[Marxism] Left Forum 2012
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 20 08:27:42 MDT 2012
On 3/20/2012 10:19 AM, Robin Horne wrote:
> He was calling Bloombergville, not the ISO, crucial.
And that's exactly what I was questioning, whether Bloombergville
was that crucial.
Bloombergville had sleeping bags, a library, teach-ins and a
nightly assembly open to all. All of those elements would be
familiar to anyone who's ever strolled through Zuccotti Park. But
some participants felt it fell short in other areas.
"There is a straight line from Bloombergville to Occupy Wall
Street," says Justin Wedes, a 25-year-old part-time teacher who
took part in Bloombergville. "It's a straight line, but it's also
full of a lot of lessons learned."
For one, Wedes believes, the campers played by the rules too much.
On the advice of lawyers, they took advantage of a loophole in New
York law that allowed them to sleep on the edges of sidewalks,
which kept them out of jail, but also made the place look a little
pathetic. Bloombergville also appointed negotiators to speak to
the authorities, which Wedes argues "created essentially police
within our group that were like mouthpieces for the NYPD."
What's more, focusing on the single issue of budget cuts allowed
the protest to be co-opted. Injustice and inequity were reduced to
"In the messaging, it was really a one-issue thing," Wedes says.
"It was like, we're going to sleep out here until the City Council
stops these budget cuts, these unfair budget cuts."
When the council passed a budget that managed to avoid most
layoffs, the activists packed up. Still, like Wedes, many of them
saw fiscal austerity as more than just a local issue, and one
without an expiration date.
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