An Occupy organizer asks: When established groups show up wanting to help, then who's really co-opting whom?
Almost immediately after a small band of activists first occupied Zuccotti Park in September of last year, many in the movement started expressing concern about potential co-option by more established and moderate forces.
These concerns have become more central in 2012, an election year. Wariness is certainly warranted. But angst about an over-generalized sense of co-option may be an even bigger problem. We cannot build a large-scale social movement capable of achieving big changes without the involvement of long-standing broad-based institutions. OWS should actively and strategically forge relationships with many of these institutions, while preserving the role of OWS as an "outsider" force.Read it at AlterNet
Occupy The Progressive Movement: Why Occupy Should Embrace "Co-Optation"
by Jonathan Matthew Smucker | Beyond the Choir
This is a important debate that this now going on in Occupy and opposed by many, especially the "black bloc." Many remember how the countercultural revolution of the Sixties and Seventies was eventually co-opted and, while successful as a cultural force, virtually evaporated as a political force for change. Yet, without engaging the mainstream and using some of its resources, it is difficult to achieve political objectives.