Are true grassroots movements possible? The beautiful people of OccupyChi.org are trying to find out.
I spent the morning and early afternoon at the corner of LaSalle and Jackson with Occupy Chicago. About 40 members were there. Mainly I observed them. They engaged in some Direct Democracy via deciding to abide by the City Ordinance regarding storage of personal property on public sidewalks (This seemed to be an effort by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to hamper them) and kept vigil during the awful rain which is on a 4 day run, albeit with scattered clear skies, across the Chicagoland area.
I did speak with a few members, mainly the young man who, due to his interactions with CPD on the previous night, became the Police Liasion for the OccupyChi group.
I imparted some Grungy advice regarding interactions with the Police. The main thought I tried to get through to him was that it wasn't a compromise to their principles to abide by directions from the Police. It would be detrimental to give some Right Wing Chicago version of Lieutenant Bologna the ability to crack down on them by violating something trivial. I mentioned that they did have natural allies amongst the Police and commented on the early morning quote tweet from the unidetified Cop, "When I get home, I take these clothes off. I'm you guys."
Many Cops know, the Police are expected by the 1% to act as Guardians of the Elites.
We spoke about how they could expect no lovingly tender corporate media reach around (proven by the scorn and derision from the crass Ginia Bellafante of the New York Times), no coverage from Faux News (let alone the sponsorship, participation, active support Faux provided the Tea Party) and no millions in funding from Dick Armey or the Koch Brothers.
They have high hopes for their protest and are proud to be the second longest running protest of the nascent Occupy Wall Street. I told some of them the 1% was most likely going to let the Chicago weather do the work for them and hope that OccupyChi wears out from the wet and cold. Hopefully, the group has set up someone to coordinate logistics but right now locals and other brave members of the 99% were donating food, ponchos, charging time for devices and helping dry the clothing of the Occupiers.
Normally, I don't join groups or organizations, but being a part of the 99% is something that has been put upon us all. Solidarity! We are the 99%.
In a fitting post script as I rode home on the 2:40 METRA, I noticed none other than Rick Santelli, the acknowledged birther of the Tea Party 'movement'. My friend was shocked and texted me "that lazy bum is already off work?"
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