Check out these high precision grinding images:
The Rebellion is About to be Crushed
Image by Viewminder
There were hundreds of demonstrators occupying the corner of LaSalle and Jackson tonight on the sidewalk at the Bank of America Building.
Tension saturated the protest.
The City of Chicago’s had enough.
The police were walking amongst the crowd.
The demonstrators were told to move their things…
the food cart…
signs on the sidewalk…
It was like a little game.
The cops would tell them to move it…
or keep moving themselves…
and people would move the stuff around the corner.
Then the police would tell them to move it from there.
The officers were stern about anyone crossing the curb into the street.
I got one of the cops alone and I told him…
‘I smell a crackdown.’
He looked me in the eyes and he only nodded his head up and down a few times.
Though the protestors chant ‘whose streets’ and reply ‘our streets’…
the message is being conveyed quietly but effectively.
These streets belong to the City of Chicago.
And the City is about to take them back.
Two things were the physical center of the occupiers…
the food cart where people could grab something to eat or drink… a bottle of water or a cup of coffee…
and the drums.
The drums used to sound loudly day and night.
They gave the whole movement a real pulse.
First the police apparently arrested a couple of people for playing them…
then they said that they couldn’t be left on the sidewalk.
In their absence there is a nervous silence.
Whoever determined that the drums should be taken out was genius.
I never gave so much thought to something like the sound of a drum.
But observing the situation tonight I realized that they gave the people a certain power.
That power is largely gone this evening.
And the warmth, sustinence and comraderie of the food cart has been taken away too.
A casual observer might not even notice the crackdown.
It’s subtle and well thought out.
A longtime observer of the movement would see the impact immediately.
A sense of doom settled over the group even though the chanting and sign waving continued.
The drums were gone.
Here and there as people gathered in clusters and conversations spilled out onto the sidewalk I couldn’t help but notice…
this is a time of crisis for The Occupation.
Though perhaps there was a certain wisdom in a ‘leaderless’ movement…
now there is no direction to turn to respond quickly and strategically in a strong and unified manner.
The movement began as a proactive and spontaneous demonstration of the grievances and frustration of so many people.
Now without a leader to make quick and strategic decisions it can only respond in a weak and fragmented way to the crackdown by the City.
It has become reactionary.
Here and there people are lobbying others to one course of action or another…
Some say the group needs to resist with greater intensity…
others want an out and out fight.
One demonstrator in an ominous sign had a gas mask strapped to his side at the ready.
Because the movement is openly democratic and all major decisions are voted on publicly at the General Assembly meetings each night at ‘The Horse’ in the park…
the group is largely incapable of surprise.
The days of the occupation are numbered.
And I believe in the end they could be counted on one’s fingers.
The police have had more than thirty days to plan a strategy to rout the occupiers.
And when the police make their move the occupiers will be crushed with overwhelming force.
They will split up and they will be defeated in a matter of minutes.
A battle is not a time for democratic manuevering.
To win a battle a group must be cohesive, united and of one mind.
A victorious army is a product of many becoming one.
Without a strong and capable leader this will never happen.
Those with a propensity for violence and mayhem will sieze the opportunity in the chaos and lash out in the moments before defeat is total and their actions will become the legacy of the group.
What an amazing thing to observe on the ground in the middle of it all.
I see it in the eyes and on the faces of the people who come to have their voices heard.
I see no imminent victory.
Really I’m surprised the city has demonstrated so much patience.
I suppose everyone thought that the weather would be the thing that ended it all.
I’m sure the officials who are gonna have to give the orders hoped the same.
The higher ups are watching.
With the G8 and the Nato Summits coming up in May of 2012 there is a feeling that the City isn’t handling this too well and that there’s gonna be a prevalence of disorder and chaos then.
Get ready for the ‘dry run.’
The end will come swiftly.
The protestors will be arrested and dispersed with precision.
some windows will get broken.
Things will be thrown.
Yahoo’s will lash out and do stupid shit.
But it’s gonna all be over in a couple of minutes.
it’s time to make a move.
And it’s gotta be a good one.
How can you avoid a crushing defeat?
Regain your proactivity and get ahead of this.
It’s coming whether you’re ready or not.
There will be no decisive victory.
How can you transition from this phase into the next?
It’s not gonna happen by accident.
It’s time to think.
It’s time to act.
The noose is tightening and you’re being surrounded.
Look at the thuggish behavior of the Illinois State Police last night at the Thompson Center.
Nothing will be accomplished by holding your ground in front of an army that is overwhelming in physical strength and numbers and would perhaps even relish the opportunity to ‘tune you up’ en masse.
