Tagged ‘Occupy Wall Street‘

Why Are We Afraid of Naming and Confronting Capitalism? [OWS]

Black Agenda Report

January 15, 2015

by Ajamu Nangwaya


“The ideological deficiency, not to say the total lack of ideology, within the national liberation movements — which is basically due to ignorance of the historical reality which these movements claim to transform — constitutes one of the greatest weaknesses of our struggle against imperialism, if not the greatest weakness of all.”[1] – Amilcar Cabral

“Let’s make this clear, all forms of capitalism are unacceptable and revolting to justice, solidarity and equity.”

What is it about the term “capitalism” that inspires many of us to not call its name in vain and in the public square? Why is it that many of us will openly and forcefully critique “classism” but enthusiastically shy away from condemning capitalism in the same way? After all, we do publicly name and slam racism, homophobia or heterosexism, ageism, patriarchy or sexism and ableism. How effective will we be in organizing and rallying the oppressed against economic exploitation without naming the system that is brutalizing the majority?



It is rather telling that Occupy Wall Street’s first public document studiously refrained from explicitly naming the system that is the source of economic exploitation and domination:“As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.”[2]

Some of the oppressive facts of the economic system outlined in Occupy Wall Street’s Declaration of the Occupation of New York City can be reformed, in the eyes of many people, without destroying capitalism. Therefore, most participants and supporters of the Occupy Movement did not see their embrace of its “We are the 99%” slogan as an indictment of capitalism:

“…the results of our 453 interviews at seven Occupy locations indicate that OWS movement demands are not mutually incompatible with capitalism. Moreover, for the most part, the OWS movement is neither calling for abolishing capitalism, nor is it demanding a massive overhaul of capitalism as an economic system — less than 5% of all the respondents we interviewed in the seven Occupy locations made any reference to ending, abolishing or getting rid of capitalism. Instead, the key demands we kept hearing in this regard are: elimination of corporate personhood; the need for campaign finance reform and getting money out of politics.”[3]

There were other voices early on in the movement who realized that many supporters of this protest movement had no grievance with capitalism, but were upset with “corporate greed” or the excesses of the “corporate forces.” Ha-Joon Chang, an open supporter of capitalism had this to say about the London occupiers, “It is routinely described as anti-capitalist, but this label is highly misleading. As I found out when I gave a lecture at its Tent City University last weekend, many of its participants are not against capitalism. They just want it better regulated so that it benefits the greatest possible majority.”[4] William Bowles noted Occupy Wall Street’s focus on “capitalist criminals rather than criminal capitalism” as well as the general avoidance of mentioning “socialism” “except from the tiny Left contribution itself.”[5]

“How effective will we be in organizing and rallying the oppressed against economic exploitation without naming the system that is brutalizing the majority?”

The tenuous claim or perception of the Occupy Movement being ideologically committed to placing capitalism in the dustbin of history was promoted by many media outlets.[6] On the international front, the Occupy Movement was also seen as an entity with a strong anti-capitalist outlook.[7] It is quite instructive that a movement whose spokespersons did not indict capitalism as the perpetrator or “person of interest” in the economic suffering of the working-class was still seen as an anti-capitalist phenomenon. This state of affairs speaks to the “ideological deficiency” or lack of understanding of the nature of capitalism that exist in society.

Based on the manner in which some political progressives frame their critique of capitalism, one could reasonably form the opinion that there are benign or redeeming forms of capitalism. Let’s make this clear, all forms of capitalism are unacceptable and revolting to justice, solidarity and equity.

There are moments when critics denounce “unfettered capitalism,”[8] “corporate capitalism,”[9] “crony capitalism,”[10] “finance or financial capitalism”[11] or “unregulated capitalism”[12] as the source of the current economic and social exploitation experienced by the masses or societies across the globe.

These erstwhile critics of capitalism are implicitly or unwittingly suggesting that capitalism is not the main problem. As such, the actual message being communicated to the people is that the derivative forms of this dog-eat-dog economic system are the real issues of concern to the people’s well-being.

Sam Gindin, former Researcher Director of the Canadian Auto Workers (now Unifor after a merger with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada) and current adjunct professor, recently called attention to the above problem in his review of Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate:

“Klein deserves enormous credit for putting capitalism in the dock. Yet she leaves too much wiggle room for capitalism to escape a definitive condemnation. There is already great confusion and division among social activists over what “anti-capitalism” means. For many if not most, it is not the capitalist system that is at issue but particular sub-categories of villains: big business, banks, foreign companies, multinationals.

“Klein is contradictory on this score. She seems clear enough in the analysis that pervades the book that it is capitalism, yet she repeatedly qualifies this position by decrying ‘the kind of capitalism we now have,’ ‘neoliberal’ capitalism, ‘deregulated’ capitalism, ‘unfettered’ capitalism, ‘predatory’ capitalism, ‘extractive’ capitalism, and so on. These adjectives undermine the powerful logic of Klein’s more convincing arguments elsewhere that the issue isn’t creating a better capitalism but confronting capitalism as a social system.”[13]


“William Bowles noted Occupy Wall Street’s focus on ‘capitalist criminals rather than criminal capitalism.’”

Many individuals and organizations have taken the above pragmatic approach to critiquing capitalism, because we do not want to come across, in the eyes of the people and the ruling elite, as too radical, irresponsible or “ideological.” In the case of the Occupy Movement, the use of its widely popular slogan “We are the 99%” pandered to the ruling-class’s ideological bill of goods that Europe and North America are predominantly middle-class regions with the working-class being a minority.[14] The 99% category feeds into the narrative of a largely middle-class population being confronted with greedy bosses and politicians who have deviated from the social and economic practices that defined the golden age (1945-1974) of the capitalist social welfare state.

With the capitalist ruling-class reduced to a mere 1% of society and isolated as the specter haunting the rest of us, the working-class and liberal petty bourgeoisie were not forced to confront and interrogate their own ideological support for capitalism. The ruling-class has imposed its economic and political ideologies onto the consciousness of the oppressed as natural, self-evident ways of seeing reality.

