Several Occupy Illinois groups came together Saturday in Springfield for Occupy Your State Capital Day. […]
Next came the first reading of an eviction notice delivered to the lobbyists for the 1% and their servants in elected office who currently occupy the Illinois Capitol Building. It reflects that the same issues raised by the Wall Street Occupiers exist in Illinois state government. Rather than a request for temporary fixes, it’s an indictment of a broken, corrupted political system that’s largely unresponsive to the 99%.
* Again, an “eviction notice,” no matter how symbolic, is not in any way democratic. From their press release…
TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE PRESS: The General Assembly for Occupy Springfield has agreed to stand in solidarity with National Occupy Your State Capital Day by posting a Notice of Eviction on the door of the State Capitol. Lobbyists and their servants in elected office will be notified their tenure in the Capitol Building is over.
A handful of protesters has no right to overturn elections nor deny people from exercising their 1st Amendment right to petition the government, no matter how much one might disagree with their employers. I fully support the occupy folks’ rights to protest. I flat out oppose any attempt to take away constitutional rights from others. When we overturn elections we don’t like or allow the government to decide who can and who cannot lobby, we’re gonna be in really big trouble.
Lets be a touch over-literal huh? Oh and “destruction”?? REALLY? You mean like destroying the corporate stranglehold on the legislative process? Then yeah I guess that counts as destruction. Billions spent on bribing - oh wait I mean making campaign contributions to legislators,no one thinks that needs to be destroyed now do they? Take a look at the real issue - we have the best Government money can buy.
what’s funny about the protesters is that the people that were on tv marching with them-the unions-jan schakowsky are the people that actually supported the governor and statehouse democrats the most last year. so the unions are now wasting their resources protesting the people that 11 months ago they supported.
This is an area in which the protesters CAN make a difference - if they actually wanted to make a difference. Instead of camping out or marching on the Capitol when NO ONE IS THERE, try helping out on a campaign of a candidate you want to see elected or respectfully asking a sitting legislator if you and your pals can meet with him or her - and be nice about it. The reason some politicians don’t hold town meetings are because of actions like this. There’s no reason to scream and make a scene. Be respectful about it.
This is exactly what democracy looks like. You might not like the symbolic method of speech, or even the message, but unless I missed something, there was no threat of destruction to anyone or anything, nor any attempt to keep anyone else from exercising their rights as well.
Wordslinger had it exactly right. That was the intention. It was an act of political theater meant to raise questions. Democracy is not about elections it is about the conversations that happen within the public sphere between elections. We have lost the democratic culture of our society that is fundamental to a functioning democracy, the occupy movement and the specific action this past weekend is an attempt to raise question and revive democratic culture. The kind of culture the Tocqueville commended that has relatively vanished from our society. For a blog that regularly reports on the inner working of the legislature and on the same day in which there is a post about campaign finance loop holes be taken advantage of by ComEd I would expect a little more sympathy…
I hang my head in shame, having seen the AFSCME shirt in almost every single shot of that video. For the record, not every AFSCME member is behind the Occupy movement.
To me, both “Occupy” and “Protest” have negative connotations and I want nothing to do with them.
Although now they do appear to finally be rallying against the politicians and not Wall Street, there won’t be a change unless somehow people are able to get politicians to change the way they vote when they are in session.
And therein lies the problem. The organizers didn’t even take their words seriously.
I used to know a couple of lobbyists that had office space in the Capitol Building. Not sure if it was ever “official” or not, or if they paid rent, but it sure was convenient. For them. The rest of us schlubs have to find some other place to hang out, leave our coats, and return calls.
There might even be a story in there if any reporter wants to write about the various nooks and cranies in the old building that have been taken over by lobbyists.
The problem with the OWS protestors is that they confuse symbolism with action. Say what you want about the Tea Party people, but they’re in the arena trying to get people they agree with elected to office, and people they disagree with voted out of office. As a result, they’ve already gotten like-minded people elected to office and influenced policy debates (granted, less so in Illinois than in other states). The OWS people generally seem to disdain the nitty-gritty work of politics, and prefer holding dramatic protests. Perhaps that allows them to feel better about themselves, but it doesn’t actually influence anything. The ironic thing is, it’s on the state and local level where a few hundred organized activists can potentially make the biggest difference.
