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Real Revolution? – Occupy Your Own Street

Pardon me, but what is this “Occupy Wall Street” stuff all about?

Downtrodden people have been showing up every day in mass numbers for a month now, shouting up towards the windows of Fortune 500 skyscrapers, getting arrested in mass numbers, and blocking up traffic. Argh. That traffic part sucks since I venture into Manhattan nearly every day. I digress.

Hip-Hop celebrities are showing up, too, in the crowds on Wall Street and along the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade. Lupe Fiasco. Give him a pass – he’s into this sort of thing. Stars like Kanye West, wearing a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of chains and reportedly arriving in his Maybach, and Russell Simmons, whose wealth could likely make the lives of several hundred people better in an instant.

From what I can see, there are clearly issues for Lupe, Kanye, Russell, and the little people to chant about – unemployment, the mortgage debacle, and several other broken promises from the American Dream.

And yet, I see no clear list of demands. What are the protestors trying to accomplish? Are they hoping that Mr. Fortune 500 will come down from his plush penthouse suite and do something substantial because of a few supposed “hippies” on the street? Why are they raising money now? Nearly $500,000 has been collected according to the latest reports, but what’s it all for? And who is their leader?

I’m all for a good show of numbers for a good cause. In fact, change might be the only thing that sustains us. But in this case, I have lots of unanswered questions, along with lessons of my own that might lend a hand.

Personally, I believe that any successful revolution includes instilling fear in your oppressor and then listing your demands. I will likely receive e-mail beef for saying this, but, to me, this protest seems to be neither scary nor demanding.

In addition, no disrespect to Mr. West or Mr. Simmons – I truly love you both – but in my mind, an already unclear revolution is not necessarily strengthened by additional face time with already rich superstars acting as if they can still relate to the common man. Lights, cameras, action. Apparently the revolution will be televised (RIP to Gil Scott Heron).

I think the Wall Street Occupiers, and the rest of the “Occupy” campaigners now popping up in financial centers across the world, are copycats. I surmise that the “cool” thing to do in 2011 is to try and wage a revolution.

Recall the London riots and the revolutions in North Africa earlier this year?

Now, those were revolutions. Weapons. Check. Riled up, pissed off, impoverished young people. Check. Governments that weren’t as strong as they thought they were. Check.

But (perhaps thankfully) we Americans aren’t quite that willing to die for our causes. Even if we tried, trust and believe that our National Guard would shut it down. Immediately.

And, even with the economic crisis, we’re still better off than 90 percent of the world, and we know it. For that reason, we don’t usually riot to combat our oppressors. We tend to burn our own neighborhoods down from the self-hatred and frustration of it all, and then go back to life as it was.

So, what would be a more effective way to turn this Occupy Wall Street operation into a real coup? I say, instill fear by hitting Corporate America and the bureaucrats where it hurts – in their wallets and in their imaginations.

Find a way to stop supporting major industries that keep corporate wheels churning. I’m not talking about passing along those spam e-mails that tell everyone not to buy Gas Company X’s gas on Mondays. I’m talking about real revolutionary shut down by creating our own SELF-SUFFICIENCY through entrepreneurism, agriculture, and science.

Hitting Corporate America in their imaginations is where the fear part comes in. Imagine if the influencers in Hip-Hop – the tastemakers and rap icons – all started preaching revolution to impressionable, urban youth? What if they got youth to mobilize, flash-mob style, at places where the good, corporate folks don’t want them to be? What if they were able to articulate their angst in a peaceful, intelligent way that prompted immediate action?

Now that’s scary. That’s revolution.

And, what would a REAL list of demands look like after getting them scared?

  • Forgive our past due bills and repair everyone’s credit
  • Give our houses back, along with the possibility of new homeownership
  • Overlook past student loans and guarantee cost-free secondary educations for all
  • Adequate healthcare and social security for our elders
  • Passage of an intelligent, far-reaching Jobs Bill
  • Forty acres and a mule (maybe not)

All chanting aside…that’s more like it. I remember this model for revolution well from a time when AllHipHop’s CEO Chuck Creekmur, a bunch of our fellow Black students, and myself would – at least once yearly – shut down University of Delaware when we felt like our rights had been egregiously violated.

