The Punching Will Continue Until the Hippies Disperse

Please call 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675), and tell Mayor Bloomberg not to interfere with Occupy Wall Street tomorrow. Residents of New York City can call 311.  (H/T DailyKos)

UPDATE: (Friday) Occupy Wall Street will remain in Zuccotti Park.

Admittedly, it’s happened a little later than I expected, but it appears that over the next few days, the purported “liberals” who run the country have decided to go all Mubarak on our asses, and clear out this “Occupy” rabble once and for all.  Just days ago, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he was prepared to let OWS stay “indefinitely;” today he says the park just needs a good scrubbing.  Of course, the park in question is itself the product of just the sort of crony capitalism OWS deplores: out of some typically shady real estate deal where developers get to transfer air rights and receive other zoning variances for, generously, providing an adjacent sliver of green space, but still get to “own” it, Zuccotti Park turns out to have a well-connected landlord, and it obviously isn’t the people of New York.  All they had to do was send Bloomberg a sternly worded letter, and he folded like a Hamptons deck chair.

Here in Portland, the Oregonian has now decided that one week of protest was plenty; as usual, taking the opposite view of most of their readers.   Like in New York, they cite traffic and “no camping” ordinances, but really they’re channeling the same forces who just rolled Bloomberg, on a bit smaller scale.  Fortunately, we Portlanders are blessed with lame duck Mayor Sam Adams, who, finally free of fundraising pressures and understandably hurrying to paper over his rather skeezy reputation on Google before his term runs out, is standing firm with the Occupiers.  (I did, however, notice a lot of cute teenagers there, right across the street from his office, so maybe he has ulterior motives….)

The Mayor of Boston solemnly announced that “civil disobedience doesn’t work here,” which would certainly have come as a surprise to the original Tea Partiers, and, not to be outdone, Gov. Hickenlooper of Colorado has similarly declared that this whole protesting thing had worn out its brief and chilly welcome in his town, too.  In Washington, George Will all but cackled maniacally in a more than usually deranged column about how these hippies were going to be the death of the Democrats, just like in 1968, without realizing that things have changed a bit since then, thanks in no small part to the destructive policies promoted by useful idiots like himself.  You see, there was a secure middle class in 1968, and union members, pilots, public servants, and other working people could afford to quibble with the protesters over matters of style and culture, and be thus split politically by the oligarchic right.  No more.

Just in the weeks surrounding the OWS protests, the two supposedly warring political parties managed to agree that the Keystone XL pipeline should be built, more of the Arctic should be sacrificed to drilling, Ozone standards should remain higher than those proposed by Bush, trade “deals” should be passed with sweatshop and even union-murdering countries, the military budget must not be touched, and global conglomerates should be allowed to “repatriate” their ill-gotten billions at almost no tax.  As icing on the cake, the biggest banks announced unprecedented new fees on their long-suffering customers, and peanut butter prices will go up %30 due to global warming-caused drought and crop losses.  You can see why CNN felt the need to hire Erin Burnett.  You can also see why the 1% are getting jumpy.  This is their endgame, but since we all know that they aren’t such good players, they’re relying on crooked refs to win.

Why not?  It’s worked so far.




  1. dirigo says:

    Bloomberg’s gal pal, Diana Taylor, is Gotham high society, and a member of the park’s board of directors. The park is controlled by Brookfield Properties, described in local reports as a “public-private partnership.”

    Boston’s mayor, known on the street as “Mumbles”, is weirdly loquacious but may only be vaguely familiar with Henry David Thoreau, the way Ronald Reagan might have been in the mid-sixties when he railed against the Free Speech movement at UC.

    The horror. The horror.

    • cocktailhag says:

      You’ve got to get down there, Dirigo. I know you’re good with a rake. Maybe you’ll see Benjy and Naomi.

      • dirigo says:

        I’m not sure I can keep Diana’s velvet cape high above the mud while clearing a path for her and her heroic partner, clad in his doublet.

        I’ll look for our friends while I’m tramping about.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Good for you. Keep me posted.

          • dirigo says:

            I’m really torn as to what to do this weekend.

            I’d like to go down to the park and hang out with the dirty hippies there.

            But then, flying to Rome real quick to cover reaction to the likely final, razor-thin confidence vote for Silvio is important too. I’m trying to get Harlan Harrington on the horn, to see if he can haul the CHNN Flying Boat out of the barn in Bismarck, N.D., yank the tarp off it, install some emergency jet packs, and pick me up on the way through Teterboro.

            At the same time. Dr. Melfi, Tony Soprano’s shrink, will be holding mass mental health be-ins all around Boston this week-end, in support of still-grieving followers of the Red Sox. Many families have been affected. The trauma transcends generations and includes all sorts of uncles, grandpas and crazy aunts. Mayor Tom Menino issued a lukewarm press release today, saying he was pleased Melfi wanted to help, but cautioned he would not try to get officials to open the Commonwealth Armory or Fenway Park to deal with overflow from an anticipated deluge of distraught New England baseball fans, to say nothing of lovers of The Sopranos. A mayoral spokesperson said city officials would not countenance any form of civil disobedience.

            Boston Police were awaiting new instructions related to these developments.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    I’m reading that Silvio already (barely) got his confidence vote; but maybe Harlan should still check it out.

  3. Ché Pasa says:

    This “clean up” business is the excuse to evict the OccupyAustin boys from the steps of City Hall. (They all seem to be young men in Austin. No Monica there.)

    I loved the excuse I heard for evicting the Occupation from Westlake in Seattle: there were other rallies planned– anti-war, labor, etc — and well, they could hardly hold their rallies with all these protesters there. So somebody from the anti-war and labor activist orgs called up the mayor and said, “What do you mean we can’t hold our rallies with these squatters in Westlake Park? We’re already here! But I guess the police cleared most of the rabble out last night anyway.

    What’s this? Portland’s Occupation is being evicted? But it’s so mellow! That is just wrong.

    I was watching the denoument in New York on the one Livestream channel that was working, really good, ground level view, thousands and thousands of people who were chanting, singing, using the Human Microphone; an amazing sight and sound, thrilling, really, and somebody came up to the camera and said, “The latest rumor is that there won’t be any evictions or arrests tonight.” It took a few minutes for this message to make its way up to the rostrum, and when the announcement was finally made, the biggest cheer went up from the crowd. Extraordinary.

    Now the work begins.

    • cocktailhag says:

      No, they aren’t kicking anybody out here, though the Oregonian has taken to the fainting couch over the whole thing. They reopened Main St, between the two squares, so traffic can resume snaking around the huge elk statue in the middle of the street. They did manage to break up Denver, though, and well, Seattle is Seattle; that is to say, a lot less progressive than it pretends to be.
      Go, OWS!

  4. daphne says:

    George Effing Will, who’s plenty old enough to remember the 60s and 70s in real time, has always struck me as jealous of the cool lefty hippies as he simultaneously scorned and mocked them way back then. He pretty much confirmed my impression when George Harrison died and Will wrote the most mean-spirited, demented denunciation of that baby boomer inspiration as his epitaph. Since he’s syndicated in my local paper, I wrote a letter to the editor demolishing his arguments. If anything, I should have been even more vehement.