I went to the Occupy Minnesota demonstration Friday morning. When I was there, it was several hundred nice Minnesota people drinking coffee and chatting. Later on, apparently the group decided to march from the City-County Building to the Federal Bank Building and back. One guy told me he was planning to spend the night.
(Per Firedoglake, demonstrators are planning to stay at the Hennepin County Building plaza least three months, into the Minnesota winter. The key is good insulated sleeping bags.)
One of my facebook friends asked, “Is this finally it? Is this the socialist revolution?” I don’t know what it is yet. But in the last half year we’ve had revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, ongoing demonstrations in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, strikes and demonstrations throughout Europe, the Madison mobilization and now demonstrations throughout the US. If nothing else, this is a lot of activity. It reminds me of 1968, but that was the end of something, and this feels more like the beginning.
I have been talking to old friends. We can remember when white working people were not supportive, when union members came after peace demonstrators with baseball bats. There were a lot of Americans in the 1960s who were not in favor of peace and civil rights.This looks much broader… And with better communication. I just found Occupy France. It is both an attempt to organize in France and to cover the US occupations for Francophones who don’t know English.
One thing that heartened me Friday was a big tractor-trailer driving along one side of the plaza in Minneapolis, blowing its horn for the whole length of the block. A couple of minutes later, it showed up going the opposite direction, down the other side of the plaza and blowing its horn. Of course we all yelled and waved and raised our fists. I remember when truck drivers didn’t much like young people with signs.
Massive student demonstrations in Chile, which I knew nothing about till ten minutes ago, when Patrick handed me a flash drive with two stories…
(The Chile protests have nothing to do with OWS, but they are part of many, many demonstrations worldwide.)
Bridge occupation in London today, protesting cuts to health care.They are using the “we are the 99%” slogan in solidarity with OWS.