A Community Member’s Response to the Occupying Beyond Divisions Panel

Written on:February 19, 2012
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This post was written by Eoin Garland, a member of the extended RevolutionTruth Community, in response to the Occupying Beyond Divisions Panel.

Just listened to this in full……….

I sit in a small unimportant corner of the world looking and learning about Occupy. I am small and unimportant. I am suffering from what has been caused by corrupt politics and the economic system. I’d like to think I’m a regular citizen who knows change is needed. I see Occupy and know instinctively that it is right. That’s why I love the concept of the 99% – I have no political affiliation to politics. I just want a better world for my kids. I’m not seriously educated; I have no writing awards as anyone who reads my stuff will testify.

I know none of the panelists personally. I have had the pleasure of conversing with Tangerine on Facebook but I think this is the second time only I have ever heard her voice.

Can I give you my view on how this went?

I have one general question especially relating to the last 15 minutes: Did the shouters listen to Tangerine’s introduction? “To treat each other with respect and civility”?

As an observer here it is folks, cards on the table time…

Whilst a few loud and outspoken in the 99% argue pointless minutia and semantics, the 1% are laughing and enjoying the dissention and upheaval. I bet the 1% just LOVE the fact that obviously intelligent people not even agree that violence is not an option. They are delighted there are approaches like that of Cari and Georgia getting air time. Please note I’m not saying “people like” I’m saying “approaches”. Not for one split second do I doubt their concern, love, passion and desire for change. I do however question the way they engage in debate and comport themselves.

To RevolutionTruth, don’t despair about how this went. This is exactly the thing the group needed. How this discussion went IS how Occupy WILL go. Trust me. This was a wake-up call and something WE can all fix if we all agree the last 15 minutes of this was ugly and not in anyone’s best interests – Well, actually, it was in the interests of the 1%.

To attitudes like that of Cari & Georgia I would say this is not a game. There is a lot riding on this.

Listening to the discussion, I’m not impressed with big words or egocentric beliefs nor am I impressed with some of this cloak and dagger Anonymous or Black Bloc stuff or the minutia of what anarchy or authority is. I said it before but I’ll say it again I find it deeply ironic that black bloc anarchists or movement members who want to change the world have “hurt feelings” at being criticized or freaking out when someone says “we” or “I”. Utterly utterly utterly ridiculous.

Georgia and Cari I don’t you at all but just so you know – I stopped listening to you only because of one thing: Your shouting and your interruptions. I’m sure you had great things to say but your approach ruined it for me. If you think it was a “fiasco” Georgia it was and you and Cari who made it so.

The very nature of unaccountable masked mystery men on the streets puts a huge percentage of regular politically moderate folk off. That’s a stone cold fact.

Know one thing though Black Bloc. The government is not scared of cloaked, masked boys with sticks. However, the powers that be are terrified by regular folk taking action by marching.

There is a greater good here that it would seem Black Bloc et al either don’t care about or know about.

None of us have the luxury of the self-indulgence I see going on in Black Bloc. The only thing they have achieved so far in my view is entrenched debate and splintering Occupy. How very anarchic!

Sadly, for me looks like paranoia and self-interest is more of a threat to Occupy than government right now. Aggression, failure to respect others, volume and paranoia have been the downfall of almost every group like this I have researched.

The RevolutionTruth group has a good set of rules for engagement. You really gave the shouters every chance there was. I respect that. But personally would have cut them off much earlier. If grown up debate is beyond the ability of some then the higher ground is quite simply unobtainable.

Occupy is at a pivotal point. It needs to lay some things down. As an unimportant average nobody I’d recommend starting with nonviolence.

I don’t like seeing two things on a civilized street. Geared-up cops in riot suits and masked groups. I have seen too much of it, on the streets of Ireland, at G8 summits, etc.

I cited Chris for using the word “Cancer” in his piece prior to this panel. I was wrong. After listening to this little chat and with reference to the “cancer” Hedges was talking about, I think perhaps it can be re-diagnosed from cancer to acute turrets syndrome!

Occupy is not Black Bloc obviously. They had a chance to shine in this discussion and utterly failed. Time to move on from them but continue the debate.

