Why Occupy?

In Boston, San Francisco, Sacramento, Seattle and now New York City the Occupy Movement has run into conflicts with local authorities because of their insistence on squatting on selected pieces of property. They want to move in, set up tents and “occupy” the property indefinitely.


Is there any particular reason why the OWS group has to live 24/7 in Zuccotti Park? Couldn’t they go home at night and return each morning? Or even better, why not stage protests at different locations each day?

In most locations the protesters were told they were not allowed to camp overnight but tried anyway. In Boston and Seattle the protesters were offered alternative locations to hold their protests but they rejected the offers. In most cases they haven’t even tried to obtain permits.

What is so important about establishing permanent campgrounds? Are they trying to provoke confrontations with the police?

What do you think?

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18 Responses to Why Occupy?

  1. DandyTiger says:

    What is so important about establishing permanent campgrounds? Are they trying to provoke confrontations with the police?

    If the real purpose is a distraction, expending otherwise dangerous (to the real organizers and goals) energies, and to build a cult, then building a permanent location and having confrontations where they can be oppressed victims is absolutely necessary.

    If on the other hand their real goal is to work through coherent policy issues to eventually protest and march to actually try to effect change, then no, a permanent camp site is not necessary.

  2. crawdad says:

    Are they trying to provoke confrontations with the police?

    Yes. That’s been clear since the beginning.

    • yttik says:

      Agreed. At first I just thought that the protesters were young and naive and didn’t know that it was illegal to body slam cops or obstruct traffic on a bridge during rush hour. Then I realized that nobody is that stupid.

      • I think the real organizers aren’t that stupid, but I’ve seen some videos of some of the protesters. I don’t think you can underestimate their intelligence.

        If you follow the OWS, the seas will lower, the sun will shine, the world will be a wonderful and peaceful place, and we’ll all get unicorns.

  3. angienc says:

    I’m explaining this here (as I did in the thread below) for any OWS supporters: part of practicing civil disobedience (if that is what the OWS is doing) is GETTING ARRESTED WITHOUT RESISTING. That’s the fucking definiton of civil disobedience in not-so-many-words. The blacks who sat at the Woolworth’s counters in the 60s? Arrested & beaten as they were draggout out WITHOUT RESISTING.

    The reason these OWS people deserve derision is because they want to claim to “practice” civil disobedience WITHOUT the consequence of being arrested. They talk as if they “own” this park & should be allowed to stay there for as long as they want (with Port-a-potties provided)without interference from anyone. IOW, they want to eat their cake & have it too. That is utter & totally ridiculous.


    • myiq2xu says:

      They want somebody else to pay for the cake too.

    • WMCB says:

      In short, no one knows what they want, except to get arrested, so they can then scream about the injustice of getting arrested.

      The Woolworth’s counter occupiers knew exactly what they were there for. An end to a specific set of laws that were unjust. The specific injustice that they were actually fighting was the focus. The arrest itself, or right to protest itself, were not the focus.

      And the public supported them in the end, because their message was clear. The injustice of the arrests or the loudness of the marches were not the overshadowing factor – their GOAL was.

      If you have no goal, then it’s just a wankfest, dressed up in echoes of things that your movement is not. The symbolic act serves and reinforces the reality – not the other way around. Getting arrested for the Great True Principle of….having my voice heard or something is not a brave act. it’s a stupid and narcissistic one.

      • angienc says:

        You are absolutely correct, WMCB. Except that the arrests in the 60s did actually serve a purpose in that it got those arrested standing to bring lawsuits in court to bring constitutional challenges to the segregation laws. Contrary to what people think, not anyone can just “sue” — you have to show that you were personally effected by the law in order to sue (ie, I, a black man, sat at the white only counter at Woolworth’s & was arrested; the law allowing whites only to sit at that counter is unconstitutional as it violates the 14th Amendment & should be overturned, my arrest vacated, etc.). But still, that was only one (relatively) small purpose of the civil disobedience itself.

  4. myiq2xu says:


    “The powers that be don’t like what’s happening, and it doesn’t surprise me,” one protester said this morning. “They’d do anything to get rid of us. But you don’t put yourself through all this if you’re not serious.”

    A 3 week camp out? Some people pay money to have that much fun.

  5. Three Wickets says:

    @JoshHarkinison: They have word that cops may come as soon as 4 am. “So let’s all stay the fuck up tonight.”

  6. kc says:

    the comments on the last post (Donkey Kong) had me laughing out loud. I haven’t laughed this much for months. Thank you all.

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