Early this morning, Michael Bloomberg and the NYPD cleared out Zuccotti Park in New York City, home of the Occupy Wall Street ("OWS") encampment (link). The NYPD first served eviction notices on the "Occupiers", and then cleared them out of the park with only a few providing resistance, such as by chaining themselves to trees. A judge then issued a temporary restraining order against the city's actions, and the latest is that Bloomerg is waiting for clarification of the TRO to proceed.
This would be a great opportunity for OWS to issue the following statement. Given their history, it's extremely unlikely that they'd do it. Instead, expect them to keep doing the same things they've been doing for two months (and expecting a different result):
1. We in the Occupy Wall Street movement realize our opponents on Wall Street are some of the smartest people in the U.S. We realize that while our tactics are great at getting attention, they just don't cut it when going up against very smart people. We can't be delusional about that: we have to face the fact that camping in a public park isn't in any way an answer to those who came up with credit default swaps.
2. We also have to face the fact that the whole encampment thing just isn't working. Occupy Atlanta has a TB outbreak, there have been hundreds of violent and property crimes committed at protest sites throughout the U.S., anarchists have infiltrated our encampments (or are a welcomed or tolerated part of them) and have made us look bad by rioting and seeking confrontations with the police. We can't be delusional about that: encampments just aren't working out.
3. We also realize that in the past we've shown little regard for others' speech. We've allied with anti-speech criminals, many of them foreign. We've gone to public meetings and - instead of trying to engage others in debate - we've acted like the Tea Partiers and tried to shout people down. We realize now just how bad that is for them and for us: we aren't showing anyone wrong, we aren't making any sort of a persuasive argument, and we're just making ourselves look like lil' fascists. We can't be delusional about that either.
4. Accordingly, we realize now that we need to do things in smart ways. Here are the smart things we're going to be doing:
5. We're going to use the Question Authority plan (see the link) and find smart, experienced lawyers to "cross-examine" our opponents on video for Youtube. Our goal with that won't be to shout our opponents down, but to show them wrong. We now realize that actually making an argument and showing how an opponent isn't telling the truth and doesn't promote good policy is more powerful than a thousand encampments. We realize that might sound boring to hotheads who want action and want it now, but we have to be smart and grown-up about this. We can see just how powerful it would be to engage a politician in real debate and show how he promotes bad policies.
6. We'll also be encouraging real debate in another way. Two months after we started, our first demand will be for policy debates (see the link). In those debates, experts from across the spectrum will quiz a presidential candidate on their policies. These won't be like the current debates, where non-expert newscasters simply ask weak questions. These debates will be more like a job interview at Google and will be designed to ensure the best people for the job. We realize this too might sound boring to hotheads, but we see just how incredibly powerful this would be. Not only would it ensure that presidential candidates and future presidents promote good policies, but it would also help show just how poorly served the U.S. is by the mainstream media.
7. We also realize that some of our major opponents are those in the Koch family sphere. Accordingly, we're going to be pursuing the highly effective ways to oppose the Koch brothers listed on that page.
8. We realize that the above might come as a shock to almost everyone. After all, engaging people in Socratic debate is a lot different than our previous actions of camping in parks, shouting people down, and getting in clashes with the police. But, we realize now that we have to be smart about this. We realize now that almost all our actions to date have simply helped our opponents. We realize now that we can't keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
The (New and Vastly Improved) Occupy Wall Street Movement
Tue, 11/15/2011 - 12:14 · Importance: 4