Our mass, Black, well orchestrated student demonstrations scared the heck out of our white campus administrators. Check. We had shown up where they didn’t want us to be. Check. And we always presented the all-important list of demands (along with a ready-made press conference) to outline why we were upset and how they could fix it in clear and tangible ways. Check. We won every time. Pow!

Really, people, Wall Street can’t shut down. It’s simply not feasible – unless we want all-out anarchy in this country. One day of the markets shutting down would have our global enemies pouncing on us like wolves. All of the picket signs and chanting in the world won’t be able to bring us back from the brink after we’ve shown weakness in the global sphere. And, Wall Street isn’t the only problem. But I do love the spirit of it all.

Real revolution has to go fear then clear demands, along with the ability to sustain ourselves through self-sufficiency in our own communities. In that order.

Now run and Occupy Wall Street with that.

To the (All) Hip-Hop, we won’t stop. Seandra Sims is AllHipHop.com’s Managing Editor. Follow her on Twitter at @seandrasims.

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  • I support this movement. The cost of living is getting too high. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, something must change.

  • TheBoxcarHobo

    I also support this movement. It’s not very organized…YET, but it will get there. There are too many issues to focus on one thing right now in my opinion, but the disenfranchised people occupying wall street are letting the fat cats know that they’re out there, and they want these politicians to know that its not gonna be business as usual from here on out.

    • Once organized , it will be co-opted by $$$$ , so disorganized is best.

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  • Shalove2

    The only difference between this movement and the Arab Spring is that the Arab Spring had the benefit of 
    U.S. media propaganda. The media used the “Pro-Democracy” term but what does really mean. How really different were the demands there and here?

    • Nah, the Arab spring was based on the ” scared $$$ don’t make $$$ / You gotta bring arse to get arse ” concept.
      In America , especially ” BLACK ” people , we children , like Peter Pan.

      The strategist said: 
      “…. I think the “ability to sustain ourselves through self-sufficiency in our own communities.” needs to come first then everything else can follow”

      ******************

      What we gonna do? Win the revolution & then beg for toilet paper?
      I mean, we can’t even wipe out arse without the next man. ( Charmin, etc. )

      Government is becoming a company. A business , like the justice / prison system.
      A corporation.
      Citizens are employees.

      Physical revolution? Nah , that ain’t happening. Legal stands a better chance , but the system gets physical every day.

      • Shalove2

        You have no idea what you are talking about. WTF is “scared money don’t make no money”? There was no real physical revolution during the Arab Spring. Just a lot of people getting their asses kicked just like the civil right demonstrations of the 1960s. Western powers used people getting injured and killed as an excuse to in the case Egypt put pressure on the military to sit Mubarrak and in Libiya to get NATO bombed all the military and government installations. The government is not a company it is controled by business. It is the employee of the rich not the people.

  • who ever wrote this needs to be fired asap

    • Nah she does need help though …..but I’m gonna give it to her , cuz she does have a grasp of the situation.

  • The_Strategist

    I agree with every thing listed here except I think the “ability to sustain ourselves through self-sufficiency in our own communities.” needs to come first then everything else can follow

  • DebraMiller16

    my neighbor’s step-mother makes $76 every hour on the laptop. She has been fired from work for 10 months but last month her check was $8130 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this site http://alturl.com/tvpof

  • Seandra Simms:
    Kanye & Russell ( Immortal Technique / Jasiri X gets same pass as Lupe ) are out of place , but were the comman man at one time. Russell got his N word wake up call 25? yrs before AHH got theirs at the W in Atl.

    They lend credibility to the movement in the sense that it is not just poor & disenfranchised who fel something is wrong. Kayne is a dik , so the Maybach is expected , but those $100K chains….looked like plastic beads. ( Re-check Photo )

    ********

    “From what I can see, there are clearly issues for Lupe, Kanye, Russell, and the little people to chant about – unemployment, the mortgage debacle, and several other broken promises from the American Dream.”….Seandra

    There are more ” LITTLE ” people than big people. For every one who considers Lupe, Russell , Kanye & the average protester ” The LITTLE People ” , there are 9 more ( Just on this page , who feel they aren’t …who can relate to them more than they can relate to you.
    I’mjustsayin

    ****************

    “What are the protestors trying to accomplish? Are they hoping that Mr. Fortune 500 will come down from his plush penthouse suite and do something substantial because of a few supposed “hippies” on the street? Why are they raising money now? Nearly $500,000 has been collected according to the latest reports, but what’s it all for? And who is their leader?”

