It may seem strange, but I follow Van Jones, and oddly enough, he follows me back. We had something of an honest conversation awhile back regarding perceptions of him, and how he believes the right wing media machine distorts much of his messaging. I don’t quite remember how the rest of the conversation proceeded, but it ended on somewhat good terms.
However, regardless of what Jones says, his radical agenda is still on full display, especially through the medium of Twitter. Back in August, I noted what seemed, to me, at least, to be an ominous tweet. You’ll find it below:
So many good things in store. Can’t say anything yet. But this autumn, things are about to get really, really fun. Stay tuned!
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) August 21, 2012
So, I was left wondering if he was just being an optimistic goofball, or if he was hinting at something more sinister. Well, as of today, September 14, I believe I have found my answer:
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) September 14, 2012
Click through to the link provided, and you are taken to this page, of which there is a partial screen cap below:
Interesting choices being presented to the potential protesters. Jail or No Jail, sir?
Now, as you explore the site further, you find that they’re kind of cagey about who they are exactly. On their Who We Are page, all kinds of moonbattery is found. First off, a description of ”How We Work Together” :
99Rise is organized more like a “starfish” than a “spider”.
We all know that if a spider has its head or leg cut off, it will end up dead or severely crippled. As Ori Brafman & Rod Beckstrom note in their seminal work “Starfish & the Spider”, with starfish its a very different story. Starfish have no head, and can regrow lost limbs. And get this: because their major organs and essential biological information are replicated throughout each and every arm, certain species of starfish can even regenerate an entirely new starfish from a single piece of arm.
Similarly, and drawing on additional insights from swarm theory, open source design, and network marketing, 99Rise works through a model of decentralized organization that distributes our essential leadership information and capacities (what we call “the DNA”) throughout the open network of our organization.
The decentralized organization and distributed leadership of 99Rise is made possible through our intensive 3-day DNA trainings. These DNA trainings empower local groups with the full set of theoretical, strategic, relational, and communications tools they need to form a team and independently organize creative nonviolent actions that contribute to a nationwide coordinated campaign and build a unified movement.
Uhhh… yay for starfish?
Now, on to who they say they are:
In the wake of this past year’s uprisings for democracy and justice in Wisconsin and at Occupy encampments across the nation, a group of Los Angeles organizers active in Occupy came together to launch a vehicle to propel the 99% movement to a new stage.
This diverse team of activists combined experience in the student, labor, immigrant rights, anti-war, racial & economic justice, LGBTQ, women’s, and global justice movements. They sought to bring together lessons from all those struggles as well as the long history and recent explosion of innovation in strategic nonviolent conflict….and 99Rise was born.
Cause, y’know, it’s always a bonus when an organization only describes itself in vague generalities.
Now, the creepy part of this site is the section titled “Grand Strategy“. Gotta love names like that. For some reason, I’m put in mind of “Final Solution”, but hey, that’s probably because I’m just a crazy conservative. Some highlights of the “Grand Strategy” include:
- Create a national Popular & Electoral Mandate for our Strategic Objective through impacting both the narrative and results of the 2012 election.
- Build a nationwide online and offline movement organization with: (a) active teams in a majority of States and major American cities; (b) at least 10,000 committed activists who have signed the Nonviolent Army Pledge; and (c) a base of at least 100,000 online supporters
(Gotta love that little bit about the “Nonviolent ARMY”, but I digress. Back to their lunacy.)
- Campaign for disclosure of “dark money” (i.e. anonoymous political expenditures)
- Get Money Out Candidate Pledge
- Mass DNA Training Program
(The Mass DNA training refers to that ridiculous Starfish strategy touched upon above. Also, still in Phase 1.)
- End Dark Money Petition
- September 28th-October civil disobedience campaign targetting Wall Street banks and other major dark money groups
- Nationwide DNA Trainings
- Petition demanding candidates sign Get Money Out Pledge
- Guerilla & New Media marketing (postering, viral media, guerilla theater, creative interventions, banner drops, etc.)
- Bottom-up creative initiatives (Emphasis theirs)
On to Phase II:
- Enforce the national Popular & Electoral Mandate for our Strategic Objective through escalating nonviolent action to secure the passage & ratification of a constitutional amendment in 2013-14
- Expand our national online & offline movement organization to include: (a) active teams in all US States and at least 30 of the largest American cities; (b) at least 100,000 committed activists who’ve signed the Nonviolent Army Pledge; (c) a base of at least 1,000,000 online supporters
- Deadline campaign: Issue a public Deadline for passage & ratification of a constitutional amendment that achieves our Strategic Objective, backed by promise of mass nonviolent noncooperation & civil disobedience if deadline is not met
- Escalating nonviolent action as Deadline approaches
- Mass “DNA” Training Program
- Bottom-up creative initiatives
- Nationwide Mass DNA Trainings (Goal: 1,000 trainings)
- Guerrilla & New Media Marketing
- Multi-Day March(es)
- Extended Fasts
- Prolonged Occupations
- General Strike & Mass Noncooperation
WHAT COULD GO WRONG, I ASK YOU?
Seeing as how they decided to be cagey about who in the hell they actually are, I ran a domaintools.com search on the site. And got back a result that said the site was registered by one Alex Stevens, who seems to be connected to an organization called The Center for the Working Poor (CFWP). The CFWP is an organization apparently rooted in the Social Justice Christianity that has taken root in recent years. One real fun thing to note is a funny little link they have on their link page… Industrial Workers of the World! GASP! But don’t you dare call the left communists, socialists or collectivists, BECAUSE IT’S JUST NOT TRUE.
While it’s likely these people will fail just like Occupy did, the one thing that probably IS important to note is the fact that they are more boldly announcing tactics that they seemingly expect will land them in jail. And, again, just like with Occupy, they seem to want to stress the fact that all of this will be “non-violent”. But, as anyone with half a memory can attest to, especially given the May Day protests, that non-violence thing seems to float right out the window most of the time.
As American embassies continue to burn across the world, seeing this website and the people behind it makes me think of something I say often.
Hold tight my friends, this could be a bumpy ride.