Friday, December 02, 2011

'The Democrats are not your friends' "Occupy DC distances from Democrats. Or does it?"
A young man named Charles Davis, 27, took to the floor and called out for the group’s attention. Davis told the occupiers he had ridden in an elevator with Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.

“And he joked that he is the 1 percent,” Davis hollered. Boos all around. “And he called us anarchists!”

“The Democrats are not your friends!”

The group cheered — but not as loudly as they had for Edwards. Davis’ message, meant to reinforce the theme of the night, seemed to fall flat in the excited aftermath of Edwards’ appearance.


Edwards had somehow knocked the group off its message.

“She’s turning this into a campaign stop,” Davis said, after he addressed the group.

Occupy DC’s Action Committee had been at odds lately, he said, deciding two nights earlier to reverse a previous decision to join former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones’ group Rebuild the Dream,, and SEIU in protests on the Mall. Occupy, the committee concluded, would run separate events.


Davis worries that Occupy DC could become a subsidiary of the Democratic Party, much like the Tea Party was for Republicans.

“It’s been kind of a problem, especially here in D.C.,” he said. “People think the Democrats are their friends, and they’re kind of willingly being co-opted. A lot of the people involved in the Action Committee, for instance, are paid to elect Democrats.”

Such may be the nature of protest in the political city, where most everyone falls into one of two categories. Of course, there aren’t many Republicans living in D.C.’s two Occupy Wall Street encampments.

“I think it’s just the culture,” Davis said. “It’s maybe a little bit more politician-friendly than other Occupies around the country.”
A clarification: I, of course, am an anarchist. But when Democratic politicians use the word, they're using it as a thoughtless slur -- like "nihilist" or "commie" -- not because they think occupiers are just inspired by the works of Emma Goldman and Peter Kropotkin.


  1. Happy Jack10:12 AM

    Did she walk back inside to spit on the attendees?

  2. The byline is blank. Who was the reporter?

  3. Huh, weird. I spoke to a guy named Paul who said he was a freelancer for Salon.

  4. Charles, you're the coolest. So glad you're in OccupyDC raising hell. Great that Salon covered the action.

    I looked at Donna Edwards web site after your tweet last night, and, I thought, ok, yeah, she's not too bad. But regardless of her intentions, functionally she just keeps people wedded to a really evil institution.

    I think as a general policy we have to repudiate these people unequivocally. Shut them down when they show up. Disrupt their campaigns. The whole nine yards.

    This is not a bullshit call on 'bad actors'. It's a bullshit call on the whole filthy business. If they want to join the 99%, then they need to step well away from the 1%. She's not doing that.

    The 'bad actors' idea, whether it's the police, corporations, government, banks is part of the sickness.

  5. Oh Tarzie,

    Sure, I wouldn't put Donna Edwards at the top of the Enemies List, but she was also leaving a swanky fundraiser for the DCCC and -- while she claimed to represent the 99 percent -- notably did not utter a single bad word about the members of her own party inside who are doing all they can to serve the interests of corporate America at the expense of her constituents. In my view, that makes her complicit in the two-party scam.

    So long as Edwards puts the interests of her party over principle -- by raising money for the DCCC, endorsing Obama, standing by the Democratic leadership in Congress -- then she can't be considered a friend of the Occupy movement.

  6. Donna Edwards voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 – the legislation that created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). She changed her vote from nay to yea because of "the personal commitment that Senator Obama made to me that we will work to provide direct relief to homeowners facing foreclosure by enabling home mortgages to be dealt with in the context of personal bankruptcy and looking at a program such as one that existed in the 1930's to 1950's to work directly with homeowners to mitigate foreclosures."

    Is she angry at Obama for reneging on that personal commitment? Or are her career aspirations more important than her integrity?

    Liberals like Donna Edwards don't want change. They want status and political careers based on lies and empty promises. She'll vote progressive when her vote doesn't matter; but when necessary, she's willing to play her role as a rotating villain in the Democratic Party’s deceitful game.

  7. I don't think anyone here claimed even qualified support for Donna Edwards, so I find the comments after mine somewhat puzzling.

    In any event. Glad everyone agrees with Charlie's intervention.

  8. Oh Tarzie,

    My comment wasn't meant as any sort of rebuke to the post or the other comments. Instead, I wanted to provide additional evidence against the whole idea of allying with Democrats. Most people probably don't know that Donna Edwards voted to bailout the banks, and she justified the vote with an empty promise from Obama that he subsequently reneged on. If the people at Occupy DC had known about her vote, I'd hope that they would have treated her remarks with skepticism instead of: “A roar of cheering approval, drum-pounding and whistle-blowing”.

  9. I'm trying to make my own print version of that awesome VOTE poster. Do you know who made the original?

  10. I'm glad you're trying to keep Occupy on track, but it is ultimately a doomed effort. The Democrats are going to use it the way the Republicans used the Tea Party.

    The sad thing is, both movements when they are at their best (and they are seldom at their best) have more in common with each other than with the parties that try to co-opt them.