99% WHAT? – On Occupy Seattle

Posted: October 7, 2011 by globaloccupation in 2011, date, medium, October, seattle, usa, zine
Tags: , ,

http://tidesofflame.wordpress.com/

The Occupy Seattle protest has begun. As of this writing, people are camping out on Westlake Plaza. There is some promise in this new movement of people. Starting in Greece in 2008, this wave of rebellion has spread from Tunisia, to Egypt, Syria, Spain, England, and now the USA.

But we are worried about this movementof the “excluded” 99%. For instance, we have seen people who are part of the upper 25% of this country entering into the organizing of this movement and trying to hide their middle/upper class, bourgeois-bohemian (or Bo-Bo, as the French say) backgrounds. The upper 25% of the USA owns 87% of the wealth. This includes many individuals who make roughly $100K per year. While this is only a fraction of the income of the wealthiest 1%, it nevertheless separates us poor folk from the yuppies, some of whom are taking lead organizing roles in occupations across the country.

Though all of us “99 percenters” may be below the top rung on the ladder of wealth, there is no question that some are much worse off than others. To lump everyone together under one banner ignores differing individual and group experiences of life in this screwed-up country. Some of us are way at the bottom, barely hanging on, low-paid, under-employed, unemployed, or making money in informal, illegal, and often dangerous ways. We have been precarious for some time, moving from town to town, job to job, having no real roots and no possible future under the dictatorship of capitalism. People who are suddenly upset because their stocks have taken a nose dive don’t necessarily share our interests and are not particularly trust-worthy, especially in leadership roles. It is likely that our needs and desires differ immensely. Like the American and French revolutions of the past, Bo-Bo’s have always usurped the energy that came from the oppressed and exploited to carve out an even more comfortable niche for themselves. We have no interest in this happening again and will actively thwart all the Bo-Bo’s and overbearing managers who wish only to reform capitalism into something a bit leaner and greener.

The promise of this movement is that, in theory, it can be lead by anyone,
everyone, or even no one at all. We futureless people must put the Bo-Bo’s in
place and begin to self-organize with others who share our desires for a world
without haves and have-nots and without the politicians, police, and prisons
that keep the have-nots in their place. Those who have already secured their
own comfort and stability in this society are unlikely to keep pushing for a
revolutionary break with the capitalist routine, and this kind of rupture is the
only thing that can end this sad state of affairs. This means that we must find
each other—all of us who are sick of wage slavery and rent, who recognize
that the problem is not only with corporations and bankers but with the entire
economic system itself, who know that it’s not enough to get money out of poli-
tics, and who know that the police, who always repress dissent to maintain busi-
ness as usual, are our enemies.

It’s certainly worth it to participate in the open assemblies of the Occupation
at Westlake, and we encourage everyone to attend. Because of its open nature,
the assembly can be influenced by new, fresh ideas rather than the old ones that
are smelling worse and worse each day. This moment in time is a precious one,
and we must make the best of it. This new movement is activating people
across the country and is combating the widespread apathy that has ruled over
young people for decades. Whether it ends in disappointment and failure is up
to us. So let’s make the most of it, huh? Experiment, create, and if you feel like
it, destroy what destroys you. Hold nothing back and let go. USE YOUR
IMAGINATION. Perhaps we could turn Westlake into a riotous orgy of
joy, freedom, and rebellion rather than a sterile shopping trough. Before this
moment passes, let’s go knock the Bo-Bo’s out with their fancy wine, uncork
the bottle, and drink ‘til we’re drunk on total freedom.

Download pdf to print here, pdf to read here.

Chinese translation: 占领西湖,占领西雅图之 “ 什么 99%?”

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