This is a lesson which has been learned by people throughout history and around the world, including throughout the Middle East now, and must be understood by people in this country as well.
The Occupy movement has been a wonderful breath of fresh air on the political stage. But if we do not grapple with and act to change the fact that co-ordinated repression has been unleashed and successfully brought down most encampments, isolating the movement from broad support and participation, it will never come back with the creativity and determination needed.
We say DROP ALL THE CHARGES on ALL Occupy protesters. It is those who launch wars of aggression, order drones on murderous missions, and push police forces with military-grade weapons onto the streets against crowds of unarmed demonstrators who should be on trial.
In the meantime, it’s not irrelevant to note that the City of Chicago was just ordered to pay $6.2 million to the 800 demonstrators arrested the night Iraq was invaded in 2003. Standing together against repression is always a good idea.
1} The problem and the juncture confronting OCCUPY across the country does not reside within OCCUPY.
2} What confronts OCCUPY is massive nationally coordinated brutal suppression of the Occupy Movement that continues.
3} It is this suppression by the forces of the state that must be confronted and stopped. The first and next step must be calling forth into mass protest the broad public support that still exists for OCCUPY. The violent repression by those who wield power in this society of rights that are supposed to be legally guaranteed is utterly shameful from a moral standpoint, and thoroughly illegitimate from a legal and political one. Right is on the side of OCCUPY. It can only be regained by bringing to bear the great strength of what OCCUPY calls the 99% against that suppression.
4} Make February 28, 2012 a day of such resistance. A Call has been issued. Signed by a thousand people, including Cornel West, Scott Olsen, Boots Riley, Robert Hass, Rt. Reverend George Packard and many others. The message is direct and simple: “Stand with the Occupy Movement! Stop the Suppression of Occupy!” The General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street reached consensus February 11 in support of this action.
The Call for mass action is blunt and true:
“if this illegitimate wave of repression is allowed to stand… if the powers-that-be succeed in suppressing or marginalizing this new movement… if people are once again “penned in”—both literally and symbolically—things will be much worse. THIS SUPPRESSION MUST BE MASSIVELY OPPOSED, AND DEFEATED."
On the other hand, this too is true: movements grow, and can only grow, by answering repression with even greater and more powerful mobilization.
This can be done. Reach deep into the consciences of all inspired by OCCUPY. Mobilize thousands upon thousands now. Act Together.