OWS began as a call to action, a call for people to act on their own behalf, to address whatever matters most to them.
And it is happening, everywhere: From students holding hand-drawn Trayvon Martin signs across from a high school in Crown Heights yesterday, to the executive at Goldman Sachs sending his resignation letter to major newspapers, people are activated, speaking up about their concerns in their immediate communities.
As the OWS call to action spills over into more hierarchical, organized formations such as unions and huge mega-NGOs such as Reclaim the Dream, it is also spilling into small “unorganized” communities in places like Appalachia.
Months ago, the heads of unions and progressive organizations recognized that they require the momentum OWS offers, in order to move beyond the stagnant bureaucratic models in which they are entrenched. Now we will see if they are capable of connecting with the radical spirit much of their constituency is ready to move from.
As they do their thing, in the next sixth months OWS will continue to forge a creative and spontaneous and unpredictable space in which everyday citizens can insert their challenge. We will maintain our sharp focus on Wall St, and every Friday, as we conduct a ‘spring training’ run on Wall Street, we will continue to keep up the excitement and energy. Through our anti-foreclosure work and our efforts around student debt and school closings, we will continue to attack the Social Darwinist presumption that some are more deserving than others. We will critique by creating alternatives, to show that extreme economic inequity does not have to be a given.
Assembling for Stop Stop and Frisk rallies, we will demonstrate that we wont stand by while the 1% criminal — whose impact reverberates so widely — is treated with kid gloves while communities of color endure police brutality and the 99% demonstrator gets gassed and thrown in the slammer simply for assembling in public space after-hours.
If the constituencies of mainstream organizations manage to tap into the impulse to mobilize en masse for real systemic change, and if as-yet unorganized communities continue to join this larger radical effort to get the root of the problem -the conflation of capitalist and democratic institutions- then we will have seen total success. If not, we are everyday people who at least did something! Join in! Act on your own behalf.