Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy What?

So as the Occupy Wall Street protests spread into the fertile soil of unemployed and underemployed America, I find myself looking at the gatherings that are stirring here in DC and thinking about what they're called.

Occupy DC may have been the first choice, but I wonder about that.  I know, I know, Washington is everything that is wrong with America, but honestly, this ain't the Tea Party.  This is not a wild yawp from the conservative lumpenproletariat, who are and have always been easily distracted from systemic issues by waving flags and reflexive nationalism.  It's smarter, more organic, and less easily hijacked by self-promoting blowhards working for conservative media conglomerates.

Occupy DC?  What does that mean?  DC isn't monolithic, any more than New York is monolithic.  Protesters in New York knew that you needed the right focus.  Would you occupy Queens?  Would you Occupy Times Square or Occupy Soho or Occupy Chinatown?  Of course not.  That's not the part of town that counts, unless you're mad about this season on Broadway or harbor a compulsive dislike for Peking Duck.

It had to be Occupy Wall Street.  Just had to be.

DC is similarly diverse.  Are you going to Occupy SouthEast?  Honey, they may be hurting because of the mess we're in, but they're not the problem.   Are you going to Occupy Adams Morgan?  Maybe at night, because it's cool, but again, that's not the issue.

If the movement is to resonate in solidarity with the New York demonstrations, the focus needs to be K Street.  K Street, O my brothers and sisters, is the symbolic heart of American corporate lobbying and its influence over our political system.  That's where the connection is, where the golden cord of power and influence and wealth binds the two streets together.

It's already rolling that way, but it needs to be clearly laid out.  If there are to be cries of protest at what is happening in our nation, if we want power to know that we're finally paying attention and see the connections, they should be at the intersection of Wall and K streets.