[Marxism] Storm Effort Causes a Rift in a Shifting Occupy Movement

audradavid at aol.com audradavid at aol.com
Thu May 2 13:58:10 MDT 2013

Speaking from inside the Occupy Movement, as a long-term member of the Labor Outreach Committee of Occupy Wall Street (the group once derisively called a "red ghetto" by Pham Binh), the split in Occupy is scarcely a split. The reason for this is that most of the people who are/were involved in Occupy Sandy, except for a few leaders, were not notably involved in Occupy after the explulsion from Zuccotti Park. While they may have been in and around the movement, they were not either the active rank-and-file or the leadership of the Labor Alliance (a now-morobund attempt to coordinate the work of the labor-oriented groups), the debt-oriented groups, etc. There are some exceptions, but I believe they only serve to highlight the fundamental fact that hundreds of volunteers of Occupy Sandy were not drawn from the activists of the Occupy Movement at the end of 2012.

What we are seeing, in my opinion, is the formation of a petty-bourgeois movement that comes partially from some of the least political elements of Occupy, whose politics, in my opinion again, were never really concretized to become truly radical. As a result, when the chance came in their lives to "serve the people," either pizza at Zuccotti or by cleaning their houses out after Sandy, they took this opportunity to function in what looks like a left-wing manner. In reality, their lack of concrete politics has led them directly into the world of NGOs, local politics and all the stuff that, at the core, the Occupy movement was created to supplant from a much more radical direction.

A lot of what I've just said is bilious and off the top of my head. But I have been to meetings of Occupy Sandy, and the presence of what I may prejudiciously (and perhaps unfairly) call "white graduate students" was overwhelming. At one meeting I attended, not one person was present who was a resident of the stricken areas of Brooklyn, Queens or Staten Island.

I have held the opinion for decades that "community organizing" is, at best, a dead end for socialists and at worst a trap. I believe that course of Occupy Sandy, with the opportunity to engage in community organizing at a point where it was truly needed, demonstrates this.

David Berger

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