It is for the above reason 86% of Americans could support the Occupy Movement’s position that lobbyists and the economic elite have too much influence in Washington, while 71% of the people wanted the prosecution of business officials who caused the Great Recession, and 68% of them desired the rich to pay more taxes[15] without being opposed to capitalism.

The Occupy Movement unwittingly advocated class collaboration by including members of the ruling-class within its 99% category. In 2012, it was reported that the 1% pulled in a yearly average income of $717,000 while those outside of that income bracket generated $51,000.[16] President Barack Obama is a member of the ruling-class but the combined 2012 income of he and Michelle Obama totaled $608,611.[17] The employment income levels of the American Supreme Court justices, the Vice-President and members of Congress are below $300,000.[18] Are we to believe that Obama, the Supreme Court judges and most of the politicians in Congress are members of the 99%?

“The 99% category feeds into the narrative of a largely middle-class population being confronted with greedy bosses and politicians.”

If we use net worth to determine inclusion within the 1%, many members of capitalist ruling groups would find themselves within the 99%. The 2010 average net worth of the 1% stood at $16.4 million[19], while the median net worth of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate came in at $1,008,767 in 2012.[20] The Obamas’ net worth was estimated at $1.8 – $6.8 million in 2012.[21] Some members of Congress are clearly within the top 1% of wealthy Americans.

It is only an uncritical grasp of political economy or an underdeveloped class analysis that would put Barack Obama, the Supreme Court justices, all members of Congress and even many chief executive officers within the ranks of Fanon’s “wretched of the earth.” How is it possible for the political and economic foxes of American capitalism (ruling-class elements) to be placed in the same henhouse as the chickens (the 99%)? We do not need to wonder about the identity of the group that is going to end up as breakfast, lunch or dinner in such a Kumbaya-like scenario!

Many progressive individuals and organizations seek acceptance as credible voices or representatives of the people in their attempt to get a seat at the negotiation table of the oppressors. There are political actors who are infatuated with the common sense adage “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  Therefore, they will not publicly name and confront capitalism as a system of class exploitation and economic oppression in the global North.  It is foolhardy of individuals and organizations that want social change to crave the blessings of the forces of oppression by throwing ideological softballs at capitalism and other systems of domination.

The above path will only lead to collaboration, betrayal and the undermining of movements for social emancipation. It is fundamentally necessary to speak truth to power and the powerless, because it is needed in our organizing, mobilizing and educational work to end capitalist exploitation. Further, the agents of revolutionary transformation ought to play the long game, and not ponder to opportunism and pragmatic politics.

“It is foolhardy of individuals and organizations that want social change to crave the blessings of the forces of oppression by throwing ideological softballs at capitalism.”

In many, if not most, social movement organizations, there is a tendency to give insufficient attention to the systematic ideological development of their members. In order to get around the low level of class analysis or understanding of capitalism, it is necessary to organize study groups to correct this area of ideological deficiency. Furthermore, the public education work that is carried out with and among socially dominated groups ought to develop creative ways to foster class consciousness, class solidarity and a sound understanding of capitalism.

The forces for social change ought to approach the process of revolutionary engagement with the oppressed with disciplined patience, robust ideological clarity and an infatuation with truth-telling. They must be clear in their understanding and articulation of the basic fact that capitalism is the problem as expressed below by the Black Left Unity Network (notwithstanding the reference to the 1%):

“The Black left is fighting on all fronts against all forms of oppression.  A central point of unity is that all of our struggles can advance only to the extent that we mount a full assault on the capitalist system.  Capitalism is the basis for the 1% control of this society and the source of our misery.”[22]


[Ajamu Nangwaya, Ph.D., is an educator and an organizer. He is an organizer with the Network for the Elimination of Police Violence and Campaign to End the Occupation of Haiti.]


Amilcar Cabral, “The Weapon of Theory,”, January 1966. Accessed January 4, 2015,

Occupy Wall Street, “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City,” Occupy Wall Street, September 29, 2011. Accessed January 4, 2015,

Ali Hayat, “Capitalism, Democracy and the Occupy Wall Street Movement,” Huffington Post, November 29, 2011. Accessed January 4, 2015,

Ha-Joon Chang, “Anti-capitalist? Too simple. Occupy can be the catalyst for a radical rethink,” The Guardian, November 15, 2011. Accessed January 4, 2015,

[] John Bowles, “Can Capitalism be Reformed? Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS) in a Bind: Doesn’t Want to Mention the S-Word,” Global Research, October 30, 2011. Accessed January 4, 2015,

Zaid Jilani, “Memo To The Media: It’s Not ‘Anti-Capitalist’ To Protest An Industry That Was Saved By Trillions Of Taxpayer Dollars,” ThinkProgress, October 4, 2011, Access January 5, 2015,

Adam Gabbatt, Mark Townsend and Lisa O’Carroll, “’Occupy’ anti-capitalism protests spread around the world,” The Observer, October 15, 2011. Accessed January 4, 2015,;

John Nichols, “The Pope Versus Unfettered Capitalism,” The Nation, November 30, 2013. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Ralph Nader, “The Myths of Big Corporate Capitalism,” Common Dreams, July 12, 2014. Accessed

Nicholas Christoff, “Unrest in Indonesia: The Roots; Suharto’s Stealthy Foe: Globalizing Capitalism,” New York Times, May 20, 1998. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Michael A. Peters, “The Crisis of Finance Capitalism and the Exhaustion of Neoliberalism,” Truthout, July 21, 2013. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Paul Buchheit, “5 Ways That Raw, Unregulated Capitalism Is Acting Like a Cancer on American Society,” AlterNet, May 5, 2013. Accessed January 5, 2015,; Joseph E. Stiglitz, “The evils of unregulated capitalism,” Al Jazeera, July 10, 2011. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Sam Gindin, “When History Knocks,” Jacobins, December 30, 2014. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Mario Pezzini, “An Emerging Middle Class,” OECD Observer, 2012. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Time Magazine, “Topline Results of Oct. 9-10, 2011, TIME Poll,” Time. Accessed January 4, 2015,

