The following are talking points concerning the Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS/OTPOR) wherein the OWS position is taken from one of its OTPOR/CANVAS handbooks: Nonviolent Struggle – 50 Crucial Points, which are herein contrasted with exposes/refutations of these same points, which are taken from the perspective of the traditional American movement: Summer of Justice – 2012 – DC (SOJ).
These representation of OWS are not meant to apply to everyone who is involved in the OWS Movement, but only to the philosophy, strategies, organizers, and knowing participants within this OTPOR/CANVAS movement.
OWS/OTPOR: “It is actually the fear of sanctions that make this [sanctions] an important pillar. If an organization can predictably punish a detractor and cause fear, then it has power. If others in society perceive the punishment as legitimate, it has even more power. In terms of a nonviolent campaign, this aspect of power relates to the ability of the organization to credibly, persistently, and publicly show how the regime abuses basic human and civil rights. This creates a punishment (sanction) that the nonviolent movement can use against a regime’s use of illegitimate force.”
SOJ: Demonstrate how OWS’s angry invasion actions are not credible, and demand that their criminal actions be punished. Expose Adbusters Culturejammer HQ as the OTPOR motivators of OWS and expose the Leftist foundation funding of Adbusters.
OWS/OTPOR: “The group of psychological, traditional, cultural, religious and sometimes ideological factors (i.e. habits, attitudes, sense of responsibility ) that may induce people to obey and assist the rulers. Those factors usually owe their existence to some combination of religion and culture, or conventions, such as a tradition of obeying people in uniforms or representatives of the religious establishment.”
SOJ: Demonstrate the hatred OWS has for traditional religious and moral values and for just laws. Portray OWS as radical Leftist immoral God-haters (e.g., communists, socialists, anarchists) who belong in jail for the criminal occupation and invasion actions they are engaging in.
OWS/OTPOR: “By themselves, rulers cannot collect taxes, enforce repressive laws and regulations, keep trains running on time, prepare national budgets, direct traffic, manage ports, print money, repair roads, keep markets supplied with food, make steel, build rockets, train the police and army, issue postage stamps or even milk a cow. People provide these services to the ruler though a variety of organizations and institutions. If people would stop providing these skills, the ruler could not rule.”
(Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action).
SOJ: Portray OWS as a small group of radical, lawless trouble-makers who are intent on obstructing and disrupting the normal lives of good, law-abiding citizens by taking over public spaces, hindering the normal flow of traffic, wasting taxpayers money (e.g., overtime pay for law enforcement) invading places of business and public places, inconveniencing and frightening innocent people (e.g., disorderly conduct, harassment, trespassing, illegal sleeping and camping in city parks, public urination). Point out that the “occupiers”, who say they hate special privileges for the wealthy and care about the homeless, are enjoying a special privilege, double-standard; because the police are allowing them to camp and sleep in public parks, whereas the police do not allow the homeless to do so for any reason whatsoever. Occupiers are being violent lawbreakers, especially so when they cheer-on such things as the vandalization of a grocery store and a bank branch.
OWS/OTPOR: “Power in society is expressed largely through institutions and organizations. Most individuals do not exert much political power by them- selves, but institutions are made of groups of people who can be persuaded to change their point of view and withdraw support collectively. These institutions, holding up the structures of power, are called the Pillars of Support. If people within these pillars start to withdraw their support, then the government or other opponent will begin to collapse.”
SOJ: Portray OWS as angry radicals who are attempting to destroy the very foundations of American representative democracy rather than seeking legitimate, peaceful, democratic improvements in American government and society. The radical nature of OWS and the movement’s angry, radical attempt to destroy our legitimate institutions will result in chaos and anarchy and not a peaceful transition of power and the restoration of our cherished liberties. OWS radicals are attempting to tear American government and society apart; they are not attempting to improve American government and society.
OWS/OTPOR: “Each individual government is based on very few crucial pillars. Identifying crucial pillars and developing a multi-level strategy that weakens those pillars may make the difference between success and failure for your nonviolent struggle. The nonviolent campaign’s primary task: pulling individuals out of the pillars of support!
SOJ: Portray OWS as attempting to destroy, rather than improve upon, the crucial pillars of American government and society: the federal government, the civil service (bureaucracy), organized religion, the business community, the financial and economic sector, and other traditionally respected institutions. SOJ is attempting to restore the American government and society to our traditional, honorable, constitutional, religious, and moral values.”
OWS/OTPOR: “Obedience or acquiescence of individuals and, more specifically, their willingness to follow orders, keeps each pillar functional, even where a government’s economic power is based mainly on a single industry or resource such as oil. Even in these cases, the pyramid could not stand without thousands of individuals following orders. Therefore, individuals and the community as a whole have the power to withdraw their support, and not act in the way that the opponent wants them to.”
