The OWS movement marked two months today with an impressive array of protests, including over 200 arrests in New York City alone. For a fascinating "gestalt" view, Sandy Krolick hits it out of the park, by observing among quite a few other things that the genius of the movement to date has been its utter refusal to express banal demands of any kind, and its refusal to even negotiate with a dehumanizing system... Efforts to pin an agenda on the movement have thus far at least, failed. May they continue to do so.
Of course, in pondering the "eviction" from
Liberty Plaza Zuccotti Park the other night, I asked myself, "Hey, TD... doesn't New York have a law that if someone is in possession of real estate for more than 30-days, they may only be removed by lawful JUDICIAL PROCESS?" What about New York City Administrative Code 26-521, providing that someone in your place (even without paying rent, or without being wanted) for more than 30-days can only be evicted by judicial process, and not be force or threat of force? What about New York's Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law Section 853, providing triple damages to those wrongfully evicted? Yes, arguably these provisions only apply to "dwelling units"... but it seems to me that some of the OWSers were "dwelling" in their comfy tents for more than 30-days... and yet, no legal process was even sought... we may be in wrongful eviction land, and a certain billionaire might be personally responsible for triple damages (such as trashed books, computers, camping equipment, etc.) Just saying. [BTW... I happen to know some of the counsel who argued on behalf of OWS... it's a small world, after all...] I won't even talk about ridiculous concepts like 1st Amendment freedoms of speech and assembly or 5th and 14th Amendment DUE PROCESS OF LAW... I mean, wtf, right?
One of the major [thankfully unstated, but we know it to be so] grievances of the OWSers is the absurd unfairness of our multi-tiered justice system, where the powerful (and especially the rich) aren't bound by "procedural" requirements... but everyone else is... and harshly! And hence, when we see the Mighty City, acting at the service of its most powerful industry, blithely violating "procedural" requirements itself... well, you see my point. This is one of the things I've always found so galling about the whole GTMO thing (besides, you know, the arbitrary imprisonment and torture of overwhelmingly innocent human beings for no God damned good reason)... it's that, people like me always believed that there were rules, and that those rules were NOT OPTIONAL. But now, of course, we have a President [my own college classmate no less] that, aside from making GTMO [and the Bush tax cuts] PERMANENT, sees fit to order hits on citizen and "terrorist" alike... but tells us that banking sector figures technically violated no laws, and hence, are untouchable. Certainly not by a "Justice Department" led by Eric "Harpo" Holder, who has never apparently seen a financial crime he could prosecute. Really? Seems to me like something else entirely is going on... maybe if OBL or al-Awlaki had gotten themselves hedge funds or jobs at Goldman Sachs... they'd be treated, you know, differently.
And finally, it seems, I'm not the only one who seems to feel this way... and that something is fundamentally rotten about all of this... not merely the income and wealth distribution that is among the most egregiously skewed toward the top in the world... but something... fundamentally unjust... It's not the harshness with which the bottom is treated that gets Americans' goats... it's the existence of the "above-the-law" class [and then their rubbing their status in our faces]... like the dandies who bought themselves out of Civil War Service in the 1860's... the ability of the rich and powerufl to buy themselves out of civic responsibility... is about as galling as it gets to Americans' [vestigial] sense of fair play.
And so it seems... the awakening might be on. MAYBE this one will be different... and people won't go back to sleep... even as World War III, or this season's realithy t.v. schedule, or some other diversion is planned to get the rubes back in line. Maybe this time they won't go quietly. Candace, channeling Studs, would tell me, "Hope dies last."