The best way to learn is to watch the process in action. There is lots of video out there. The other is to read the various news items with an eye for trends, for how they are evolving over time. You might also learn by reading the items for what is bedrock, what stays the same along the way.
- Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2011
Occupy Wall Street is many things, but one thing it's not is partisan
By Gianna Palmer | McClatchy Newspapers
NEW YORK, N.Y. — The Occupy Wall Street protest may be a movement, a momentary phenomenon or something in between, but one thing its most fervent activists insist that it's not is a team of shock troops for any partisan political campaign.
Yet though most activists at Occupy Wall Street claim to be dissatisfied with the state of American government and politics, their views come in many flavors. Some are leftists of the '60s generation, others are curious newcomers to political activism. Still others are Ron Paul supporters, anarchists, or soured Obama campaign volunteers — and many more. How this chorus of interests will evolve politically is, they say, yet to be determined.
Last Wednesday, a group of protesters left for a two-week march to Washington D.C., with plans to arrive by Nov. 23, the deadline for the congressional supercommittee to decide how to deal with federal budget deficits. The activists plan to protest extending the Bush-era tax cuts.
But beyond such singular acts of protest, most Occupy Wall Street activists hope their movement will remain outside formal politics for now. They offer several explanations.
Some say they feel the political status quo is so corrupt, it's best not to engage with it at all. Elisa Miller, 38, a New Orleans resident who came to New York for the protests in late September, said she was personally boycotting the 2012 elections.
Several protesters said they want their effort to avoid being co-opted by or beholden to a particular party or candidate.
Many praised the protests as a space to nurture the exchange of new, progressive political ideas entirely outside of the two-party system.
Others said that the question of what would become of the protests, politically or otherwise, was missing the point.
"The question to me is, what's the right way to come up with an answer to that, based on democratic principles?" said Bray, the press team member.
Or, as one middle-aged woman who wished to remain anonymous said: "The model is the message."
Above all, most protesters said they felt it was simply too early in the organizing process to get involved formally with politics.
Organizers from various working groups echoed this statement, saying that they were now most concerned with the logistics getting their individual groups off the ground. Indeed, the majority of proposals passed so far by the General Assembly here have not been about ideologies, but requests for funding, many related to keeping the physical camp up and running. Proposals for funding storage bins, walkie talkies, and laundry were all approved in October, for example.
Read more at www.mcclatchydc.comOne notable exception came on Thursday night, when the General Assembly passed a $29,000 proposal to send a delegation of Occupy Wall Street activists to Egypt to serve as international observers in the country's parliamentary elections later this month. The proposal was sparked by a letter from a coalition of civil society organizations in Egypt, who requested a delegation from Occupy Wall Street.