April 9, 2014
Samuel G. Freedman
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
Oct 12, 2011
14 Tishrei, 5772
Sparsely occupied D.C.: Why the movement hasn't caught on
By the time they got to Woodstock, they were half a million strong. But by the time they assembled on Freedom Plaza on Tuesday morning to plan the day’s civil disobedience, they numbered only 53.
Attempting to emulate the Occupy Wall Street protests, Washington activists and some out-of-town guests set themselves the lofty goal of occupying the Hart Senate Office Building. “We are there to shut the place down!” organizer David Swanson told his small band of followers.
But how to do this with only a few dozen demonstrators? Well, Swanson said, they could push all the buttons on the elevators — the way naughty children sometimes do in apartment buildings. “There are people who are wanting to go into the elevators and fill them and not get out and push all the buttons,” he said. “If you like that, do it.”
This set off a lengthy debate in Freedom Plaza, at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Street NW, as activists came to the microphone to argue the pros and cons of elevator disruption.
“Let’s face it, our numbers are not enough to shut this building down,” said the representative from Veterans for Peace. “I think pushing elevator buttons is stupid.”
A woman wearing a Planned Parenthood pin and a “U.S. Boat to Gaza” T-shirt was ambivalent. “I’m ready to take over and shut down that building,” she said. “We don’t have that many people, but we need to do it. Maybe standing in elevators isn’t going to do it, but we need to figure it out.”
Swanson was adamant. “We should be blocking down the elevators, blocking down the bathrooms,” he said, before designating an “elevator team” dedicated to the purpose. “We’re going after the building precisely to inconvenience everybody who works there.”
In the end, they blocked neither elevators nor bathrooms, and inconvenienced nobody but a few Capitol Police officers, who silenced the demonstration after 20 minutes and a half-dozen peaceful arrests.
The elevator dispute says much about the new movement’s troubled ascent. The Occupy Wall Street protests tapped the left’s pent-up populism and anger at corporate excess. But here in Washington, progressive activists attempting to duplicate the phenomenon have so far had difficulty broadening their ranks beyond the usual suspects from antiwar demonstrations.
I don’t say this with satisfaction: A revived populist movement could be a crucial counterweight to the Tea Party, restoring some balance to a political system that has tilted heavily to the right. But while the Occupy movement in the capital has invigorated left-wing groups — Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Common Dreams, Peace Action, DC Vote, Community Council for the Homeless and a score of other labor and progressive organizations are represented on Freedom Plaza — it has not ignited anything resembling a populist rebellion. To swell their ranks, protesters recruited the homeless to camp with them.
Already, there are factions. While the Freedom Plaza group, calling itself “Stop the Machine,” prepared to storm the Hart building, an AFL-CIO group was planning a conflicting event on the plaza. A few blocks away, in McPherson Square, an outgrowth of Occupy Wall Street had established an encampment of a few dozen sleeping bags.
There’s no questioning their devotion (one young mom sat eating breakfast cereal in McPherson Square with her two young children Tuesday morning) or their anger (the National Air and Space Museum was shut over the weekend after guards used pepper spray on demonstrators and at least one conservative infiltrator).
But where are the people? As the McPherson Square activists began to emerge from their sleeping bags during the Tuesday morning rush hour, commuters examined their display of protest signs. “Time to wake up,” announced one hand-lettered sign. Yet few here have awakened.
“If your friends are in the hotel having their third cup of coffee, can you ask them to come out, please?” organizer Swanson urged his modest band on Freedom Plaza. Eventually, the crowd swelled from 53 to about 100 — still not enough for a respectable protest. “Please don’t have a march or parade,” Swanson urged them. “We don’t have the numbers for it.”
By the time they filed into the Hart building, the demonstrators were outnumbered by reporters, photographers and police. The cops quickly confiscated their banners and sealed off the atrium. Curious staffers stepped from their offices to check on the protest but found little action.
“That’s it?” one asked another.
Yep. That’s it.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Dana Milbank's column by clicking here.
• 10/10/11 Can Obama strike an alliance with Occupy Wall Street?
• 10/06/11 Chris Christie, such a presidential tease
• 10/05/11 Obama and his foot soldiers go toe to toe
• 09/28/11 Cain could deliver
• 09/26/11 Republicans? Mr. Nice Guys?
• 09/22/11 Why Ron Paul is winning the GOP primary
• 09/21/11 I am a job creator who creates no jobs
• 09/20/11 Obama launches a revolution
• 09/19/11 Dems for Romney?
• 09/14/11 ‘Supercommittee’? More than stupor committee
• 09/07/11 Mitt Romney finds his (corporate) voice
• 09/01/11 The infallible Dick Cheney
• 08/31/11 This liberal says Perry is the ultimate conservative candidate
• 08/29/11 Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler
• 08/10/11 How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots
• 08/09/11 The most powerful man on Earth?
• 08/08/11 The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington
• 08/04/11 Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
• 08/03/11 Government on autopilot
• 08/02/11 Dems mourn debt deal like death
• 07/27/11 Life imitates sport
• 07/26/11 Obama and Boehner take on Washington
• 07/21/11 Why Americans are angry at Congress
• 07/20/11 The new party of Reagan
• 07/18/11 Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate
• 07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
• 07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
• 07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
• 06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
• 06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
• 06/24/11 Mission accomplished, Obama style
• 06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
• 06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
• 06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
• 06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
• 06/02/11 The Weiner roast
• 06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
• 05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
• 05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
• 05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
• 05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
• 05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
• 05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
• 05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
• 05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
• 05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
• 05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
• 05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
• 05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
• 05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
• 04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
• 04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
• 04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
• 04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
• 04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
• 04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
• 04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
• 04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
• 04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
• 04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
• 04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
• 04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
• 04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
• 04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
• 03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
• 03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
• 03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
• 03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
• 03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
• 03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
• 03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
• 03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
• 03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
• 03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
• 02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
• 02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
• 02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group