The 99% Occupy Wall Street movement has been actively protesting for over a month now and has been developing in interesting ways. The origins of the 99% and their original intentions seem to have been obscured by competing internal interests that have each injected some of their own agendas into the fundamental 99% message. After only a few short months the movement is now so amorphous that it has come to be in danger of being inconsequential. With the inclusion of so many fringe elements the directions of the 99% movement, its targets for protests and the demands that it has issued have become muddled in a mélange of new age greenie, conspiracy theorist inspired fairy dust.
When David GeGraw originally began the 99% movement he had just a few simple goals- to dismantle the Federal Reserve Bank and the ‘too big to fail banks’ that had caused the GFC with their poor speculative efforts, to ban private investment in US political campaigns so that the middle classes can be properly represented in government and for ‘RICO laws to be enforced against the criminal class’. With the introduction of the hacker group Anonymous to the 99% movement the call for the enforcement of democratic laws, and for a return to equity became tinged with the anarchic chaos espoused by Anonymous. OWS was really the offspring of the Rothschild-World Bank conspiracy theory and with their new partners the range of conspiracies to combat widened considerably.
Anonymous, now with a potentially large marching crowd called for ‘a Day of Rage’ and through 99% organized an occupation of Liberty Park in NYC, the scene of many Vietnam protests in the 60s, connecting the 99% with other pro the people demonstrators. This first effort was a flop but out of it came an affiliation with a highly politicized group called the New York City General Assembly (NYCGA). This group brought some structure to the 99% movement and a definite libertine political agenda with it. By now almost the entire original message of the 99% was buried in a mass of often conflicting goals. On October 24 the 99% OWS movement posted a list of demands (see: http://occupywallst.org/) that reads like a laundry list of wishes rather than a serious manifesto. By this time the posturing of the group had become more threatening, partly due to their successful occupations across the US and around the world, and partly due to their lack of political savvy. No one should have been surprised when the authorities forcibly moved them along- it’s what the authorities always do. In the final analysis the authorities had been very tolerant as the protests had all exceeded the limits of their permits.
In the latest developments OWS is now becoming a well funded organization, raising questions of who is getting the cash and what they are doing with it. It seems that in trying to work outside of the system they have ended up needing to use it to progress. From a horizontal organization they have had to become more pointed in order to harness the force that they have invoked. The political naiveté of the group couldn’t be more evident than in their list of demands so it remains to be seen if they can actually develop a working platform and a realistic set of goals. Their original objective of dismantling the Fed was nowhere to be seen on their October wish list indicating that there is not much continuity within the group, perhaps few of them were even involved at the beginning and most don’t even know what they were asking for at the start. It remains to be seen whether OWS really is an innovative social movement or if it will be just another footnote in the history books of the world.