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December, 2011 | Occupied Stories - Part 2

Archive | December, 2011

Police Violence

One of the things I’ve noticed when photographing the protest marches is the moment of truth I sometimes hear someone go through. When things turn bad and the police start making arrests. When they start clubbing people who are well within their rights. When that intensity hits there is usually the shriek of someone within the crowd who is going through that sudden, cold, brutal awakening that this is real and not just something on tv. I get the impression that it’s the first they’re experiencing it and I can literally hear the absolute panic and pain pass through them as I hear their screams of “What is going on?! Why are you doing this?!” It’s as if that last little bit of denial has snapped and they’re faced with a cold reality they didn’t think was possible in America. Something in them crumbles.

-Mitchell Parsons-

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Occupy Seattle West Coast Port Shutdown

SEATTLE, WA – We closed terminal 18 at The Port of Seattle.  After a few scuffles with police we were able to keep traffic stopped and trucks out of the port.  A few people that worked in the port or were caught up in the traffic jam complained but didn’t understand the importance of the action.  Most were happy that we brought their struggle to the public’s attention.  Very proud of the brave, committed protesters that held ground in spite of the cops and their violence.  All in all it was a good day.

-Ken Robinson-

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Occupy Song and Slideshow by FJP

OAKLAND, CA – I am part of an organization called Fresh Juice Party(www.freshjuiceparty.org) .Among other things, we write songs about political issues. We started this project on April 21, 2011 when we interrupted President Obama at a fundraiser to sing him a song about the treatment of accused Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning. We’ve since written nine more songs about current events. Here is one of them, “99” which was written by Craig Casey & Pratibha Gautam. Another member, Naomi Pitcairn, took the photos at Occupy Oakland and Occupy SF. Pratibha put together and edited the slideshow. Enjoy!

-Craig Casey-
More songs: http://soundcloud.com/citizencasey/sets/fresh-juice-party/

Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhb3p06UHdU

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I Was Arrested at Occupy Bronx—for Writing About It

BRONX, NY – A week after New York City police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly ordered officers not to interfere with journalists covering the Occupy protests, I found myself sitting in a cage in a back room of the 40th Precinct in the Bronx staring at a travel-size white bottle of Razac Hand & Body Lotion. My workday had taken an improbable turn; I’d been arrested. So now here I was, fixating on a bottle of lotion, wondering why it was there, thinking of it as “free” because it sat on a ledge outside the black iron-mesh cage, and worse, imagining the many uses of lotion in a jail. Better to pass the time trying to accept my present circumstances than trying to figure out the absurd.

I’d been covering the Occupy movement beyond Wall Street, and the Bronx had so far held eight weekly general assemblies of its own. This past Saturday, there was a planned 11 a.m. rally to bring attention to the city’s October bulldozing of the Morning Glory community garden, a long-abandoned lot that area residents had taken over two years ago for the garden. The lot was now grassy and fenced-in.

I thought that I’d report for an hour or so and then meet a friend for an afternoon brunch. Less than 10 minutes after arriving, however, I was in handcuffs.


When I stepped out of the 149th Street station at 11 a.m., my first time at that sprawling five-lane intersection, I found the protest site—a sidewalk beside an empty lot—easily because of a heavier-than-expected police presence. Early reports had indicated the opposite. I didn’t expect to see an officer of rank surrounded by 11 cops, four cars and a police van. I remember thinking, There’re more cops here than protesters.

A cluster of the protesters were walking away from where they had planned to set up. I saw a two-person Bronx News 12 camera crew and a man I assumed was another journalist; he was scribbling into a pad and interviewing. Another guy with a hand-cam, I pegged as a protester. While filming, he demanded to know why officers, in particular the black and Latino officers, were breaking up a protest over a garden in their own community.

I started asking questions, first to the ranking officer, but without identifying myself as a journalist, and then to the dawdling protesters, to figure out what was happening and why.

According to Captain Garcia, protesters had been obstructing pedestrian traffic. I looked around to verify. At this morning hour, on the sidewalk of an empty lot, in the middle of a major five-way intersection, there was no pedestrian traffic. Cops didn’t count as pedestrians, so I dismissed the charge.

