As of Monday morning, May 21st in Chicago, it is all but
over: The fear-mongering media hype, the over-reaction
of the authorities, the unacceptable behavior of a relative
few in the crowds of protesters, it's over. This morning
the announced activities were to be "victory" celebrations,
food, music, an outdoor party, in other words. Commuting
to jobs in the Loop was uneventful, almost deserted, both
by protesters and workers. Many protesters who obviously
think of this as a media-recorded party, thinly garbed in
"serious" polemic, stayed/slept in 'til later, wanting to be
fresh for fun. No one thought to design dignity into their
strategic planning, unlike Gandhi and King who DID
dignify AND change the world.
And make no mistake, much of this WAS for fun, for
dramatis personae, to meet with others of similar
philosophical persuasions. Sprinkled in their midst were/are
anarchists, who don't have a positive plan save for disruption/
destruction. Anyone masked as anonymous was merely
showing fear and cowardice, not peaceful people power
confronting entrenched evil.
2012 is NOT 1968 in Chicago, when police brutally overreacted.
Still, even then, if someone had thrown a baggie full of human
excrement at me, I think I would have had to slap the offender,
even thrown a punch. (Restraint is one thing, weakness is
another.) I saw stick beating of a police officer on the side of
his head, knocking off his glasses. What does such behavior
have to do with the justified complaints against the U.S. Congress
and Wall Street, the cozy collusion of the two creating the Great
Recession of 2008?
The numbers attached to this entire scenario were all small--
modest numbers of protesters of any stripe, very few injuries
whether to police or demonstrators, very little property damage.
The media acted as if there were 100,000 when apparently not
even 10,000 showed up to "party". The mayor's minions and
Rah-monster himself heightened the hype with permit denials
and remonstrating macho public language.
I resent the public behaviors of the present day. In the late '50s
to the early '80s when I demonstrated, we did not occupy any
doorways, buildings, sidewalks or streets. We did not use profane
language, employ weapons of any kind, nor any disgusting drek
to inflame situations. We did use the sit-down tactic, did have
protest signs, did march peacefully with parade permits. The
media rarely covered us; at one point, we had about 35,000
in Grant Park. When university doorways and buildings were taken
over, I wasn't/would never be with them. Chaining myself to
property not my own is not my idea of an effective effort either.
--Change the world? --The greatest good for the greater number?
The third weekend of May in Chicago was an embarrassment for
"Occupy" and a loss of revenue for the city:
Police 1, Protesters 0, even if most of it was peaceful.