There were three sets of demonstrations going on in the 60’s that officials had concerns with: Leftist anti-war college protests, racial marches/riots, and right wing reaction to the first two. I will focus on the left wing/anti-war demonstrations.
"The Wall Street demonstrations have many similarities to the 60’s anti-war protests. They include:
- High school, college, and twenty somethings are primarily involved, although I see a smattering of left over radicals from the sixties involved in the current protests, including older organizers of both.
- Many radical leftists, communists, socialists, and anarchists were involved in the 60's; these also dominate the current demonstrations
- The sixties demonstrations had a significant anti-authority, anti-capitalism component. Remember the prolific use of the word "pigs"? Current demonstrations will get to that point.
- The sixties demonstrations had a substantial number of tag-along "useful idiots" that were out for the "social interaction", the drugs, and the excitement, similar to the motivations for involvement now.
- Very significantly, many of the same organizers are involved in current demonstrations that promoted the sixties demonstrations: Ayers, Dorn, and others yet to be widely publicised.
- While the focus of the current demonstrations are not yet clear to many, they will become more so as they gain steam, get "the establishment's" attention and make their pronouncements. Right now the aims are allowed to stay purposefully vague and diverse so as to attract the largest mobs of disaffected, similar to the tactic of Obama's vague "hope and change". Soon enough the radical anti-capitalist, anti-free enterprise, anti-Constitution agenda will be in our face.
Back then some did have the courage of their convictions. Many didn't, especially the masses that were on dope and other masses that remained clueless. Same as today. Many today have "the courage of their convictions right or wrong." Many of the convictions are not fully revealed yet, but we can guess what they are. And don't forget the violence and destruction that occurred then and which are assured of happening today, sooner or later.
The demonstrators will assure the media stay involved, as they did in the 60's. And the demonstrations WILL get violent.
The planners and other creative folk with all the time in the world on their hands will make sure there are hundreds of small sparks to provoke the cops - as they did in the 60's. In fact, in the 60's the authorities were provoked to the extent that the US Army was called in in several instances. I would not be surprised if the same was not required within the next year. Participation rates will decline when the cold sets in. But come springtime in New York things will get dicey.
And things are likely to get even worse than they did in the 60’s.
Today we have several new components that will attract greater participation:
- Social networking
- Higher unemployment
- A much larger anti-capitalist, anti-business, anti-authority, anti-US contingent of leftists and radicals; more people are feeling screwed, even on the right.
- A resurgent Islam to help things along - in a bad way
- For the first time, we have a president who is sympathetic to and encouraging the protests.
Many also will do all they can to provoke police, instigate riots and engage authority in every way they can to make them look bad, to look like the out of control enemy. And they will do this to discredit authority: “Pigs”, the “establishment” as they said in the 60’s.
With the new ingredients to these protests as listed above, there are some of us who expect things to get really ugly. Some predict demonstrations will go beyond the point of widespread violence, beyond the point of widespread destruction of property, beyond the point of calling in the national guard – very possibly to the point where it could be called “civil war.” Not like the 1860’s, not in the sense of one geographic area against another. But primarily skirmishes focused in urban areas, including roving bands spreading to the burbs, with the overall motivation being class against class, entitlement dependents vs. producers. Socialist/Communist/Islamist promoters vs. constitutionalist and freedom promoters.