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Frithbheart32

Occupy Movement, promise or pointless?

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Like everyone when I heard news of people occupying Wall street I got excited

At last revolutionary direct action against the heart of banking

How wrong I was.

 

The Occupy movement is an enigma, even to those involved in it.

 

I took a trip to the Dame Street Camp and was greeted by kids who seemed not have clue what they were doing there nor the importance of location(the HQ of banking in Ireland).

Got talking to two of its main people, both businessmen, venture capitalists who had lost profit due to economic fallout in Western Capitalism, boo hoo.

I asked what was it all about, they replied they had no answer nor purpose, they merely wanted change, but could not elaborate on change they wanted other then fianacial accountability, the aspiration of any moderate liberal or centralist.

It was clear to me, this is not a revolutionary movement, its not even remotely socialist like the globalist media have labeled it.

Interview with Occupiers around world proved this to me. Its militant Liberalism at best

 

The actions of the Occupy movement are very effective, its just shame its wasted on movement of yes people tired of a priviliage elite ruling their lives, but their complete lack of ideology and refusal embrace one concept that can through much hard work bring complete change, socialism.

 

Calls for democracy are futile when democracy is controlled by the elite.

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Guest Felix Rourke

I agree with everything you say. But the most important thing for socialists now is to assess the impact of these Occupy movements going forward.

 

That is, has there been a move by some in the population to realising that they cannot change the status quo by doing nothing?

 

if so, is it possible that this militant liberalism, as you rightly call it, has the potential to develop into something revolutionary once the Occupiers realise the limits of their actions? (recall how the United Irishmen began - only really becoming insurrectionist in nature in the late 1790s and once the British Government had suppressed them)

 

and finally has the Occupy movement had some affect on a broader base of the masses in bringing them to even slightly question capitalism? has it raised awareness of the rottenness of the system? I think it has somewhat

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Great points from both above!

 

The failure of the Dame Street movement is that is wasn't intercepted by the left from the get-go and it was let to manifest itself into the awful mess that we see today.

 

But at the end of the day, they cannot be faulted for what they have achieved and thats a lot more than many of the supposedly socialist organisations in Ireland has ever achieved for quite awhile and that is, to bring people onto the streets in a prolonged coordinated manner that had the potential to build momentum and challenge the status-quo.

 

They have brought to the fore, as Felix has mentioned, the question of capitalism and its failings and brought it to the public's attention. That has to be commended no matter what!

 

But now I fear that it is too late to influence any sort of direction for the movement and channel what ever momentum is left because those who maintain its direction are full of anxiety and worried about outside influence that they have shut down any sort of dialogue or compromise from the progressive left, who could have taking it further and help build its momentum into a stage where it could properly challenge the capitalist class.

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Guest Felix Rourke

Great points from both above!

 

The failure of the Dame Street movement is that is wasn't intercepted by the left from the get-go and it was let to manifest itself into the awful mess that we see today.

 

But at the end of the day, they cannot be faulted for what they have achieved and thats a lot more than many of the supposedly socialist organisations in Ireland has ever achieved for quite awhile and that is, to bring people onto the streets in a prolonged coordinated manner that had the potential to build momentum and challenge the status-quo.

 

They have brought to the fore, as Felix has mentioned, the question of capitalism and its failings and brought it to the public's attention. That has to be commended no matter what!

 

But now I fear that it is too late to influence any sort of direction for the movement and channel what ever momentum is left because those who maintain its direction are full of anxiety and worried about outside influence that they have shut down any sort of dialogue or compromise from the progressive left, who could have taking it further and help build its momentum into a stage where it could properly challenge the capitalist class.

 

was it a case of the actual Left, the republican Left, ignoring it as a joke do you think? that's the vibe I got. Or if not then they ignored it as not having any potential.