Anonymous: On the national level hasn’t the OWS movement noticeably shifted the political narrative and discussion since it started? Is symbolic acts of speech that transform the predominant political narrative an important and noteworthy development?
Did I actually read that democracy is not about elections?! I spent a few hours yesterday getting petition signatures for a candidate I support. It was raining and blustery. Elections are at the cornerstone of our republic. It does not take wealth or influence to volunteer for a campaign or a group like a local 9-12 or Move On chapter. Anyone who has voted and is still allowed to vote can pass petitions, walk in parades and lit drop for candidates. Reading statements like that make me fear for our future.
===Is symbolic acts of speech that transform the predominant political narrative an important and noteworthy development? ===
Absolutely. And if you try to transform the political narrative to whether elections should be overturned, well, that’s gonna be a problem for you.
- Jake From Elwood - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 12:08 pm:
Perform your “evictions” from the ballot boxes one at a time otherwise your concerns ring hollow to me. Mobilize a Scott Brown like the TeaPartiers did in Massachusetts and the establishment will take you more seriously. You do have 99% of the people on your side, right?
Team Sleep: Yes in the long history of political science and democratic theory the hyper focus on elections as the sole determinant and pillar of democracy is a recent modern development. Democracy is about way more than the electoral process. I will amend my statement to say democracy is about much more than just elections.
==Democracy is not about elections it is about the conversations that happen within the public sphere between elections. We have lost the democratic culture of our society that is fundamental to a functioning democracy, the occupy movement and the specific action this past weekend is an attempt to raise question and revive democratic culture.==
Those are pretty words. But(FWIW)here’s a helpful hint to the occupiers. Just parroting tired slogans and indulging in mindless chanting, harangues, and beating drums is not going to magically reawaken and inspire and instill “democratic culture” (whatever the heck that is). Those actions are not even technically communication. And that is certainly not having a “conversation.” In fact, the dronelike, zombielike drumming and chanting of slogans gives off a completely different vibe and message–and that message is very clear: “We the occupiers are NOT having any conversations with you. We are not interested in engaging you, or in having any conversations within our own group right now. We are not even actively doing any thinking or contemplation within our own heads.”
Responsa: After the march and eviction notice part we had a two hour open mic where anyone and everyone got the chance to say a few words about why they were there and what they wanted to see change ect. The eviction notice was a political theater act intended to try and start a larger conversation about the way in which money influences policy decisions and electoral politics. The conversation was actually intended to be one with the rest of the public and not the legislature. We at least got 300 people to get off their butts, turn off their TV, and engage with others in a social face-to-face setting to talk about or listen to speakers commenting on the current state of affairs.
Rich, you might have a point if Illinois had something resembling legitimate, democratic elections. Do you really believe that? Is our “one dollar = one vote” system democracy? Is it democracy when half the legislative races are uncontested?
And you’re simply wrong to claim it’s an attack on all forms of lobbying. Look at who the eviction notice is addressed to:
“The lobbyists for the 1%, and their cohabitating servants in elected office…”
I think you know that isn’t directed at public interest groups or an individual citizen’s right to petition the government. Are you really so jaded that you can’t tolerate someone criticizing a legislative system that blocks any bill opposed by banking lobbyists?
- Pot calling kettle - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 12:40 pm:
If the Occupiers wish to “evict” anyone from the Capitol (state or DC), they need to spend the next month circulating petitions. That should be their next move. In Illinois, the filing deadline is early December. The first step toward “eviction” is to get a preferred alternative on the ballot. Protesting is great, but at some point, you have to go from words to action. Now is the time!
==And you’re simply wrong to claim it’s an attack on all forms of lobbying. Look at who the eviction notice is addressed to:
“The lobbyists for the 1%, and their cohabitating servants in elected office…”==
And, Will, you don’t even see why this statement is a big problem do you? Who appointed you to decide who the good and bad lobbyists are? Who elected you to choose which lobbyists can exert influence upon the servants in public office and which cannot? Who declared you to be the arbiter of which causes are just and worthy and which are not?
