[Marxism] SDS ERAP?

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 15 12:24:30 MST 2013

So Occupy Wall Street is now primarily Occupy Sandy and Strike Debt. A
number of other, smaller offshoots still exist. Among them are the
Labor Outreach Committee and 99 Pickets, but while we draw bodies and
ideas from other ex-occupy folks, our work is largely independent of
occupy structures.

Meanwhile folks in Occupy Sandy and others are planning a People's
Recovery Summit for the first weekend of February in NYC.
Many folks doing Sandy work have started or want to start NGOs, and to
become paid staffers of them. Others recoil from that, but have little
idea about how to formulate a more struggle-oriented, grassroots-based
movement. (The LOC is trying to help in that regard.) And a shitstorm
over process has broken out which overlaps with those differences.

Residents of the neighborhood impacted by Sandy and most in need of a
real "People's Recovery" have, as far as I can tell, little
involvement in any of this.

All of this is complicated by the fact that most occupiers have no
sense of class; they'll support labor organizing, but shun the idea of
the working class as key, or even different, from a political and
organizing perspective. All debtors are equal in their eyes. (There's
not that much sense of national oppression either, and of the need to
ally with groups of people of color, aside from ritualistic nods to
Black and other oppression.)

I'm reminded in all this of the last time a large body of young white
folks tried to go "to the people" -- through SDS's ERAP. I admit that
all I know about it is from the chapter in Kirkpatrick Sale's "SDS"
(although I'm finding lots of other good stuff on the web about ERAP
and similar later projects).

Anyone have any insights here? Unfortunately the occupiers involved
seem to know and/or care very little about previous movements of any

Andy P.

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