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Articles tagged OWS


#S17: NO to Politicians as Speakers at OWS Events

Posted 10 months ago on Sept. 9, 2013, 12:44 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: OWS, politicans, #S17

The very nature of a politician's job grants them a public forum. That is what they do--speak to and for the public (ie their constituents). They have access to it at their fingertips at any given moment.

The people (in this instance meaning non-elected officials) have to make their own platform. Thus the occupation. Thus the many brilliant and the many unrecognized struggles across NYC and beyond looking to deliver a message about the health and well being of their communities.

Of course, there are some important distinctions between the "you only rep yourself and not any group of folks" approach that the NYCGA took and the larger NGO and non-profit structures and culture of representation. And it can be/has been argued that various orgs and unions also have a platform given their access/members/funds/influence. Not ignoring that...but for the moment let's acknowledge the everyday platform that politicians have, as well as the generally ineffective way that many of them have put that access into play around OWS and bigger police brutality issues (barring recent work around Stop and Frisk--which would not have moved without strategic and consistent organizing).

We don't need to share space with politicians. They need to be pushed. Hard.

Politicians have a lot of people to placate/appeal to--if they can take small steps that don't cost them much that is GUARANTEED what they will do.

Being able to say "I stood with so and so and said some things about that important issue" will be enough for them to justify "movement" on an issue.

Which is clearly NOT enough.

This isn't about us vs. them, it's about role distinction. Let's not confuse the role of social change agents with those of social mouth pieces. Just like many of the bigger non-profits, politicians rarely step out and lead from a place of radical compassion. That's why we are here.

We have to teach them. We must must must inspire them to be better than they are.

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