256 instances of "criminal acts, disease outbreaks, and acts of public concern" over the course of two months across some 50 encampments listed works out to one act per camp every 10-12 days. That's significantly less than the median rate of crime in public parks in most major cities. When taking into account how many more people are occupying the public parks and for how long, the crime rate in Occupy encampments is staggeringly low.
It must also be pointed out that there's no reason to blame the protestors for the background rate of crime in the area.
I mean, as I understand it, the Occupy protestors will let pretty much anyone come in to talk to them, take fliers, or whatever. There's nothing stopping a would-be pickpocket or mugger from committing their crime against one of the protestors, or against a random person near the protest. But that same criminal would do the same thing whether the protestors were there or not- the crime cannot be blamed on the presence of the protest. That wouldn't make any sense.
In short, you support anarchy; because you are advocating going outside of pre-defined peaceful means of resolving issues and instead make up new rules are you go along.
There is also no widespread clamour in America to solve its internal problems via anarchy. Therefore, even bringing it up is stupid.
Zinegata, I must be missing some part of your argument. Let me explain my difficulty.
I know of two basic models for how to run a legal system and a society. One is "everything which is not permitted is forbidden:" the authoritarian 'closed society' described by Karl Popper, in which all ideas, activities, and forms of expression not
sanctioned by the state are considered subversive and therefore banned.
The other is "everything which is not forbidden is permitted:" the 'open society.' In an open society, you are allowed to do as you please
, unless someone can come up with a specific reason to write a particular law that bans what you do. Ideas, activities, and forms of expression can exist without the state's permission.
In the West, people mostly like to think they live in open societies, and mostly think closed societies are a bad thing. I know I think those things. I imagine you do, too.
But I'm not sure whether you're drawing a distinction between "anarchy" and "open society." In an open society, it makes no sense to say "OWS's actions are not state sanctioned, therefore they are anarchist." Because there are all sorts of things the state doesn't sanction which are not anarchist. LARPers' actions aren't state-sanctioned; that doesn't make LARPers anarchists. Church ice cream socials aren't state sanctioned, nor are roller derbies, bachelor parties, nor meetings of the Rotary club. But all these things are legal even without express permission from the state, and participating in them does not make you an anarchist.
Nor does it make sense to say "OWS is not a political campaign aimed at making you vote for a specific candidate, therefore their actions are extra-legal and they are a pack of anarchists." They are not
, by and large, anarchists. The proof of this is simple: they want there to be laws and government.
Nor are their actions automatically somehow extra-legal. It is legal to express your political opinions in America in ways that are not part of a presidential campaign. And these modes of expression can be perfectly peaceful, as well as being legal... but they are not pre-defined
. There is no central agency in the US that gets to decide which ways you're allowed to try to achieve your political goals, with some methods (TV ads saying "vote for Smith!") being allowed while other methods (stand in a park chanting "down with Brown!") being not allowed.
So if I engage in peaceful, legal means of expression that are not on the menu of "pre-defined" traditional ways to achieve political power, how is that going outside the law, or being anarchist? If TV ads and mass mailings are "pre-defined," but rallies and protests are not, then how does that make protests and rallies inferior to mass mailings and TV ads?
I'm not one of Bakustra's biggest fans, but I don't get why you were calling him an anarchist.