December 02, 2011

Back in paradise, again

El Cabrero is back in WV for the first full day in a few. I had been in Philadelphia for a training for trainers on nonviolent action. Many of the people who attended were co-workers with the American Friends Service Committee around the country who had been involved to one degree or another with the Occupy movement.

It so happened that on the night after our first training, police evicted the Philly encampment, which added a certain something to the experience. I came home to find that police were going to evict Occupy Huntington WV last night.

I've always had mixed feelings about the movement. Personally, I value mobility and unpredictability so much that I would have trouble distinguishing between occupying a place and being incarcerated in it. I guess my hillbilly genes predispose me to raiding rather than occupying. The martial artist in me cannot fathom a movement without goals or specific points of focus for action; it's like swinging wildly at an opponent rather than striking vital points when openings occur.

Still, the occupiers of the world really changed the national conversation and drew attention to issues of corporate power and inequality in a way that nothing else has for a while and nobody can take that away from them.

The big question is: what's next? As winter moves on and police move in, will occupiers fade away? Will the more prosaic skills of organizing, education and action seem appealing in comparison with encamping? Who knows? It already went farther that I ever thought it would and it might have a few more surprises to come.

In any case, the struggle will continue.

TWO MORE TAKES ON THE MOVEMENT. Here's the New Yorker on the history and possible future of the movment. And here's a more critical take on it from Philly itself.

OH GOOD. Here's the latest in fun and games from former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.


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