 

But as you mention from the get-go there people who did turn up were completely paranoid about being "branded" as they saw it, as socialists, so maybe the chance of entryism or such a policy never really existed? I can't say as I was only there once and didn't really keep up to date with it after the first week, especially after I read of all this squabbling with the Trots over banners and SWP literature!

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The failure of the Dame Street movement is that is wasn't intercepted by the left from the get-go and it was let to manifest itself into the awful mess that we see today.

 

 

 

I have to say that the SWP did make a lot of attempts to influence the course of events in ODS, but they were fiercely resisted. Im not sure any other group would have done better.

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Guest Felix Rourke

I have to say that the SWP did make a lot of attempts to influence the course of events in ODS, but they were fiercely resisted. Im not sure any other group would have done better.

 

Probably because they're name has been blackened by hi-jacking in the past?

 

maybe not though. I think the occupiers would have been equally hostile to the republican-left.

 

It was amusing in Belfast the occupiers were completely dismissed. Republican comrades there pointed out to me that occupy Belfast was a trot-fest and the irony of them occupying a place which is already under a military occupation which they fail to acknowledge. In Belfast then Republicans have certainly dismissed it as a joke.

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Probably because they're name has been blackened by hi-jacking in the past?

 

maybe not though. I think the occupiers would have been equally hostile to the republican-left.

 

It was amusing in Belfast the occupiers were completely dismissed. Republican comrades there pointed out to me that occupy Belfast was a trot-fest and the irony of them occupying a place which is already under a military occupation which they fail to acknowledge. In Belfast then Republicans have certainly dismissed it as a joke.

 

Yes, the Trots have got themselves an aweful name - mostly deserved. Entryism with no purpose at all - except for it's own sake.

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was it a case of the actual Left, the republican Left, ignoring it as a joke do you think? that's the vibe I got. Or if not then they ignored it as not having any potential.

 

But as you mention from the get-go there people who did turn up were completely paranoid about being "branded" as they saw it, as socialists, so maybe the chance of entryism or such a policy never really existed? I can't say as I was only there once and didn't really keep up to date with it after the first week, especially after I read of all this squabbling with the Trots over banners and SWP literature!

 

IMO, it was a failure from both the left and the republican left but mainly the republican left, who would be the most progressive out of all the left factions and who should have shown some leadership and taken the bull by the horns and led by example.

 

The way I look at it is that people stood back to see what would materialise from the situation instead of getting involved from the beginning and giving their input and experience at an early stage. Ignoring it because it "didn't have any potential" would have been a great miscalculation because it was anybody's guess at the direction it would have taken.

 

There's also a difference between been branded a socialist to that of been branded a SWP socialist, the SWP's eliteness would turn the most ardent socialist of their kind off "socialism"

 

I've also heard reports from comrades that the people whom are now involved in ODS have a certain number for the gardaí encase they ever need assistance, I think that says it all about where they are at the moment.

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I like the occupy camps. Its better than more theory tbh.

Was talking to the ones in Belfast and there problem was that when they wanted to move they had a vote. But all the people who didn't even sleep there voted against it in the public assembly.

 

Yes, thats a real problem - giving a vote to people that really have very little input into it.

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Of course, thats why everyone gets a vote in general elections - because it really dosn't matter how you vote, your vote won't count anyway. But, in these occupy situations, votes do count, and therefore are to be taken seriously.

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Was on my way home from a work experience placement I had in Conecern during November an I visited the camp. I got talking to them briefly. First I asked them did thry get much hassle from the Gadai; they said that they had Garda liason's to protect them and to communicate with. Next I was asked how I became interested in the movement, I said I was a republican socialist and that I admired the idea of direct action against capitalism; the minute the two lads I was talking to heard that I was a republican they turned completely sour, had no more questions and no other words to say. Speaks volumes really.

 

Most of them are watery bourgois hippies that are upset they've lost

out on the opportunity to accumlate vast amounts of material wealth. I'mnot saying none are genuine, I just feel that their movement as a whole is inherently reformist. They want a bit of redistribution, a sprinkling of justice and a new government in Leinster House, its all worthless in my eyes as a socialist.

