Occupy Buffalo Experiences

Michael Mottern is the national leader of the Young Social Democrats, the
young peoples’ arm of the Social Democrats USA. Mike has been very involved in
Buffalo, New York within the Occupy Wall Street movement. Enclosed are his
observations regarding his first involvement with Occupy Buffalo on October 8.



Occupy Buffalo Experiences

Michael Mottern, chair Young Social Democrats

The second rally of Occupy Buffalo was held on Oct 8 and its message was anti-corporatism, anti big banks, and anti-Wall Street. It was opposition to the organizations that are buying out and ruining this country. This is a message that resonates with the Social Democrats US.

The day began with me wearing my organized labor colors, hard hat and all, to a rally in Niagara Square located in the downtown corridor of Buffalo New York, right across the street from City Hall. On my hard hat there was SD stickers, SPUSA stickers, and a tiny red flag that said UAW. I was a sight to see in my red and black outfit, and green hard hat, that saved my grandfather’s life at the Chevrolet foundry in Tonawanda, New York in the 1980s, when he was a victim of a almost deadly foundry accident.

The rally started at noon, with a few keynote speakers, speaking about the benefits of a regulated market on both Wall Street and the large multinationals. Within minutes, the small gathering of 20 people turned into a crowd of over 100, not a bad gathering for a small town like Buffalo New York. Getting kudos from the fire department as they honked their sirens at the demonstrators, that’s when the crowd of people began to cheer. Thank God some people knew the benefits of Roberts Rules of Order. If we had not had them, our little Athenian democratic experiment would have gone completely APE-SHIT!!

The atmosphere of the rally was clearly populist, there were some tea bagger’s in the crowd – they will probably be driven away by the anti corporate agenda, one Marxist-Leninist, and no Workers’ World people, thank God for that!!! The union people outnumbered the more fringe elements of the crowd by about ten to one. The theme was immediately taken up that the people at the rally represented the 99% of the people who have to work hard to make ends meet in this country as opposed to being the 1% of the Wall Street bankers, CEO’s, billionaires, millionaires, etc.

SD pamphlets in the Admin tent at Occupy Buffalo

While the Marxist Leninists were only an insignificant minority within the Occupy Buffalo rally they definitely worked to cause trouble.They attempted to direct people away from the voter registration of the New York PIRG which I was helping to staff. Their argument was that people should not vote because ” the elections were rigged anyway so what the use of voting.” I told them off. Latter this group attempted to push a resolution through the general assembly of Occupy Buffalo which would condemn voting and electoral politics. A very intuitive African American college professor and I helped shoot down this resolution.

I brought up the subject of establishing an outreach liaison to labor in the general assembly. I was told that the labor outreach would be done within the general community outreach committee. On contacting them I was made the labor liaison of the general group.

To summarize this, SD members need not be worried about the influence of the fringe people and far-left idiots from organizations such as the Revolutionary Communist Party and the US Marxist Leninist Organization in the movement. These groups are small potatoes – barking up the wrong tree in this anti-corporate movement. Do not fear them, this movement is still immature and the fringe will not take over. We can trust this miniature Athenian Democracy, like the way it was in Niagara Square. Note. The Occupy Buffalo website ishttp://www.occupybuffalo.org/

Michael Mottern

3 thoughts on “Occupy Buffalo Experiences

  1. Pingback: Bookmarks for October 16th from 23:38 to 23:58 « Mark's life

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