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 âcorporationâ in Britain and certainly the one that pays the lowest rate of taxation, whilst protesting against âcapitalismâ; 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 âthey are very welcome to stayâ 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. âIt is with great regretâ etcâ¦
The dedicated student of irony needs to cross the Atlantic though, for there in the land of âwe do it bigger and betterâ 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 âanarchistsâ by the media and watch what happensâ¦
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 powerbookâ¦but there are certain other givens in this new tribe of âanti-capitalismâ, you must be unified by discordant sounds.
Thus it is that the insistent beat of the ânew ageâ 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 âfringe benefitsâ of being a drummer, crept in and stole their drums.
The âsharingâ 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:
âThe 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.â
The drummers demanded $8,000 dollars in ârebateâ to allow them to buy new drums; they played their victim trump card:
âThe 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.â
âYo! Manâ, they said: âWe have worked for you! Appreciate us,â
To no avail. Thatâs the trouble, working for fledgling capitalists; the organisers were unmoved.
âNow they have over $500,000 from all sorts of places,â said Engelerdt, a drummer. âWeâre like, whatâs going on here?
They have new leaders, âfacilitatorsâ:
âSomeone has to be told what to do. Someone needs to give orders.â
Enter Health and Safety, in the form of a self appointed âFacilitatorâ:
Daniel Zetah, a 35-year-old lead facilitator from Minnesota, mounted a bench:
âWe need to clear this out. There are a bunch of kids coming to stay here.â (An early example of âthink of the cheeeldrenâ?)
Cue property rights: One of the hoodied men fought back:
âIâm not giving up my space for fucking kids. They have parents and homes. My parents are dead. This is my space.â
Before too long they had repression of free speech: ââ¦a facilitator in a red hat walked by, brow furrowed. âRemember? Youâre not allowed to do any more interviews,â he said.
Even a fledgling Libertarian Party, protecting their own! âNear the front of the park, two men in hoodies staged a meta-sit-in, fearful that their belongings would be lost or appropriated.â
Lest we forget the origins of this âsit-inâ â the disgraceful activity of the sinful bankers, members of the United States of America tribe who had made everybodyâs life miserable and must pay for their actionsâ¦.
Listen to Michael Glaser, facilitator, on how to deal with members of a tribe who make life miserable:
âThis is its own city. Within every city there are people who freeload, who make peopleâs lives miserable. We just deal with it. We canât kick them out.â
As I said: Animal Farm morphs into Lord of the Flies.