This is being written in too much haste and perhaps too much emotion. But I am getting vexed. I am concerned about a lack of support for the #Occupy movement from their natural allies (and purported supporters).
I live near Seattle, and I have been trying to support the occupy folks there at Westlake Park. Run to the thrift store, deliver bags of jackets, gloves, hats and ponchos. Run to the grocery store or pizza place and get stuff to eat and drink. Find out what’s happening, send emails.
This morning the cops had forced them to take down their tent. Permit “revoked”, they say. There was no food, hot or otherwise. So got some food & drink from grocery store, we organized to share it out.
So far, so good. It’s rainy but not freezing. But the bad weather is coming. And if our occupiers don’t get more support than civilians like me can provide individually and informally, they will have a hard time sustaining. This will be even more true in other cities; Pacific Northwest winters are pretty mild.
So – the unions, the churches, the liberal groups with reasonably-well-heeled supporters – maybe it’s time to step up. They say they support the occupy movement.
If they mean it, there are concrete things they can do. Union halls and churches can offer a place to sleep so folks can get out of the weather every few nights. If the cops get tough and revoke permits, supportive organizations can drive up with a van with food, coffee, etc. Supportive organizations can also generate political pressure – that’s what they are optimized for!
Of course, this is not to say there shouldn’t be mobilizations when needed, to get demonstrators on the scene to prevent intimidation and repression. But we’ve been having those; they won’t do the job by themselves.
But with organized backup, the occupiers can use adaptive logistics to get through any kind of weather. Without it, they are in Valley Forge, all alone.