1. An occupation sounds like life’s work, unless you are the occupied. In which case, it is far from the whistling dwarfs of Disney’s Snow White and more like the turtles who were burned alive as BP lighted up the gulf’s oil following its Deepwater Horizon’s disastrous spill.
2. Being respectful of the historical, cultural, and economic differences that define the diverse people of an urban area like Oakland does not mean smiling and nodding in some indifferent, automated gesture to the voice of those differences. It means listening and changing the course of the thing.
3. If you really want to understand how a group can be infiltrated, spied upon, and undermined by the police, ask an Indian.
4. As the Oakland mayor and police association pretend not to get along or be talking to each other, watch each other’s back.
5. As corporate heads and chambers of commerce members blame the “occupy” movements for the economic collapse of the city and the state and the nation, gently remind them that the collapse is older than the movements.
6. Do not assume to speak for people not involved in the movement or present at general assembly; the pretense of speaking for “the American people” is reserved for congressional representatives and conservative pundits.
7. Just because you are an activist or an organizer, does not mean you know what is best for those who are not.
8. Do not ask to have what the 1% has or even think that it is possible. Ask to change the system that has created the 1%. Make another world possible.
9. Those who say the 99% want a hand out or a bail out are not getting the point of the criticism. Kind of like those eliminated from the competition in the first few weeks of American Idol who scream at the judges in defiance as they exit the building.
10. The most powerful voice the 99% have will be expressed through the November 2012 vote of elimination: no, in fact, you cannot represent me because you have not, in fact, represented me.
11. Preventing history from being able to repeat itself requires that we remember history. Apparently, remembering is the only thing that holds history accountable. Otherwise, it tells all kinds of ridiculously tall tales. Like, if you just work hard enough, you too can be rich. Or, you can never change the system. Nope. Never.
12. Respect, compassion, humility, sustainability.
13. The 99% is a very large percentage indeed. It does not need violence to make its point.
(Inspired by Lemony Snicket and the other writers of occupywriters.com.)