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Fighting Back: Occupy Wall Street Sues New York City, JP Morgan

News of suits against police violations of Constitutional rights and excessive force represent a key front for pushing back against illegitimate power.

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Part of a social change movement is pulling out handfuls of insulation—or more often about the police burning it. I know that this isn’t a very satisfying rebutal to your concerns, which are real, but the fact is that you do influence people wearing that symbol simply by being a reasonable person endorsing something which isn’t the same tired bullshit. You can’t know the incremental effect you have until the shift comes. And yes, it may take years. In Egypt, they’d been organizing (in far more difficult conditions) for five years before The Big Unwind. The point is for the Occupation Movement to maintain intitiative and keep the pressure on. The authorities only have a limited playbook, and no solutions whatsoever."

It remains to be seen whether the Occupy movement has the staying power to effect or foment lasting change. But with unemployment high (reducing the stakes to participation in protests) and the elites far more keenly interested in the needs of the 1% than those of ordinary citizens, there is plenty of dry timber for a spark to set off a bigger conflagration.

Yves Smith is the founder of Naked Capitalism and the author of 'ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism.'

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