Occupy protesters these days are fond of chanting “This is what democracy looks like!” — a slogan they borrowed from other far-left protests in recent decades.
But at Occupy Los Angeles, fellow photojournalist Ringo captured what democracy really looks like in the OWS milieu. Yeah, Occupations have their “General Assemblies” and their up-twinkles and so forth, but that only works when everyone is already in essential agreement after the real dissenters have already been expelled, leaving the “democratic assembly” to at most bicker over minor details.
But what happens when there is deep fundamental disagreement on some point — in this case the key point of who is allowed permission to speak in the first place? Do the Occupiers have their own version of the First Amendment, or perhaps something even better?
In a word: No.
The deeply disturbing underbelly of Occupy groupthink was captured by Ringo a couple weeks ago at the Occupy LA encampment when two disgruntled protesters wanted to have their say on the camp’s “open mike” stage which is supposedly free for anyone to use. According to the Occupy philosophy, this system is even better than the First Amendment, because with an open mike, every single person has an equal voice (not just those who control the broadcast media).
Except what happens when one of your own starts saying things that the other Occupiers don’t want to hear?
Below you will find a series of videos taken from Ringo’s report Infighting, Pot Smoke & Chemtrails – One Hundred Minutes at Occupy L.A. (In this post we’ll be focusing on the “infighting” part; read Ringo’s full report for more on the Chemtrails lunacy and open drug use.)
Captions (in quotation marks) are by Ringo, with a few clarifications by me:
“No sooner did I turn away from this scene before I heard another argument breaking out – this one was on the stage, and much of it was being amplified across the park.
“Seems a man who wanted to make a short speech walked up on the empty stage with his own portable P.A. system, but as soon as he began to speak he was quickly surrounded by fellow occupiers who were intent on preventing him. They repeatedly unplugged his microphone. In the picture below you can see the man who wanted to speak in the brown sweater being faced off by a very angry Aztlan-warrior-hippie in a yellow shirt.
“Here is video of how it looked as I approached”:
This is the essence of what the future would look like in an Occupied nation, boiled down into a two-minute video: When there are no laws and/or no one to enforce those laws, then the bullies will control society.
“A guy in a striped tank-top and flat cap came over to cool things down. He kept saying, ‘Listen to me, I’m from San Francisco, I know how this works, I’m from San Francisco, listen to me.’ …Nobody seemed to care that he was from San Francisco. The shouting and shoving continued.
“Evidently a moment of silence had been scheduled for noon – just about the exact moment the ruckus began. The ‘moment of silence’ was to be followed by a one hour yoga session on the main stage, accompanied by Indian chanting – the purpose of which was to exorcise the bad energy and heal the rifts between the various factions. As the yogis took the stage, the imbroglio continued. As you can hear in the next video, the man who was being prevented from speaking starts calling for the police to help him…but there were no police around”:
As you watch the video above, keep in mind that if the Occupiers actually took over the country, this is how our nation’s new parliament or congress would act.
“What I gathered from talking to a few people who were standing nearby is that libertarians, and others, including some of the anarchists and hippies and conspiracy theorists, were angry that the use of the main stage was being controlled by Communists and Left-wing radicals. They claimed that opposing viewpoints were not allowed. One guy with a black bandana tied around his neck told me that ‘organized groups’ were trying to take over OLA. He said this movement should be leaderless. Another girl who looked to me like a hippie, countered that ‘somebody has to be in charge.’
“Meanwhile, as flaring tempers and shouting continued on one side of the stage, a woman sat down on the other side with a Hare Krishna-style pump organ and began chanting over the public address system – the system controlled by the ‘Commies and Leftists.’ This all made for a very surreal scene”:
“…After nearly half an hour of shoving and yelling and fighting over the right to speak the two men who wanted to address the crowd had ultimately been defeated, their voices silenced.
The Leftists, using thug tactics, had maintained their control over the microphone and the main stage…”
Now, this final video is the most important of all. A short while later, the argument continued at the foot of the main stage. Let Ringo set the scene:
“The big fellow with the beard had had enough of the yoga and the chanting. He was determined to address the crowd about the ‘Communists and Leftists’ who were taking over Occupy L.A. and preventing others from speaking. He was immediately surrounded by Communists and Leftists who were determined to stop him from speaking”:
Here is a transcript of the action starting at 0:13 (as best as I can make out – people are talking over each other):
Anti-authoritarian Occupy protester: I’m speaking!
Leftist Occupy protester: But you’re an asshole.
Anti-authoritarian Occupy protester: So who’s gonna constitute what an asshole is? You?
Woman occupier: 99%…
Anti-authoritarian Occupy protester: Really? So 99 wolves and one sheep, and we get to vote on what’s for dinner? Communism doesn’t work!
Leftist Occupy protester: You are a sheep!
Anti-authoritarian Occupy protester: Yes I am. Yes I am. I ain’t no wolf though.
[Shoving in the crowd surrounding him]
Anti-authoritarian Occupy protester: I’m not involved in the pushing. Not involved in pushing and confrontation. I just use my mouth and my mind. Communism doesn’t work. Occupy LA is being controlled by the Democratic Party, by the communists! See how they’re all around me? See how the communists –
Aggressive occupy protester: Don’t you fuckin’ put me in no category. Don’t say “they.” ‘Cause I stand alone.
Anti-authoritarian Occupy protester: What you gonna do? What you gonna do? Violent and aggressive manner. See? the 99 sheep– the 99 wolves coming against the one sheep.
Aggressive occupy protester #2: How much did they pay you? How much did they pay you to come here?
Anti-authoritarian Occupy protester: What are you talking about? You don’t have to spit on me sir. Please finish eating before speaking.
Aggressive occupy protester #2: Do you sleep here?
Anti-authoritarian Occupy protester: I sleep right there!
…etc. The argument continues for several minutes afterward.
It’s heartening to see that at least some of the Occupiers are trying to resist being totally co-opted and taken over by the far left. But unfortunately I fear they are far too few in number to make any difference at this point. Whenever the communists and the anarchists try to cooperate on a project, the communists always take control and elbow the competition out of the way. It’s happened before, it’s happening now, and it will surely happen in the future should the anarchists be foolish enough to ever hook up with the communists again.
For the complete report, with more insanity that you can even digest in one sitting, see Ringo’s full photo essay Infighting, Pot Smoke & Chemtrails – One Hundred Minutes at Occupy L.A.