This is what democracy looks like?

Categories: Announcements, Discussion, Open Mic, Reflections

This is what democracy looks like?

On November 18 I posted an apology to Occupy Oakland. I had helped sell the idea of a joint march and rally with “organized labor” to the general assembly. I had thought it would be an event at which we – Occupy Oakland – would be able to get our radical message out to the rank and file of some of the unions. Instead, with the collaboration of some of the most radical people in the occupation (as well as some who just recently got involved) the planning for it sends it more in the direction of a pep rally for the causes that the union bureaucracy and their masters – the liberal Democrats – can support. As such, it is little but the kick-off for the reelection campaign for Obama and the Democrats next year.

I apologized because I thought it would be different and helped convince the GA that it would be different.

Last night, as part of the committee reports, I got up and reported for the labor outreach committee. I reported on exactly what is happening. Within a few sentences of what I was saying, the “facilitators” started desperately signaling for me to stop talking. They were worse than the union bureaucrats I’m used to dealing with.

Heaven forbid we should have any dissent or controversy in our GA’s!

This comes after those who have been involved in Occupy Oakland from the very start participated in violating at least the spirit in which we passed the proposal for today’s march and rally.

This is what democracy looks like?


One Response to “This is what democracy looks like?”

  1. David Heatherly

    Hi, I’m Dave, I talked to you during the GA because I support what you are saying for the most part, even though I think the event today was really beautiful and wasn’t really co-opted by the unions too much. I heard radical voices all over the place, and the union was just one of the many voices present. It’s OK for them to be a voice. I even want the Ron Paul people and basically anybody else who is awake, anybody else who needs to break from the whole current 2 party system and the whole current order of economic priorities, to join with us and find the real solutions to the crisis for our Republic.

    The unions do have to be on board, but we have to be careful about which unions we are associating with and what we’re doing with them. I personally object to their influence over the election process. Although it is a counter-balance to corporate power, I believe we could pass a Constitutional Amendment to make sure that only human beings can donate to political campaigns. And that would hurt the unions, but it would make America stronger in my opinion. It is just the kind of radical action I think we need, to remove money from elections here in America and set in motion a ripple effect all over the world towards democracy and the voices of people being heard instead of the voices of the elites and the entrenched power.

    The unions supported Citizens United, because it increased their power the same way it increased corporate power. We need to use the unions, not be used by them. But I do support the ILWU of Portland in their struggle. I may be against the electoral power of unions (many conservatives would join our movement if they realized it would mean that their money would no longer be used to support politicians they do not support), but I am in no way — EVER — in favor of union-busting and breaking up unions. Collective power of the people must stand against that oppression.