Then the first arrest happened. A man whose name I later learned was David Suker had been crouching over a crate, fiddling with a stack of Occupy Wall Street Journal newspapers and simultaneously telling officers that he had a right to be stand, sit, or run on a public sidewalk. He didn’t move on cops’ requests, so they moved in. The rest of Garcia’s flank was fanning out along the sidewalk, warning the boldest protesters against standing.


A community-affairs officer gestured for me to move on, so I identified myself as a journalist. He immediately stepped back and said that he wouldn’t want me to “get caught up.” I interpreted his words as a friendly exchange, not a warning. 


I kept writing and then I heard Captain Garcia say, in my general direction, “You can not stand here. You have to move. You’ve been so notified.” It’s the last thing I scribbled before police officers surrounded me. I must’ve looked like a guppy mouth; it just didn’t occur to me that Garcia had meant to arrest me.


As officers encircled me, I kept my shoulders down and tried to moderate my tone. That sixth sense had nothing to do with journalistic training and everything to do with my being city kid. I grew up here in southeast Queens; NYPD ain’t never been nothing to fuck wit. I protested that I was a working journalist and asked if they were serious. 


One officer took my bag, lifting it off my shoulder and over my head, while another said I was being placed under arrest. 


Someone else took my notepad and pen. And another officer pulled my hands behind my back. When I felt cuffs clasp around my wrists, I started to do a weird thing.

Similar to fixating on the bottle of lotion while sitting in lockup, I kept asking after my notepad. Looking back, I see those tics for what they were: poor attempts to assert control. If freedom were an object, in my case it would have been my reporter’s notebook and a forgotten bottle of lotion. On Saturday they held roughly the same value.

As I was being led away from the sidewalk, I suddenly remembered Kelly’s mandate not to touch journalists covering Occupy protests, and I reminded every cop within a 10-foot radius.

The officers led me to the van. Kelly was in Manhattan; this was the Bronx.

The other arrestees, four male protesters, were in the seats behind me; officers sat up front.
 


I got an uncomfortable feeling of déjà vu. I’d been detained by the NYPD before, except I wasn’t a journalist. I was a kid in high school. When I was 15, while coming home from a dressy night out, a girlfriend and I pushed through the West 4th Street station turnstiles together on a single fare. It was a dumb thing to do. 
 


We were cuffed, packed into the back of a police van, fingerprinted, and kept overnight in jail. I’ll never forget the kitchen chair when I got home the next morning. My mother had positioned it by the window to overlook the boulevard; she had sat there, worrying unnecessarily because I had begged the officers not to call.

Another time, also while a student at Dalton, a prep school on the Upper East Side, my classmates and I were detained in the Times Square subway station while going to an annual minority-college fair at the Javits Center. We were attending during afternoon free periods. Apparently we should have traveled with notarized forms permitting us to leave school premises. Our college-fair fliers weren’t enough. Not only were the officers sneering and incredulous, they paraded us single-file through the station and into a back room to wait while they sorted out “the truth.” I eventually did make it to that fair.
 


Very rarely have I talked about these incidents with the NYPD. It’s not because those milestones didn’t deeply affect me. They did. But heavy-handed or discriminatory policing was so commonplace when I was growing up, nearly all of my black and Latino friends had experienced or witnessed it at least once—or had close friends who did. Compile our testimonies in a book, scatter the leaves in the air, and they’d blanket the city from tip to tip. I didn’t see the point of adding one more.
 


I began to rethink that approach on Saturday. After the umpteenth time I asked officers, who weren’t paying me any attention, why I’d been arrested, someone answered. From the seat behind me, Suker said, “Because you’re a black woman with dreads.”
That shut me up because for the first time that day, it occurred to me that Suker might be right. 



“Black woman or not,” I said to no one in particular, “You don’t know who I know.” 


But my confidence game was up. The statement sounded rushed. Plus, my voice cracked on that second, “know.”

What recourse did I have? I’m a freelance journalist working up a story about Occupy spreading into the communities of color that I had not yet sold. I didn’t have an assigning editor to call. I was in trouble and it was time to think about how to get out of it. Dwelling on how officers perceived me because I’m a black woman with natural hair was not going to help.