Alan Dunn, “Average America vs the One Percent,” Forbes, March 21, 2012. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Daily Mail Reporter, “Obama’s income has plummeted from $5million a year to just $481,000 since becoming President,” Daily Mail, April 12, 2014. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Robert Longley, “Annual Salaries of Top US Government Officials,” About News. Accessed January 5, 2015,; James Rowley, “Federal Judges in U.S. See $25,000 More as Salary Freeze Falls,” Bloomberg, January 13, 2014. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Tami Luhby, “The wealthy are 288 times richer than you,” CNN, September 11, 2012. Accessed January 5, 2015, 

Eric Lipton, “Half of Congress Members Are Millionaires, Report Says,” New York Times, January 9, 2014, Accessed January 5, 2015,

Associate Press, “Obama Net Worth Between $1.8M And $6.8M, Owes Money On Mortgage On Chicago Home,” Huffington Post, May 15, 2013. Accessed January 5, 2015,; Erin Carlyle, “Obama’s Worth Nearly $6 Million — See Why He’s Down Since Last Year,” Forbes, May 16, 2012. Accessed January 5, 2015,

Black Left Unity Network, “Draft Manifesto for Black Liberation,” Black Left Unity. Accessed January 5, 2015,

FLASHBACK 2001 – The History of “Pro-Democracy” Regime Change: In Bed With the NED. The National Evisceration of Democracy – 2001-05-05

This article was first published in 2001 by

by George Szamuely

There was good news recently in Washington. Six new directors joined the board of the US Government agency, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The six included such stalwart democrats like former NATO Supreme Commander Wesley "Demented Bomber" Clark, former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke and Francis Fukuyama, who since his 1989 National Interest article "The End of History" has been ideologist-in-chief of post-Cold War neoconservatism.. Another new member is someone by the name of Julie Finley, described in the NED handout as "a prominent Republican Party activist who, as a Founder and Board Member of the US Committee on NATO, has worked actively on issues related to NATO expansion and the conflict in the Balkan region." A NATO expansionist and a Balkan activist – it does not sound as if "democracy’ is high on her agenda. Last year we learned that upon her departure from Foggy Bottom, Madeleine "Hideous Harridan" Albright would become president of the National Democratic Institute, an organization the NED bankrolls.

Of the six, NED president Carl Gershman declared: "This group offers an incredible breadth of experience in foreign policy and American politics. We are incredibly fortunate that such a group of distinguished citizens will be supporting and helping to guide NED in its mission to promote democracy around the world." We know the political creed of these "distinguished citizens": They are all fanatically devoted to the following propositions: That the United States is the last stop on humanity’s historic journey. That the United States has the right, even the duty, to do whatever is necessary to persuade humanity of the truth of this insight. That through their lucrative business connections they intend to make a huge sum of money for themselves and their friends by promoting a US-sponsored "pro-business" and "pro-democracy" agenda. That whatever the United States does, no matter how barbaric.

The NED is one of the many institutions of the Cold War that not only managed to survive the fall of the Soviet Union, but also to grow in power and prestige. Americans are barely aware of its existence or, if they are, the magic word "democracy" in its name frees it from serious scrutiny. Founded in 1983, the NED took over functions that were once the responsibility of the CIA. During the early decades of the Cold War, the CIA would intervene in the domestic affairs of other countries with the objective of thwarting Communist influence. In "democratic" European countries the CIA would covertly promote center-left political parties, non-Communist trade unions and even highbrow journals. In "non-democratic," usually non-European, countries CIA operations tended to be a little nastier. Following the embarrassing revelations about the CIA during the 1970s, a lot of its hitherto covert operations now received open Congressional appropriations. The NED thus became the successor organization to the CIA covert operations arm once run by the likes of William Colby and Frank Wisner.

During the Cold War, the US government acquired some very bad habits. One of them was an eagerness to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries. With supreme arrogance, the NED decides to bankroll certain foreign politicians and to undermine others. Politicians who pursue policies favored by Washington will receive US largesse. Those who pursue policies frowned on by Washington will find themselves the object of a campaign of vilification, originating in Washington and transmitted back via the well-oiled NED machine. It is important that we remind ourselves that in the United States any organization in receipt of money from a foreign government must register as a foreign agent. It is illegal for foreign governments to contribute to an American political party. Evidently, different standards are expected of others. The NED’s commitment to democracy is the same as that of the US government. Elections are deemed "democratic" when they result in the victory of people favored by Washington. They are deemed "undemocratic" when they result in the election of people out of favor in Washington. Before the elections last September in Yugoslavia, the US Government made it clear again and again that a victory by Milosevic would only have come about through fraud. In other words, irrespective of how anyone voted, Washington would only accept one result as the "democratic will of the people."

The extent of the NED involvement in pre-Kostunica Yugoslavia was revealed in the 1998 testimony of Paul McCarthy before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. McCarthy, a program officer at the NED, boasted that, among the many recipients of NED moolah were "the newspapers Nasa Borba, Vreme and Danas, an independent TV station in eastern Serbia, TV Negotin, the prominent news agency BETA, and the important Belgrade station, Radio B-92." Naturally, such media are always described in the NED literature as "independent."

One of the organizations currently being bankrolled by the NED is the Serbian "youth" organization Otpor. According to the NED, it has been doing so since August 1999. Recently, the NED and the International Republican Institute (IRI), which is also funded by the NED, jointly sponsored a forum for Otpor leaders. According to NED literature, Otpor’s notorious "he is finished" posters "helped to galvanize public opinion against Slobodan Milosevic. Otpor’s enormous get-out-the-vote campaign made a critical difference in helping Vojislav Kostunica defeat Milosevic at the ballot box… Subsequently, Otpor’s activists played a crucial role in the street demonstrations that followed the elections and led to Milosevic’s ultimate downfall on October 5."

