Web Letters | The Nation

We Are All Occupiers Now: The Mainstreaming of OWS

Better safe than sorry

What is this nonesense about encouraging “Slut Walks”? A woman who dresses “like a slut” (not my term) is obviously at greater risk of sexual assualt than a women not wearing a micro-miniskirt and a halter top. If you have to ask why, I’ll tell you. Because the “slut” will naturally attract more men, thereby increasing the likelihood that one of them is a creep.

I have two daughers. Katha Pollitt has a daughter. I can’t believe she cannot see the danger here.

Bennett Muraskin

Parsippany, NJ

Nov 3 2011 - 3:14pm

Re: We Are All Occupiers Now: The Mainstreaming of OWS

Wake up and smell the coffee

I enjoyed reading Katha Pollitt’s excellent analysis of the OWS movement, and how the initial knee-jerker critics got it all wrong. I did want to respond, however, to her parenthetical question in her last paragraph: “…to say nothing of the Coffee Party (what was that all about, anyway?).”

The Coffee Party was, initially, a reaction to the confrontational and, often, non-factual approach of the Tea Party. A nonpartisan organization with, originally, a focus on a civil approach to politics, including reaching out (yes, even Tea Party members) to find common ground, we have evolved now into a more issue-oriented activist organization, focusing on Wall Street reform, campaign finance reform and tax code reform. But let me be clear, the current emphasis is on the corrupting influence of corporate money on Congress, especially in light of the Citizens United decision.

Months ago, the Coffee Party announced plans for the “Enough is Enough” rally (now known as the Citizens Intervention) which will take place this Saturday, October 29, on the West Lawn of the Capitol—yes, we have a permit, starting at 11:30 am. We predated OWS by a lot. So we are “about” being ahead of the curve, actually, and doing the planning required for a successful rally. There are two aspects to this rally: one, anyone who wishes to speak their mind will be given the microphone; and two, many distinguished guests will also speak, including former Congressman Joe Sestak, professor Lawrence Lessig of Harvard, Thom Hartmann, Buddy Roemer and more. Here is the info: http://citizensintervention.com/.

I hope all the fine Nation readers, and reporters, will take the opportunity to join in and find out who we are… after all, we are you.

Howard Carlin

Oak Hill, VA

Oct 27 2011 - 2:18pm

We Are All Occupiers Now: The Mainstreaming of OWS

The movement needs wider reach, narrower focus

OWS is reaching a point of diminishing returns. At most, it represents the popular rage at what has become of our nation: concentration of wealth and political power in a few; balancing the nations’s books on the back of the poor, the vulnerable by sacrificing our meager social safety net so the wealthy and business may retain their tax advantages; failure to address the problems of real people: joblessness, housing and mortgage crisis, debt and hopelessness for the future.

However, neither Suze Orman or Deepak Chopra are going to give up their lives and join the occupation. The longer “the people” camp out, the more OWS will be about (or all that will be reported in the press will be about) the protesters, their lives and their positions on the relevant issues. No matter how impacted each of occupiers may be, they are not the best advocates for or framers of the issues and the solutions. OWS is on the cusp of being about the people in Zuccotti Park, and elsewhere, and not about the problems that affect us all. OWS must find a new strategy: mass protests that mobilize hundreds of thousands, with speakers focused on the issues.

Otherwise, OWS will devolve into a psychoanalysis of the individuals who brave the winter, however well-intentioned, mouthing half-baked gripes and ideas to the amusement of Fox and Friends.

Asher Fried

Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Oct 24 2011 - 1:13pm