When Push Comes to Shove


Push always comes to shove when the issues are power, property and the continued flow of that mean green that makes bankers happy. The Occupy Wall Street movement needs to prepare itself for the shove that’s sure to come. The other side is already getting ready.

The whining billionaire mayor of New York has announced that the OWS protests are not “productive”–since they threaten two of the three pillars of NYC’s pre-apocalyptic economy, bankers and tourists. In a bit of psychotic doublespeak, the mayor states, “The protestors that are trying to destroy the jobs of working people in the city aren’t productive.”

But let’s take a look at who’s destroying, and who’s producing.  In the “recession” that “ended” [!] in June 2009, over 8 million jobs were lost.  Since the start of the recession, more than 2 million homes have been foreclosed upon or are in the foreclosure process.  Housing construction and related services which accounted for 1/6 of the US GDP prior to the contraction is now at 13% of GDP.  Poverty rates are increasing and one-fifth, yes one of every five, children in the United States is born into poverty.

So…who’s destroying whom?  Who’s zoomin’ who around here, and around the world?

We know that every time Bloomberg opens his mouth, he’s speaking as the representative of the billionaires’ boy’s club.  And we know that behind or, when push comes to shove, in front of that boys’ club stand the ranks of the cops with their billy clubs.

When the police are ordered to move against the OWS demonstrators, we must move to counter the police. Our response should be that workers in all different kinds of jobs act immediately to interrupt business as usual—regardless of what union leaders say or do. For example, transit workers should refuse any request to assist in the transport of individuals who are arrested. Truck drivers should refuse all deliveries to city agencies—other than those providing health care or emergency services. The more interruptions, the better!

Our response should also be that students and teachers in high schools, colleges, and universities walk out of their classes and that residents of neighborhoods all across the city drop what they are doing and join together in rallies near Wall Street and far away from it to demand that the police back off.

If needed, the city should be brought to a standstill—a standstill that should only be suspended if and when the occupiers are left alone and any of those who have been arrested are released. And if the standstill works, we must then turn to the challenge of building a response that can make the specter of class warfare more real than the editorial writers and TV talking heads have dreamed of in a long time. We urge the Wall Street Occupation and all those who support their protest to start talking now about plans for what to do when push comes to shove.

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Issued by Insurgent Notes (http://insurgentnotes.com)

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