The only thing I knew how to do was my job.

The preceding intimidation, the arrests—they weren’t right. The charges didn’t match what I had seen, which, with the exception of Suker, was a small group of people shuffling along at officers’ requests, and grumbling, sometimes yelling, about having to do so. Nothing major. By the time the police van left for the precinct, the few remaining protesters were simply huddled on the opposite street corner.

In the van, I interviewed the four arrested protesters. I wanted to know who they were.


I asked officers questions like: What’s next? What am I charged with? (To which I never a straight answer.) Why are you doing that? How long is it going to take? I sounded like a 5-year-old on a long road trip. Maybe that’s why an officer twice insisted as I was standing in the station house waiting to be frisked, “You must’ve pissed somebody off.”



By the time I was released about three hours after being arrested, “disorderly conduct” had been added to my summons, and Captain Garcia warned me not to engage in similar criminal behavior. I had no intention of listening.


In what alternate universe is it disorderly conduct for a journalist in a U.S. city to scribble on a pad and question police officers in a normal speaking voice? In what upside-down town is the right to freedom of the press—and the right to assemble—considered a technicality? Oh. Right. New York City post-Occupy Wall Street. 
 


While the four protesters left, I stayed behind to complain to Captain Garcia. His flank, as always, stood close. I made some good points but so did he. Unless I carried a press pass from the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information—which I didn’t and which no officer had asked to see, either—then I’d be treated like a protester, he said.

“You don’t say who or who isn’t a journalist,” I said. He seemed to concede the point but also fell back on the policeman’s answer, “It’s the law.” Our “discourse”—his word, not mine—was over. I was way too angry anyway, both at being treated like a criminal and at myself for feeling afraid, to remain professional.
 


Looking back, it’s hard not to conclude that the four or five officers who helped to arrest me weren’t just using a strategy of overwhelming force but a tactic of disorientation. I can’t identify who arrested me. I never got a reply as to whose handcuffs were on me. From the moment of my arrest to my release, I’d passed through at least 10 different officers’ hands. If I were to complain, whom specifically would I complain about?

I opened the door of the 40th Precinct to a boisterous crowd that had amassed across the street. A dreary morning protest of roughly 12 people in front of an empty lot had multiplied to about 70 people chanting in the precinct’s front yard for prisoners to be released.

Occupy the Bronx had gotten lucky. A local anti-gun-violence group from Patterson Housing, a public housing development visible in the distance, had planned an unrelated 2 p.m. rally in front of the 40th Precinct. After hearing that cops had arrested five protesters, though, they temporarily joined forces with Occupy. In the surrounding apartment buildings, heads were peeking out of their windows.


A familiar face, Mychal Johnson, a member of the local community board, crossed the street to greet me.

I’d walked to the side of the station to get my bearings, but also, I was uncomfortable with the protesters’ loud embrace. I was grateful for their presence; I’m not sure I would’ve gotten out of jail in a couple of hours without them. We shared a common interest in protecting the public’s right of assembly. I, too, had been a victim of the police tactics with which many of them were intimately familiar. But I wasn’t one of them.

“They weren’t leaving till you came out,” said Johnson, smiling as he walked over to introduce himself.

I’d first seen Johnson inside the precinct when the five of us arrived, although I didn’t understand his role, then. Turns out, Occupy leaders had called ahead, told him about the arrests at 149th Street and asked him to get to the station to observe the officers. It’s an old strategy among older activists in disadvantaged communities: policing the police.

“Because of Occupy Wall Street, the police are in a heightened state,” said Johnson, but, he explained, intimidation tactics in his section of the Bronx are nothing new.

We were trailing the enlarged protest group, which was now marching north toward Patterson. The anti-gun-violence group led with the call, “No guns in the community.” Occupiers closed the rear with, “No guns with the police.”

“They arrest first and find out later if you’re innocent,” Johnson said. “The system has it backwards because by the time you get to court and the judge tosses out the charge”—like, trespassing or disorderly conduct—“you’ve already been handcuffed, detained, and your name put into the system.”

