So here we were: the big Class War showdown. Pastor Mary and Asaad Jackson gave the TV cameramen time to adjust their positions, then the mob moved forward right up to Poling’s driveway. This was it: we were at the North Bridge in Concord, at Harper’s Ferry, at Sproul Plaza with the cop car surrounded… the moment when it could have broken into open warfare, the moment when others crossed the line they could never go back on. It was amazing to think how vulnerable America’s elite are: they don’t use high walls and security fences and armed goons to guard their wealth, the way they do in so many countries. Instead, they just rely on our sense of shame, something innate that tells us, we don’t belong here, we’ll be leaving now, sorry…This was the moment to smash that peasant sensibility. We’d already smashed through that barrier and found ourselves facing a robber-baron class that only bothered pitching two security goons against 50 or so of us, the Great Class War was about to begin, right here, on Golden Pond Lane.
The security goons blocked the two African-American protest leaders from delivering a symbolic letter to Poling’s front door. The protest leaders had been instructed not to confront the bodyguards or anyone, so they didn’t. As reporters jostled for the money photo, the security goons started to threaten the rest of us if we so much as crossed over Poling’s gutter. Who was going to take that first step into the unknown? Who was going to violate a plutocrat’s private property boundary? The goons were starting to feel confident, as it became clear that no one had the nerve to cross that line. The tide was turning back their way. And this was the moment when it all fizzled, and the peasants melted back into the villages. We had the gun, and we were in control–but right at that moment, we opened the door and let the Edmund Kemper plutocrats back into the car. The security goons instructed Pastor Mary and Asaad to put their letter into Poling’s mailbox. Pastor Mary did. Then she said some sort of prayer, and started walking back. CNN asked what she thought of Poling’s house, and she replied that the house was “lovely.” And then we walked back to the bus.
What began as the promised opening shots in the Great Class War instead turned out to be something like a field trip for a high school civics class, with everyone learning the importance of being responsible. The organizer, John Green, deemed it a success, and since then his group has never flirted with anything remotely as incendiary again. By the time we got back, the news was already announcing the end of the Class War: “Outrage Over Bonuses Wanes.” Congress backed off from its posturing, news pundits backed off, and we, the people, returned to doing what we do best: getting screwed. Just when we held our fates in our own hands, we went Aiko Koo: unlocked the door and handed the gun to the Kemper-crats. We are nothing but fleshlights for the plutocrats to work themselves out on whenever they feel like it, and they know we pose as much threat to them as a hunk of soft rubber.
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