If you are taking action it should be revolutionary, if it's not, then it's not a worthwile action.

 

It's a pity that the Occupy movement is corrupted, I think We as republican socialists should employ some of its tactics and occupy things ourselves. Squats, public buildings, state offices, banks and offices

of state administration for example.

 

There are thousands of empty houses and apartments on NAMA's books, we as taxpayers have bailed out the developers of the empty lodgings, there was no exchange there, no benefit to any average person. Seeing as there has been now exchange back to us, I reckon we should occupy NAMA

properties thus seizing some sort of payment from the hands of the state.

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It's a pity that the Occupy movement is corrupted, I think We as republican socialist should employ some of its tactics and occupy things ourselves. Squats, public buildings, state offices, banks and offices of administration.

Absolutely comrade! There are thousands of empty homes that lay strewn across ghosts estates throughout the country, this is something I feel, that all republicans should be involved in, and getting people into badly needed housing and supporting them while they're there!

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Absolutely comrade! There are thousands of empty homes that lay strewn across ghosts estates throughout the country, this is something I feel, that all republicans should be involved in, and getting people into badly needed housing and supporting them while their there!

That's exactly what I was trying to get at, I just edited my post to make it clearer there. We payed for the risks banks and developers took on these properties. We got no payment in return. So we should seize back houses as their "owners" owe us for saving their arses!

 

Also, there are 2000+ homeless in Ireland at the moment afaik. Yet there are thousands of brand new and enpty houses that a state body controls.

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Another thing I'd criticise the Occupy Movement for is, their use of "the 99%" versus the 1%. This is far too simplistic for my liking. To put a man on a Social Welfare payment of €180 a week in the same bracket as a man earning in excess of 200k a year is sick. The phrase/terminology, "99%" uses a catchy sounding slogan but it fails miserably at recognising true class struggle and its proponents.

Without recognising class struggle, there is no hope of positivr socio-economic change!

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Guest Felix Rourke

In regards to housing the homeless, as opposed to those on the social housing waiting lists, what would the practicalities of that be do you think?

 

In some ways I think it could be a disaster. Obviously we need to do the moral thing and house people who are lying on the streets and literally freezing to death.

 

Aside from that however do we run the risk of simply creating an Irish equivalent of the American crack dens? not all homeless are automatically drug addicts. But a very high proportion do have dependencies (which is understandable - I don't think I'd be able to sleep on the concrete without some kind of intoxicant in me!). Perhaps the fist task would be how to identify those who are "clean"? a very hard thing to do.

 

and the homes that they are supposed to be put in: in terms of logistics most of the ghost estates are outside of the city centre, the place where most homeless eke out their subsistence.

 

not to be sounding callous. I'm 100% in favour of such an idea on principal. But if we are to move beyond simply discussing such projects, then the practicalities of such need to be thrashed out.

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I'd say, being practicle about it, you'd need to have a fairly stable community of dwellers in place first, and then take in people with more serious problems, because, as you say, without that base of stability, any such housing initiative would turn into a disaster - not least for the homeless people themselves.

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The idea of getting all the homeless and those in need of permanent housing and lumping them into clumps of houses and apartments would be a recipe for diaster.

 

These people are already and as a result rife with social problems

Giving someone doesnt mean everything the gardens rosy.

They'll be given homes and then left fend for themselves, it would be Ballymun, O'Devaney, Charlemont Street and Dominick Street all over again.

 

Housing is just one aspect, but the lowesr rungs of the working classes need a sense of community to be established among themselves, they need be afforded dignity to feel they can be part of active society and not relying on the scraps from the ruling classes

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Many homeless people aren't drug addicts but even if they are, they should not be denied the right to a roof over one's head!

The housing situation in Ireland is already a disaster with a vast majority of residents suffering with serious addiction problems, be it alcohol or heroin, and they are quite capable, to a certain extent, of maintain their own homes.

