I’ve been watching the Occupy Wall Street protests with a little interest and a lot of concern. It’s been made pretty clear that the protestors don’t really know what they want, or what they’re trying to accomplish. As one young woman told the New York Times, “It’s about taking down systems, it doesn’t matter what you’re protesting, just protest.”
Even academia is on board with the protestors, while acknowledging they are out of touch. A professor at Cambridge University said that “protest is exciting when you are young, and everyone deserves their chance to burn something down,” even as he admitted the OWS crowd would help get a Republican president elected.
My concerns have really ramped up over the past few days as the protests have gone from public places to private residences. It wasn’t long ago that ACORN and SEIU members stormed the house of a Bank of America executive, trapping his terrified 14 year-old son inside. It will not be long until someone defends their property, or until a protestor throws a rock through a window. This powder keg is waiting to be lit, and once it is, I’m not sure where it will go.
Yesterday, at the OWS protests, a speaker addressing the crowd dismissed nonviolence as a dead end, and admitted that for the Occupiers to achieve their goals, violence and bloodshed will be required. (Video here)Occupy L.A. Speaker: “One of the speakers said the solution is nonviolent movement. No, my friend. I’ll give you two examples: French Revolution, and Indian so-called Revolution. Gandhi, Gandhi today is, with respect to all of you, Gandhi today is a tumor that the ruling class is using constantly to mislead us. French Revolution made fundamental transformation. But it was bloody. India, the result of Gandhi, is 600 million people living in maximum poverty. So, ultimately, the bourgeosie won’t go without violent means. Revolution! Yes, revolution that is led by the working class. Long live revolution! Long live socialism!” Crowd: [Cheers.]
Every day, videos emerge from the OWS movement showing people saying things that, if they had been said by a Tea Partier, would have been front-page news for months and discredited the movement forever. But since it’s the Occupy Wall Street movement – favorites of the media and Democratic politicians – they are embraced.
How long will it be until a police officer is more seriously assaulted than they already have been? How long until a car is burned or a window is smashed?
What happens then?