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Thread started by Dave Winer on Monday, September 17, 2012.

OWS on its anniversary

I've started a half-dozen posts about Occupy Wall Street on its anniversary. Here goes another.

This close to a national election, I wish they were doing something to try to influence the outcome. What they're doing will just remind people about last year's occupations. I think most people who sympathize with or agree with the premises of OWS (I am one) were concerned with how it would end. Is this really a protest we want to associate with? Becoming homeless and going to jail to make headlines is not my idea of good craftsmanship of political message.

I've felt in my gut that the right place for freedom-loving people to invest effort is to oppose the most heinous of the plots to control government to favor the rich -- voter suppression. If you're going to march somewhere, why not call attention to the places which are most dangerous to democracy?

Also unlike most people who march I believe votes absolutely do matter. I believe in government of the people, by the people and for the people. True, we've given up most of our power. But what's the best way to get it back? By voting. I'm really serious about that. You can't take it back by getting arrested. You take it back by literally taking it back. And help other people whose votes are being obstructed to get around the obstructions.

BTW, what taught me the value of the vote was doing jury duty about 15 years ago. The trial went all the way to verdict, so I had a chance to really think about how it worked and what it means. I had always glossed over this part of government. But here we were, 12 very random people, being trusted with a fellow citizen's liberty. We started out as raw cynics, but by the time we had to pass judgement we were true believers in the Constitution. It was an amazing transformation, in all of us, myself included.

People died to undo the terrible methods of voter suppression in the past. Now we're sitting by and doing nothing while they put it all back in place. Something very wrong about that.