SOJ: Demonstrate the intention of OWS being to disrupt and shut down the ordinary flow of society, business, and government by breaking the laws and by coercing others to join them in doing so. They hope to slow, even stop, the ordinary flow of government and business by persuading employees to join their radical cause by slowing and stoping their work. SOJ supports just laws, order, and government while at the same time realizing we need to find solutions to the problems of inefficiencies, waste, and corruption that exist within the government. We should be working openly to fix the government, not striving secretly to undermine the government.
OWS/OTPOR: “Why is obedience regarded as the “heart of political power”? The answer is simple: if people do not obey, the decision-makers cannot implement their decisions. Strategies for nonviolent struggle are based upon this insight. Mechanisms and methods of nonviolent struggle, exercised through political actions and campaigns, are exclusively targeted towards the withdrawal of support that people are providing to your opponent.”
SOJ: Explain how a nation can only function properly, for the common good of the People, when its people obey the laws of that nation. The opposite of law and order is anarchy and chaos, which is what OWS intends to create in America. OWS is a threat to the very social fabric – law and order – that holds the many, diverse peoples of America together as one nation. America isn’t perfect, she never has been perfect, and she never will be perfect; but America must always strive for perfection. The goal we seek is not to tear down the America we have built, but rather to love her, despite her imperfections, to believe in her, and to press forward toward the prize that is her highest calling: to become one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
OWS/OTPOR: “As in any serious operation, your most important activities will be related to assessment and planning. Planning is the first and foremost requirement in order to keep any major action, such as campaign, organized. Without proper planning, your campaign is just a series of “guesses,” and your success is based on luck. Every aspect of your campaign should be planned before it is implemented, from the overall strategy to fundraising to grassroots organizing to media relations.”
SOJ: Explain that one of the biggest lies told by OWS is that it is not a well planned, well-organized, and well financed movement. The OWS movement is, in fact, all of the above. Another big lie told by OWS is that they are “occupying” public spaces, when, in in fact, they are using a combination of tactics: occupations and invasions. The OWS radicals never stay encamped; quietly and peacefully; they always leave their camps to participate in massive, angry, noisy, and disruptive invasions of both private and public workspaces (e.g., private businesses, government offices, public museums).
OWS/OTPOR: “Through targeted communication you may persuade people in your society to change their point of view, pay attention to your activities, and eventually, join your movement.”
SOJ: Explain how OWS has reveled their radical Leftist message and agenda. Who in America, or who in the entire world, isn’t aware of the ongoing “occupation” of Wall Street and various of cites across America? Both the mainstream and alternative media have offered this movement all the media attention it has ever desired; especially after one of OWS’s early “actions” (i.e., a march) resulted in an innocent young woman being harmed by the police. OWS hopes and intends for people to be harmed during their “actions”, especially if it’s by the police, because this generates the media publicity they seek. OWS is not a harmless “occupation”, it is a well organized movement of shrewd, radical planners whose intentions are to invade private and public spaces and in so doing: destroy the very peace, safety, and social stability we enjoy as a nation, which depends upon law and order. It’s always the well-meaning – but horribly misled – low-level “occupier” who ends up making his way to the hospital after an “action”. It’s never one of the high-level organizers of OWS who gets hurt, because these organizers have much better (and smarter) things to do; such as making their ways into the television studios, via their well-paid media contacts.
OWS/OTPOR: “Limit and sanction repressive actions of your opponent.”
SOJ: Demand the government enforce the just laws OWS is violating (e.g., living in public parks, disturbing the peace). We cannot allow OWS to attain its goal of “limiting sanctions and repressive actions” of the government. We need to arrest and prosecute OWS for violating just laws, and we need to do so with both wisdom and fortitude.
OWS/OTPOR: “Each target audience has its own rules, and the individuals within these groups have their own specific opinions, interests, and wants. You should use these to attract individuals to your movement, and also to appeal to the target audiences’ values, which are socially defined ideas about what is good or desirable.”
SOJ: Explain that traditional America does not hold the same “social values and ideas about what is good or desirable” as OWS does. OWS is a radical, pro-abortion far Left group that is not representing traditional America; rather, OWS is the antithesis of traditional America.
OWS/OTPOR: “When the opponent calls the movement traitorous, do not argue against that frame – negating a message actually reinforces it as true by framing you as someone on the defensive. Instead, change the frame and introduce your frame of, for example, “being patriotic”, which should include values that are considered positive in your society but violated by your opponent.”
SOJ: Point out that everything OWS is protesting – and more – is already contained within our traditional American movement: Summer of Justice 2012 DC; therefore the OWS protests are unnecessary, too little too late, and very wrong-headed. And, because OWS does not represent the traditional American majority and its values, will be ineffectual in achieving its goals.
OWS/OTPOR: “How can we put our opponent in a dilemma? Dilemma actions place the opponent in a situation where any response made will result in a negative outcome for the opponent. Nonviolent strategists attempt to create a “lose-lose” framework for the opponent, and a “win-win” framework for the movement. Dilemma actions can be tactical or strategic.”
