The anonymous blogger "Insider" of Counterpunch recently listed eight smoking guns proving a direct link from the 99% Spring to various and sundry Obama veal pen organizations -- most notably, MoveOn.org. That DNC front group, you may remember, came under fire from the real OWSers last fall when it ham-handedly attempted to co-opt the movement for its own fundraising and candidate- boosting purposes.
And now, they're back with week-long "training sessions" throughout the country, to instruct participants on how to peacefully protest and emulate Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. No mention of the general national strike planned by the real Occupy for May Day. As a matter of fact, they're pushing a toned-down, sanitized version of the movement, aimed squarely at the same disenchanted young people who catapulted President Obama to victory in 2008, but who have now left him in droves -- disillusioned, unemployed or underemployed and facing mountains of education debt it will take them a lifetime to repay.
MoveOn must think the recipients of its email blasts are all naive and star-struck and in their 20s. I got yet another unbelievably annoying invite from them today, asking me to attend their peacenik training school for hip young hippies in a nearby town close to hip Woodstock. For inspiration, they included a short film to convince me it was so going to be worth it. Did it feature such powerhouse figures as Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges? Of course it didn't!
Instead, this glitzily-produced film, its soundtrack a kitschy guitar and flute piece of elevator music, featured three of today's biggest 20-something stars lecturing grizzled old me how to fight corporatism and Wall Street greed. Two of them -- Penn Badgely and Olivia Wilde -- shilled for Obama's 2008 campaign. The third, Zoe Kravitz, was only 20 at that time, but her musician father Lenny is an ardent Obama supporter and once wrote a song in support of the president.
Badgely actually plays a rich young one percenter on the hit TV series "Gossip Girl". According to Wikipedia, the series "revolves around the lives of socialite young adults growing up on New York's Upper East Side who attend elite academic institutions while dealing with sex, drugs, and other teenage issues." Badgely was voted one of People Magazines's 25 Beauties and Hotties at 25 in 2011. And Badgely has done film work for MoveOn before -- he appeared in one of its Obama campaign commercials in 2008. What a perfect voice for a faux-Occupy ripoff.
Olivia Wilde is another one percent actress who lists among her forebears the colonialist oligarchs of the British Empire. Olivia, whose parents are hegemonic Beltway diplomats, presumes to tell us to get in the streets and put our bodies on the line. She ranked Number One on Maxim's "Hot 100" in 2009. Oh, and she has previously starred in MoveOn ads supporting Obama. Quelle coincidence.
Zoe Kravitz is apparently new to astroturf activism and politics, and as far as I can tell, this is her first MoveOn gig. But her mother was a Cosby Kid (Lisa Bonet). So she has got that elitist minority vanilla cred, too.
These meritocrats do not mention Obama in their 99% Spring film. They don't have to. But they used some of the same rhetoric he did during his last campaign to hypnotize the young and the restless. The word "change" was uttered. "Are You In?" the young millionaires ask. That's the same phrase on all the Obama ads following me all over the Internet. "Are You In?"
This latest ploy is so obvious as to be laughable. The Occupy Movement is not going to be co-opted by Hollywood tinsel and political platitudes. The Occupy Movement got started because its members were fed up with President Sellout. As "The Insider" wrote,
In MoveOn.org’s short history, the front group has proven that co-option works, but co-opting Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring has been no easy task for it this time around.
It has been a particularly tough task because the Democratic Party, which it fronts for, is beholden to Wall Street and the Obama Administration whichMoveOn.org dutifully supports, plans on raising hundreds of millions of dollars from the 1-percent during his 2012 election campaign.
Furthermore, the Obama Administration has been largely responsible for supplying weaponry to suppress the Arab Spring, including in places such asEgypt, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, to name a few.
MoveOn.org has to tell overt lies in order to paint the Democratic Party and its President, Barack Obama, as a friend of democracy and working class. TheBig Lie, it can be said, is only believable for so long.When the 99% Spring liberal trust fund babies protest every appearance by Mitt Romney during the upcoming campaign season, and the paramilitary police forces stand benignly by with coffee and donuts for the brave apparatchiks putting their bodies on the line, we'll know for sure how phony they truly are.
Until then, the real OWS is gearing up for the real American Spring, with weekly tactical training sessions in Zuccotti Park. Colin Moynihan, the New York Times reporter who has covered the movement locally from its inception, explains:
To prepare, organizers have held weekly practice sessions, called “spring training,” inside Zuccotti Park, where participants learn about the gong and other tactics, some of them adapted from a British activist group called the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army.
Over the course of an hour on Friday, protesters practiced several tactics, including “hup,” which involves a knot of people jumping up and down (and can be used to coalesce a scattered group) and “melt,” in which protesters drift to the ground (used for a ”die-in” or to de-escalate a confrontation).
One tactic, known as “wall,” involved ranks of protesters locking elbows and trotting forward in close formation, and could be used, organizers said, to move quickly while making it difficult for the police to physically break up the group.
Organizers said the sessions, which have been followed by short marches to the stock exchange for the closing bell, are meant to teach participants to work together and instill a sense of camaraderie.Moynihan, who has had his own taste of NYPD brutality during various camp evictions, noted that the police were watching. And waiting. Something tells me they won't be handing out goodie bags to the real protesters on May 1. They will be striking too, and if past performance is any predictor, it won't have anything to do with solidarity with the working class.