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The focus of the country has lately been on the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, or “OWS.” You know, the people who claim to speak for the 99% of Americans who are not wealthy capitalists and who think they can create social justice and equality by marching around the New York Stock Exchange and other centers of capitalism, like Greenwich Village.
Here is how the leaders of the leaderless OWS describe themselves on their Web site:
“Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.”
They go on to promise: “We are growing. Block by block – city by city. We will see change in this country, in this world. It will happen sooner than you can imagine.”
Now it occurs to me that there is only one appropriate and sensible response to the “Occupy Wall Street” anarchists and street urchins. And that is to create a competing grassroots mass movement that will challenge the attention OWS is receiving in the media, while offering a rational and constructive alternative agenda for real social change.
I propose that the alternative mass movement be called “Occupy Berkeley.”
OB will be a mass movement holding protests and street demonstrations in Berkeley, California. Its first order of business will be to occupy Telegraph Avenue. The slogan of OB should be, “We are the other 99.999999%,” referring to the fact that people who despise Berkeley street hippies and “anarchists” represent exactly that proportion of the general population.
OB will specialize in civil disobedience and street theater. Among its initiatives will be a mass roundup of Berkeley hippies who will be conducted to the central facilities of OB, where they will all be given free baths. A special re-education campus will be set up in Orange County, California, where all Bay Area communists and drug users will be sent to learn about the disadvantages of communism.
OB will also rid Berkeley of those asking passersby for spare change. Instead, OB will promote entrepreneurship for panhandlers and for homeless youths. Anyone in the Bay area stopping passersby and asking for spare change will be ordered to do pushups, where the first 40 are unpaid but after that, payment will be made to the panhandlers at the rate of 20 cents per pushup. Tax free. Pregnant panhandlers and those over 70 will be permitted to do their pushups from the knees.
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