NED goes on to say that Otpor will continue to do "grassroots political work as a watchdog that will exert pressure on the new government to quickly implement democratic reforms they view as crucial to Yugoslavia’s return to life as a ‘normal’ country." The NED does not specify what "grassroots" work entails. However, it explains, "this extensive grassroots network can work to fill the political vacuum that was created when the Democratic Opposition of Serbia defeated Milosevic, and was left with no serious political rival. Without any ‘loyal opposition’ to pressure the new regime, Otpor intends to keep important reform issues in front of the public and Serbia’s new leaders to make sure that democratic progress continues." Note the repeated emphasis on "grassroots" activism along with the vague nature of the organization’s goals. "Reform," "democratic progress," "normal country" – the NED invariably uses such vacuous trivia to disguise its true agenda.

"At its second National Congress," the NED enthuses, "Otpor…outlined six key areas of reform that the group will monitor, including economic reform, judicial reform, reform of the state security forces, creation of a truly independent media sector, reform of the university and educational system and foreign policy." Sounds like a tall order. Which direction Otpor wants to push these institutions is not spelled out. However, it comes as no surprise when we soon learn that "Otpor’s first major campaign was a nationwide effort to pressure the regime to arrest Slobodan Milosevic." Imagine! So many things to reform! So little time to do it! Yet even so Otpor’s first priority is also that of Washington.

Otpor, continues the NED, "cited concrete examples of major hurdles the new regime must overcome, including the need for more than 800 experienced judges; the creation of a police and security force not led and staffed by officers loyal to Milosevic; the establishment of an official Truth Commission to document the crimes of the Milosevic regime and its cronies against Serbs and others; and the creation of a graduate program to provide training for a new generation of civil servants." Let us examine this list item by item. How does Otpor know that Serbia requires 800 – as opposed to 500 or 2000 or 5 – experienced judges? Moreover, "experienced judges" cannot be manufactured out of thin air since they are the products of, well, experience, which takes years, if not decades, to acquire. What exactly is "experience," by the way? Presumably, the courts in Serbia have been adjudicating disputes and punishing miscreants much like anywhere else. Evidently, those are not the judges Otpor and the NED are talking about. One must assume, therefore, that Otpor is essentially calling on the United States to insist on the appointment of its own judges.

This is revealed by the remaining items on the agenda. The police and security forces are to be purged of all elements "loyal to Milosevic." What constitutes "loyalty" is not spelled out. However, given that Milosevic had been in power in Serbia for 13 years, Otpor and its US sponsors evidently envisage a wholesale change of staff. Note that the sole purpose of the "Truth Commission" will be to "document the crimes of the Milosevic regime and its cronies against Serbs and others." This is clearly very different from the objective of the Truth Commission of South Africa, which had sought to compile a record of crimes committed by all sides. Moreover, in order to discover the "truth" about the past, the Desmond Tutu’s Commission had offered immunity from prosecution to anyone who came forward and openly admitted to wrongdoing. Yet with all the talk of creating spanking-new security services, appointing 800 new judges, not to mention the arrest and prosecution of Milosevic, the last thing Otpor and its US controllers have in mind is the establishment of "truth." The only crimes being talked about are either ones committed by Milosevic of ones committed by Serbs against "others."

The British Helsinki Human Rights Group has a very different take on Otpor. Its recent report about the December parliamentary elections in Serbia, describes how Otpor’s "He’s finished" campaign was "followed up with a similar poster campaign…consisting of the slogan ‘Overi!’ or ‘Be sure’ – ie that he is finished off. The ‘Overi!’ slogans were printed in a rather sinister way, in menacing black letters and sometimes with Slobodan Milosevic’s face. It is a matter of considerable concern that ‘Overi’ is Mafia slang for the three shots which contract killers pump into an already dead body in order to be sure that the victim has, indeed, been finished off. It hardly bodes well for Serbian democracy that such vocabulary is associated with the new era." Indeed. It is even more disturbing that US taxpayers should underwrite such blatant threats of violence.

The BHHRG report goes on: "Otpor also ran a poster campaign with the equally sinister slogan, ‘We are watching you,’ an apparently direct reference to George Orwell’s 1984. The motif of these posters is a bulldozer, a reminder of the heroic vehicle that headed the ‘march on Belgrade’ from Cacak on October 5; it also, no doubt, emphasizes the DOS’ attitude towards its opponents. The Socialists have alleged that menacing leaflets of this nature have been sent to the homes of Socialist Party activists. Finally, Otpor has not hesitated to recruit underage persons for its purposes, an action which is strictly incompatible with the duty of political organizations not to exploit the young." This then is what the NED is pleased to call "grassroots political work." The task the Us Government has assigned to Otpor is to act as the local bully scaring people into not voting for the socialists or the nationalists.

What remains interesting is why the US Government continues to underwrite Otpor. The goals it outlines are also the goals of the Djindjic regime. So why the duplication of beneficiaries? Evidently, Washington does not trust the new regime in Belgrade. Therefore, an alternative regime has to be manufactured and kept on the sidelines. Should Belgrade once again fall out of favor in Washington, there will be new leaders to champion. Doubtless, the NED is already grooming the next "Djindjic." "Yugoslavia," warns the NED, "risks the same fate as its neighbor Romania, which had an important democratic election, but failed to consolidate its democratic gains and soon slipped back into a political culture of nationalism where reformers became divided, were corrupted, and eventually were defeated by former communists."

This then is the warning the United States is issuing to all its clients. Do not dare to vote for the "old" parties and slip back into the "political culture of nationalism"! Or we will unleash our paid thugs. This then is "democracy" as the National Endowment for democracy understands it.

MUST WATCH: Occupy Wall Street & The Revolution Business (Washington, Pentagon | U.S. Agenda)

“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Democratic change has been demanded across the Middle East. But was what seems like a spontaneous revolution actually a strategically planned event, fabricated by ‘revolution consultants’ long in advance?

In 2004 George Bush announced a “Greater Middle East Project” at the G8 summit. Bush stated that Washington’s goal was to turn the Middle East into a free market paradise with shock therapy.

