … change. Michael Moore, in a supportive visit to the protest site, chanted “I want to see a perp walk”; probably the clearest statement to come from Zuccotti Park to date. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, in commenting on the protest on Countdown said, “They must demand banking reform. Real reform of the banking system. That is what can come out of this”.   Why, I want to know, can Bernie Sanders articulate one clear objective that so far has eluded 5000 twenty-somethings in Zuccotti Park?

The protest long-planned and scheduled to begin in Freedom Plaza in Washington DC this week (information here ), much better organized and hugely more focused, is putting Occupy Wall Street to shame.   “End the Wars. Bring the troops home.   Tax the Rich and Corporations. Healthcare for All. End Corporate Welfare. Protect the Planet. Get Money Out of Politics. Put Workers Before Profits. “

UPDATE 35 protesters occupied McPherson Square in Washington DC on Saturday. They had one demand: Repeal of corporate personhood. Why can’t 5000 in lower Manhattan articulate  one demand? Article here: click here

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4 Responses to Where Are the Grown-Ups? by Lila York [uh-oh]

  1. The comments i just read about the 5000 twenty something is really saying…we don’t want to become the next generation X !!!; and they are asking for your suport all the millions of US people who have lost there Lively hoods do to Wall Street Fat Cats who have been on this power trip for the Last 100 years???!!! and the Moive Gangs of New York ring a bell ?????; that time frame was 18oo”s leading into the 1900″s were down to eath working people were fighting the Fat cats for a better way of Life. my,my nothing has changed has it!!!! But as this movement heads into week two or week three!! US Vet’s are heading to New York to be part of this movement and way not there way of Life is right next to the poor people of this Nation!!!! SHAME, SHAME on the Governments of the past and the one in Power now.

    The young people know full well there is no future for them as Long as the system stays the same??!!; and it’s heading all around the planet were many millions of people are in the same boat. This is more then a WAKE UP CALL it’s becoming an all out REVOLT dear Humans of planet earth so this is what I am seeing as a Baby Boomer born in 1946 and the last people to be born in that generation was in 1963; Print this all over the internet and make signs for the movement saying,,,,,THE GAME IS OVER.
    Let’s hope New York City will not see blood and death in the streets,as in that movie showed it was one hell of a blood bath; it can happen in a flash if the cops screw up again!!.

    • Jean says:

      Lorne, I haven’t heard from you in a while! Nice to have you back, and I appreciate your comment! I’m hoping that very soon the cops will join the young people, the veterans, and the union members. I agree that this is an all out revolt. The kids have had enough of these crazies! Welcome back, and heart hugs, ~Jean

  2. Alan Gray says:

    As a so-called veteran, Lila has missed the mark. She, as well as most of the reporters, keep repeating “Democracy”. The original Constitution implemented a “Republic”. These are two different things completely. Democracy by deffinition is mob rule. Republic is rule by common law/biblical law.
    We’ve all been operating from a knowledge deficit. The education system has failed us by it’s intent to actually dumb down successive generations. It’s a systemic problem.
    I don’t blame these people for not knowing quite what to pin it on. We can only work from the knowledge we have to work with. Clearly the banking cabal is a major aspect. I’m grateful these young people have come out. They clearly know that the way it is, is not right. This knowing comes from the heart.
    I’d suggest we better all re-think this. Democracy is not the way. Republic works from the bottom up, not top down. The system as it stands today is a perversion of the original intent. It is up-side down. It was short-circuited on the lead up to the Civil War and has gotten steadily worse ever since. This situation has been by design and it is the designers who shall be called to answer for it.

    • Jean says:

      Alan, I read this when I was out in the car this afternoon – and I’m just now getting back to you. Sorry! I agree and have to say you certainly have a clear picture of the issues and problems. Most people, like our politicians for instance, haven’t got a clue. There just the puppets jumping when the puppet masters pull the strings. Their ability to think, to critique, has never been disciplined. They are like people who have spent a lifetime in an institution, who are suddenly put down in the middle of life without any support. Their brains are muddled. They are going to have a tough time – as are many of the very bright ones, who depend almost totally on their intellect. It is what they have prized most, and now it is going to have very little value, without the balance of the right brain. I think we are definitely living in interesting times. Thanks for sharing. . . when people do so, it adds to the ‘discussion.’ Hugs, ~Jean

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