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OccupySF’s bridge takeover: Alinsky refresher in order

Wells Fargo Demonstration April 24, 2012
Wells Fargo Demonstration April 24, 2012
Arthur Bruzzone

SAN FRANCISCO, CA-- I spoke to several demonstrators yesterday who were proteting at the Wells Fargo headquarters. I asked them if they supported the planned May 1 Golden Gate Bridge occupy action. Two out of three looked away, clearly undecided.

“They said it would bring attention to our cause,” one demonstrator replied.

Who are “they”, I asked myself.

The recent demonstration in front of the Wells Fargo building on California Street was well planned, a case of effective ‘armed propaganda.’

The Occupy movement’s targeting of the super banks harnessed the frustration and anger of millions of Americans – including the one in four home owners who owes more than the value of their homes, the students graduating with no jobs and massive student loans, and millions of credit card customers who have paid over 20% interest on funds banks borrowed from the Fed at less than five percent.

Saul Alinksy taught community organizers to spotlight one institution despised by a majority of the community. The banks correctly served as that target.

The Golden Gate commuters are not.

The commuters on that bridge will endure three days of disruption as the old bridge approach during the weekend leading up to Occupy’s May 1 planned action. Tensions will be high.

Most of the commuters using the bridge are workers, not the one percent super rich. The bridge and the government workers union contract have nothing to do with the banks, the 2008 bailouts, the huge bank executive bonus salaries, or the plethora of issues that have marked Occupy demonstrations.

Like Occupy Oakland’s disruption of the Port of Oakland, the Golden Gate Bridge disruption targets the wrong enemy, alienates those Occupy wants to reach and influence.

The “they” who recommend this action need a refresher course in the Saul Alinksy school of direct action. It will be another Occupy misfire.