Van Jones and Democratic Party Operatives:
You Do Not Represent the Occupy Movement
Make Your Own Program Don’t Try to Steal Ours
The corporate media is anointing a false leader of the Occupy Movement in Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream.
The former Obama administration official, who received a golden parachute at Princeton and the Democratic think tank Center for American Progress when he left the administration, is doing what Democrats always do—see the energy of an independent movement, race to the front, then lead it down a dead end and essentially destroy it. Jones is doing the dirty work of a Democratic operative and while he and other Dem front groups pretend to support Occupiers, their real mission is to co-opt it.
Glenn Greenwald says in a recent blog, “White House-aligned groups such as the Center for American Progress have made explicitly clear that they are going to try to convert OWS into a vote-producing arm for the Obama 2012 campaign.”
Before he ran to the front of the Occupy Movement, Jones’ Rebuild the Dream had been saying that its first task was to elect Democrats. Now he is claiming there will be 2000 “99 percent candidates” in 2012. These Democrats will be re-branded as part of the 99 percent movement. Democrats will now be re-labeled and marketed as part of the 99 percent movement. Republican operatives did the same thing to the Tea Party. Tea Party candidates, who often used to be corporate “Club for Growth” candidates, ran in the Republican Party. See, e.g., Senator Pat Toomey—before and after.
Jones is urging the Occupy Movement to “mature” and move on to an electoral phase. This would only make us a sterile part of the very problem we oppose. The electoral system is a corrupt mirage where only corporate-approved candidates are allowed to be considered seriously. At Occupy Washington, DC, we recognize that putting our time, energy and resources into elections will not produce the change we want to see. What we need to do right now is build a dynamic movement supported by independent media that stands in stark contrast to both corporate-bought-and-paid-for parties.
Democratic operatives want to steal the energy of the Occupy Movement because they do not have any of their own. These Dem front-groups operate within the confines of the two corrupt parties and their agenda is limited by what big business interests say is politically realistic. Rebuild the Dream is more of the same that has been seen over and over from groups like MoveOn and Campaign for America’s Future—elect Democrats is their mantra. It is their only program. And, it is bankrupt.
Democrats need to derail and co-opt the Occupy Movement because it calls attention to what’s really happening. The American people need a real jobs bill, not one that is merely a political tactic for an election year. We also need a truly progressive tax system—one that taxes wealth more and workers less. The poorest Americans pay taxes on necessities like food and clothing, so why is it that neither party urges a tax on the purchase of stocks, bonds and derivatives—a tax that could raise $800 billion over a decade? And finally, we need an end to the wars and militarism maintained and expanded by both parties, bringing huge profits to the arms industry and immense suffering to millions.
The Occupy Movement is not part of either corporate-dominated party and Van Jones is not our leader. It is corporate rule we oppose. The Obama administration and the Democrats as well as the Republicans maintain the rule of Wall Street. Occupiers have organized an independent movement that challenges the rule of the one percent and their Republican and Democratic lackeys. Bought and paid for with millions of dollars from Wall Street, the health insurance industry and big energy interests, Obama and the Democrats are part of the problem, not the solution.
Kevin Zeese is an organizer of Occupy Washington, DC and co-director of Its Our Economy and co-chair of Come Home America.
—Occupy Washington, DC, November 23, 2011