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Open letter from Tea Partier to Occupy Wall Street on dangers of being co-opted

The original Tea Party, the one started by Karl Denniger, was founded solely in protest against the banksters. He refers to the jacked Tea Party as “pablum; guns, God, and gays.” It got co-opted and corporatized. Let’s not let that happen to Occupy Wall Street. (Denniger remains true to the original cause, is sympathetic to OWS, and is not racist. There is plenty of common ground here.)

The letter was posted on Reddit by vaslittlecrow

I don’t expect you to believe me. I want you to read this, take it with a grain of salt, and do the research yourself. You may not believe me, but I want your movement to succeed. From a former tea partier to you, young new rebels, there’s some advice to prevent what happened to our now broken movement from happening to you. I don’t agree with everything your movement does, but I sympathize with your cause and agree on our common enemy. You guys are very intelligent and I trust that you will take this in the spirit it is intended.

I wish I could believe this Occupy Wall Street was still about (r)Evolution, but so far, all I am seeing is a painful rehash of how the corporate-funded government turned the pre-Presidential election tea party movement into the joke it is now. We were anarchists and ultra-libertarians, but above all we were peaceful. So, the media tried painting us as racists. But when that didn’t work they tried to goad us into violence. When that failed, they killed our movement with money and false kindness from the theocratic arm of the Republican party. That killed our popular support.

The two major parties have decades of experience in channeling genuine protest into their party where it is rendered limp and meaningless. Neither one wants change although they continually pander to and try to corrupt those who genuinely do.

I am sharing these observations, so you guys know what’s going on and can prevent the media from succeeding in painting you as violent slacker hippies rebelling without a cause, or from having the movement be hijacked by a bunch of corporatists seeking to twist the movement’s original intentions. If you think this can’t happen, it happened to the Independence Party and the tea party movement. Don’t let it happen to your movement as well.

When MoveOn tries to move in or liberals start squealing ‘we agree with goals but not your tactics’, that’s when the process of co-option will have been attempted. Neither of them want genuine reform much less anything even resembling vehement protest or revolution. They’re all burrowed deeply into the existing political structures. Radical change is the last thing they want, although they will pretend otherwise.

Vaslittlecrow goes on to detail how the big unions and wealthy liberals will try to jack OWS by funding pliant factions within and marginalizing the rest.

If this new Occupy Wall Street movement is to survive, here’s what needs to be done.

1- Loudly denounce violence and disavow the violent rabblerousers of the movement.

The violent rabblerousers may well be government provocateurs or members of supposed radical groups who were compromised or turned long ago. This is not paranoia, just simple fact. Or it might be idiot Black Bloc anarchists who think breaking a Starbuck’s window makes the empire tremble. What’s needed are long-range tactics and strategy, not baiting police.

2- Be image conscious. Present your best face and call out those who act like fools within the movement.

I disagree here a bit. Sometimes a non-corporate image is precisely what’s needed. No need to dress in a suit unless you want to, of course.

3- Accept that you’ve already been infiltrated by the corporate-funded government, and work hard to say, and state what your movement is and is not about.

Absolutely. Be focused and don’t get embroiled in side issues. Ignore anyone who aren’t sure of.

4- Don’t forget who you are as the illusions are thrown at you. Be wary of large donations from special interest groups or non-profit corporations that were not involved this movement from the inception. Special interests groups are not your allies.

They are probably trying to buy you off or co-opt you. Here kid, want to work for our shiny progressive NGO? In a couple of years they’ll have you chuckling about how crazy your ideas used to be as you wonder what happened to your testicles.

5- Remain independent and focused. If you can, pick a face to represent your movement.

This also works for targets. Saul Alinky said, pick a target and freeze it. The rats will crawl out to defend it. then you’ll know who you’re really dealing with. Wall Street is a fat, juicy target and most everyone hates them, with ample reason too.

6- On the web, you can prevent a lot of hijacking simply by checking the small print, or going to the about pages of a group or individual. Non-profits and political action groups are legally obligated to disclose a lot.

And beware of itty bitty Marxist groupsucles who come to your meetings and claim they want to help. The only thing they really want to help themselves to is controlling your group. They are not your friend.

I’d say we have a real live movement here. It could grow into something huge and transformational, like the Civil Right movement did. Let’s make it so.

  • Cathy

    Thank you. Wise words.

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