Witness to the Revolution

by John Hood

The Occupy Wall Street trespass-fest may look inchoate and its defenders incoherent, but the whole thing has been a model of message discipline in comparison with the Occupation events in other cities. If you are looking for signs that the hard Left has already captured whatever energy may have existed behind the legitimate grievances of initial protesters (Wall Street bailouts, etc.), you need look no further than the official statements, manifestos, blog posts, and other messages streaming from the Occupy This and Occupy That groups coast to coast.

I’ve been having fun here in North Carolina chronicling the rise and fall — or perhaps I should stay the stumble and slumber — of such groups as Occupy Raleigh, Occupy Charlotte, and Occupy Greensboro. You’d might think that Occupy Charlotte, for example, would have some legs, as the city is still (barely) the country’s second city of banking and finance, after New York, due to its being the headquarters of Bank of America and retaining a major presence from Wells Fargo (which took over what used to be Wachovia).

But it didn’t take long for Occupy Charlotte to descend into self-parody. From a local TV news report:

Monday evening, we showed up at a 7pm meeting of Occupy Charlotte supporters at their uptown camp site. That’s when the group went temporarily silent.

One group member proposed a vote, and the group of about 50 appeared to unanimously agree not to say another word for the time being. When we asked what was going on, one member said the local media had been misconstruing the group’s message, so they decided to stop talking to reporters.

The group sat in silence for about 15 minutes until reporters walked farther away. Then the meeting appeared to continue.  About an hour later, after wbtv.com requested an interview, the group held another vote and sent someone over to act as a spokesman.

“Seems they’re a little disappointed with some things that happened out here between some of the media outlets and stuff,” said Occupy Charlotte supporter Thomas Shope. “Seems like some people tromped through some of their property and were a little bit forceful in the questions they asked.”

When reminded that the Occupy Charlotte movement was taking place on public property, Shope said the protestors still deserved to get some sleep.

Fair enough. To live in a dream world, one must first go to sleep. Only, Occupy Charlotte isn’t just the public face of a few sleepy kids trespassing in a public park. It is also a statement of principles that includes such disturbing elements as:

We call for workers to not only strike, but seize their workplaces collectively, and to organize them democratically.

We call for the seizure and use of abandoned buildings, of abandoned land, of every property seized and abandoned by speculators, for the people, for every group that will organize them.

Workers of the World, Unite! You know, after a nap and stuff.