Revolution consultants are the worst nightmare of every regime. Srdja Popovic was a founder of the organisation ‘Otpor’, a revolution training school. It was instrumental in the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s and has now inspired a new generation of activists. Political commentators like William Engdahl are convinced Otpor is being financed by the USA. “The people from Otpor gave us a book in which they described all their strategies”, says Ezzedine Zaatour of the Tunisian uprising. That book was written by an American, Gene Sharp, and is now considered the “revolution guide book”, being used by opposition movements worldwide. As Optor release their latest gadget, a resistance training computer game sponsored by American organisations, world leaders are voicing their concerns. “This is called a gentle coup!”, states Hugo Chavez.

Otpor! (which means “Resistance!” in Serbian) is funded by known CIA fronts such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) the International Republican Institute (headed by John McCain), the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington (established by President Reagan in 1984 and funded by the U.S. Congress), and Council on Foreign Relations foundations such as the Carnegie Group and the Albert Einstein Institute. These government gangs are the “private companies” that Otpor! leader Srdja Popovic refers to in the video. Otpor!, became despised by the people of its native Serbia when it was exposed as a CIA front. This resulted in its operatives changing their name to the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies – CANVAS. (read more here: No Free Speech at Occupy Wall Street, San Diego)

Creepy: Otpor Training Evident on Occupy Wall Street?

Ivan Marovic of ‘Otpor!’ addresses Occupy Wall Street 09/22/11

Bill McKibben at Occupy Wall Street rally 10/8/2011

Occupation & Infiltration: Questions Regarding

Occupation & Infiltration: Questions Regarding

October 13th, 2011

We now witness what has quickly become nothing less than a massive scramble by the institutional left and U.S. Democratic Party to jump on board and attempt to co-opt the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement. Of course, that witness requires assuming the ‘occupation’ movement was not co-opted from the beginning.

Many questions arise when one looks closely at the website Is this website an attempt to infiltrate, control and pacify spontaneous “Wall Street Occupations” now being implemented globally, while sanctioning recent and ongoing military occupations? Further, the question must be asked: why is the recent NATO-led invasion of Libya being marketed as ‘revolution’ along with other countries being invaded/bombed and occupied by Imperialist countries?

The Euro-American attack on Libya has nothing to do with protecting anyone; only the terminally naive believe such nonsense. It is the West’s response to popular uprisings in strategic, resource-rich regions of the world and the beginning of a war of attrition against the new imperial rival, China. – John Pilger, April 6th, 2011 Website Registered July 12th, 2011: United Nations

Understanding is not the official website (as there really are no ‘official’ websites for a supposed spontaneous movement) of the ongoing movement of global “Wall Street” occupations, this website certainly appears to portray itself strategically as an official global clearinghouse for organizing the ‘revolution’.

The following information was obtained via, Inc.’s WHOIS database:

The website domain is registered to Paulina Arcos (United Nations; Ecuadorian Permanent Mission to the UN, New York, USA)

It was registered July 12th, 2011.

A key question relates to the date this website was created: July 12th 2011. How did the organizers foresee that there would be occupations all over the world on October 15th in July?

The following data was obtained from, Inc.’s WHOIS database:

Paulina Arcos

866 United Nations Plaza
Suite 516
New York, New York 10017
United States

Registered through:, Inc. (
Domain Name: 15OCTOBER.NET
Created on: 12-Jul-11
Expires on: 12-Jul-12
Last Updated on: 21-Sep-11

Administrative Contact:
Arcos, Paulina europeanrevolution
866 United Nations Plaza
Suite 516
New York, New York 10017
United States

Technical Contact:
Arcos, Paulina europeanrevolution
866 United Nations Plaza
Suite 516
New York, New York 10017
United States

Domain servers in listed order:

Originally, United we will re-invent the world  contained © 2011 All Rights Reserved beside it (removed since we originally posted this article).

Grassroots movements do not generally copyright slogans/phrases.

The twitter account set up for this campaign began launching ‘tweets’ at the end of September 2011. It has approximately 8,000 followers.

The facebook page has approximately 18,000 ‘likes’/followers.

This site is very much reminiscent of the TckTckTck campaign which presented itself before Copenhagen 2009 and dominated the climate justice ‘movement’. It, too, was also initiated by the United Nations working with one of the largest marketing agencies in the world (Havas), while partnering with many of the most powerful corporations on the planet, in a united effort to “to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit.”

Many people now understand how corporate media is integral and imperative in protecting and benefiting those in power. For those who do yet grasp this reality, consider how Al-Jazeera was instrumental for the NATO war on Libya. In the recent article “Al-Jazeera and the Triumph of Televised Propaganda”, the author reports that “the height of duplicity was reached when a replica of the Green Square and Bab-el-Azizia was built in the studios of Al-Jazeera in Doha, where footage of false images was shot portraying pro-US ‘insurgents’ entering Tripoli.” Of course, this incident barely scratches the surface in the role of corporate media (including Al Jazerra, Al Jaz, Al Arabyia) who have been most instrumental in deploying a steady stream of propaganda and lies.

Although many of the organizers of this questionable ‘occupation’ campaign are possibly legitimate (as in the case of TckTckTck), the campaign itself seems very suspect. More questions arise. For instance, why is a European ‘revolution’ being organized from within America? Why is the world ‘revolution’ being organized by an individual who gives her address as the United Nations?

The following video was uploaded on August 7th, 2011. It includes images of Libya’s ‘revolution’ (minus the NATO-led slaughter), “free Syria” images, Yemen (where a covert U.S. war is underway), and Tunisia:

It is signed or otherwise endorsed by the following groups:

Beware the Word “Democracy”

When researching where originated, this information is found on UK Indymedia website. Here we find the phrase “we too call for a regime change: a global regime change” which reappears in the campaign. Notice the repeated call-out against Gadaffi and Assad (Syria) within the statement.

