Let’s Occupy Black Friday
by Kyle Byron
So they’ve finally gone and done it. Shut down Zuccotti Park in New York. Champagne all around for the banksters, political tools of the corporation, and corrupt, violent, armed-to-the-teeth cops across this fine nation of ours. Here’s to you—I heap upon you all the scorn of all the millions of people around the world collectively fed up with your collective shit.
Now we can get back to the real business of the season—mindless over-consumption! AmIright? Or at least that’s what they want you to do. They want you to pack up your tent and your crazy ideas about how government should benefit the people (and be run by them) instead of by and for the American Corporation. Then they want you to think about what you’ve done—time for a little religious-style guilt trip. Parade out the fools and misfits in front of Matt Lauer and turn them into the imagined “spokespeople” of the movement. Make us all cringe a little inside with previews of a new Michael Moore documentary about the movement. Get back on CNBC about consumption as the engine of the economy. Cue the holiday music in every 7-Eleven and stack up the Charlie Brown Christmas decorations at Home Depot. Quick, start running those f’ing Lexus-with-a-giant-red-bow-on-top-in-the-snowy-driveway-of-Middle-America ads. During Dancing with the Stars. What was that again about Occupy? It sure was funny when that fat TV bitch fell on the dance floor and now I’m sleepy …
So here we are in a world where corporations = people, and money = speech. We’re all pretty sick of this world at this point, dontcha think? So how about a plan to cause some serious disruption in the machine?
Here’s what we’re gonna do: pick a major retailer. Doesn’t really matter much which one we pick. Once we’ve established the Best Target, we schedule a countrywide occupation. But this one will be a little different. Don’t need no tents or libraries of reference books. On Black Friday, we assemble in front of the stores. One of the major electronics stores has over 1,000 storefronts around the country. If we can occupy most of them with a few hundred people, we can make a difference. Now what are we talking about here?
Twenty or so people start with a little picket line. Pictures of tents on the signs if you like. Symbolism, people! Seems innocuous enough, but media coverage builds as people start to realize it’s ALL over the country. Then the real action: several hundred people show up at each store, flooding it with normal-looking, seemingly eager-to-buy customers. The picketers outside can quietly start recruiting interested actual shoppers. Convert them to the cause in real time. No shouting or protestations to draw the eye of local law enforcement. Each person peruses the aisles for a little while, then grabs a CD or digital camera. Throughout the day they walk to the checkout line and wait, just like everybody else.
Then, as each protester makes it to the cash register, they happily hand over their recently-cancelled ATM card from whichever major bank they’ve moved their money from. Or grab an old, expired credit card from that desk drawer and use it. Feigned puzzlement as the cashier tries and fails to ring them up. Then just a little hemming and hawing, trying to understand what’s happening. Then they place their not-purchased item on the counter and walk out. The next protester walks up to the register—and the cycle continues. As lines slow and back up around the country, media coverage starts to shift from the picketers outside to the larger story—major retailer targeted in massive shutdown attempt. No spokespeople for the movement are available for comment. Attempts to communicate with the non-participating protest buyers are met with silent smiles, waves, and peace signs wiggling in the face of Greta Van Susteren.
The beauty of this “occupation” is that it is completely invisible. No tents to break down, no wall of protesters shouting at the police to billy-club (oh, I’m sorry, “nudge”—fuck you, NBC) into compliance.
I bet even a minor drop in Black Friday sales would put a chill in the heart of any retailer CEO. It’s a bit cynical to imagine, but at this point even a small victory would be pleasant news. We’re under no illusion that Glass-Steagall will be re-implemented anytime soon (even though it should be—ha ha, who am I kidding with this stuff is the question I ask in the middle of the night sometimes these days). But perhaps, perhaps he might issue a statement. At the very least, it would be funny. Imagine this rich bastard pleading with the masses to BUY MORE SHIT! I’m all about the entertainment value here folks.
Anonymous Cyber Monday Follow-up
And it would be swell if Anonymous could get involved after our little song and dance is all over and done with. Shut down the same retailer’s website. Crash it down during the company’s most lucrative online shopping day, Cyber Monday. Even just for a few hours. But again, as with all things requested of Anonymous, you guys rock, I love you man, and no worries. I do NOT want to mess with you or any plans you may have. Lotsa love and I’m tapping my chest in that way people do with the hand signs and all that.
So that’s it—that’s the plan. What do you think? Shall we take down American retail this Christmas?