Johnson stops walking and turns to face me as if emphasizing the point. “It shouldn’t work that way,” he said.

My court date is Feb. 16.

-CARLA MURPHY
This article originally appeared in The Daily Beast.

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My Experience With The Similac Movement

CINCINNATI, OH – As an activist I have been pushing for the rights of others as well as myself since the early 80s. I got wind of the occupy movement coming to my city and started contacting those individuals associated with that movement in my city. We were protesting in a park…the police ordered us to leave or be arrested….some stayed others left. I left and began collaborating with others in an attempt to bring litigation. In turn, people associated with the occupy movement in my city gave my email to an attorney who in turned filed a complaint against me for unlawful practice of law. Here I am fighting for civil rights and have been for decades well before the majority of the occupiers in my city were even born and they turn around and attack me based on misinformation. They use their attorney to do so. They profess 1st amendment rights yet attack others who are exercising it. They even attack a person (me) who is a plaintiff in a lawsuit in which THEY are as well! Go Figure! So, the occupy movement in my city is a similac movement alienating itself from people with experience or people trying to help by acting like snitches running to their protector because they didn’t understand what I was saying and just ran with what they thought (you have to remember that the occupy folks in my city didn’t even know what Food Not Bombs was).

You try to talk to them but in my city the occupy movement is a fashion/friend statement: how many likes can I get on facebook with my occupy page? Let’s be secretive and not mention important things that the people of the city should know…or lets march on the weekends when no one is around. So, I left the similac movement….stupid to think a bunch of children had a clue…stupid to think a person with experience could help in comparison to the help of two-faced individuals who purport this yet do that.

That’s my story. I hope to expose the occupy movement in my city so all know what type of fools it is comprised of and maybe those serious will start weeding out the fakes, grow up, and join the rest of us in collaboration, collectively, so we can stand united.
-John Q Public-

 

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Occupy Oakland Photos

OAKLAND, CA - After seeing firsthand how the
police behaved in downtown Oakland on October
25th, nothing will surprise me. I saw them
shooting their rubber bullets, flash bang
grenades, and teargas directly at the brave
people who were pulling an old lady in a
wheelchair and the wounded Scott Olsen out
of the fray. That day I did not have my
camera but I take it with me now wherever I
go. 

Here are links to photos I took of Occupy Oakland. Please feel free to reproduce any
of them at no charge. I try to get as many demographics as possible.


- Naomi Pitcairn-


The camp that was destroyed
http://www.naomipitcairn.com/occupy/

This link has the most photos
http://naomipitcairn.com/OaklandNovember19

Mini riot at the court when Rasta, the guy who was beaten by the police on
Thanksgiving.
http://naomipitcairn.com/OaklandNovember28

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Our First Day, Close-up Inspiring Statements of Purpose And Passion.

SEATTLE, WA – I made this little film. I think it’s very inspiring and is getting a lot of praise.

Jana Lee

 

Video

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HARTFORD OCCUPATION MANIFESTO

HARTFORD, CT- People say we’re inspiring. They use words like wonderful and phenomenal. Older activists tell us this world wide movement is different than any grass roots justice action in living memory. Among the encampment we’re as enthusiastic and optimistic as the grim realities allow us to be. We’re ecstatic after decades of despair to finally see progress. People are talking about what we’re talking about,
and this time last year such a thing seemed utterly impossible. Now we know everything within reason is possible but we need each other to accomplish anything. It’s up to
you and yours whether our efforts are too little too late or instead become a catalyst for the change we need and may well have no hope without. We urgently ask for you to
talk about us to everyone you know so the right people can hear. There’s so much to be done and we’re waiting for people to come into their own, which is an exciting if
not nerve racking experience as our souls becomes invigorated by the threads of our interconnectedness and we discover our own self worth; an invaluable asset.

These occupations are a gift from all of us to each of us. We’ve created wonderlands of truth and justice, so make the most of them while you can and one day we will have the freedom to peaceably occupy the entire planet and evil people
will have no shadows to hide under in the overwhelming light of our truth.

