George Daly, a civil rights attorney, spoke to members and supporters of Occupy Charlotte at a fundraiser on Jan. 28, 2012, at Dilworth Neighborhood Grille.
He said protest is one thing, but it’s not enough, though he also said, “There hasn’t been a protest as powerful as yours since the Vietnam War.”
He discussed the history of populace movements in the United States, the start of credit unions, the need to “invent new forms of government” and “prevent banks from being investment banks,” and how “the assertions of the power of the people fundamentally frightened the people who rule this country.”
He says we’re now living in the second Gilded Age and that Aug. 23, 1971 is the date that “a very well connected lawyer,” Lewis F. Powell, Jr., wrote a memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and sparked the financial and political situation the country finds itself in now. President Nixon later appointed Powell to the Supreme Court, where he served until 1987.
Daly ended by saying, “You need to get out in the streets and raise hell about the one percent.”
NOTE: I will post the entire, unedited video from the fundraiser ASAP.
I’d like to offer a little insight into my Creative Loafing coverage of Occupy Charlotte. It probably won’t surprise readers to learn that my conscious decision to cover the movement from the inside out rather than the outside in, as most traditional journalists would do, has raised eyebrows.
My goal was simple: Give the occupiers’ voices the same weight as mainstream journalists give the voices of the entities the occupiers rail against — government and big business organizations that have established platforms and seemingly endless resources with which to share their views.
Civil rights attorney George Daly piped up during the meeting saying that the basics of the ordinance changes are “already covered by existing law” and that, “You don’t need this ordinance. What is happening here is that you’re letting fear run the agenda. You’ve defined protesters as potential evil. You’re making an enemy out of peaceful people out of fear.”
Later in the day, the city released its re-re-updated DNC ordinances, which are linked in the article.
Last night’s contentious general assembly wasn’t the first time the group debated how to handle members who act without the consent of the general assembly, or whether or not those who do so should get kicked out of the movement.
On Nov. 23, the night before Thanksgiving, the occupiers had a heated discussion about another document the legal working group created, an “oath of the occupation.” As with the press release that riled the group yesterday, the oath was created away from occupation site and without the input of those occupiers who choose to camp.
Watch James L. Walker III, an occupier and an actor, read the code in this video, which is one of ten from that night at Creative Loafing.
The local group is a little different. What the camp here has that the others don’t (except perhaps Occupy Tampa) is a reason to cling. Both cities have major political parties — as in political parties as well as regular old par-tays — scheduled for next summer as the the Republican National Convention rolls into Tampa and the Democratic National Convention comes here.