Any successful movement in the US will not only have to leave the rotten Republicans and their cronies the Democrats behind, but also the professional non-profit “activists” , who make their living acting as gatekeepers. Gatekeepers of not only what is acceptable to be said, but also correspondingly how a movement is organized. The strength of especially #OccupyOakland is that they by passed – the unions, the non-profits, the so-called ‘progressive’ city mayor – all of it… and spoke directly the people of oakland.
The unions and non-profits did show up after a couple of weeks – they were forced to respond to the cord that the occupiers had struck… While the people in attendance remained majority White, clearly the message had found resonance in East (latino and black) and west (gentrified white and black) oakland. The unions then half heartedly showed up at the general strike, they were, in fact, in danger being made even more irrelevant than they have already become – because the people were going to show up in massive numbers – no matter what… The union endorsement was a mere formality, it had no real meaning. The unions and non-profits, then showed up to basically pacify the occupiers, and to return to the same old game of staged “civil disobedience” – i.e. non-confrontational towards power… the same staged game that they have played for decades that has gone no where.
In two three weeks – occupy oakland accomplished a serious challenge to the slaves of the 1%: the city hall – something that the non-profits/unions etc. refused to do for decades. This refusal to directly address power has resulted in Oakland becoming one of most difficult places to live for so many people of color. I don’t buy the line that the success of occupy oakland is because of past struggles of existing non-profits, unions etc. I think its success is a result of speaking to the issues, and taking action, without waiting for bureaucratic approval of union administrations, or non profit board of directors. I don’t think that the occupiers in Oakland need to owe something to the non-profit organizers – including people of color organizers – these people had failed the city – with their crap ful of backroom and approved weeling and dealings.
If the outmoded and archaic organizers and non-profits are serious about moving forward, they owe a lot to #OccupyOakland, and they need to come forward and really and seriously join the movement – not try to stifle it… unfortunately, for the time being – the movement may be contracting… but it will rise again, inshallah, ’cause the rotten slaves of the 1% don’t have anything to give… but we will see, or else, the empire will keep going deeper down the rabbit hole.