    *******

    Accomplish a peaceful display of their grievance.
    >>>>Sing songy voice : ” All we are sayyyYYYing….is give peace a ChanyanyannNnnnnnYaAAAaaannNNNccCCCCHHHHH!”

     Quite possibly the singing before the swinging. Revolutions are bloody & violent & only a fool or some one who hasn’t been bloodied would want to engage in one.
    $500K? It takes $$$ to move an army , but probably some one is making $$$$. No leader , once their is one , look for him to sell out ( before he was even made the leader. )

    Who ever they give air time too & call the leader….  Is not the leader.
    I was once asked how to spot a true black leader ( by a white person ) & I replied ” He is either dead or in jail. ”

    ***************

    “Personally, I believe that any successful revolution includes instilling fear in your oppressor and then listing your demands. I will likely receive e-mail beef for saying this, but, to me, this protest seems to be neither scary nor demanding.”

    ********

    Your %100 right , but how you gonna instill fear?
    Economic fear? yes….physical?

    Cops will snatch “YOU” ( Seandra ) & beat your face into a swollen pulp & the best you could hope for is some one brave as well as smart enough to video & youtube it… provided they not to broke to afford a cell phone & internet service.

    It cost money to move an army…in the words of Immortal technique:

    ” The workload is too heavy to rise up in arms ” ( Peruvian Cocaine ) ^^^^

    ***************”

    “I think the Wall Street Occupiers, and the rest of the “Occupy” campaigners now popping up in financial centers across the world, are copycats. I surmise that the “cool” thing to do in 2011 is to try and wage a revolution.”

    ************************

    Yes , the struggle has been the cool thing to do for a while. Being rich , flossy & snobish is only cool with an ever shrinking demographic. ( Speaking nationally & globally. )
    On one hand , you calling Russell , Kanye , Lupe & the Protesters ” The little people ” & on the other , Chuck & Greg just got told ” Fugg your money Ni99a!” at the W hotel , in Atl.

    It ain’t always about $$$ when dealing with principals outside of “RAP”. 

    *********************************

    “Recall the London riots and the revolutions in North Africa earlier this year?
    Now, those were revolutions. Weapons. Check. Riled up, pissed off, impoverished young people. Check. Governments that weren’t as strong as they thought they were. Check.”

    *****You forgot to add ” DEAD PEOPLE ”

    “But (perhaps thankfully) we Americans aren’t quite that willing to die for our causes. Even if we tried, trust and believe that our National Guard would shut it down. Immediately.”

    ***** OK , you remembered about ” The DEAD PEOPLE ” here. ^^^^ ”

    “And, even with the economic crisis, we’re still better off than 90 percent of the world, and we know it. For that reason, we don’t usually riot to combat our oppressors. We tend to burn our own neighborhoods down from the self-hatred and frustration of it all, and then go back to life as it was.”

    *************************

    Pharoah would rather kill all his slaves than free them , it would be just as foolish as it would be presumptuous to expect any different from any slave master …including the U.S. This is the ingrained slave mentality that permeates our culture.

    ( Can’t judge it as right or wrong )

    “Rather live like a slave than die trying to be free.”

    Without looking , I would guess that the protesters are mainly white , that are doing better financially , than the blacks who stayed home. Black folks been fugged up in the game far worse , for far longer , but the slave mentality keeps them thinking it’s better to live as a slave than die free.

    I guess they would rather be alive than free.

    They can get Oscar Grant’ed for not resisting ….Amadou Dialloe’d  out of the blue for Yawning , without even knowing why …..or Sean Bell’ed on their wedding night , trying to leave , cuz they don’t want no part of the $hyt their killers started & even that not be good enough.

    Fight back? If you actually challenge the domestic or international interest of the government , they will come for you one way or another. 