The movement requires foremost people and dedication. This is a global revolution with global solidarity, so don’t be afraid. We’re finally aware. Or almost are at least. The local colleges stand beside us to oppose totalitarianism and we hope you and your fellow people do too. Soon the metaphorical and perhaps literal fires will burn hotter than we ever imagined. Perhaps this calls for a military mutiny… Turn the guns up the chain of command and we will have freedom. This is why we must remain cool and calm like water. Don’t fight fire with fire, fight it with water. Truth is fluid. We’re here for the future generations. Occupy now and work to create justice while you still can, for we are all our brother’s keeper. The truth has made us free. This is a natural response to the fierce urgency of now. This is the
people’s rebellion and we don’t make concessions. We value community, humanity, and sustainability as peaceful means to a peaceful end.

This document is the homogenized and synthesized thoughts and opinions of a random cross section of occupiers from the Hartford contingent of the Wall Street Occupation. We are your friends and allies always and forever, no matter who you
are. This occupation being always for the well-being of everyone, belongs to you personally and no one else. Whoever you are. Wherever you are. Now is the time to take it upon yourself, within reason, to do the right thing regardless of
consequence. This is about liberation, empowerment, resistance, and occupation as a means of truth proliferation. The truth sets us free.

This is about freedom. We’re a loving alternative to the consequences of an economic suicide pact of exponential growth and finite resources. We’ve got to stop the
needless killing of our own kind. There is no salvation in turning your back on anyone. We’ve got to embrace us all. You don’t have to like someone, but always love them. We have to love each other and treat each other like family. We’re all in this together now. It’s the alternative to violence. The options are peace, coexistence, and purity or a cataclysm of unimaginable horror. With such an easy decision it is
no wonder our numbers have swelled in such a way.

A noteworthy request of ours is for results. We want a peace time economy. We want obvious things like a nationwide end to the arms industry, an end to illegal nuclear facilities, an end to the Tesla technologies catastrophic science experiments on the ionosphere, an end to the carbonated acid water, and an end to the ecocide worldwide. We want access to government information, such as about clean renewable
energy that has been covered up. We need a massive energy reform effort now to help us brace for the transition away from burning oil. Also, if we could flip the heads
of state, and get some top secret files, the release of suppressed information and technology could provide a revolution by itself. This is to suggest we invade the
rabbit hole.

Before we began burning oil the global population of this planet was 1 billion people. After 120 years or so of oil consumption the population is at 7 billion and
dangerously close to suffocating, poisoning, and otherwise slaughtering the habitats and inhabitants of this planet as we approach peak oil and face existence with little or no access to the substance which plays the morose tune of our dismal dependance dance. Good riddance.

We want to end the exploitation of the have-nots by the haves. That paradigm has to go. We all require what we need and if any person wants for no reason what another
person needs for a good reason, people should not tolerate that kind of theft. Our enemy, if there ever were one, is the conduct of corrupt men with no morality. This entire situation is a threat to all of us. The propaganda hammers into us these lies about the middle-east and fake foiled terrorist plots and we accept our fear implantation because the assumption of fact after being told a supposedly true story is a backward habit of most people at large. For that reason, honesty is a capable dynamic for keeping information organized. The government should make a note. We
only know any of what we do because the truth cannot be hidden and the serpents in our midst reveal themselves for what they are if you pay close attention. The United
States wages war on the Middle-East and says they’re a threat to us, whether by some vague cover up of a failed shoe bombing or in an epic false flag at ground zero.

Hunger. Clean water. Basic necessities. That is how life lives. All this extravagance creates wealth disparity and suffering and that is a lesson we all have
to learn well. Everything in this world belongs to very few people who own us all like slaves. They neglect the nuts and bolts of their ivory towers. This is what we mean when we say we are the workers, we mean, because you neglected us, the whole structure of this tower is coming down in a controlled demolition. This country exports death. We create death as the foundation of our way of life. In Connecticut
especially, there are industries that exist for the soul purpose of creating machines to kill people across the entire planet. Those jobs are in this state because psychotic people have no conscience and no problem with taking blood money
and turning a blind eye to the aggressive foreign policy against the people of this planet. Then, of course, the rest of us need jobs, so we sometimes take blood money
because it’s all we can get. This is what you can expect when you manufacture death. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This schema has to end here. All of it. We need a
reversion or we’ll have an extinction. Not more technology, less. Not more oil, less. Not more money, less. Not more lies, less. Not more enslaved minds, less. Always more truth. Social Darwinism is anti-community.

