There will lots of people and groups handing out advice to the Occupy Wall St. movement and no doubt some of it will be positive advice and some will be destructive. However this open letter from "anarchists" is probably the best advice they could get, I sincerely hope they read, digest and act on the sound advice contained in the article. Of course it is not just Wall St occupation that should read and act upon the letter, but all those occupations present and to come, and I have no doubt that there will be many more in the not so distant future, be it street, factory, school, public building or community, the advice holds good.
Short extract of the open letter from: CrimethInc. Ex-workers Collective.
Police can’t be trusted.
They may be “ordinary workers,” but their job is to protect the interests of the ruling class. As long as they remain employed as police, we can’t count on them, however friendly they might act. Occupiers who don’t know this already will learn it first-hand as soon as they threaten the imbalances of wealth and power our society is based on. Anyone who insists that the police exist to protect and serve the common people has probably lived a privileged life, and an obedient one.
Don’t fetishize obedience to the law.
Laws serve to protect the privileges of the wealthy and powerful; obeying them is not necessarily morally right—it may even be immoral. Slavery was legal. The Nazis had laws too. We have to develop the strength of conscience to do what we know is best, regardless of the laws.
To have a diversity of participants,
a movement must make space for a diversity of tactics. It’s controlling and self-important to think you know how everyone should act in pursuit of a better world. Denouncing others only equips the authorities to delegitimize, divide, and destroy the movement as a whole. Criticism and debate propel a movement forward, but power grabs cripple it. Th e goal should not be to compel everyone to adopt one set of tactics, but to discover how different approaches can be mutually beneficial.
Don’t assume those who break the law or confront police are agents provocateurs.
A lot of people have good reason to be angry. Not everyone is resigned to legalistic pacifism; some people still remember how to stand up for themselves. Police violence isn’t just meant to provoke us, it’s meant to hurt and scare us into inaction. In this context, self-defence is essential. Assuming that those at the front of clashes with the authorities are somehow in league with the authorities is not only illogical— it delegitimizes the spirit it takes to challenge the status quo, and dismisses the courage of those who are prepared to do so. This allegation is typical of privileged people who have been taught to trust the authorities and fear everyone who disobeys them.