“The ultimate objective of the Syria protest movement, through media lies and fabrications, is to create divisions within Syrian society as well as justify an eventual “humanitarian intervention”. – Media Lens, October 13th, 2011

From the organising committee of Real Democracy Now UK
Contact: realdemocracynowuk
Twitter: @realdemocracyuk

Global Democracy Statement:

“On 15th October 2011, united in our diversity, united for global change, we demand global democracy: global governance by the people, for the people. Inspired by our sisters and brothers in Tunis, Cairo, Bengazi, Daraa, Palestine-Israel, Spain and Greece, we too call for a regime change: a global regime change. We will not come to global institutions, hat in hand, begging for policy change. In the words of Vandana Shiva, the Indian activist, today we demand replacing the G8 with the whole of humanity – the G 7,000,000,000. These are our global Mubarak, our global Assad, our global Gaddafi: the IMF, the WTO, global markets, multinational banks, the G8G20, the European Central Bank, the World Bank, the Basel Committee on bank regulations and other undemocratic international institutions. Like Mubarak and Assad, these institutions must not be allowed to run people’s lives without their consent. We are all born equal, rich or poor, woman or man. Every African and Asian is equal to every European and American. Our global institutions must reflect this, or be overturned. Today, like the Mexican Zapatistas, we say “Ya basta! Aqui el pueblo manda y el gobierno obedece”: Enough! Here the people command and government obeys! Like the Spanish Tommalaplaza we say “Democracia Real Ya”: True global democracy now! “Today we call the citizens of the world: let us globalize Tahrir Square! Let us globalise Puerta del Sol.”

What do we know about language and the word ‘democracy’, which serves the agenda of Imperialist countries so well?

Via the recent Voltaire article Washington is Conquering Africa:

“The terrorists not only fight for Washington on the ground, but they also interact with Washington through so-called human rights organizations that promote democracy. These individuals not only destabilize their countries, but they also actively work for regime change and military intervention. Libya is a clear case of this.”

The organizers of state:

“Inspired by our sisters and brothers in Tunis, Cairo, Bengazi, Daraa, Palestine-Israel, Spain and Greece, we too call for a regime change: a global regime change.”

It is critical to note they refer to the “sisters and brothers in Bengazi (second largest city in Libya) and Daraa (Syria) but not Manama (Bahrein). It is important to note that in Bahrein, the people’s uprising against an Emir who was very friendly with the West was, in reality, a massive and peaceful uprising which was violently repressed by a foreign army (Saudi tanks) while the world watched in silence. This event must be considered the true “Prague Spring.” For the rest, what we have witnessed and continue to witness could be considered a “ballon d’essai” by the world’s most powerful and deadly forces.

Are citizens in Libya and the like actually calling for regime change, or is this simply what the Imperialist powers and corporate media would like us to believe?

Do we really believe that families with children wish to be bombed, slaughtered and occupied by Imperialist countries who then steal resources? (See the aftermath of the recent Honduras coup below)

Governments who submit to, and co-operate with, Western powers are left alone. Governments who do not submit and comply to the Imperialist states are susceptible to well-staged coup d’état in order to overthrow and replace with appointed puppet regimes. Billions of dollars and massive amounts of resources are dedicated to planned and ongoing operations. Corporate media and corporate NGOs and many other institutions all have vital roles to fulfill in order to enable the success of such operations. Industrialized capitalism, the very root cause to all global crises wreaking havoc and chaos, dominates the global agenda, and, by every appearance, Imperialist states and their great enablers – the institutional left – scheme to protect it .

The following telesur video (October 12th 2010) shows hundreds of thousands of supporters gathered in the streets of Damascus, in support of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad. The citizens are demonstrating their total rejection toward any kind of foreign interference or intervention:

It must be considered: is the campaign yet another component of global psy-ops to convince/condition people of the globe that the recent invasions in Libya and elsewhere are welcome and supported by the citizens of those countries?

The website registered to Paulina Arcos has an affiliated email address:

Arcos, Paulina

When searching this email address, it leads to the “European Revolution” website, which states the following:

“We are an informative platform in English that aims to support the ongoing pro-democracy protests throughout Europe. We believe in alternative and independent media, net neutrality, real participatory democracy, active citizenship and the common ideals put forth by the first protests in Spain. We understand this … revolution is made up of global citizens facing global issues, therefore, one of our goals is to create a net of volunteers and activists from around Europe to fight for our common goal. We are open for collaboration in many ways, feel free to contact us at: europeanrevolution” (Official web: europeanrevolution, The official websites listed:,,

We also find a WikiLeaks cable information (created September 23rd 2005, released August 30th, 2011) on Francisco Carrion Mena; spouse of Paulina Arcos:

“Francisco Carrion Mena, who has been tapped to replace Foreign Minister Antonio Parra, comes to the job with a history of leftist leanings, but with a solid background as a career diplomat and a good relationship with the United States. … We are guardedly optimistic about the change in leadership at the Foreign Ministry. Admittedly, Carrion benefits from any comparison to his predessor who consistently set back mission goals by courting Venezuela …”

The questions behind the organization/organizations become much more complicated when one reads this post on the ‘WikiLeaks Central’ website referring to “European Revolution” activists taking a decision to become ‘public’. One signatory of the letter is ‘Santiago Carrion’. Is this the son of Francisco Carrion Mena; spouse of Paulina Arcos?

Excerpt from the letter:

“From November 2010 we have been working on a daily basis in different fields of Internet activism and journalism anonymously. We have decided, however, to become public. The reasons are many, our personal security being the main one. After all this, we have reasons to believe that our personal integrity might be at risk. For example, in May, our web was blocked via DNS in France, Belgium and Germany. Afterwards, our server in Iceland was penetrated and all our content deleted.”

Controlling the Masses – Framing the Uprisings as Passive

Carefully note the language of the campaign:

“Now it is time for all of us to join in a global non-violent protest. … On October 15th, we will meet on the streets to initiate the global change we want. We will peacefully demonstrate, talk and organize until we make it happen.”