In the face of all this… in the immediate moment… without a dramatic and super-numeric show of support in the form of thousands of reinforcements your epitaph has already been written.
If tommorow more than three thousand show up and link arms and hearts and souls with the movement then everything I’ve said is off the table… at least for some time.
Sources within the police department say that they could not handle two thousand mass arrests.
Unless there are that many ready to call their bluff it’s time to go to ‘Plan B.’
Since there is no ‘Plan B’ someone’s gotta do some quick thinkin’.
If the authorities were smart they’d give the group some victory in exchange for giving up the occupation at the present site.
But no one’s ever accused the authorities of being smart.
A bully will always respond to any threat to his dominance in a bullyish manner.
Occupiers… prepare to get your asses kicked.
tone it down…
back off a little…
move into the ‘second phase.’
I have no idea what the ‘second phase’ is but it sounds logical.
I’m all for standing up for what’s right.
Given the right circumstances I could be convinced to dig in and resist until the end.
But wouldn’t it be better to live to ‘fight’ another day?
Gahd I hope I’m completely wrong and I’ve totally underestimated the courage, the fortitude, the ingenuity and the determination of the group.
Now is the time for deep thought.
If a battle can be won…
I say win it.
If a battle is certain to be disasterous…
I say avoid it.
While the group remains in its present form and sufficient strength…
what should be considered is what the legacy of these five weeks will be.
What victories have been won?
First the dissatisfaction of a large number of people has been demonstrated… and their desire for change has been heard far and wide.
Everyone can see around the world that significant numbers of us are not happy with the way that things are going.
that the same people are willing to get off of their couches… move away from their televisions and take action to make our world better, more just and level the economic ‘playing field.’
and it’s my opinion that the greatest of victories that this movement has succeeded at is driving the discussion of a nation for almost two months.
I think the most amazing thing has been the sheer numbers of people who came to the occupation site and talked to each other about what the world should look like in the future.
This in itself is probably the greatest victory of all.
It means so much.
The way I see it there are two paths at this point…
imminent annihilation of the movement in a crushing defeat by the authorities…
or a strategic and proactive restructuring of the group and it’s mission.
Personally… I dig the second path.
I’m not in the mood to be spittin’ up all the mucus in my lungs after suckin’ down a few too many breaths of tear gas while a Chicago cop tunes me up with the business end of his billyclub while he’s all dressed up like a hockey golie.
That shit would give me bad dreams for a while.
Lets keep our core strong… our base vast… our support intact and our occupiers free and healthy and regroup for the winter.
The orginaization can be structured into more local cells under the umbrella of a central organization…
meetings can take place… more supporters recruited… a greater organization achieved over the coming months…
and in the spring or even here and there in the meantime the movement can be called on to pop up with little notice and demonstrate effectively for what it believes to be critical to our future as a group and a people.
It’s time to go ‘guerilla.’
What began as a peaceful and non-violent movement should grow into a transition as a peaceful and nonviolent movement.
Let us remain true to our principles.
We have shown great commitment, restraint, cohesiveness and respect for the laws and customs of our society even as we criticized it and made clear our desire for great change.
We can make something of that.
If without thinking we walk into a battle that cannot be won we will have squandered the support of so many, the victories achieved and the hard work and sacrifice of thousands who believe that the future needs to be rethought and our world changed for the betterment of all.
Or at least the 99%.
Let’s not let our friends be brutalized on the street and have our brothers and sisters choking on the tear gas… our signs and banners trampled by the riot police on horseback… and our whole movement summed up by that one video of a guy wearing a bandanna over his face as the tear gas flies and he throws a rock at the police.
We’ve worked too hard and come too far for that.
We’re better and we’re smarter and we’re more grown up.
We have made our voices heard over the last five weeks.
Let’s move into the future where we can achieve something lasting and powerful.
Let our legacy reflect the justice and equality and the better society that we seek and the intelligence and comraderie which with we sought it.
Together and strong we can change the world with our motivation, determination, intelligence and patience.
Fragmented and crushed the last we will be seen or heard from is on the news on the day of our demise.
This is the moment that will determine the future of our movement.
We need to be wise… stay strong… remain united and make the most of this moment.
We stand for something great.
We need to move forward with honor and strength and continue to challenge the status quo.
The moment is here.
Right Here Right Now
Image by World T.E.A.M. Sports
Expedition doctor Jeff Evans can’t resist working his precision tweezers to clean some debris from Luis’ eye. World T.E.A.M. Sports’ October 2010 Soldiers to the Summit Expedition. Photo © Didrik Johnck 2010.