We set the standard ourselves. No one listened to police or self-appointed leaders of the march (were there even any?) about how the event should go.
We made it up as we went along – and for the moment that’s working. Maybe something to try next time is before heading to new places doing group checks – judging excitement by affirming screams and howls?
We took to the streets – and that worked. We actually disrupted something and forced the issue to be thought about – one of the major points of a protest but especially an occupation. Perhaps future disruptions can have an impact on more than just a thought provoking level.
We expanded out of the schedule of the march – and that worked. Instead of only going to Washington Avenue we decided to go to the Landing and the Federal Reserve building too. Awesome. Let’s keep in mind though that had we gone even longer though, most of us were really dehydrated and couldn’t yell much longer. Let’s not over extend ourselves, especially this early, and especially since had police been more prepared they might have been able to corner us.
We expanded out of Occupy Wall St.’s currently limited analysis with our chants of “Class War” – and that worked. Let’s try and think of OCCUPYSTL as our own entity – something that can be influenced by, but doesn’t have to be limited to, the decisions made by Occupy Wall St. (they’re their own entity). Who knows, hopefully we can influence them too, and maybe the occupy movement will be less and less centralized and more and more reciprocal.
Marches are usually the most exciting when no one tries to control it/one another – let’s trust each other! Now may or may not be the time for certain tactics, but let’s keep an open mind and an open dialogue about it. Let’s not let a moral stance become an undiscussed tactical policy. Two nights ago most people probably would have thought that OCCUPYSTL wasn’t ready for what happened last night – but we were! Let’s keep assessing new ideas, new voices, new targets, new strategies and tactics – and let’s keep it fun!
Mad love to everybody who tried something new last night or overcame their cynicism of past failures.
A NOTE ON POLICE and the upsetting potential for the watering down of our fire.
From a tactical perspective the St. Louis Police Department hasn’t dealt with something like that in at least eight years (since the anti-war protests of 2002-2003.) They’ve already shown their force and willingness to end this occupation. In future marches let’s stay on our toes and watch-out for one another.
As the police begin to formulate their own strategy of limiting and ending our movement, we should be thinking of our own ways to not let that happen.
We also need to stay vigilant against the police’s attempts (or the attempts of other people who want to control our leaderless occupation) at dividing us into “good” and “bad” protesters who either have “acceptable” or “unacceptable” ideas of what protests could look like.
Let’s keep it diverse. Let’s keep trusting each other. Let’s keep surprising ourselves.