Opinion: Joining the Forces of Rebellion

Search form

Opinion: Joining the Forces of Rebellion

Opinion: Joining the Forces of Rebellion
Tue, 9/4/2012 - by Carl Gibson

Photo: DaSilvaFoto. A TransCanada Keystone XL pipeyard in Polk County, Texas, August 28.

They want us segregated by ideological labels - Democrat vs. Republican, Occupy vs. Tea Party, Liberal vs. Conservative, Red vs. Blue. What they don’t want is for all of us to disregard those arbitrary labels and start talking to each other about how bad the aforementioned groups have all been extorting us to keep their power. They don’t want us mingling. They don’t want us organizing. That would be a power they couldn’t crush.

The most recent demonstration of that power happened on August 28, when far-left Occupiers concerned about the environment linked arms with far-right Tea Partiers concerned with property rights to totally shut down the first day of construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in Livingston, Texas, the heart of American oil country. The media all but ignored it in favor of diverting all attention to the RNC in Tampa, where a major political party's leaders endorsed a platform full of sexist, bigoted, class-biased bile that nobody should feel comfortable saying in a 21st-century society, and got all the cameras they could ever want.

The corporatocracy, or the system of corporations, the media they’ve bought and the successful political campaigns they’ve financed, saw the rise of the Occupy movement as their first big test. The media learned how to marginalize and mock a movement consisting of massive numbers of diverse groups of people when it was no longer possible to ignore them. Conservative messaging guru Frank Luntz taught politicians how to say “I get it” when confronted by constituents who confronted them with Occupy’s unifying 99% message. Corporations even learned to co-opt the language of a populist movement, and make revolution into a trendy concept they could then use to make money.

After a few months of taking blow after blow, the corporatocracy eventually adapted and grew more resilient, like a mutating virus. The camps were violently evicted by the cops, Occupy lost their permanent organizing spaces, the media declared the movement's death, and all of America’s power brokers collectively wiped sweat from their brow, heaved a huge sigh of relief and continued their class war unabated. They don’t mind if we’re still pissed off, just as long as its with each other instead of at them. They’ll show the 99% fighting with each other all day.

The Louisville Courier-Journal, owned by the Gannett Corporation, which owns major metropolitcan newspapers all over the country, reported on a Tea Party rally with Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. The event drew protesters, and the last third of their video focuses on heated words between Occupy and Tea Party protesters. During one part of the argument, a Tea Partier insinuates an Occupier isn’t paying taxes. The Occupier replied,

Occupier: “I’m paying mine!” Tea Partier: “How much?” Occupier: “It doesn’t matter, we’re all equal!” Tea Partier: “No we’re not.”

Occupy’s biggest challenge, aside from bringing down the corporatocracy, is to convince the Tea Party that they’re also the 99 percent, that the system is screwing them just as bad as its screwing us, that their politicians only care about bringing more profits to the corporations who spent money to put them there. 2012, a year where a presidential election is polarizing us more than ever before, is the year to do it.

Imagine if every Occupier reading this found someone who affiliated with the Tea Party, got them away from a political rally and away from other Occupiers and Tea Partiers, and had a one-on-one conversation where you talked about life, instead of politics. I bet more often than not, these folks are working longer hours for less benefits than ever before, at possibly even two or even three jobs. Like us, they’re constantly living one paycheck away from eviction, or foreclosure, or default, or repossession. They’re probably fretting about how much their child’s college education is going to cost, or how they’ll ever be able to afford decent health care when they get older, and fretting over their dwindling retirement savings, assuming they had any to save in the first place. You may blame big corporations. They may blame big government. But you would both likely agree that it’s a bad thing for big corporations to buy politicians of either party and put them in office to do their bidding at the expense of the rest of us.

I bet that nine times out of ten, we’ll have more in common with Tea Partiers than the corporatocracy wants us to think. They know how to crack down on camps and label us all into neat little groups. They know how to get us to have counterproductive and childish fights with one another in front of a news camera. But they don’t know how to handle Occupy joining forces with the Tea Party. That’s exactly what the corporatocracy doesn’t want.

Article Tabs

Not simply individual guards should answer for this tragedy – but the leaders of private security companies and the governments that employ them must also be held to account.

After a year in which destruction of the world's largest rainforest rose 29%, the new Alto Maues reserve has 1.6 million acres of mostly untouched forests that are not known to have human presence.

The banks have exclusive access to more than 214,000 federal inmates under exclusive contracts awarded by the U.S. Treasury Department about 15 years ago

Toss-up races like Kansas and South Dakota may be the ones that decide whether or not Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate.

Some critics say that the "militarization of the police" is happening right in front of our eyes – but if the Founding Fathers were so worried about a threat of domestic tyranny, how did we get here?

Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014, and also has a "foreclosure king" who is now disbarred for his failure to oversee employees accused of carrying out wrongful foreclosures.

Posted 3 days 21 hours ago

Drug and device makers paid doctors $380 million in speaking and consulting fees over a five-month period last year – and saw a healthy return on their investment.

Posted 6 days 20 hours ago

As of September 19, 181 institutions and local governments and 656 individuals representing over $50 billion in assets have pledged to divest from fossil fuels.

Posted 6 days 20 hours ago

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) is a grassroots group taking the lead to combat systemic racism and build a people's economy in St. Louis.

Posted 6 days 20 hours ago

Punishing local cuts are leaving communities up in arms as the removal of vital school road patrol service – known as the lollipop ladies – could go into effect.

Posted 6 days 20 hours ago

In times of crisis, the term “protect the women and children” might still come to mind.

The California city of Rialto saw an 88% drop in claims of police misconduct within one year of officers wearing cameras.

Inequality is all anybody can talk about, except Democrats on the campaign trail who desperately need to turn out the very people so disproportionately affected by it: young and minority voters.

Coinciding with the National Day Against Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration, people in Santa Rosa, Calif., will hold a vigil and community potluck Wednesday to commemorate the teen's tragic death.

Toss-up races like Kansas and South Dakota may be the ones that decide whether or not Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate.

Sign Up