As the system abandoned us we watched the jobs going away before our very eyes, to nations with no regulations and free labor. Oppression is alive all over the world and in countless ways. There are consequences to our actions and if you try to ignore the issues we’re telling you about, then the end result of this situation will reflect that. This effort will take every single one of us- you and your
friends and family. We are aiming to undo inequality. The equation of humanity needs to be balanced; the violence has to end; and to this our sisters worldwide are key, so recognize. Smash the patriarchy and relax.

We are against the privatization of land, and the government seizure of all national lands; which by association become uninhabitable like everything else related to
authority and power. Living in cities like sardine cans is what the ultra rich want us to do. Sustainable living awaits us all beyond the ‘keep out’ signs, but it isn’t
profitable in any monetary way. At home we deal with outwardly extravagant and inwardly tragic suburbanization and we create grotesque, termite like, suburban sprawl when all the while better communal lives await us in wide open lands off limits currently; places in the West outside Babylon and somewhere over the rainbow. In our land, in our time, they strip freedoms away by the day; they own us and
control us if we allow them. We can’t swim in our back yards. Can’t be free to be ourselves in public when the cops harass anyone for anything at all. Can’t be around after dark because the prison industrial complex wants you to be a dollar sign out of mind if you live on the street. This is inequality in your face every day. And crime. In your neighborhoods money for public services is dispersed amongst the shady characters in your midst and the public school systems or the homeless suffer. On average one penny of your tax dollar benefits the people; the other 99
pennies get embezzled or go to war. More war. We need always less war, not more.
And the food… Pray our people can somehow uncompromise the food supplies;
preservatives are not nutrients.

We can do great things and so much more. All people need is support from each other
and they can make anything happen together. We have to empower each other. Power to
the people. Power to the little people. Power to the old people. To the broke
people. To the homeless people. To the different people. The beautiful people. The
everyday people. To the revolutionaries and visionaries. Take the power back from
power tripping legislators, local government or national hiding in plain sight
behind guns, or take the money from insurance executives hiding behind armies of
lawyers. Insurance should be a public service that makes as much money as it costs
to run. As it is now it is privatized thievery from us all.

Take the power back from the police forces. They make us like children punishable by
their false accusations; traumatized by their constant harassment; and subject us to
the obvious extortion of money from the poor to fund local criminals holding office,
making laws, and laundering money behind the scenes. Segregation exists between
north end and south end. This culture is neglectful of the disenfranchised. That
could easily be you with nothing to lose. Then, with nothing to gain the government
casts aside veterans while the insurance blood suckers love to use the sick and the
vulnerable vaccinated children to drain money from our families; while the prisons
consume the best of us and breed criminal non-conformists to suffer at our
prejudices; and in our desperation we turn our backs on each other at every corner,
when that is the opposite of what we need to do. Propaganda and patriotism have
synthesized a hypnotized and satiated population of weak minded, apathetic, arrogant,

ignorant, rabid people. For thousands of years the rich enslaved our minds and

souls so we couldn’t use the truth against them. The internet has set us free. The

whole world knows now what has happened to us. Many of us were raised in a false
security. 9/11 changed everything. And slowly we began learning the truth about
conspiracies and lies. We’ve come together in this struggle against plutocracy. Our
occupations are a worldwide occurrence. Today is the 32nd day. By spreading the
truth, we will win. We have to set each other free from financial tyranny. We have
nothing to gain from lying to anyone and everything to gain by showing the truth to
all.

