November 15, 2011

One of the top level organizations supporting Occupy Wall Street is the Progressive Democrats of America (@pdamerica).

Breifly, some of the Progressive Democrats of America board members include John Conyers, Donna Edwards, Raul Grijalva, Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern, Lynn Woolsey, Dennis Kucinich – not to mention CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans. (You might remember them from the Hamas Flotillas).

In a recent posting on their website, Throwing Out the Master’s Tools and Building a Better House, they appear to be arguing against the violence of the Black Bloc.

Another Occupy Oakland witness, a female street medic, wrote of the ill-conceived November 2 late-night antics, “watching black bloc-ers run from the cops and not protect the camp their actions had endangered, an action which ultimately left behind many mentally ill people, sick people, street kids, and homeless folks to defend themselves against the police onslaught was disturbing and disgusting in ways I can’t even articulate because I am still so angry at the empty bravado and cowardice that I saw.” She adds, “I want those kids to be held accountable to the damage that they did, damage made possible by their class and race privilege.” And physical fitness; Occupy Oakland’s camp includes children, older people, wheelchair users and a lot of other people less ready to run.

Here’s the problem. @PDAmerica and @Codepinkalert openly trade in crisis. They boast about crisis being where change is possible. Never let a good crisis go to waste, right? But then they have the nerve to act like they are disappointed when their radical crisis mongers turn violent. The potential for violence is what makes the organizers so irresponsible and culpable.

How We Defeated the Police

The euphemism for violence is “diversity of tactics,” perhaps because diversity has been a liberal-progressive buzzword these past decades. But diversity does not mean that anything goes and that democratic decisionmaking doesn’t apply. If you want to be part of a movement, treat the others with respect; don’t spring unwanted surprises on them, particularly surprises that sabotage their own tactics—and chase away the real diversity of the movement. Most of us don’t want to be part of an action that includes those tactics.

They’re worried about a redo of the Weather Underground

Left violence failed miserably in the 1970s: the squalid and futile violence in Germany and Italy, the delusional Symbionese Liberation Army murdering Marcus Foster, Oakland’s first black school superintendent, and later gunning down a bystander mother of four in a bank, the bumbling Weather Underground accidentally blowing three of its members up and turning the rest into fugitives for a decade; all of them giving us a bad name we’ve worked hard to escape.

That’s a little hard to believe though, when Bill Ayers is leading teach-ins at #OccupyChicago:


Jon David Kahn “American Heart”