What Really Caused the Implosion of the Occupy Movement

… an Insider’s View – Published on naked capitalism, by Lambert Strether, Dec 28, 2015 (first on AlterNet, by Yotam Marom).

I’m in a warmly lit apartment on the Lower East Side. It’s a cool night in early October of 2011, the height of Occupy Wall Street.

What a fucking whirlwind it’s been. Two months ago I had just moved into my parents’ basement, feeling deflated after the end of Bloombergville (a two-week street occupation outside city hall to try to stop the massive budget cuts of that same year), convinced this country wasn’t ready for movement. Now I’m in this living room with some of the most impressive people I’ve ever met, at the shaky helm of a movement that has become part of the mainstream’s daily consciousness. It’s my first time feeling like the Left is more than a scrawny sideshow, and it’s surreal. Truth is, I wasn’t much of a believer until I was caught up in the mass arrests on September 24th, until Troy Davis was murdered by the State of Georgia and I felt the connection in my body, until more people came down and gave it legs. But now it’s real. The rush of rapidly growing numbers, recognition from other political actors, and increasing popular support and media acclaim is electric and overwhelming. It feels a bit like walking a tightrope … //

… Torn at the Seams: … //
… The People Went Home: … //
… The Politics of Powerlessness: … //
… Compassion and Curiosity on the way to Power: … //
… Undoing the Politics of Powerlessness: … //

… Honoring Fear:

I’m at a retreat center in Florida, at the first ever Wildfire National Convening, with 80 members of organizations from all over the country: folks from Ohio Student Association, Dream Defenders, GetEQUAL,Rockaway Wildfire, and the Occupy Homes groups in Atlanta and Minneapolis. It’s the first night, and the organizations are performing skits that explain their origin stories. It’s Rockaway Wildfire’s turn – a group that formed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, merging the relief effort with organizing in Far Rockaway, Queens. Out there, floods fell on top of broken schools, impoverished projects, and a population that was drastically underemployed and over-policed. The folks in the Rockaways were losing their homes to foreclosure before the floods wrecked them, losing their sons to prisons long before the storm came to displace them.

The skit begins, the lights go down. We hear the pounding of feet against the floor, which sounds unmistakably like heavy rain. And then a chorus of howling that sounds like the violent wind that battered the New York area that October in 2012. Then heart-wrenching wailing, like a child crying. Pounding and howling and wailing that get more and more intense like an orchestra building up to its crescendo. Suddenly, I’m crying. The sounds catapult me back to the hurricane, but also to the fear I carry with me of the many more hurricanes surely on the way, and the children and parents and friends we will have to protect when they come. Suddenly the sounds come to a crashing halt, the lights go up, dimly, and I realize most of the other people in the room are weeping too. There is silence, the kind of hanging stillness you stumble on rarely, when a room full of people dedicated to the struggle are all quietly reckoning with the fear we carry in us every day and the doubts we have about whether we can do what must be done. Then one of the actors breaks the silence with the last line of the play, delivered soothingly to her child, as if she has read the minds of the 80 fighters gathered here: “Don’t worry, baby, don’t worry. We’ll be alright. Momma’s gonna start a revolution.”

The fear is real – palpable and also grounded. In addition to good organizing, it will take some small miracles to win the world we all deserve. It’s better to acknowledge that than to try to bury it. At least it’s honest. And who knows, maybe there is something about fear that – when we turn and face it – can be grounding instead of handicapping, can help us sit in the stakes rather than live in denial, can compel us to take the risks we need to take rather than to hide, can drive us to be the biggest we can be instead of shrinking. Or at least, that’s my hope.

And when I’m in doubt, I remember the most important lesson I learned at Occupy Wall Street: We don’t know shit. The secret truth is that Occupy Wall Street wasn’t supposed to work. But it did. It created a whole new world of possibility. That possibility is here – we can feel it in the very heart of the movements being born around us. And we have been invited; the only question, now, is whether we will rise to the challenge.

(full long text).


Russian strikes help Syrian rebels free 20 areas from ISIS control, on RT, Dec 29, 2015;

Venezuelan official explains left wing losses to U.S. audience, on People’s World, by SCOTT HILEY, Dec 28, 2015;

Redacted Tonight on who became the biggest jokes of 2015, on RT, Dec 28, 2015;

SYDNEY, Australia: Basic Innovation Guarantee Meetup, on BIEN, by Dejan Tachevsji, Dec 28, 2015: a Sydney meetup group has formed to discuss the connection between basic income and innovation in Australia. The basic innovation guarantee meetup will take place on January 21st, 2016. The group’s meetup page summarizes their first event in the following text;

US ELECTION 2016: Bernie Sanders’ Important Message to Donald Trump Supporters, on AlterNet, Dec 28, 2015: Trump has exactly the wrong solutions for the economic anxieties of working- and middle-class Americans;

CANADA: Free income tax help offered in Paso Robles, on The Tribune, by David Sneed, Dec 27, 2015;

Paying all UK citizens £155 a week may be an idea whose time has come – Jeremy Warner, on BIEN, by Joe Timothy, Dec 23, 2015;

Reasons to be cheerful, on Ekklesia.co.uk, by Bernadette Meaden, Dec 23, 2015;

Espagne: vers une alliance à trois partis? dans atlantico.fr, le 23 déc 2015: les libéraux de Ciudadanos ont proposé des négociations tant avec le parti populaire (droite) qu’avec les socialistes;

Venezuelan Communist Party leaders analyze election disaster, on People’s World, by ERIC A. GORDON, Dec 21, 2015;

An Announcement from Red Wedge, on Red Wedge, by the editors, Dec 7, 2015;

The Re-Emergence of Socialism in America, on WNPR, by JOSH NILAYA, Nov 18, 2015;

On Bernie Sanders and Socialism – Richard Wolff, 25.49 min, uploaded by The Laura Flanders Show, July 14, 2015 … on Sanders and Socialism. Is socialism still an American taboo? Not so much, says professor Richard Wolff; nor was it in the past, says Nation columnist John Nichols. Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, and a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School University in New York City. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books, including his most recent; Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown 2010- 2014, and he hosts the weekly Economic Update podcast. John Nichols’ many books include The “S” Word: A Short History of an American Tradition … Socialism, and, most recently, Dollarocracy: How the Money-and-Media-Election Complex is Destroying America. This episode also features an commentary from Laura on renaming capitalism;

Website: No Peace Without Justice NPWJ.org; /Press Releases; /Publications.

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