[Marxism] Occupy Wall Street

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Sep 18 08:20:54 MDT 2011

On 9/17/11 3:28 PM, Tristan Sloughter wrote:

> Any NYC comrades at the Wall Street "occupation"? I'm interested in who is
> there and what they want to see happen.

This report showed up on LBO-Talk from Ferenc Molnar:

The big surprise was how many people showed up. I was suspecting 
hundreds but there were clearly thousands, enough to fill the steps and 
square of the U.S. Custom's House and spill over into Bowling Green 
Park. My friend tells me that people kept coming in waves throughout the 
day and thinks that it's another example of how social media has changed 
these events. People show up who hadn't even planned to be there but get 
texted by their friends.

The crowd was mostly young but hard to pin down. I'd say it was equal 
parts college kids, traveller kids, people from out of town who had come 
in for the event and the rest of us crusty older folks from one 
political sect or another. The presence of so many LaRouche movement 
people was disconcerting to me. There was also quite a few Ron Paul 

I went to the Open Economic Forum which got off to a rocky start with 
two LaRouche speakers. The first, Diane Sare, was comprehensible enough. 
She's running a campaign for office in New Jersey that is working on a 
bill to reinstate the original Glass-Steagall Act that was gutted under 
Clinton. The second LaRouche movement speaker began his speech with "the 
pagan cult origins of the British empire" and I took off for a while 
until the next speakers showed up.

A usual suspect from the International Action Center set up his portable 
mike and speaker right next to the open forum and started spouting the 
party line. When I asked him to move to another place since the forum 
had been planned earlier he not only obliged but generously offered his 
mike and speaker to the forum speakers. I never thought it would happen 
but I am now BEST FRIENDS FOREVER with one particularly infamous member 
of the IAC. You know who you are, Mr. Nice Guy.

David Graeber gave an artful talk about debt which I'm not going to do 
justice to by describing. He talked about the linkages between paper 
money and war. How most debt has historically began as paper or bonds 
issued to finance war. He also spoke about the national and 
institutional interest in maintaining debt. And how debt in our era has 
been "Democratized"... passed off from national and institutional 
holders onto working people through credit cards and mortgages and 
student loans.

At the same time the open economic forum was going on a much larger open 
forum was occurring on the steps of the US Custom House. A megaphone was 
passed around to anyone who wanted to speak.

I had to leave early but my friend tells me that at around 4pm the crowd 
turned into a march up to Wall Street. Only a part of the street was 
accessible and the area around the Stock Exchange had been barricaded by 
the police. The crowd did not try to break through the barriers and 
instead made its way back to Zuccotti Park where they set up their 
encampments for the night.

Zuccotti Park is a private and not public park and my friend believes 
that either the organizers or the NYPD have brokered a temporary deal to 
allow the demonstrators to stay there for tonight and tomorrow. I'd 
expect that the NYPD will begin to seriously crack down on the 
encampment either later Sunday night or early Monday morning. If the 
encampment can survive past that then that opens up a whole new vista.


More information about the Marxism mailing list