In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Protesters set up Congresses across US

Posted by seumasach on September 27, 2011

Interview with Don Debar


27th September, 2011

Click on link above to view video

Protests in the US over harsh economic conditions fanned by US government policies favoring the rich are being organized into people’s Congresses across the country.

Press TV talks with Don De Bar, political analysts in New York about the latest development in the protests and the strategies being implemented. Following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: It’s interesting that the media didn’t cover this until some arrests were made and things got a little out of hand.

Don De Bar: Yes absolutely and now it’s in the tenth day. It’s kind of amazing because they have a website at that’s been doing a live stream for ten days now and they have at the moment 3,574 people watching.

Even more than that for those near a computer if you go to and type in the search window ‘occupy’ and keep hitting more results you’ll see that this is happening everywhere now. They have occupy Los Angeles, occupy Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Tampa; all over the US — and then occupy Canada, occupy Europe…

And these websites just in the facebook pages alone some have already started yesterday or the day before with 1,000 to 2,000 people following it. Many of those if you look closely are activists whose own lists include up to 5,000 people. So this is going to grow very fast.

Crowds over the weekend were a few thousand people for Saturday and Sunday at the actual site. And online watching you had 8,000 thousand people or so were involved in this – It’s going to grow. They’re going to stay there until December I think at this point.

At some point it’s going to have to be dealt with by the media even if it is to reposition it.

Press TV: Maybe the media has to deal with it as you said — they have to cover it. Overall, the response of government officials — of how this needs to be reacted to, that’s got to be key. The people out there, they want to grab back the American dream, which obviously has been taken away. What kind of a response should US officials have on this?

Don De Bar: One of the things that’s been happening is that they’ve (the population) been organizing this as a people’s assembly or people’s congress so that if you show up you get to go to the microphone, or to the extent that they’ve been allowed to have microphones — they have had their equipment taken repeatedly by police — so you get to go center stage and say something… they’ve allowed anyone to go there and the organizers are basically accumulating a list of demands.

They all seem to be centering primarily upon the huge economic inequity in the US and the control of capital over the political system. I think the most common slogan I heard chanted over the course of the last ten days has been “They got bailed out we got left out.”

And so the political structure is not only going to have to respond to the demands that come out of this at it grows, but if the underlying modus-operandi actually catches on, the political structure might end up being supplanted by these people’s congresses around the country.

I think that’s an important thing to be mindful of now because if we start to see power actually devolving to groups of organized people they’re going to have to find a way to thread them all together, [that’s] number one.

And number two, make sure that whatever policy comes out of those groups to the extent any can actually be implemented that is reflective of the people who are involved and not of somebody who’s grabbing the leash.

Press TV: You talked about how this has spread to other cities — this is not the first time the financial district in New York is saying what it’s saying — back in May there were quite a big number that showed up and there are other protest movements such as, which is planned in Washington. Where is this all going to go? How bad can it get?

Don De Bar: The underlying conditions in the US are worse for more people than they have been at least since the depression before WWII; And if you look at the fundamentals perhaps even the worst in the country’s history.

Where they’ve been able before to blow air into the system repeatedly using WWII, economics that were developed in the 50s and used more or less up until the last few boosts in the markets and the economy — they have no more tools in their tool box.

There was a class war and they won and now it’s like, well, what next? So I think now people are trying to put their own demands on the radar so that when the ‘what next’ question gets answered, the needs of the people get addressed and this seems to be the way to do it with people’s congresses coining themselves around the country.

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