This is a quick overview of how I see things unfolding: The Oakland crackdowns will cause the OWS movement to fade over the coming weeks, but resentment due to police-initiated violence will intensify over time—and fester even in those who never spent even a second at any of the Occupy events. Come Sept 2012, it will flare up again with bigger rallies and events, and the politicians will be helpless to stop the wave.
Incumbents will be in danger of losing en mass because they will be viewed AS THE PROBLEM, and massive protests just weeks before the November election will keep that fact squarely in the public mind. Mainstream media will not be able to keep this quiet, due to citizen-journalists doing the job corporate media refuses to do. And corporate media’s predictable focus on reporting violence in their attempt to discredit the protesters will be viewed with further resentment.
The constant short-term status-quo focus of policy in the United States, manifested in the knee-jerk violent suppression of non-corporate sponsored protests, is actually going to be the protesters’ greatest asset—in the long-term. The calls for reform and “throw the bums out” will cause people to hope and work for a better system, but they will be disappointed by the rigged electronic voting systems. The November 2012 elections will be the watershed moment where corporate desire—and ability—to control the outcome is so successful that the entire system loses legitimacy.
Business-as-usual has come to an end, even if those who currently play that game refuse to believe it. Americans are a patient people, but their patience has run out. To save their own skin, corporations are either going to have to yield to the fact that power does actually rest with the people—which means accepting regulations, paying their fair share of taxes, and surrendering their market-distorting monopolies and subsidies—or they will have to resort to more savage crackdowns to forestall that inevitability, which will only hasten their doom.