Occupy Wall Street: A Tea Party for The Other 99% of Us?
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Last week I posted a video showing some peaceful young women protesters getting maced in the face by NYC police during what was then a little-known protest movement called Occupy Wall Street. Now, one week later, the whole lefty political world here in the US-of-A seems on the brink of a major zeitgeist moment. Comparisons have already been made between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party in Time's political blog and The Washington Post.
In the last three days, I've gotten mass-emails from Democracy for America, MoveOn, The Working Families Party, Citizen Action of New York, and about a dozen other like-minded lefty grassroots groups, all asking me to come to tomorrow's March on Wall Street. Everywhere you look, it seems, people are talking and blogging about it; on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook and YouTube, and everywhere else you can find unregulated public discourse. Once place you won't find Occupy Wall Street is at their own homepage; because they don't have one. Like the Tea Party, there is no one person or organizational hub at the helm of this ship. Yet somehow, we organize ourselves, and shit starts to happen.
I know it's slightly uncomfortable making comparisons between us and them-- we like to think that we have nothing in common with our enemies, that they are completely alien to us and everything we hold dear-- but they did a good job organizing themselves, didn't they? And now, as reports continue to stream in about the 700 who were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, the continued rolling occupation that has now evolved to sophisticated political guerilla street theater (hey, if you can't laugh at a zombie parody then you are officially dead inside, my friend), and the building wave of energy that's rallying all able-bodied peeps to the cause for tomorrow's march, it seems we might finally be catching up to the teabaggers in the arena of sheer, rabble-rousin' agitation. And as much as I'd like to avoid an eyeful of pepper spray, I can't help feeling the excitement of sheer possibility being raised in this moment of collective action, grabbing onto that pure, beautiful promise of access and equality that social media offers to those who aren't afraid to use it.
And, I kind of love the idea that, if we do end up inaugurating President Rick Perry in 2012, he'll have to put up with a bunch of outraged Wall Street Occupiers in Congress who will hold his agenda hostage at every turn. How do ya like them apples, Wall Street? Will you be joining the throngs at tomorrow's rally? Is this movement reaching y'all outside NYC? How are you showing your support?