This report was written in December regarding the Occupy Buffalo movement. It was written by Michael Mottern the Chair of the Young Social Democrats.
All across the nation police forces have been moving to shut down the various Occupy movements. In Buffalo, New York however this has not occurred and probably will not. One reason is that Occupy Buffalo because of its awesome legal team from the Western New York Civil Liberties Union has been able to cooperate successfully with Buffalo’s city hall. It has also built up good relations with the police department and officers. Beyond its willingness to obey laws it has also done this by sponsoring a Police Appreciation Day in which cookies and thank you cards were dropped up to the union president and the union members themselves.
We also have good relations with other public employees and unions. Instead of spraying us with fire hoses, we get kudos from the fire department. We had a Fire Fighters Appreciation Day. Unions like the Buffalo Teachers Federation, the SEIU, the Steel Workers, and others all have given donations in the form of fundraisers or writing checks to the movement. Now the hard hats are really with us! And with the economic crisis going on in the United States and echoing through out the world many more people will eventually jump on board.
Another reason the Occupy movement will succeed is that this movement is not like the 60’s as Bill Maher said on HBO a few weeks ago. “Now the hard hats are with us” Instead of burning the flag we fly it proudly! Instead of throwing Molotov cocktails we attend the common council of Buffalo meetings and other committee meetings as well. Instead of spiting on our veterans, they join us in uniform. Instead of hating private property ownership, entrepreneurship, and advances in science, we love these things.
In short the movement is not like the sixties. It is not as radical. Instead it is universal and populist just like the 99%. Its philosophy is not entirely red like at the turn of the last century but now is made up of a very mixed bag of philosophies. Because the Occupy Buffalo movement is all of these things. Because the Occupy movement represents the real needs of the 99% of the people who are not privileged in this country, I feel privileged by being able to participate in it. My work in it has been and is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life.