At one time, Occupy Wall Street was focused on the financial injustice surrounding Wall Street. Now, it is focused on a socialist agenda that was planned from the beginning. This is disturbing for a “leaderless” movement.
The OWS movement began in June at the Canadian anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters. Members of the magazine thought it was time to stimulate the American political left into action. The team created a logo and established #OccupyWallStreet on Twitter. They also began drafting a manifesto outlining a call to action for the left.
While OWS claims to be a “leaderless” movement, it is easy to see that the staff at Adbusters wanted to shape the movement. In an interview, Editor Kalle Lasn spoke about waging a meme war utilizing aesthetics. Editor Micah White created a draft manifesto for the movement that would have outlined why people should be angry.
It is also possible to see how White’s views affected the movement’s activities. In an article, he compares rioting to revolutionary activities. He states that while the left desires a peaceful transfer of wealth, violence and pillaging may happen. He also states that the left must learn to “play off the chaos” that may occur. This is especially troubling because of his role in helping to start the OWS movement.
While the “American” OWS movement began to “end the monied corruption of our democracy,” it has now added free education, the complete forgiveness of student debt, and interest free educational loans to its agenda. The forgiveness of student loans was on the original draft manifesto.
So is this the OWS game plan? Begin by creating a “leaderless” movement so no person(s) can be blamed. Provide them with a generic idea at the onset and then blame the wealthy for all financial problems. Mobilize people and let them add their grievances to the growing, but non-existent list. Add socialist demands and goals to their ideas. Finally, expect that there will be some violence but understand it is necessary for the “peaceful” transfer of wealth.
I hope not. Let me begin by saying that all factions within OWS are not anarchists, as stated during a recent On Point program. Some factions are politically active and their views are similar to left-wing Democrats. There are factions, however, that are looking for confrontations with the police, which worries me. These people, although side by side with peaceful marchers, will be looking to create altercations that sweep up the innocent.
Another reason for my concern is the communication trail surrounding the draft manifesto. The forgiveness of student debt was removed in order to prevent an elitist aura. Someone, however, had to come up with that idea, and the others, in the first place.
The socialist agenda behind the OWS movement is becoming clearer every day. Unfortunately, it seems that this was part of someone’s original plan and not part of a grassroots movement.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons