The British Occupy movement is more focused than the American rabble that stands for anything from universal unionization and a global ban on fossil fuels to forgiveness of all public and private debts for everybody, especially student loans. On the other side of the pond, professional public-relations flacks have refined their talking points to three broad areas: unregulated finance, broken democracy and corrupt institutions. When you boil down the ingredients, however, occupiers worldwide all have two things in common: They want more government intervention in the market and redistribution of wealth. This is a revolution seeking world socialism or bust.
The Occupy revolution is merely the latest radical manifestation of the strategy to “think globally, act locally.” The individual protests might focus on particular pinpointed areas such as New York’s Wall Street or the London Stock Exchange, but the master plan is to stir up anarchy all over the place. As Occupy supporters Naomi Colvin and Bryn Phillips wrote in Sunday’s Manchester (U.K.) Guardian, “Occupy London invites those who feel similarly to take the movement into their own communities: It’s time to Occupy Everywhere.” Or more aptly put: Losers of the world unite.
There is no doubt this is a subversive movement seeking to upset the established world order. An Occupy Everywhere poster depicts a menacing mass of 38 pawns cornering the king, queen, bishop and other elite pieces on a chessboard. Occupy websites promote “targeting” corporate CEOs. In London last week, an angry mob of occupiers encircled a policeman and taunted him with slurs and threats. The identities, photos and home addresses of other peace officers have been disseminated among occupiers, with some going so far as to make a deck of playing cards with individual police vitals on them like coalition forces did to identify and hunt down wanted Iraqi war criminals.
On Friday, the London police put out a Terrorism/Extremism Update for the Business Community, lumping the violent-tending Occupy movement with terrorist threats such as al Qaeda. If the drug use, public defecation, beatings, stabbings and rapes in some Occupy tent encampments aren’t enough to convince everyone that these politically-charged vagrants are dangerous, their goals should do the trick. This is evident in the “public repossession” operation whereby occupiers seize private property from owners they deem unworthy of having it. Two dozen London occupiers were arrested for breaking into and damaging the headquarters of mining company Xstrata, and another mob invaded and squatted in an office building owned by Swiss bank UBS.
In Britain, the possibility of evermore mayhem increased last week with nationwide strikes in which as many as 2 million employees of 30 public-sector unions walked off the job. Old Blighty, however, didn’t grind to a standstill. As one European hedge-fund manager told The Washington Times, “England seems to be more efficient when bureaucrats don’t work. I’ve never gotten through Heathrow [airport] to the city quicker than during this strike.” Witty automotive journalist Jeremy Clarkson caused an uproar (and snickers) when he quipped on BBC TV, “Frankly, I would have [the strikers] shot. I would have them taken outside and executed in front of their families.” Not missing a beat, the prime minister’s office released a statement making clear, “Execution is not government policy and we have no plans to make it government policy.”
Joking aside, it’s important to remember the danger of revolution is that the barbarians tear everything up and burn everything down without caring about what comes next. The Occupy revolution is no different. It’s about destroying the world, not creating a new one.
Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, 2011).