This is mostly an idea to consider:
Given Mayor Rahm's determination to show how tough of a guy he is--in terms of how he is working to create a media blackout, how nastily he is treating the protestors arrested, and how he is vying to be the meanest mayor in all the land--given how much he wants to be a tough guy, it may be worthwhile to make him show his hand to the world. To this end, it might be very effective to force him and his big bad police force to react in a way that would embarass them. That is, the movement should make its aim to provoke them, but in a peaceful, non-threatening fashion.
One of the speakers during the free mike time last night suggested NOT getting arrested, but staging actions to ensure that the police will devote lots of resources. Thus, the movement can proceed as if it did intend to occupy the horse again, and keep the dance going full force, but wait until after curfew and just a half-hour or so after the cops get themselves all hot and bothered (around 11:30 or so). And then, simply leave quietly and peacefully, walking in an orderly and disciplined fashion, staying within full compliance of the law, over to another location (Thompson Center?).
The police would need to follow the group, of course, and the group could chant defiantly, keeping the police nervous.
This kind of action could be staged twice each week, each time making the police gather their resources, and each time just walking away quietly and peacefully. At some point, undoubtedly, one cop or another would over-react by spraying mace or becoming violent, but that would be the whole point, because, as we saw with New York, that kind of response will not play very well to the rest of the country.
This strategy ultimately will require some courage on protestors' part, in the willingness to risk being harmed by the cops. I would be willing to take part in this kind of thing, though, and I think maybe a lot more would than would be willing to get arrested, as that can have prohibitive consequences for some of us in terms of our livelihoods.
With this strategy, you can harness the outrage at Rahm for being such a total fascist jerk (which we all knew he was, anyway).
As a side bar, for what it's worth, I am going to contact the White House tomorrow and tell President Obama that if he doesn't tell his buddy pal Rahm to chill out and allow peaceful, intelligent, purposeful protests to take place in the Great City of Chicago, there is no way on earth he (Obama) will get my vote come his 2012 re-election bid.
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But what I *do* think is good is that people are there. There are many others watching, from their tv's, from their computers, etc. While I am still trying to "talk" with others, getting demands or grievances together I think does help. While it is also good to consider the here-and-now issues (where to go, what needs taking care of, etc), the future issues of what our meaning is needs to continue developing. What also needs to develop of this is the *how* to bring it into fruition. I've mentioned in a couple other posts that "street protests are not the battleground" against banks and whatnot. Prospecting out to what may be the battleground is probably another thing that needs to be developed.
Keeping ourselves visible and the government/authorities guessing is a good thing. Getting ourselves needlessly thrown in jail (or the hospital) might not be. The arab spring is still going on and those people are up against a bloody crackdown. So we should be happy we're nowhere near that. But we should also take advantage that there is a tide of change (trying to avoid a word as profound as "revolution") that seems somewhat among us and it does us well to not lose focus and not misplace our emotions.
Our developments should be a strong focus for us now.
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You Occupy folk really do have a good spirit, and the right one, and you should be applauded loudly. Combining this spirit with "keeping visible and the government/authorities guessing" will require a sophisticated dance, maybe at some point aggravating the police. I was quite amazed on Saturday by the intensity and size of CPD's presence, and by how determined they seem to stamp out otherwise peaceful and well-meaning and non-threatening free speech and assembly.
As Lucki's post indicates, Occupy Chicago (and other U.S. Occupy groups) may need temporarily to forego winning a public overnight location and instead do something like "Nomadic OC," as Lucki terms it. It sounds like the group is exploring an indoor shelter in the meantime. I'm sure some local churches that are actively involved in human rights might be willing to provide indoor winter space, so the kind of "Nomadic OC" will be able to be organized.
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