The Occupy UK shower have done their best, there was always a delicious irony in their making their bed in the guest accommodation of the wealthiest ‘corporation’ in Britain and certainly the one that pays the lowest rate of taxation, whilst protesting against ‘capitalism’; but all credit to them for forcing the caring sharing happy clappy Church of England to reveal that their concern for equality and the poor ‘they are very welcome to stay’ only lasted until the moment that worship at the altar of Mammon, in the form of the temple traders, shop and restaurant, was suffering a downturn in projected profits. ‘It is with great regret’ etc…
The dedicated student of irony needs to cross the Atlantic though, for there in the land of ‘we do it bigger and better’ the New York chapter of #Occupy (Wall Street) have truly excelled themselves.
Take a few hundred people, dedicated lovers of equality and freedom of expression, apparently professed of a hatred of hierarchies, organisation, forced taxation, violence and all the other apparatus of the state, termed ‘anarchists’ by the media and watch what happens…
We have all ready picked out the irony of the unwashed matted hair, the ripped and torn designer jeans, to be worn with accompanying $5,000 Mac powerbook…but there are certain other givens in this new tribe of ‘anti-capitalism’, you must be unified by discordant sounds.
Thus it is that the insistent beat of the ‘new age’ drum music is heard day and night. Dum, dum, dum, Dum, dum dum, they pound away, hour after hour, drawing attention to their cause. Some of them anyway. Some of them slept. (God knows how, no one else in the vicinity did!) Whilst they slept, others, who had perhaps heard tell of the ‘fringe benefits’ of being a drummer, crept in and stole their drums.
The ‘sharing’ that they demand of the bankers, did not, it seems, extend to themselves.
All animals are not equal in Wall Street protests; a hierarchy has built up, a disciplined hierarchy worthy of Lord of the Flies. It seems that in just a few short days they have acquired Regressive Taxation:
“The drummers claim that the finance working group even levied a percussion tax of sorts, taking up to half of the $150-300 a day that the drum circle was receiving in tips.”
The drummers demanded $8,000 dollars in ‘rebate’ to allow them to buy new drums; they played their victim trump card:
“The majority of the drummers are people of colour with low-income or no-income backgrounds, and Wall Street was built by slaves when they brought the Africans over here.”
“Yo! Man”, they said: “We have worked for you! Appreciate us,”
To no avail. That’s the trouble, working for fledgling capitalists; the organisers were unmoved.
“Now they have over $500,000 from all sorts of places,” said Engelerdt, a drummer. “We’re like, what’s going on here?
They have new leaders, ‘facilitators’:
“Someone has to be told what to do. Someone needs to give orders.”
Enter Health and Safety, in the form of a self appointed ‘Facilitator’:
Daniel Zetah, a 35-year-old lead facilitator from Minnesota, mounted a bench:
“We need to clear this out. There are a bunch of kids coming to stay here.” (An early example of ‘think of the cheeeldren’?)
Cue property rights: One of the hoodied men fought back:
“I’m not giving up my space for fucking kids. They have parents and homes. My parents are dead. This is my space.”
Before too long they had repression of free speech: “…a facilitator in a red hat walked by, brow furrowed. “Remember? You’re not allowed to do any more interviews,” he said.
Even a fledgling Libertarian Party, protecting their own! “Near the front of the park, two men in hoodies staged a meta-sit-in, fearful that their belongings would be lost or appropriated.”
Lest we forget the origins of this ‘sit-in’ – the disgraceful activity of the sinful bankers, members of the United States of America tribe who had made everybody’s life miserable and must pay for their actions….
Listen to Michael Glaser, facilitator, on how to deal with members of a tribe who make life miserable:
“This is its own city. Within every city there are people who freeload, who make people’s lives miserable. We just deal with it. We can’t kick them out.”
As I said: Animal Farm morphs into Lord of the Flies.