Live streams covering one of at least 26 cities where Occupiers are marching tonight in support of OccupyOakland.

Here’s the #SolidaritySunday twitter feed. See also, as ever in matters Oakland, OakFoSho. I don’t think the numbers are that big. But the synchronization is impressive.

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

Hat tip, Greg Mitchell.

In Manhattan, some arrests, a warning of Black Block presence. I can’t find a streamer in Oakland who’s up right now, and I’d like one. Readers?

UPDATE Confusing. Dynamic; I’ve been swapping feeds in and out as they disappear or start showing old stuff. I guess I should say beware of the idea that a live feed is unmediated; the issue of whether to allow streamers has been a continuing one in Oakland.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The more aggro, the fewer numbers. I’m not sure they’ll get 10K. If they regarded non-violence as a strategic asset (Otpor, Egypt) they might. But I’m not sure they do.

      1. Maju

        Egyptian protesters were not nonviolent. They beat police first (there’s a much cheered video in which the police runs out of ammo and the protesters take back the bridge) and then they also fought once and again against Mubarak thugs (remember the camel guy?) and police.

        The differences between Egypt and the USA is that in Egypt they had been under the boot, and a very oppressive boot actually, for decades and decades and unemployment is extreme. While in the USA there’s still (even if less than used to be) some feeling of relative freedom and unemployment is still a fraction of that in Egypt. On the other hand US society is more advanced than the Egyptian one (better educated, with more consolidated Internet access, etc.) and this obviously plays in favor of the US movement. But even if the vanguard is more motivated and with more clear ideas maybe than in Egypt, the ability to mass-mobilize is still somewhat limited, more so as the USA has very little tradition of class struggle (since many decades ago).

          1. Maju

            If it’s not yet the mass of the population ye, then it is a vanguard, per definition (of course revolutionary vanguards may fail, they do often, but the expression is correct in any case).

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            “They fail often.” “Doing the same thing and expecting a different result” works for you? Alrighty then.

            You’re also wrong on the sequence (“the first thing”). See my comment below at 1:36PM.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          The battle of Tahrir Square was won for two reasons: (1) The Army didn’t fire, and (2) Mubarak’s security forces weren’t up to the job, and were out-organized by the Occupiers in Tahrir Square. And the larger context was that “all walks of life” were participating in the revolt, and so Mubarak had no place to go. Your image of the catapult proves my point: If the Army had fired, would a catapult have been anything other than a pathetic target of opportunity? What would a catapult do against a tank? So, what won the battle? Good strategy. The Occupiers treated a reputation for non-violence as a strategic asset, and “all walks of life” — including the conscripts in the Army — could agree that the State was in the wrong because it so clearly was. No counter-narrative could develop. Mubarak could not order his conscript Army to fire because that would have split the Army.* So he fell back on Plan B, and lost. And when the time for self-defensive violence came — as it did in the Battle of Tahrir Square — the victory was gained. However, behind the self-organizing abilities of the Tahrir Square Occupiers was also four or five years of intense labor organizing. And behind the ability to hold Tahrir Square was an incredibly disciplined and mature organization that had won the trust of the Egyptian people. That’s why the battle was perceived as “defensive”. It’s no knock on the Occupiers to say that they aren’t anywhere near the point with the American people that the Egyptians got to with the Egyptian people. And it’s no knock on the Egyptians to say that they didn’t have to deal with a decaying empire of continental scale and the most pervasive and corrupt mass media in the history of the world.

          NOTE * Exactly in the same way, the WI Occupiers split the Wisconsin Capitol police.

          UPDATE Here’s a link to the Tahrir Square live blogging I did. Lots of food for thought.

          1. Maju

            I’m not claiming that violence is per se a method of victory but just illustrating that the Egyptian Revolution was not nonviolent.

            Often, in these revolutionary struggles, the situation suddenly changes just because (as happened in Tunisia, where the gates of Revolution opened for us almost overnight), the people realized that they were many more than the cops and decided to teach them a lesson. That evening Ben Ali run away.

            Of course there’s a moment also, when the forces of the regime, the military specially (or part of it) decides to “betray” the challenged leadership. That is of course a decisive moment as well.

            But these things are fluid and there is no magic formula, so no need to look for it: better watch and learn.

            I’d agree that in the USA (and in general most of NATOland) the situation is anyhow immature for popular violence to have any appeal and I agree that nonviolence should dominate (except for strict self-defense in some cases maybe) but that is precisely what the movement is promoting I understand. You can nonviolently close harbors and you can nonviolently occupy buildings, as well as parks and even NATO’s central see (friends of mine did years ago, almost accidentally, and went away happily – although there was one general who wanted to beat them, which was fun to watch because others would not let him).

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            Matt, you’re refuting an argument I never made. My claim: The Egyptians treated a reputation for non-violence as a strategic asset. And successfully too.

            Can you show me where OO is doing that?

            Oh, and defining “mature” as willing to engage in popular violence? The history of the twentieth century is not encouraging in that regard, starting with the Bolsheviks. No thanks.

          3. Maju

            Not “Matt”.

            I don’t agree in any case neither with your assessment of the Egyptian revolution as reputedly nonviolent nor that of the US Occupy movement as somehow promoting violence in any sense. The movement has no head and therefore each one can say what they feel best but the average Occupy activist and affinity group (organization, cell or whatever) is actually making a very strong nonviolent statement everyday, in Oakland too.

            I don’t understand why you claim otherwise.

            “Oh, and defining “mature” as willing to engage in popular violence?”

            Mature as in ripe. My first language is not English, so sometimes I may make such mistakes like pronouncing ‘sheet’ like ‘shit’, you know, what is quite funny for native speakers. But still Wikitionary sustains my expression as valid (1st definition).

            Is not people being mature (ripe) or immature (unripe) but the situation, the social and historical situation unavoidably pushing in that direction and reaching it at a point. You may be an extremist of Gandhi’s ideas but I’m a pragmatic and first of all a revolutionary, and therefore I think that Gandhi is ok until the mass massacres (by the state) begin, then Che Guevara!

            I’ve see that happen once and again. Some twenty years ago nonviolent resistance met its limits in Bosnia while the snippers shot at the peaceful demos, it met its limits in Kosova being unable to shake the Serbian yoke in spite of more than a decade of nonviolent resistance and brutal state repression. There are other cases indeed. Just imagine Gandhi confronted with Auschwitz. Gandhi himself was quite contradictory and supported the British war effort in WWI (and I think WWII as well) for example.

            There’s no pure nonviolent way but a real revolutionary praxis that at times is nonviolent and at times is forced into violence (and everything in between). Putting not just people but even ideas and words in pedestals is idolatry.

  1. Ned Ludd

    It looks like Occupy DC will be banned from camping, starting tomorrow, by the National Park Service. Here’s the announcement from the Occupy DC website – “Occupy DC will defend our home and our dream”.

    Also, on Saturday, while lots of us were watching Oakland, Obama and other elites had a black-tie gala, and Occupy DC had a protest and street party outside. Joe Lieberman got glitter-bombed:


    According to the Huffington Post, “hundreds of protesters lined up outside a prestigious Washington hotel where President Barack Obama, other political leaders and business moguls” had a steak and lobster dinner, shared jokes, and made humorous speeches. Sounds like one of the circles of hell.

    Sara Shaw is the media contact for the McPherson Square occupation in DC. She seems to be a good person to follow. Quinn Norton writes about the Occupy movement and online activism for Wired.com. She’s in DC, so she might have an article up at Wired.com after anything eventful happens.

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