It was addressed to lobbyists specifically for the 1%. It’s a commentary on the undue influence wealth has on the legislative process. There are plenty of things to write about in the eviction notice without setting up a straw-man.
“It was addressed to lobbyists specifically for the 1%. It’s a commentary on the undue influence wealth has on the legislative process. There are plenty of things to write about in the eviction notice without setting up a straw-man.”
Ironic considering “the 1%” is the ultimate straw-man.
Rich, thanks for posting this. I don’t know if your comment about people being touchy was directed at me. I enjoy a good debate, but I don’t mean to be overly critical.
My impression is that many of the people in occupy groups are there precisely because they feel the electoral system is broken, so they’re looking for another avenue to take action. The eviction notice gives voice to that frustration.
Quite frankly, politicians and lobbyists who think that it’s in the best interests of democracy to, say, allow lobbyists to receive a taxpayer guaranteed defined benefit pension in exchange for one day of substitute teaching deserve to be evicted, and it can happen in the next election if the voters get their acts together.
- Small Town Liberal - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 1:32 pm:
Sheesh folks, I’m 100% behind the occupy movement, but try to use some common sense with your messages. A simple “We will be sending your eviction notice through the ballot box” would suffice. Fox and the rest are going to label you as zealots no matter what, try not to give everyone else a reason to do the same.
=== And you’re simply wrong to claim it’s an attack on all forms of lobbying. Look at who the eviction notice is addressed to: “The lobbyists for the 1%, and their cohabitating servants in elected office…” ===
It would be helpful if you specifically listed the lobbyists and organizations you proposed to ban from exercising their constitutional rights? And should we just prohibit speech by those in the “one percent” or expand to any minority group that represents 49.9 percent or less? Perhaps we should limit African-Americans from discussing African-American concerns with their legislators because they only represent about 13 percent of America. What about Jews? They only represent about two percent of America… shouldn’t they be silenced too?
Venting a frustration by pouting is what four- year olds do. To be taken seriously, you have to engage in the electoral process. ‘Occupy’ protestors look too much like unemployed losers who should be volunteering for charity work and circulating petitions and honing job skills. I went to anti-Vietnam war protests and levitated the Pentagon because it made me feel important, it was fun, and I got to meet easy girls!! So enjoy, but get in the game, people!!
Appreciate the feedback, Rich. I was actually wondering on Saturday how you’d interpret the political theater. Personally, I’m more grateful for specific criticism than general support, so this was an excellent contribution.
If an eviction notice is serious. The message it represents is as well. Due to the inaction of the legislature there are thousands of americans recieving similar notices everyday, though not so symbolic in nature.
The legislative officals who chose to do nothing when banks and morgage companies were operations under predatory lending practices that have led to 1 out of every 605 housing units in america to be in forclosure status
Rich: If you’re being sincere, and simply trying to express some ‘tough love’ to “occupy”, than I applaud you. If you’re taking the easy way and playing the cynic, and in the process patting the ’system’ that provides you a very nice living on back, well than I’m disappointed.
Hip Hop, not trying to give you a hard time but my query about connecting the dots had to do with Saturday’s Capitol eviction order, the Springfield Illinois legislature and the state of Illinois, which are the subjects of this thread and of this blog. Thanks
Even though I lived in Springfield for most of my life, I don’t think I could feel any more disconnected from these so-called “elections” that you seem to be serious about Rich. Let’s call a spade a spade, we don’t have “elections”, we have scripted and televised fraud that occurs on a cyclical basis. When enough people, (even the people that read and or post on this blog), feel enough pain, the walls will come tumbling down.
I hope you enjoyed your brief commenting stint here, seachild14, because that’s your last one. I’d suggest you visit a more radical, revolutionary website. This blog is half about the elections which you believe are universally fraudulent, and the other half is about the government you so disdain. Goodbye. And good luck with your warped view of what democracy ought to look like.
Oh, and if the revolution does happen, I’ll be the one refusing to wear a blindfold.