OWS Needs Us, We Need Them

On this morning's trip to the Dallas campsite, I could not find the old "needs list." However, one of the young men told me that they need cold weather gear such as blankets, tarps, and sleeping bags. He also said they needed more art supplies for their signs. He specifically mentioned big sheets of paper and banner material.

I asked if anybody had an update on Stephen Benavides, and he said that Stephen was back in the camp. That's good news if true, but Karen Sholz wrote me that Stephen was still being held on Monday.

How long will this go on?

The problem with asking how long Occupy Wall Street will continue is that the answer is outside our experience. We've never seen anything with no ending. A lot of us got our training in the civil rights movement or in the Vietnam anti-war movement. Both of those movements had clear goals and possible endings. When they cancelled the military draft in 1972 and got out of Vietnam, our anti-war movement came to an end, for exmaple. By the same token, taking all the troops out of Iraq and closing the military bases would be the virtual end of that long fight.

But the present struggles around corporate greed are probably going to be generated as long as there is an economic crisis, and nobody is even seriously trying to end it. In fact, most of the governmental "debt reduction" activity -- which should more properly be called austerity measures -- are going to make the crisis worse and longer lasting. There is no way to predict what kinds of tactics and strategies are going to be applied, nor any way to predict what will work and what won't, but the underlying struggle will go on as long as the injustice continues. Economic injustice is generating this fight, and only justice can end it.

It can't end until our side wins, and our side can't win until the 99% takes action together.