[Marxism] Occupy Chicago Day 6

Tristan Sloughter kungfooguru at gmail.com
Thu Sep 29 17:18:59 MDT 2011

I’ve just left Occupy Chicago day 6. There were at least 30 people at the
peak, maybe 40, with a number of college students and others stopping by to
ask questions of the occupants.

The police had told them that they could no longer have their belongings on
the streets, so a U-Haul had been rented for storage. The city was also
providing free parking for the U-Haul.

While I was told only a few, max maybe a dozen it seemed, stay the night and
were told they must sleep in their cars but would not be ticketed, the group
seems strong and growing. They said there was 150 the night before.

The politics of the group varied greatly and probably with a large standard
deviation. I first ran into a comrade from the ISO who had just shown up as
well. Looking to help them with loading the U-Haul, we began talking to a
woman in her 20’s. Being better dressed than some there — comrade had a
sweater vest on — she seemed to assume we were passers-bys. So she gave us
her take of the situation. She was a liberal who was very adament about the
idea to have ‘respectable’ looking protesters and reasonable demands. She
said they had a meeting the night before that was well structured to discuss
what demands they should define and that they differed from the Occupy Wall
Street demands. Apparently she and others gave push back to ‘radical’
demands like wiping out student debt for all.

There were a mix of people in Guy Fawkes masks and no one seemed to be with
an organization, at least no one I spoke to and no one made it clear with
signs or the usual fare of papers and handouts.

Some held signs like ‘Abolish the Fed’, and one person I talked to explained
that the elites plan to kill all but 500 million people while they are
protected in their underground bunkers. Others too called out the Fed as the
problem but were open to the idea that under capitalism a central bank is
better — though also attacked the idea of a central bank for lessening the
impact of crises and nationalization of banks as ways to simply prolong

But this is not to condemn the ideas or the demands put forward by those
willing to stay out in the cold rain because they see the injustice in the

Instead, we must join them. Those with the experience and knowledge of
occupation, protest and revolution must bring this to events like Occupy
Chicago. The NYC transit union voting to side with the occupants on Wall
Street make clear this importance.

Socialist parties and organizations seem to be standing on the sidelines to
see what happens instead of attempting to fill the part they as Leninists
say they fill. The connections with unions and other workers should be used
to push the idea of getting behind these occupations.

I don’t mean to exaggerate what will become of these occupations, but to
say, What could they be!


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