Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Increased Repression Just Means We're Winning

Meditating in Oakland
The Occupy Oakland camp in Oscar Grant Plaza camp was dismantled by police at 1am Monday morning prompting the immediate resignation of two Jean Quan staffers who disagreed with the decision to dismantle and destroy. They are Dan Seigel, legal adviser and Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu. Occupiers have fled to Snow Park and re-established a camp there.

Zuccotti Park, also known as Liberty Park, the Wall Street encampment, where the Occupy Movement was born, was attacked Tuesday morning, November15th in much the same way. Today, in the Bay Area Occupy focus is on a strike and teach-in at UC Berkeley. This evening a speech by Robert Reich, professor and people's economist extraordinaire, has been relocated from Wheeler Hall to Sproul Plaza. The topic is class warfare and it is part of the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture series of talks. Supposedly, the Occupy Cal camp will try to reinstate itself there.

The fact that repressive tactics are increasing nationwide signals that we are gaining ground. With or without tarps and tents, this movement has reached a point of no return.Chris Hedges' article, "This is What Revolution Looks Like," is a must read for everyone in this struggle.

One truly amazing part of this heavy-handed approach is not the fact that police defend the interests of the rich and powerful, it is the equanimity of protestors who are being treated to this violence. Bricks, bottles are not being thrown. I haven't even seen a lot of insults hurled. Many people are dragged off to arrest from yoga postures. I have seen people meditating on concrete in the midst of teargas and flashbang grenades. The non-violence is a stirring spectacle for those of us raised on street war.

When I heard Graham Nash and David Crosby singing in Zucotti Park (on video) singing"Teach Your Parents Well," I was genuinely moved. This is the beginning of a protracted struggle. We all are bracing for a sustained fight that must be run like a marathon, not a 50 yard dash. When Che Guevara said, "A true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love," he had it right. Some lessons are never too late for learning.