Tahrir Square In America

New York State Governor David Paterson opening...Image via Wikipedia
Nick Kristof: New York Times: The Bankers And The Revolutionaries: The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has taken over a park in Manhattan’s financial district and turned it into a revolutionary camp. Hundreds of young people chant slogans against “banksters” or corporate tycoons. ...... “Occupy Wall Street” was initially treated as a joke, but after a couple of weeks it’s gaining traction. The crowds are still tiny by protest standards — mostly in the hundreds, swelling during periodic marches — but similar occupations are bubbling up in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington. David Paterson, the former New York governor, dropped by, and labor unions are lending increasing support. ....... I tweeted that the protest reminded me a bit of Tahrir Square in Cairo, and that raised eyebrows....... The protesters are dazzling in their Internet skills, and impressive in their organization. The square is divided into a reception area, a media zone, a medical clinic, a library and a cafeteria. The protesters’ Web site includes links allowing supporters anywhere in the world to go online and order pizzas (vegan preferred) from a local pizzeria that delivers them to the square. ...... In a tribute to the ingenuity of capitalism, the pizzeria quickly added a new item to its menu: the “OccuPie special.” ....... Where the movement falters is in its demands: It doesn’t really have any. The participants pursue causes that are sometimes quixotic — like the protester who calls for removing Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill because of his brutality to American Indians. ....... the banks socialized risk and privatized profits
London Has Become Cairo

My advice would be to stay disciplined and grow into large crowds in public places like parks. Don't hit the road, don't disrupt traffic, don't prevent people from getting to work. A massive protest in a country like America can not be like one in Egypt where right to free speech and right to peaceful assembly were not protected.

But this Occupy America movement has the option to become big, really big, and to bring about fundamental change to the American democracy. This movement has to conclude with a passage in Congress of total campaign finance reform, like Anna Hazare forced a major anti corruption bill down the Indian parliament's throat.

At some level democracy in America is a joke. It is not a one person, one vote democracy. Money plays too big a role. And the moneyed interests have hijacked the lawmaking process in Washington beyond the pale of any democratic logic.

This movement has to be about reclaiming the House. And giving Barack Obama a strong progressive agenda for the subsequent four years.

Total campaign finance reform, universal health, universal education.

This can be a movement as fundamental as the one in Egypt or Tunisia. Only here you are not seeking to bring about democracy. Here you are seeking to take an existing democracy to a whole new level.

This has to be nonviolent, non disruptive, and big, like really, really big. Gather in public parks in all towns, small and big, in all cities across America. 24-7. Until the honchos on Capitol Hill pass total campaign finance reform.
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