With shop owners still surveying their losses in the wake of the riots in Great Britain, American radicals are preparing for their own “spontaneous” demonstrations against U.S. capitalism. September 17th has been designated a “Day of Rage,” in which demonstrators are encouraged to occupy Wall Street.
The highly organized effort comes complete with a web site, Facebook page, Twitter campaigns, and detailed instructions on the proposed occupation of the financial capital of the world. And this doesn’t come from a few disaffected societal dropouts either. The national web site and movement has close ties with leaders of major U.S. unions such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and founders of ACORN.
While the web site for Day of Rage makes numerous allusions to non-violence, everything about it indicates the group is looking to incite as much reaction as possible. For example the web site proclaims, “US Day of Rage is non violent. Violence is behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.” However, headings on the same page include:
- Resources for Non Violent Civil Disobedience
- Non Violent Response to Personal Violence
- Dealing with Violence by Others at Non Violent Direct Actions
- Legal Issues and Risking Arrests
- Jail Solidarity
- Bring Your Camera
- Handbook for Digital Civil Disobedience
One YouTube video on the web sites suggests that any violence that may break out at the protest will probably be the result of infiltrators of the movement. In particular, the video says if people throw rocks or instigate violence against police they will probably be “provocateurs” placed there by police to create a reason for arrests and violence against peaceful protestors. In other words, Day of Rage is expertly setting the stage for planned anarchy that can be blamed on law enforcement rather than the protestors.
Day of Rage has four stated principles that include a commitment to non-violence, disassociation from any political party or candidate, complete autonomy from other such movements, and having no financial backing of any kind.
When one follows the organizers and money trail they find quite a different picture indeed. Even the name of the event is revealing. “Day of Rage” harkens back to Day of Rage as coined by the domestic terrorist organization of the 1960s, Weather Underground. Founders of that movement, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, are well known long-time associates of President Obama.
ACORN’S work in getting out the vote for the President is no secret and it has been hard at work providing a platform for the September 17th event. ACORN founder, Wade Rathke, announced in March what he called “days of rage,” focusing on JP Morgan Chase in ten cities. Rathke is also a former president of SEIU in New Orleans. Stephen Lerner, an SEIU board member who has visited the Obama White House at least four times has, called for “a week of civil disobedience, direct action all over the city.” Lerner is considered one of the most able organizers of the radical left who in his own words wants to “destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.”
To understand the mindset of the rank and file supporters of Day of Rage one only needs take a look at what it is calling, “A living declaration of grievances against the ills and abuses of gov’t power.” This declaration is an evolving list of grievances that can be found through the Twitter hashtag, #USDOR. Consider this sampling of Tweets made in the last 24 hours:
- First we take Manhattan. Then we take Berlin
- America’s Day of Rage Is Coming, and It’s Just the Beginning
- Fake Facebook Identity Used By Military Contractors Plotting To Hack Progressive Organizers
- Riot on Wall Street Scheduled for September 17
- What if Day of Rage spilled into the streets in every city and country around the globe? Revolution is spawned in dire times like these
- We cannot build institutions for our age out of the bloated, irrelevant, faceless, object relationships of the industrial era
- Be prepared for provocateurs, pigs disguised as humans. They WILL torch a pigmobile and then attack everyone nearby.
Common themes of Day of Rage sympathizers include redistribution of wealth, calls for workers to rise up against employers, an end to corporate campaign contributions, and a host of other grievances.
There is a legitimate place to debate issues such as corruption in government, corporate greed, and over-reaching military actions. But while Day of Rage makes a great show of wanting to “start a conversation,” it is obvious the intended goal is destabilization of the financial and governmental system.
The difference in the movement of the 1960s and today has to do with backing, organization, and technology. Day of Rage is a planned anarchist’s movement with the full backing of Washington insiders and the technology to orchestrate mayhem like a well-oiled machine. Organizers say they want to teach politicians and Wall Street a lesson. It looks like we’ll have to wait until September 18th to know the results.