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Are you ready for the 99 percent Spring?

BY JOE SCHUELLER | MARCH 29, 2012 6:30 AM

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Are you ready for the 99 percent spring? If you're not, you'd better start preparing — It's coming sooner than you think.

The time Occupy Wall Street and the other major groups spent in hibernation over the winter months was not wasted. They have theorized, planned, and organized, and they are no longer just the rambunctious bunch of college students and "professional homeless" we saw in the fall. The New Occupy movement will be that and more.

When I suggested in a column last October that Occupy members should organize if they wish to achieve political change, I knew things were going to turn out this way. The writing was on the wall — literally in some cases with graffiti and destruction of public spaces.

What I hoped was that they would take the Tea Party route instead. Rather than go through the process of the Constitution and representative democracy, New Occupy wants to tear down the system. Just as the Mensheviks wanted to take the route of political reform, the Bolsheviks revolted violently to rebuild Mother Russia in their image. We all know how that turned out.

The 99 percent spring will kick off the New Occupy movement on April 9-15. According to the website, people will show up "100,000 strong" to various places and take to the streets, universities, churches, and homes. Yes, churches and homes.

The difference between Old Occupy and New Occupy? The major players who always seem to be behind the curtains these days are supporting it: The big unions like Service Employees International Union and the United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America are at the helm; leftist organizations ranging from MoveOn.org to the Working Families Party and such individuals as Richard Trumka and Van Jones are vocal and unapologetic.

No, this is not the Occupy of recent memory.

But there are two individuals who are deep in the organizational structure of New Occupy that are relatively unknown to the majority of people. They are Stephen Lerner and Francis Fox Piven.

Lerner is a former organizer for Service Employees International Union who got kicked out for allegedly trying to seize millions of dollars in dues to formulate a plan to bring down the stock market and redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor.

Piven is just as cheery. She and deceased husband Richard Cloward are known in some circles for developing their Cloward-Piven Strategy, which was inspired by the Watts riots. The strategy calls for overloading the welfare system to precipitate a crisis that would herald a replacement of capitalism with "a guaranteed annual income," a.k.a. socialism.

She recently attended a political-science forum at the University of Connecticut, where she spoke about the Occupy movement and gave a startling prediction of what is to come.

"It may well be that the Occupy movement is now in its second phase, in the phase where it makes trouble, in the phase where it threatens to shut down institutions," Piven said the forum.

Both Piven and Lerner appeared on the digital program "Democracy Now" on March 19 to discuss their plans for New Occupy moving forward.

They came up with six steps to achieving their goals: localizing in the universities, churches, and homes, occupying foreclosed homes, recruiting of the youth, organizing with the labor unions, occupying the Democratic National Convention, and buying stock to control big business.

Occupy's leaders are exactly who I thought they were.

This year is going to be a tumultuous one. New Occupy will be out in full force. The mainstream media will control the political narrative and make them out to be the new civil-rights movement. The presidential election will get ugly. Heck, we might all die on Dec. 21 if the Mayans are right.

Are you ready?


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