Yet, we all know that peaceful demonstrations, talking and organizing will not make it happen. The corporate state only fears what it cannot control. One can safely assume that this campaign, like so many others, is designed to pacify, minimize and control any true revolutionary potential which could threaten or disrupt the system. This campaign, even if it were proven to be ‘legitimate’, is nothing more than the status quo “valvola di scarico” that the institutional left with their marketing executives have mastered so well. October 15th is meant to make people feel good – not to threaten nor disrupt the system in any meaningful way. That being said, legitimate occupations of the people CAN be revolutionary if they can resist co-optation. Tunisia is the most explicit example.

An important note: None of this is to say there are no real activists or well-intentioned people behind this campaign. Like TckTckTck, real activists and well-intentioned people are bound to be hired and recruited. Their presence and participation is imperative if such campaigns are to have any legitimacy in the eyes of the public. A singular case in point is the fact that while the language within this campaign suggests that invasions/occupations (under the guise of humanitarian assistance) of Libya and elsewhere are welcome, there are examples found within the website which speak out against NATO and other imperialist powers, as well as suggested demonstrations against the war on Libya and militarism. Although this may appear odd, it is quite normal. It is the key messages and catch phrases that are important to those who protect the system – not the text buried within the website and not the dialogue/placards/petitions and peaceful demonstrations which the corporate state will never fear.

Due to limited time constraints, many questions thus far remain unanswered. Of course, if there were no holes in a million layers of deceit we uncover on a daily basis, victory for the people would certainly not remain elusive.

More and more, we must become absolutely vigilant to the constant threat of allowing our movement – and ourselves as individuals – to be re-absorbed by the very forces we seek to oppose and dismantle. For instance, only ALBA countries spoke out against the NATO war on Libya in which 50,000 people and counting have been reported killed. Grassroots organizations and individuals must reject outright corporate media information, reject outright corporate NGO affiliation, and seek alignment with ALBA governments speaking out against these atrocities. We must align ourselves with the people of these countries with democratically elected governments who attempt to nationalize resources and reject US/ European interference/Imperialism against all odds.

In 2004, in an interview with Democracy Now!, former Nato chief General Wesley Clark recalled a conversation with a Pentagon general in 2001, a few weeks after the September 11 attacks:

‘He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”


Further Reading | Information | Resources:

Annie Machon: ex-MI-5 whistle-blower, activist and author joins Jack Etkin for an elucidating and revealing look at ‘Deep State’ and high-level national and international intelligence and security methodologies. Annie covers subjects such as false-flag/black operations, the MI-5’s botched attempt on Gaddafi’s life, the London Tube bombing (7/7), 9/11 and others. This penetrating and articulate interview is a must see. It verifies why we must question everything we are spoon-fed by mainstream media:

After the Coup: The Deadliest Place in the World for a Journalist: Mini-documentary on the Honduran journalists that have watched 15 colleagues assassinated in 19 months under the Lobo regime, a government Barack Obama praises for its “strong commitment to democracy”:

Media Lens:


John Pilger: The War You Don’t See:


MoveOn.Org and Friends Attempt to Co-Opt Occupy Wall Street Movement

Tuesday 11 October 2011

by: Steve Horn, Truthout | News Analysis


Demonstrators with the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zucotti Park in New York, October 7, 2011. Protests in Wall Street section of New York enter their third week, with similar efforts springing up in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle. (Photo: Michael Appleton / The New York Times)

Gandhi once said of growing movements of social protestation, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” The trajectory of the ever-evolving and growing Occupy Wall Street movement follows the same pattern almost to a “T,” with slight variation.

Now, apply that model to the most recent public relations and marketing ploys of organizations like, the ascendant “Reclaim the American Dream Movement” and the general segment of society author and journalist Chris Hedges calls the “Liberal Class” in his most recent book titled “The Death of the Liberal Class” (of which the former two are both a part).

In so doing, one can observe a perfect case study of the liberal class in action, in four distinct acts, with one exception: “then they fight you” can be replaced with “then they attempt to co-opt your movement.”

Act One – Getting Ignored: In the early planning stages of Occupy Wall Street, few eyes were on those working behind the scenes to make this vision a reality. With little funding backing their cause, the activists calling for this action, to those even paying any attention to them at all (few and far between), seemed quixotic or at the very least, overly optimistic. This was the case even to those highly sympathetic to the cause and its accompanying ideology.

How in the world does a rag-tag bunch of activists take on the financial power center of the world that calls the shots politically in statehouses around the country, on a federal level and around the world? Because the task was such a monumental undertaking, these activists were essentially ignored all throughout the planning stages and into the opening days of the occupation itself.

The liberal class, predictably, was nowhere to be seen in the planning stages of Occupy Wall Street, wholeheartedly ignoring the fact, or simply not even knowing the fact, that this occupation was in the works.

Act Two – Getting Laughed at: Once it was seen that, while not yet a movement, the people occupying Wall Street had, at the very least, legitimate grievances, the liberal class resorted to scornful tactics like mockery of the type of people in the movement – ad hominem attacks, if you will.

The scorn was well-depicted by liberal environmental blogger, Grist’s David Roberts, who tweeted, “I’ve been reading about #occupywallstreet for the last hour or two & it’s just horrific. Practically designed to discredit leftist protest.” It was also on perfect display with liberal blogger David Atkins, who mockingly tweeted, “If you want to #occupywallstreet, 1) shave 2) wear some decent clothes 3) coordinate signs about inequality 4) get a media spokesperson.” The diatribe proceeded for multiple tweets, Atkins having listed ten points.

In a post titled, “What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?” blogger Glenn Greenwald aptly explained their behavior and tactics, writing, “Any entity that declares itself an adversary of prevailing institutional power is going to be viewed with hostility by establishment-serving institutions and their loyalists. That’s just the nature of protests that take place outside approved channels, an inevitable by-product of disruptive dissent: those who are most vested in safeguarding and legitimizing establishment prerogatives … are going to be hostile to those challenges. As the virtually universal disdain in these same circles for WikiLeaks (and, before that, for the Iraq War protests) demonstrated: the more effectively adversarial it is, the more establishment hostility it’s going to provoke.”