SOJ: Demonstrate how OWS is purposely violating just laws and is expecting positive media attention on the movement when these just laws are enforced by the police. We can subvert the OWS “dilemma strategy” by simply pointing out to the media that we are holding OWS to the same standards to which we hold all citizens, especially the homeless. The police need to make certain they employ a wise counter strategy by peacefully removing OWS occupiers from their camps, even helping them to gather and pack their belongings, as well as making certain they find aid and services for all truly homeless persons in the parks in order for them to find appropriate care and shelter, which is available in all major cities. Put the OWS spokespeople on the horns of their own dilemma: Would they allow the homeless to camp in the parks forever, considering the safety and sanitary concerns this would raise? Would OWS not rather have the homeless clothed, fed, and given proper shelter, and other opportunities, which the police are now helping them to find, and as traditional Americans (religious organizations) are always providing for them? Accuse OWS of attempting to “reinvent the wheel of society” from scratch. Point out to them that, while they are trying to figure out what to do, our law abiding society has already, long ago, wisely decided the best courses of action to take concerning these issues within our society. Accuse OWS of being horribly naive and hopelessly ignorant about the real world. Accuse their spokespeople of having intellectual, idealistic, and impractical “book knowledge” about the world and not the real world experience, such as police officers have, which is what’s necessary when dealing realistically with real world people and problems (e.g., homelessness, sleeping in parks indefinitely, sanitation, disorderly conduct). Explain how OWS is selfishly disregarding the private and publics spaces within our communities, and accuse them of recklessly disregarding the privacy and public access that is properly due to all members of society. Accuse OWS of enjoying special privileges and of holding to a double standard by explaining to them how OWS has been getting away with breaking the just laws of our society while everyone else is not allowed to do so. Accuse OWS of recklessly abusing, rather than properly enjoying, our right to peaceful assembly and our right to free speech.
OWS/OTPOR: “The government is left to respond: Do nothing…or engage in sanctions. In either case the government loses, because doing nothing means allowing its policies and laws to be disobeyed, and reacting with sanctions means violating what most of the population feels are important beliefs and values.”
SOJ: Point out that, although Americans value the right to peaceably assemble and the right to protest, we also value not allowing people to live in public parks indefinitely, nor do we value people angrily marching around town invading private businesses and public spaces yelling and screaming at people, especially when the people they are screaming at (e.g., low level bank branch employees) are not at fault for the sins of Wall Street speculating and bailouts. Expose the “dilemma” strategy of OWS and point out that enforcing just laws (i.e., sanctions against living in parks, invading private businesses, and invading public spaces) is the proper course of action for America to take, because our society does not approve of (or value) these deviant behaviors. Criticize OWS for their hypocrisy, because they are enjoying special privileges that are not allowed to or enjoyed by anyone else, especially the homeless, whom OWS claims to sympathizes with. Point out that OWS is not a peaceful movement like Dr Martin Luther King’s movement was, and that OWS’s attempt to lay claim to being the rightful heirs of King’s tradition of nonviolence is illegitimate and hypocritical.
Egyptians Campaign to Oust President Mubarak, 2011: http://www.scribd.com/doc/71987082/Egyptians-Campaign-to-Oust-President-Mubarak-2011
The Serbian Connection to International Unrest: http://www.scribd.com/doc/71981936/The-Serbian-Connection-to-International-Unrest
Facebook and People Power- The View From Tahrir Square: http://www.scribd.com/doc/71968922/Facebook-and-People-Power-The-View-From-Tahrir-Square
Global Nonviolent Action Database – Egyptians Campaign to Oust President Mubarak, 2011 – 2011-08-24: http://www.scribd.com/doc/71973692/Global-Nonviolent-Action-Database-Egyptians-Campaign-to-Oust-President-Mubarak-2011-2011-08-24
“If we had set up tents, the police would be here in a second, and they just come and get to do what they want,” ~ Robert Brown (homeless, DC)
“I think what they’re doing is cool, but I like to sit in the park on nice days, and I haven’t been able to go since they’ve been there. Maybe it’s time they tried another approach.” ~ Karen Sanders (office worker, Atlanta)
“You have to detour around them on the sidewalks or fight your way through. I don’t know what they think they’re accomplishing, but to me they’re basically a pain in the neck.” ~ Melanie Wells (businesswoman, Chicago)
“It’s kind of a mess on the plaza now. A lot of the benches are taken up by sleeping bags and other belongings … but the biggest issue is the cost. I talk to people who are sympathetic to their message, but what they see is the cost. The sheriff’s department has already spent more than $200,000 on overtime.” ~ Jeff Johnson (Hennepin County Commissioner, Minneapolis)
“For more than two weeks, the city of Atlanta, downtown residents and business owners have shown tolerance and patience. The protesters, however, moved from … an initially peaceful demonstration to increasingly aggressive actions.” ~ Kasim Reed (Mayor, Atlanta)
“The added security … makes it really hard to get up and down the sidewalk.” ~ Ann Dumas-Swanson (office worker, Wall Street)
“They just take up the sidewalk, and they don’t get out of the way. I have no sympathy for them.” ~ Brenda Joy (business owner, Chicago)