Monday, December 19, 2011

Occupy Portland gets mired in (successful) military tactics, losing sight of the goal of fixing our society

A couple weeks ago Occupy Portland spontaneously developed a riot defense tactic that they're proud of.  They'd set up an encampment, got "cleared" out of the park where they set up camp, then by using the tactic they developed in the moment, they were able to retake and keep the encampment in the park from which they'd just been cleared.  The blog post linked below discusses military tactics in general, the specific tactic they developed.

The people in that group are rightfully proud of themselves.  Reportedly they developed the tactic, in the moment, using the direct horizontal democracy process (e.g. I suppose someone yelled MIC CHECK then proposed LET'S MARCH THIS WAY) to develop the tactic.  They were able to avoid getting into actual conflict with Portland's riot police.  They were able to make quite a showing in downtown Portland.  And they were able to retake the park.  In terms of military tactics, this is clearly a success.

However is it good strategically.  Note that I'm two paragraphs into this post and haven't mentioned anything about the message Occupy in general is bringing to our society.  Instead it has so far been about military tactics.  The blog post linked below spends nearly 10 paragraphs talking about small unit infantry military tactics (riot police are heavy infantry, the officers behind the front line firing bean bags and other non-lethal weapons are light infantry) before getting to describing the actual tactic.  Nowhere in the blog post did the writer discuss how these tactics do or don't further the goal of fixing our society.  Instead it's all about whether or not a group of people can continue camping out in a city park.

What are the Occupy groups about?  What is the purpose of this movement?  Why are people taking part in the Occupy protests?  Are they camping out because they like camping?  In the midst of developing tactics to maintain an encampment, have the participants lost sight of the goal?

Our society is in deep trouble, and there are deep serious problems at hand.  These problems need  attention. 

Occupy Portland Outsmarts Police, Creating Blueprint for Other Occupations