I have to be honest here, I just don't get Occupy Wall Street. When it started up, I was geeked. I was ready to join up and finally get something done about the dysfunction in DC. Occupy Wall Street seemed like the perfect laxative to end the constipation that is American government.
An alternative to the Democratic Party....dare I dream?
I jumped downtown on public transportation and into Piatt Park...and … it didn't feel like a protest....felt like a bunch of kids who got together and were now sitting around asking each other...”well...what do you want to do?....I don't know...What do you want to do?”
I went home.....They mean well...but they don't know what to do. A few weeks in...Jessie came to town and did the “I am somebody shuffle” for them. Made em happy...many more Black people showed up....but left when Jessie did......OWS still on their butts, camped out in Piatt Park.
Several weeks into these so called protests, I'm sitting on the sidelines watching and waiting....and watching and waiting...and watching and waiting..
What am I waiting for....well, I guess I'm waiting for something to happen...like...protest maybe...like civil disobedience maybe....like mass arrests for, well protesting instead of sitting on your ass in a public park, playing drums.
Protesting to me is not pitching a tent in a public park and waiting for someone in power to take notice.
This time around... I don't have the luxury of youth on my side....If I take to the streets now and risk getting smacked upside the head or jailed...It's going to have to be worth it....real change....for everybody.....I don't see that with OWS...not yet...
Protesting for change, to me is pitching your tent on someone's desk...in someone's hallway.... or on someone's front steps...demanding they talk to you...or...call the cops to arrest your ass for interrupting their day.
You post bail...you go to the hospital and get your wounds treated...and you come back..You don't take time off to celebrate holidays with your parents in the burbs.
Sitting in a public park under a tent, under the watchful eyes of cops....seems more like a temper tantrum...something to do...until your parents give into your demands.
You need to earn your tear gas and pepper spray...sitting there reacting to over reacting pigs is not protest...ghandi-esque....picturesque...useless..
It's safe....it's “look at me, world...I'm taking a stand to change the world...sorta”
Safe....but not effective.
OWS is on the tongues of nearly everyone nationwide. It has seized the opportunity...but it doesn't know how to harness the power....and it is not reaching out to those who do know how to make it work..
Like I said, Jessie showed up in Cincinnati. Angela Davis made an appearance in Oakland.
MlK's peaceful protestors needed the counterpoint of the Black Panther Party, the SDS (students for a democratic society), CORE and SNCC to make it's point.
OWS just has OWS...no leaders...no one apparently willing to take the heat and lead..OWS is not reaching out to form coalitions....
It is complaining because Congress won't do the bipartisan thing...well....OWS is not being very bipartisan either...instead of waiting for the church to come to you...why not go to the church?
Folks are watchin...but OWS...just sits there and drums..