Just this morning, a crackdown of sorts transpired on the #OccupyOakland movement. The Associated Press wrote:
Under cover of darkness early Tuesday, hundreds of police swept into Oakland's Occupy Wall Street protest, firing tear gas and beanbag rounds before clearing out an encampment of demonstrators. In less than an hour, the 2-week-old, miniature makeshift city was in ruins. (Source)
Personally, I am greatly mortified to hear this news, word of clandestine police raids conjuring disturbing visions of V for Vendetta-esque police-states. That said, it is even more disturbing to read some of the comments on the link in question, indicating that those affected by the gratuitous lies that the media propagates tire of the movement and maintain a deeply flawed misconception of the movement.
That said, in order to preserve solidarity and hope in vein of police intervention and a false sense of jadedness and cynicism towards the movement, several things must be acknowledged by protestors.
- Protestors must not break the law confrontationally. By vandalizing private property, throwing around ethnic slurs and trespassing, we come off to the media as sensationalistic hippies without a worthy cause. We know that we are not that and thus, we must act professionally to hold credibility.
- Protestors must not react violently to police presence. Like in the last rule, our credibility is at stake here. A single riot would put a massive dent in the movement. 1% of the 99% can easily ruin the image of the movement for all involved.
- Protestors must uphold the ideals of nonviolent civil disobedience. As a “populist” movement, there are few historical precedents to #OccupyWallStreet. Thus, we must learn from the most successful: Gandhi and King.
- Protestors must persist and not be dissuaded by threats of police intervention or popular disapproval. As a movement characterized by mass civil disobedience, we must stand together in solidarity to act as a force for positive social change imprinted forever into the collective consciousness of our world. We must believe in ourselves and that our actions are valuable.
Naomi Klein wrote that the #OccupyWallStreet movement was the single most important thing happening in the world right now. Let’s give the movement the love and care it deserves.