So, what's the LPSF position on the Occupy Movement"?

Dear All,

The Democratic and Republican parties of San Francisco, as far as I can see, have remained mum, as we have. The Greens support the "movement." Just wondering what LPSF position might be, and whether we might want to go public with it or not. I am OK with mum or not.

For the record, my own position is, as always, that private property needs to be protected against destruction; and public spaces belong to the public, not to special interests. No doubt kids have been sold a gigantic bill of goods (the bill of goods that was at the heart of my campaign when I ran for Community College Board). However, mob rule is not what the general population might want.

Just wondering.

Marcy

Marcy,

Agree, except special interests like Occupy do consist of the public.

Warm regards, Michael

Hi Michael,

Thank you for the reminder. I should have said exclusively for special interests, as is the case in an occupation.

Marcy

Marcy,

  I believe we should offer support to the Occupy movement as an
important check on the ability of local governments to control who
uses public spaces where, when, how, and for what purpose, while
seeking to help make its message more pro-freedom. As I've written on
SFGate.com and elsewhere, popular uprisings around the world have
repeatedly shown the importance of ordinary people gathering in
prominent public spaces and staying there around the clock for
extended periods of time. We should seek to safeguard this right, even
in cases where we don't agree with the entire message of those
utilizing it.

  I don't see anything "exclusive" about the movement's use of public
space, by the way. My experience has been that anyone can go down to
the Occupy encampments and hang out there, as I have done on multiple
occasions in San Francisco and a couple times in Oakland. It's not
like when authorities cordon off public space near City Hall for the
annual "Black and White Ball" attended by wealthy socialites and deny
entry to the areas to anyone without a ticket!

  Terms like "mob rule", "special interests", and putting "movement" in
quotes (as if Occupy were not a real movement, which it obviously is!)
also seem to me to unfairly cast the movement in a negative light.

  In keeping with your statement about opposing the destruction of
private property, we might start with a statement condemning the theft
and destruction of Occupy protesters' private property by police.

Love & Liberty,
                                   ((( starchild )))

Hi Starchild,

Thanks for responding. So far, Michael E. responded with what I understood to be an agreement with my statement that private property needs to be protected. And you have responded. How I feel about the occupiers is obvious both from my post and from my arguments in the past. Maybe if two or three more people felt we need to take a position and stated their own personal position, we could craft a balanced approach -- "we support such and such, but not thus and so.." etc. But so far, it does not appear to me we have an LPSF consensus at this time.

Marcy

FWIW, LPNH and LPMA are both planning outreaches to Occupiers. We think
there’s a lot of common ground there.

~Chris

Thanks for the input, Chris. Ignoring this huge political situation, seems peculiar for a political party. But we seem to be in the same position today as we were a few years ago when I brought up the suggestion we work with the Bay Area Tea Party. We had common ground in the form of desire for smaller government and lower taxes; but some members felt that the points on which we differed precluded our officially working together. Anyone else would like to weigh in? (I suggest this planning stay on this list, rather than moving it to the discussion list, since it would be good to plan and reach a decision, rather than just argue about this for the sake or arguing.)

Marcy

One difference between OWS and TP is the nature of the events. The Tea
Party tends to have rallies with speakers, and participation generally
is proposed to take the form either of speaking or of having an official
presence. In either case, there is an implicit endorsement by the
organization of whatever message is conveyed at the rally, which could
be problematic (depending on the message of any particular Tea Party
event). For OWS, on the other hand, I don’t think anyone is proposing
participating in any official capacity, but rather reaching out to the
people who are there and influencing their opinion, as they are already
politically active and clearly dissatisfied with the status quo. I
don’t think the LP should set up a tent and banner on an Occupy site,
but recruiting and proselytizing definitely seems worthwhile.

~Chris

Hi Chris and All,

Good points, Chris; and your last comment coincides with something mentioned just now in the BBC News commentary I am listening to. Leaving aside my distaste for the invaders destroying private property at BofA and Wells, I would agree that at the core of the events is a realization that the current political and economic system is not sustainable. So, we can either stay mum and allow the occupiers to define what is a better system (more taxes and bigger government to sustain free education and free health care). Or we can join Starchild in putting in our two cents worth, difficult as free-market solutions might be to sell to this crowd.

I realize I am emphasizing economic issues, rather than social issues. The reason is that I perceive the occupiers' main demands are economic (free education, forgiveness of school loans, forgiveness of mortgage loans, government intervention to create jobs) and not social.

As Starchild has stated, he already has been talking to the occupiers. He has already been doing what I am talking about above. And I hope more activists join him.

My original idea was whether the LPSF wanted to develop a position on the subject. However, I now feel this idea may not be realistic; and not as important as conducting what you, Chris, call "recruiting and proselytizing."

Thanks, All.

Marcy

I also agree with Chris's points (and love the Pete Seeger quote!) It
seems to me we could issue a broad statement of LPSF support for
protests taking place in public spaces for extended periods of time,
in keeping with the First Amendment, and condemning police violence
and theft, while expressing our lack of support for Occupy actions or
policy positions we disagree with.

  I definitely question whether "free education, forgiveness of school
loans, forgiveness of mortgage loans, government intervention to
create jobs" constitute the main demands of the Occupy movement. On
the Occupy flier I posted to the LPSF-discuss list a while back, which
used a word cloud to capture responses from protesters of what Occupy
is about, pro-freedom ideas were quite well represented, while the
above list does not represent them at all.

  Here's a quick suggested list:

Support

Well, it's quite ok for the State to routinely trash private property via taxes, asset forfeiture, warrentless raids , where they as a matter kill the dog.

But it's important to defend the private property rights of Bofa and Wells, even though they are a creation of the State via the bank charter, the commanded auditing rules that hide persistent bankruptcy behind mark fantasy rules, who steal from every senior and saver by creating trillions of debt based money out of thin air.

Please don't use the words Wells and Bofa in the same breath as private property.
and as for Student loans, the laws should be rewritten so that bankrupt students can discharge these debts. It's obscene that they are denied the opotyunityy that is available to almost any other debtor.

Fractional reserve banking, legal tender laws, and the Fed need to go so that the control of money can again rest in the hands of the people.