The people who mentioned “lack of strategy” and “direction” “weakening due to violence” nailed it. Black Bloc Cari et al just nailed themselves. Taking criticism personally…her questions, her demeanor and attitude was for me sad. “Do you self-criticize your authority?”…what the heck does that mean?
And to tell people to “educate themselves”? Come on! How rude. Poor Lucas he had so much to say and that loud lady just would not let him every time. Cari have never met you don’t know you and can only judge you on your words……you need to drop your ego, listen and learn the art of conversation and debate. At the very least – have a point that’s yours! I would even go so far as to say you were “violent” in your ending statements.

When the topic of agreeing on nonviolence was raised for her to then derail question that citing a “Dichotomy of power” and “who defines violence”? What the heck was she on about? And then tells people to “educate themselves”?

Here is the deal, I want to take my kids to an Occupy rally but I can’t if I think they will be hurt by protestors OR cops. Why can’t people understand and respect that?

Shouting and violence has been tried before. It will not work in a group that requires the cooperation of 99% of our world. There is no identity beyond the 99% that’s all. The change, justice, truth, fairness and democracy we all say we want will not be found in violence or aggression. I’m turning my back on violence as an option as of today and especially after hearing this discussion. I will not support it one bit. Not one single broken window, not one single expletive yelled at a cop. You do not have my support if you condone this. I pray Occupy will do the same thing in saying we the 99% will not support violence either from the cops or internal parasitic boys in masks. Hedges is right, if violence kicks off then call off the march.

Georgia, Cari, I had a statement prepared for you but my pledge made above to non-violence prevents me from saying any more. Suffice to say you let yourselves down. Badly.

Can I make an appeal though? Chris Hedges, Sir, I’m a busy guy too, I have my job, my volunteer work and my family life to juggle. I didn’t even really have time to listen to this whole recording but I need to learn what’s going on and I can’t trust the media. It’s not easy but….please don’t pull out of these online debates. Please. Don’t let ridiculous people do that to you. I love hearing you speak. And when you said that you are pulling out trust me sir you had no impact on the Cari’s and Georgia’s of the world , you broke Tangerine’s heart just a little though. I have never met her but I heard it in her voice. Please don’t disengage with her.

Occupy, please learn from this. Don’t let your last 10 days be like the last 10 minutes of this discussion. Continue the debate.

Join Eoin and others at out RevolutionTruth Community Group at Facebook.

6 Comments add one

  1. Tangerine Bolen says:

    Getting lots of feedback on what a thoughtful response this was. Thank you for taking the time to listen, and to share your thoughts, Eoin. Much appreciated.

  2. Bernadene says:

    As a member of occupy groups, I found the discussion engaging even in the discord. It was very telling and important. Occupy is young. Many in the groups are young. Elders, be magnanimous in your acceptance and criticism and the words hurled at you. Be above ego, and lead by your actions, words and deeds. Younger ones, I applaud and embrace your passion and energy, keep questioning authority, all of it.
    Tangerine, this was only good. Keep it up.

  3. Susan says:

    I’m with Bernadene, this panel was valuable despite the discord. Tangerine, you handled a very difficult situation with generosity and calm, which came across as far stronger than the angry disrespect you were facing. Eoin, your response expresses what I felt listening to the panel. Thank you for writing it.

  4. JRB says:

    Why wasn’t Kristof Lopaur from Occupy Oakland asked to be on this panel?

    • Tangerine Bolen says:

      Hi JRB, we are a tiny, all-volunteer organization conducting campaigns, building a platform for citizen-driven media, and organizing what may end up being a worldwide lawsuit against the US gov over the NDAA. We have limited capacity. We are also still getting to know who is who. Lastly, this was a “flash panel” (produced in a matter of days rather than our usual months), and we worked hard to find people to come on to that panel.

      We would be happy for you to make recommendations of both panels and panelists. We like to include public input in this platform. Please send us your ideas and contact info if you have it for people you’d recommend. We’ll be continuing the conversation.


      Also – I tried to contact several authors of good articles in response to Hedges’ piece, and may have even written Kristof during that rush, but I can’t verify that. We’d be happy to have his contact info if you have it.

  5. Tangerine Bolen says:

    Bernadene and Susan, thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind responses! Appreciate the feedback and will keep building up this platform! All best to you:).

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