 

Denying people a home based on that they 'cannot look after themselves' would not be the right way to look at it.

Integrating them into communities is also going to be problematic as many resident's would be hostile to anybody, with a high dependence on drugs, moving in next door to them. So that brings us back to the question as to how and where to house these people.

 

And I know, lumping them all together in ghost-estates out of sight is not the answer, but it is something that should be explored and discussed.

Certain mechanism would need to be put in place with involvement from the available voluntary drug rehabilitation agencies.

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The Irish squatters taking on

 

empty homes and a bankrupt system

 

A nascent movement in Ireland is occupying 'ghost estates' as a political protest – and in 2012 it will be testing the authorities

 

Dublin-squatter-Liam-Mac--007.jpg

Liam Mac an Bháird, who has found 25 vacant properties around Dublin for squatting. Photograph: Kim Haughton/The Guardian

 

 

As Ireland reels from yet another austere budget and a year of economic pain, a group of young activists have begun to take over empty properties spawned by the boomand abandoned by banks and property developers across the country.

 

The squatters, linked to Ireland's Occupy movement, say they plan a mass occupation of houses and flats owned by the Irish government's "bad bank", National Asset Management Agency (Nama), which took over thousands of properties that speculators handed back after the crash.

 

Led by a 27-year-old Irish-language speaker and graduate from Galway, the group has already squatted a house on Dublin's northside that was worth €550,000 in the boom but is now put at under €200,000. Since the property has been empty for several years, Liam Mac an Bháird and his friends occupied it in the autumn to highlight homelessness, as well as the way builders and banks were bailed out by the taxpayer.

 

There are up to 400,000 properties lying empty in the Republic, with the country's National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) warning that the number of vacant properties could keep house prices low for years.

 

Mac an Bháird concedes that his group are breaking the law but argues that they are making an important political point. "There are thousands homeless in this country with about 2,000 on the streets of Dublin alone tonight. Yet across the city there are thousands of flats, apartments, homes lying empty – some could be fit for human habitation.

 

"Our occupation is a way of making a point about the system we are living under. These properties could lie vacant for up to 10 years or more – so why not put homeless people into them?"

 

He reveals that the nascent movement has targeted a range of properties including an empty electronics factory in north Dublin's Smithfield district.

 

"I have been arguing in the Occupy movement that we need to take over Nama-owned properties in Dublin to highlight the injustice of a system where billions were pumped into banks that lent property speculators so much money," he said.

 

"Ultimately we should be talking about moving a large number of people into one of our 'ghost estates', which otherwise will lie and rot."

 

The 600 or so "ghost estates" built in the Celtic Tiger years have come to symbolise the Irish recession. The cost of bailing out the banks that loaned billions to builders and property speculators during the boom has been huge. Economists put the Irish bank losses at about €106bn.

Anger is mounting towards the institutions the majority of Irish people blame for the economic collapse: the bailed-out banks and property speculators. That anger is compounded with nationwide misery as Ireland remains mired in recession. The most recent figures from the Republic's Central Office of Statistics prior to Christmas found that Irish GDP had contracted by 1.9% in the third quarter of 2011.

 

In the Occupy camp at the Central Bank of Ireland, a focal point for opposition to the banks and the bailout, Mac an Bháird stressed that their movement would impose rules on Ireland's squatters.

 

"There are no drugs or drink tolerated in these places during our occupations because we are making a political stand. It is also wholly non-violent, like the Occupy movement. And we do not take anything that doesn't belong to us in the properties we squat in."

 

He explained that they survive by "skip diving" – reclaiming the uneaten, unused food discarded every day by major supermarket chains.

With the Irish government imposing a further €2.2bn of cuts in the December budget, targeting Ireland's debt, Mac an Bháird says their campaign is going to gain support from normally conservative quarters.

