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#OccupyWallStreet: Pining for the Fjords

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: A demonstrator ho...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Fighting capitalism via iPhone, Facebook and Twitter is too stupid to take seriously

So, now we are in Week 3 of the protesters, occupying encamped on public private property in the Financial District, in order to protest against… well, pretty much everything, it seems (more here). Similar “actions” are forming in other cities, such as last week in Beantown. In NYC, the Transit Workers Union announced they are going to court to try to stop the city from using MTA buses to transport arrested protesters, as happened this past Saturday:

“TWU Local 100 supports the protesters on Wall Street and takes great offense that the mayor and NYPD have ordered operators to transport citizens who were exercising their constitutional right to protest – and shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place,” Samuelsen said Sunday night.

At least five empty buses were commandeered from terminal points on both sides of the bridge, Samuelsen said.

In some cases, MTA supervisors ordered drivers to follow the directive.

Local 100 has a recent history that is, let’s say, dubious. Their last attempt at civil disobedience ended up a colossal clusterfuck, as I chronicled at the time. But the union’s leadership has decided to support this protest against ______ [YOUR CAUSE HERE].

I think Local 100’s suit doesn’t stand a chance of succeeding, for the following reasons:

  1. New York City owns those buses;
  2. New York City employs those drivers;
  3. New York City decides allocation of its assets;
  4. New York City decides workers’ assignments;
  5. Don’t like it? Tough shit; your only option is to quit.
That’s why those MTA supervisors ordered drivers to follow their assignments. New York’s Taylor Law, legally, pretty much precludes any driver(s) from refusing (ie: striking) to follow his or her assigned duties.

Now then, back to the protesters Stupid Fucking Hippies (version 2.0).

First, trying to explain ‘What It Means’, we go to a hoary relic from the original cadre:

It is not the business of the police to protect the lawbreakers of Wall Street or carry out the suppressive counter-intelligence agenda of the FBI. It should not be the role of the police to provoke a new cycle of law-and-order politics to benefit those who already have all the benefits. The police instead should look carefully at Wisconsin where, in a rare act of union solidarity, the police and firefighters took the side of the teachers, students and public employees in spite of the governor’s policy of exempting them from his assault on collective bargaining. A traditional confrontation between police and protesters was averted in Wisconsin. Instead, the forces of “law and order” there aided and abetted the daily occupation of the Capitol by singing, chanting nonviolent occupiers. That’s a possibility of solidarity the rich and powerful of Wall Street need to fear.

Yeah, sure thing, Hayden; Wisconsin turned out so fucking well for your team….

“It is not the business of the police to protect the lawbreakers of Wall Street ….” Which lawbreakers, and what laws, Mr. Hayden? Last I looked, none of the nebulous targets of your collectives’ wrath have been so much as indicted, nevermind found guilty of any crime.

It’s no wonder Jane upgraded to Ted Turner.

Next, let’s check in with some guy I sorta recognize:

It is a thing of beauty to see so many people in love with the ideal of democracy, so alive with its promise, so committed to its continuity in the face of crony capitalism and corporate rule. That should be celebrated. It should be respected and admired.

Their message is very clear and simple: get money out of the political process….

Yo, Mark “I’m a 99er” Ruffalo, about that “get money out of politics” bit….

What set me off on this rant was a piece Jeff Jarvis posted on Zsa Zsa’s House of Preening Moonbats. Jarvis wrote:

#OccupyWallStreet is a hashtag revolt. As I learned with my own little #FuckYouWashington uprising, a hashtag has no owner, no heirarchy, no canon or credo. It is a blank slate onto which anyone may impose his or her frustrations, complaints, demands, wishes, or principles.


In a Foreign Affairs essay in 2008, Richard Haass argued that the world is moving from bi- and unipolarity (that is, the Cold War and its aftermath) to nonpolarity (i.e., no one’s in charge). “We now operate in an open marketplace of influence,” I wrote in my last book. “One need no longer control institutions to control agendas.”

Now one needs a network. #OccupyWallStreet is that network, the headless tail.

One problem, Buzzy; someone does own the hashtags: Twitter. A simple line of code can make any it wishes to squash disappear in an instant. Same as those networks you go on about; they don’t exist in some egalitarian vacuum, Jeff. Every single piece of this whole New Media era 60’s reboot is fueled by the very organizations–corporations–the protesters are protesting.

#OccupyWallStreet’s entire existence depends on the corporation that owns Zucotti Park allowing them to use their property.

A bunch of (largely) clueless college kids acting like dumbasses, courtesy of the benign indifference of a latter-day Max Yasgur, thinking they represent some American version of the “Arab Spring” uprisings, is patently ridiculous… a couple of chicks getting pepper-sprayed doesn’t rate as “NYPD brutality” compared to what they would see if Brookfield Properties finally decides “enough.” Right now, the protesters’ encampment only exists because the NYPD begged Brookfield not to pull that trigger.

I can’t take these people seriously. If they were serious, they wouldn’t be providing street theater to jaded Wall Street workers and bemused tourists. Instead, they would be following the lead of the Tea Party. Causing a ruckus on Wall Street is not gonna change anything; for any change to occur, you drag your asses to Washington DC and tell politicians that their careers will end if they don’t listen to your concerns and act accordingly.

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