Preface from Washington’s Blog: Both mainstream Democratic and Republican parties are working furiously behind the scenes to co-opt the Wall Street protests. But as the Associated Press notes, the protesters are fed up with both mainstream parties, as are most of the American people.
A P.R. professional says that the mainstream media’s ridicule of the protests for failing to have a specific list of demands is a dishonest tactic.
And Yves Smith notes that the movement is effective even without demands:
I’ve noticed both here and on some news stories I heard in passing on MSNBC on Friday that the OccupyWallStreet movement has already succeeded in expanding the space of what is now being discussed as remedies.
This is not an official statement from the #OWS 99% Movement. As a decentralized leaderless movement, in our opinion, there is no one group, organization, website or individual who can speak for the movement as a whole.
We, a working group of people currently occupying Liberty Park and many other locations throughout the US, are growing increasingly concerned about divide and conquer attempts being made to co-opt the movement. In the following message, we are issuing our first proposed statement. If you agree with the statement, please post it to your website and/or spread it throughout your social networks, both online and offline at occupations throughout the country. If you would like to read this statement at your local GA meetings and vote or edit it, feel free. If you disagree with the statement, please air your disagreements – this is what democracy looks like.
We appreciate, respect and encourage endorsements from individuals and organizations. We invite them. However, just because an individual or organization endorses our movement, does not mean that they in any way have a leadership role in deciding the future direction of this movement. We will not be co-opted by hierarchical organizations. No matter how wonderful their cause may be.
There are many people, organizations and media outlets within both the Democratic and Republican parties who are trying to label us as the Democrat’s version of the Tea Party. In this working groups opinion, not only is this incorrect, but in labeling us this way, you are, whether you realize it or not, undermining the very essence of this movement with your obsolete divide and conquer groupthink propaganda. Just as the mainstream media and both political parties aided and abetted the co-option of the Tea Party by the Republican Party, there is an attempt being made to do the same to us within the Democratic Party.
We the People, We the 99%, are not the pawns of either wing of the two-party oligarchy.
We emphatically reject the attempted leadership of any political party, organization or individual. If there are elected officials or organizations who endorse our movement, we welcome them.
However, they must do so knowing this: Your voice will be just as loud as any other voice. We are led by no one. You cannot co-opt We The People.