    ********************

     “I’m talking about real revolutionary shut down by creating our own SELF-SUFFICIENCY through entrepreneurism, agriculture, and science.

    Hitting Corporate America in their imaginations is where the fear part comes in. Imagine if the influencers in Hip-Hop – the tastemakers and rap icons – all started preaching revolution to impressionable, urban youth? What if they got youth to mobilize, flash-mob style, at places where the good, corporate folks don’t want them to be? What if they were able to articulate their angst in a peaceful, intelligent way that prompted immediate action?”

    *************************

    This doesn’t sell ^^^^ ( To Corporate Sponsors ). Are you willing to lose your job at AHH to promote KRS ONE , Jasiri X , Truth Minista Paul Scott , Dead Prez , Immortal Technique , Mos Def , ( etc. ) & education , instead of drug dealer rap complete with : blowing savings like a custom , sensless violence , & women as scantily dress hoes that will keep your pockets fat?

    If you had to chose between selling out or losing your job at ahh….what you you chose? Black folks don’t manufacture anything ( for the most part ). We are totally dependent. The few of us that do manufacture either do it to exploit us or don’t receive the support needed to grow.

    **************************************

    “And, what would a REAL list of demands look like after getting them scared?
    “Forgive our past due bills and repair everyone’s credit
    Give our houses back, along with the possibility of new home ownership
    Overlook past student loans and guarantee cost-free secondary educations for all
    Adequate healthcare and social security for our elders
    Passage of an intelligent, far-reaching Jobs Bill
    Forty acres and a mule (maybe not)”

    *****************

    Hahha at 40acres & a mule / Maybe not

    Without that land , the black man will stay a child like Peter Pan. The homeless of the Earth….anything else is Boolchet & you know it.

    Comparing a Delaware Campus to a government is faulty. That is an economic institution without the power to kill. Worse case scenario….you go to another school. The government will deny your right to liberty or life.

    ******************
    “Real revolution has to go fear then clear demands, along with the ability to sustain ourselves through self-sufficiency in our own communities. In that order.” 

    **************************************

    Nah , you got the order reversed:
    “The ability to sustain ourselves through self-sufficiency in our own communities along with clear demands ,  then Real revolution to go fear. In that order.”
    Just re arranged your words a bit.

  • I think that it’s not automatically a bad thing that the protests/occupations have no distinct hierarchy or official set of demands– for now.  For one thing, various people there are already representing some different issue-based constituencies.  Some are for financial/tax reform, some are there for job development, some for primary education reform, some for college cost/access, some for abortion rights, immigration rights, the list goes on.Maybe—just maybe—this is social protest with a new dynamic.
    Getting a group of “lefties” that vary vastly in race/ethnicity, ages, geographic origin, life/activism experience, objectives, etc., many of whom came to be a part of this in scattershot fashion, is going to be an uphill battle, especially compared, to, say, a group of college-aged African-American students who attend the same university.
    Sometimes, when individual faces step up, the pushback becomes “who elected you, wiseguy?”  This is especially troublesome when it comes to certain established (or, if you will, ‘establishment’) activism groups like MoveOn and members of the Democratic Congressional Committee start making their presence known.  Even with organized labor factions like the Teamsters, or state/city-based groups, those who are critical of the top-level management of these groups are wondering why leadership has seemed to become weaker and more conciliatory over time.
    Dr. Cornel West was arrested with a group of people in Washington, D.C.  Do people accept his demonstration at face value, or is it just another face-time move for the professor? (one suspects those who reflexively consider him an Obama-hater will be nonplussed at the move).
    Just camping out in a park may initially not prompt the seats of power at the state or federal level to do much of anything, but so far anyway, it hasn’t been co-opted yet by anyone or organization that would seemingly be too quick to trade the crowd’s dispersal for some nominal, non-guaranteed promise from certain members of Congress or even the President.

  • Hypestyle:
    That was Hype!

    A lil over my head , but accurate nonetheless.

    Only way to avoid crab in the barrel mentality is to stay un organized, but unorganized doesn’t produce results more than it protects.

    As a voting block? Maybe? But with 2 bullchet canidates splitting the issues / corporate exploitation , voting is akin to the chicken voting between the fox or wolf over who he wants to be eaten by?

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