Lambert Strether on the attacks on the Occupy movement

Lambert Strether has a guest post up at Naked Capitalism that looks at the violent raid on Occupy Wall Street and how the movement has responded to coordinated attacks on it from around the country. Lambert is an old hand in the lefty blogosphere and has always brought an incredibly rich moral perspective to his writing. This post is no different.

Whatever. Because a library is more than its holdings. As soon as Zuccotti Square was re-occupied, Occupiers began immediately began to self-organize the library again. Here’s the library at 7:00AM today. And here’s the address where you can send donated books.

And that’s the story: Occupier self-organization. Self-organization is how the Tahrir Square organizers beat Murbarak’s baltigaya, and self-organization is how the Occupiers will beat the 1%. Because look what Bloomberg bulldozed: Not only a library, but:

None of what Bloomberg bulldozed was or is about violence. All of those institutions are about solidarity, people helping people. (For the homeless or the hungry, these institutions are helping people who can’t get help anywhere else.) Perhaps that’s really what Bloomberg didn’t like?

Lambert goes on to make the point that it is these institutions of human support which are what makes the Occupy movement powerful. He notes that it is because of this power that mayors representing the 1% around the country have violently displaced Occupy encampments, using the same tired lies of uncleanliness and dangerous violence near the encampments. Never mind that these encampments are rigidly clean and that the incidents of violence haven’t actually be related to the Occupations at all.

As the frequency and violence with which local governments are trying to destroy the Occupy movement increases, the power of this movement only becomes more clear. Yesterday, following the eviction of Liberty Square, a number of people pointed out that this harsh eviction, done in the dead of night with no warning or humanity, would actually add fuel to the growing Occupy movement. Fortunately for organizers, November 17th (tomorrow) is a major national day of action. I expect whatever turnout would have happened without the eviction of Liberty Square will be substantially bigger, especially in New York City, as a result of this reckless crackdown. Generally speaking, putting out fires is hard to do when you’re using gasoline instead of water.

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