What we have learned from Occupy Wall Street’s attempts at sustaining a free assembly with intent to peacefully revolutionize the government, is that our country is currently not able to safely handle or sustain a true peaceful revolutionary movement.
We need to demand space be allocated for politically motivated assembly, and infrastructure be sustained to allow for clean, safe spaces for citizens to openly practice dissent.
How can something good ever catch on if we don’t allow it to grow?
We need to consider the current, modern, situation we are in and the modes of transfer of information we rely on and how and by whom they can be used and manipulated. The presence and prevalence of television and commerce driven advertisement and censorship creates a informational environment that is trained to stifle out information that may be considered adverse to the success of the sponsors of the network. Additionally we have the presence of governmental systems of censorship and government sponsored advertisement. These systems exert an extreme bias on the kind of information that can be viewed or that has the ability to be easily of prominently displayed.
There are ways to alter the prominence of the kinds of information, like the presence of interactive computing networks, which can facilitate search engines that eliminate bias or optimize the search in more neutral ways. The problem with these technologies is that they are new and not yet prominent in the minds of many people or not accessible. We need to be conscious of these technologies and ensure their free use, to mitigate the effects of commercialism and governmental interference on the integrity of information. However, in our current technological situation, the only way to get a message out to an important number of people is via the television system, and in order to do that, you need to attract media attention.
This requires a sensational style of activism, in which stunts are pulled and civil disobedience is practiced to make a powerful enough statement that will be observed in a meaningful way. This paired with an amorphous constantly changing group of freely assembling individuals implies a certain amount of chaos in the process.
The way police have handled the situation thus far has been potentialy very dangerous.
I think response to situations like this need to be focused on facilitation. If the government were to provide adequate platforms for assemblies like this it could avert potential disaster having to do with police conflict and do so more cost effectively.