The liberal class, though, quickly realized that Occupy Wall Street was gaining traction, with leaders of the left like

, Naomi Klein, Cornel West and Joseph Stiglitz joining the cause in solidarity, and its leaders realized that it must co-opt the movement while time is still on its side.

Act Three – Co-Option: With Occupy Wall Street off the ground, but its longevity still in flux, and its cousin, the Center For American Progress, and Van Jones’Reclaim the American Dream Movement, were nowhere to be found. Instead, they were busy planning the Take Back The American Dream Conference, which took place from October 3 through October 5.

“Taking back the American Dream,” Jones said in an interview appearing on AlterNet, will be a three-step process.

First, the planned November 17 “Rising Tide of Protest,” a protest, led by the Reclaim the American Dream Movement, will be held in a network of cities throughout the United States. As FireDogLake’s David Dayen explained, “[The] November 17 protests announced by the American Dream Movement … [are] a one-day protest across multiple cities across the country that organizers hope will be a massive activation of their supporters.”

Second, an amalgamation of coordinated house meetings and online teach-ins. “We’re going to try to get a million leaders in America online and talking with each other. And that’s going to be a major piece,” said Jones.

Third and most importantly to an organization “powered by,” (aka a project of), which among other things, is an organization that raises campaign money for Democratic Party candidates, Jones said the 2012 elections are a vital piece of the puzzle. “And then there’s a third piece and it’s new – and it seems to have escaped people’s notice – and that’s that we’ve said we’re going to run 2012 people for office in 2012. Now, that’s a big deal,” Jones stated.

“We’re talking about U.S. senators who want to run as American Dream candidates – soon to be announced. We’ve reached out to the House Democratic Caucus; there are House members who want to run as American Dream candidates,” he continued.

What this translates to, in layman’s terms, is the very process of co-opting a growing movement of democratic resistance and trying to replace it with a sales pitch to go out in 2012 and vote Democrat. Jones and the Democratic Party operations in disguise, namely the likes of and the Center for American Progress, are taking a page out of the Dick Armey and Koch brothers’ Tea Party co-option playbook with this one.

Indeed, many forget that before the Tea Party was an Astroturf movement funded by Armey and the Koch brothers, it was an enraged grassroots movement, led mostly by Ron Paullibertarians. Then it got co-opted and now it is a rotten pawn of corporate elites.

If Occupy Wall Street organizers are not careful, this could also be their destiny.

Act Four – Win or Be Co-Opted? That Is the Question:Occupy Wall Street, now three weeks into the occupation, now finds itself in a pivotal moment. Will the nonpartisan, anti-establishment movement allow itself to be co-opted by the Democratic Party serving powers that be, i.e. by the MoveOn.orgs and Center for American Progresses of the world, or will it remain a strong, left, independent force that grows with each passing day and strikes fear into what the late sociologist C. Wright Mills calls the power elite?

One thing is for certain – the liberal class is working overtime to co-opt a burgeoning social justice movement.

Exhibit A: On October 5, Day 19 of Occupy Wall Street, sent out an email calling on clicktivists (as opposed to activists) to “Join the Virtual March on Wall Street.” “The 99% are both an inspiration and a call that needs to be answered. So we’re answering it today, in a nationwide Virtual March on Wall Street to support their demand for an economy that serves the many, not the few … Join in the virtual march by doing what hundreds have done spontaneously across the web: Take your picture holding a sign that tells your story, along with the words ‘I am the 99%,'” wrote Daniel Mintz of

John Stauber is a longtime critic of organizations like and Center for American Progress, and founder of the Center for Media and Democracy and co-author of “Toxic Sludge Is Good for You,” a book that exposes how corporations and vested interests work to co-opt movements for change. In an interview, he stated, “Don’t be fooled. This will primarily be an effort to co-opt the language and energy to salvage Obama and the Dem Party. This is how you co-opt movements. The Occupy Wall Streeters are not leader oriented. Van Jones will become the voice of this in the mainstream,”

“The same thing happened to anti-war in 2007. was, to the mainstream, the voice of that movement,” Stauber continued. “It is easy to read between the lines. For one thing, there is no criticism of Obama in the ‘Reclaim the Dream’ messaging and marketing. No one with a national reputation is going to do anything to undermine his re-election efforts. There is huge money in supporting Obama and nothing but pain and punishment in not – both desperation and self interest are driving this at this point in time.”

As Stauber alluded to, one only has to look a few years down the memory hole to see that, as William Faulkner wrote in “Requiem for a Nun,” “The past is never dead. It’s not even past!”

In an article about how the Democratic Party, teaming up with and other like-minded apparatchiks, viewed the Iraq war as a “gift” to wield for electoral purposes in the 2006 elections, Stauber wrote, “And how have the Democrats treated their gift now that they control Congress? The Democratic House and Senate have continued to fund the war while posturing against it …”

Later, in that same piece, Stauber juxtaposed the operatives with Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), an organization that is against imperialistic foreign policy no matter who is in office, writing, “[IVAW] are not the concoction of a liberal think tank or PR firm; they have very little funding; they are not avoiding criticism of Democrats; and they are not playing political games trying to bank-shot Democratic candidates into the White House and Congress in 2008. They are in open non-violent revolt against US foreign policy, criticizing politicians of all stripes who would exploit the war for political gain.”

Fast forward five years and a nearly parallel situation exists. An independent and democratic economic justice movement, ground zero of which exists at the power center of economic injustice, namely Wall Street, has now spread to every corner of the country in some form or fashion within the framework of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Democratic Party vultures are waiting to swoop in, steal the thunder and then make sure the focus is on electing Democrats, who are just as much to blame as Republicans for the ascendancy of Wall Street. If anything, they are even more to blame for the pacification role they play in co-opting the overwhelming swath of the left time and time again, no matter what horrible policies they pass.

Will Occupy Wall Street of 2011 be a repeat of the Iraq war of 2006? Similar forces are at bay, that is for certain.

It will all depend on activists deciding whether they choose to be used as a “gift,” or if they choose to remain independent of the forces of co-option.

Act four, to say the least, should be interesting.