 

"Even at the Occupy camp at the Central Bank, there are middle-class people coming up and telling us they agree with our stance. It is the middle classes who are now paying for the greed of the bankers and the builders, and this corrupt system. They can see the logic behind taking over buildings that otherwise would be left to rot for years."

 

The campaigners aim to soon target a major Nama-owned building in Dublin and test the attitude of the authorities.

"It will be interesting to see if they are prepared to put homeless people out of the building, given that it is owned by the state and hence the people, and given that will be likely to lie empty for years," he adds.

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I don't see NAMA being a direct answer to those on the street. Of course, anyone sleeping rough needs a roof over their head, but I think the causes of sleeping rough are much more varied and complex to be solved by such a simplistic answer.

 

Where NAMA stock could have really positive effect would be to house those on the social housing lists. That would help tenants out of the hands of private landlords, and any costs involved would be offset considerably by a huge reduction in rent supplement which currently goes into the pockets of those landlords and keeps rents artificially high (although the limits were reduced significantly last week, but that's a different story).

 

Getting people into secure public tenancy would have a preventative effect in respect of homelessness. Family breakup, and the difficulty to secure private tenancies when this occurs, are significant factors in why people end up on the street. If you provide greater security of tenancy in the first place, it will have an effect throughout the system, and ensure that fewer people end up on the street in the first place.

 

That's not to say that there isn't a use for NAMA property for those sleeping rough, by increasing hostel or emergency accommodation, but the needs of the homeless are greater than just a roof over their heads. As well as the physical space needed, there also needs to be more resources ploughed into support services, but that's a huge issue and one which NAMA stock can't solve by itself.

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Does anyone else think that the Occupy Movements are starting to ruin the image of revolutionary socialism? Because they're taking a "non-party political" approach and adopting a broad "anti-capitalist" objective. In reality most of those taking part, follow some form of socialism or anarchism.

 

Reading comments on UTV and hearing people speak in the radio about the Bank occupation in Belfast, gives me the impression that the public just see the occupy movement as, an anti cuts movement with no ideology behind it. There's loads of comments saying how they support the wider occupy movement but that they are against what the Belfast one is doing. Then you people them complaining that the bank, under occupation is actually privately owned and they're causing problems for the poor owner of the building????

In fact, it seems people see the Occupy movement as just, Anti-Bank?

 

In my opinion they Occupy movements should just nail their colours to the the mast, and declare themselves as revolutionary socialists who want to change the who system not just the banks.

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Does anyone else think that the Occupy Movements are starting to ruin the image of revolutionary socialism? Because they're taking a "non-party political" approach and adopting a broad "anti-capitalist" objective. In reality most of those taking part, follow some form of socialism or anarchism.

 

Reading comments on UTV and hearing people speak in the radio about the Bank occupation in Belfast, gives me the impression that the public just see the occupy movement as, an anti cuts movement with no ideology behind it. There's loads of comments saying how they support the wider occupy movement but that they are against what the Belfast one is doing. Then you people them complaining that the bank, under occupation is actually privately owned and they're causing problems for the poor owner of the building????

In fact, it seems people see the Occupy movement as just, Anti-Bank?

 

In my opinion they Occupy movements should just nail their colours to the the mast, and declare themselves as revolutionary socialists who want to change the who system not just the banks.

 

Are they really revolutionary socialists though? A lot would just be disaffected middle class capitalists, social democrats or capitalists that see their system as reformable.

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Are they really revolutionary socialists though? A lot would just be disaffected middle class capitalists, social democrats or capitalists that see their system as reformable.

 

Most are like, but they'd hide their induvidual politics to show a united front sorta thing. Well Thats how Belfast is so I assume, that everywhere else is the same unless the local socialist movements just ignore the camps?

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Is the occupation of the bank in Belfast still ongoing? That was a definite move forward by the Occupy movement.

 

I agree that its pretty pointless being simply anti-bank, but banks are as good a place to start as any, and if it gives people outside the movement the impetus to start occupying other buildings, then fair play!

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