Genuine political and social movements fuck things up. The civil rights movement? The anti-Vietnam War movement? The labor movement of the early 20th-century? None of them would have progressed if they had only existed under the sanction of local, state, and federal governments, if they had only acted or marched with permission, if they had done nothing to disrupt the daily routines of everyday people, if they hadn't gotten in the faces of the powerful. If your protest is approved by city hall, then you are participating in civil obedience.
It's why the Tea Party was never anything other than a costume fad. And like any fad, it had its most devout adherents, but, truly, it was the Beanie Babies of political movements. The Tea Party gave comfort to the wealthy and played by the rules. It's why it was a movement of old people and families: there was no threat that anyone was going to spill any of their diabetic fucking blood on any goddamn mythical tree of liberty. And just like all those people who bought Beanie Babies thought they'd get rich by selling 'em on eBay, only to end up with basements full of dead-eyed, worthless bears and frogs, the Tea Party will soon be bagged up and brought to the thrift store of history.
Not soon enough, and not until all the fucking throwbacks they elected are out of office. Act in haste, repent at leisure.
Wear those arrests as badges of honor, good provocateurs of the plaza. As Big Bill Haywood, the leader of the Industrial Workers of the World, said when he was imprisoned in Chicago in 1917, "A prison cell is the heritagehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif we gain for the blood and lives our forefathers gave; they fought for religious freedom and left us with minds free from superstitious cant and dogma; they waged war for political justice; they carried on the struggle against chattel-slavery - these were the titanic battles that were fought, bringing us to the threshold of all wars - the class war - in which we are enlisted as workers." Now, Big Bill was given to hyperbole, but his point was that if you're gonna fuck with the powerful, the powerful are gonna try to fuck you up. But that the chance to battle should be inspirational, not dispiriting.
Remember, this is still the very, very beginning. Maybe, just maybe, as more actions happen, as unions get involved, as more arrests happen, as the tipping point of inevitable violence by authorities occurs, maybe we on the left can stop being such little bitches about the protests and unify behind them.
I tend to think the the power needs to be taken away from the police on the street which won't be a very nice thing to watch, or maybe it will be, depending on how you think. Then the protesters need to go to the top floors of the Wall St. buildings and drag a few of the richest CEOs or whatever out into the street and read 'em the riot act and let them try to explain themselves in front of cameras. That's the nicest scenario of what could happen to them.
Better yet, drag every last one of those Wall St. motherfuckers into the streets and let them answer for the harm they've done to this country and maybe give their views on how much all that money - our money - is going to help them in Hell. Then wish them bon voyage and send them there.