Monday, November 07, 2011

I haven't had much to do with the Occupy movement since last Thursday morning, briefly surveying the remnants of Wednesday's general strike. Except for closing my bank account at Chase, which, finally was possible after about two weeks of little steps; opening a new account, dropping direct deposit, and changing a few billing plans. When I went to the bank on Saturday it took about five minutes. The bank's representative asked why I was closing my account (Chase makes me feel bad) and if large bills were okay (yes). Easy. And now I can feel good and and righteous about where I put my money. Cleaning the platform on which I stand, and from which I speak and write. It's an impossible and entirely vain dream to be all of one thing, to be all good (or all bad), but the few moments I gain from not having to enter Chase's ubiquitous corporate temples twice a week, I'm happy to have.

But back to occupy, I was a bit depressed about the whole thing following Wednesday's decent into chaos. In particular, this video that shows somebody (black bloc? paid police instigators?) messing up a Whole Foods (where I occasionally shop) and punching a few protester's who were trying to stop them. If you read the comments attached to the video, most of them suggest that these provocateurs were not part of the movement and were paid by outside forces. Personally I think that's true, but unfortunately it doesn't really matter as whoever did it was successful in taking the focus off of Occupy's message(s). Obviously they need to do a better job in preventing these kinds of small groups, whoever they are, from creating this much havoc, in order to keep the support of those whose are still not sure about the Occupy movement.

Kind of like me when I'm reading the newspaper, which is why I felt a little foolish on Thursday. Did I get swept up in the hype machine? Did I actively support a movement that didn't represent my interests? Was I fooled? Short answer: no. Of course not. Occupy is absolutely correct in their criticisms of our economic systems. Sympathizers in the media at large have been to saying yes, I agree with Occupy but they need to become political in order to be effective. Criticisms closer to home, have been more about the damage that the encampment has been doing to downtown Oakland businesses (though this report contradicts that report. I'm so confused). It's difficult. Making omelets and breaking eggs. Something is going to have to happen soon with the encampments. One idea it to move the occupation to indoor spaces that have been foreclosed on, which makes a lot of sense, not just for occupy but for people who have lost their homes. And is already happening. When there is so much available space and work to be done why does so much of it sit empty? But the best part so far is this, what we did.class="gl_link"