As Occupy Wall Street protesters attempt to reclaim Zuccotti Park after it was cleared out by police yesterday, the radical magazine that first inspired the movement is recommending a way for Occupiers to save face while retreating (via Verum Serum):
STRATEGY #2: We declare “victory” and throw a party … a festival … a potlatch … a jubilee … a grand gesture to celebrate, commemorate, rejoice in how far we’ve come, the comrades we’ve made, the glorious days ahead. Imagine, on a Saturday yet to be announced, perhaps our movement’s three month anniversary on December 17, in every #OCCUPY in the world, we reclaim the streets for a weekend of triumphant hilarity and joyous revelry. …
Then we clean up, scale back and most of us go indoors while the die-hards hold the camps. We use the winter to brainstorm, network, build momentum so that we may emerge rejuvenated with fresh tactics, philosophies, and a myriad projects ready to rumble next spring.
Adbusters also outlines a strategy for staying put, but seems to acknowledge the risk of keeping the movement going through the winter. “[A]s winter approaches an ominous mood could set in … hope thwarted is in danger of turning sour, patience exhausted becoming anger, militant nonviolence losing its allure,” it argues. “It isn’t just the mainstream media that says things could get ugly.”
It’s a little late to start warning about an ominous mood setting in. The rampant crime at Zuccotti Park and other protests has already been well-documented, and protesters seem to have no interest in retreating.
Adbusters seems to realize it’s created a monster, and is trying to cautiously rein it in before it completely destroys its own image. The OWS movement was supposed to evolve into a populist grassroots political coalition, a la the Tea Party. Instead, it’s rapidly discrediting itself.