Most Americans are going about their mundane chores this Friday afternoon, blissfully unaware that it is the last day of The World As We Know It.
At least that’s the claim of the organizers of tomorrow’s “Day of Rage,” a series of protest across the country meant to ignite an anti-capitalist revolution.
You may be laughing, but the the Ragers are deadly serious about this. “Is America Ripe for a Tahrir Moment?” is the event’s slogan, referring to the occupation of Cairo’s Tahrir Square by millions of Egyptians, leading to the overthrow of Mubarak and marking the climactic moment of the “Arab Spring.”
The plan is to protest in state capitals and major cities across the nation, but the focus of the revolution will be in New York, where a hoped-for 20,000 anti-capitalists will “occupy” Wall Street, by which they mean set up a grungy temporary encampment on the sidewalk somewhere near the Stock Exchange in order to garner media attention for their message.
And…what message is that, you may ask? Good question. Very, very good question. The tragicomic truth is that they haven’t really decided yet. The protesters will “refuse” to leave until “their one demand is met,” but they have not yet reached consensus on what that demand will be. They’ve even made a poster to advertise their messagelessness, asking “What Is Our One Demand?” To resolve this puzzler, they’ve set up a Facebook poll in which you can vote on the do-or-die demand; currently, “Revoke Corporate Personhood” is in the lead, beating out “Abolish Capitalism,” “Raise Taxes,” “Legalize Marijuana,” and my favorite, “Four-hour work day.” (For most of the protesters, that’s four hours more than they’re currently working. Why would they want that?) Me, I was hoping for something more dramatic, like “20,000 tofu burgers and a helicopter to Cuba.”
Starting tomorrow evening, I hope to get and then post here at PJM some on-the-scene photos from various Day of Rage protests across the country. If you can’t participate in the Revolution personally, the least I can do is help you experience it vicariously. Otherwise, you’re likely to miss it completely, and go about your mundane life as usual, unaware that anything even happened. Revolutions are like that sometimes.