We are under or un employed. In a very real way we are uncertain anyone will have a
future. We look around and see nothing but instability. Perilous losses are a missed
payment away for most people. It’s not fair and it is dangerous for the entire
planet. Anything can happen at any time in any one of our fragile little worlds. We
have to fight back, not jostle for position each time someone bites the dust. This
is the time for general strikes. Don’t pay the financiers or bankers or any agency
collecting money. If we all stop paying together, no one will pay, and we could
bring down almost any slave driving baby killing capitalist in such a way. The
solidarity of the strikes is like this: If you stop paying, then your peers will not
in good conscience let you stand alone and they will stop paying too. Which will
benefit them in money saved. Soon all will no longer pay out of solidarity to the
universal struggle. We could take back the world with strikes at this point.
Striking is the way to free yourself from any slavery: be it wage, debt, tax, or physical.
Defy your extortionists, but do it with 10,000 of your friends. The 99% will
support this effort because it is tactically sound; we will all be in it together.
Defy now, before striking won’t work anymore. We have to push their hand and see
what they will do if we have any hope of staying on top of this struggle. This is
an insecure time and what comes next might be the most beautiful thing any of us
could have ever imagined. Or, we fail, and capitalism sends us back into the
ground and makes crude oil of us all. It is difficult to see a future for any of
us in this dim light. Our loved ones suffer and that is not acceptable, especially
when we are all each’s loved ones. So step up for a better way for the people who
can’t do it themselves. This economic calamity is none of our faults. But it is
our problem. So, we aim to erase suffering in any ways we can. Our lives are
terrible because the world is terrible. We either allow this tyranny of our hearts
and minds to continue forever unchallenged, or we cease, desist, and welcome the reality
check of this drastic ecocidal situation. Our one demand has to be all demands met.

As it stands, any company with a commercial, a logo, and a shortcut can destroy any
part of the planet they want for any purpose they claim valid as long as it all
falls on the bottom line of profit. Yet, somehow, unfortunate minded citizens claim
millionaires earn their money, when, in actuality there is no way for any one person
to earn such large quantities of money without exploiting somebody eventually, if
not immediately. If we allow capitalism as it functions currently to continue
unchecked, it will kill most life above ground and most life in the water. This is
glaringly obvious to those of us paying extra attention. It is unfortunate the press
has puppy parades to report on and uncovering corruption and injustice isn’t their
main priority.

This movement is for the future generations. We are people. We are animals. We can
be part of the world, for better or worse, or we can be separate from it- worse off
always. Our minds can only flourish to the degree they can grow on fluoridated
water. Our masters keep us trapped inside ourselves with televisions, magazines, and
indoctrinated lying educations; this compartmentalization does not allow us to see
the entire picture of kings and kingdoms and the men behind the thrones giving
orders. There are serfdoms and misinformed armies. One is starving while the other
is slaughtering. Like always. If only we could all live and work together without
money. We are weak to allow them to keep the best of our youth far away in the lands
of the war crimes. People claim to have a clue, but letting our family be sent to
die for no real reason is our first mistake. We are failing them to allow this to go
on. You must learn from those who have found the truth before you. Such people c
an be found at the occupations. You will even find such a person within yourself at
the occupations.

Get the unofficial version of the story of what is happening from us; the version
that rings true to the facts. The real life facts decimate the executive story of
the events that transpired over the last ten years of history in this disaster of
ours. Even hard working people can’t make a living. Even lawyers can’t get work, and
their job was essentially to be criminals on behalf of sums of money. There is
nothing left for any of us. It is an illusion and they are extracting the final
profits from us. Soon they will abandon us, like the homeless, when there is nothing
left to gain. There is too much slavery. There is too much want. Few understand what
we all need. Instead, as we try to put the puzzle pieces together, we find in each
other varying degrees of informed, various degrees of understanding, and different
definitions of ‘ideal.’ Many will advocate for a 3rd party populist movement and
more power to them, but they- perhaps like you- still have faith in a government th
at has done the most harm to the most people world wide; including harm done to
people in our country, for instance by having offices like the USDA, FDA, and EPA
with no accountability or transparency. Really, accountability and transparency are
all any of us can hope from for each other. The truth and honesty are really all
any of us need.

We require wholly different economic designs, ideals, and principles. We need to
want less. We need what we need. And we need to not give away what is rightfully
ours for no good reason. It’s highway robbery. The rich stealing from the poor.
Stealing from so many since all have so little. We should hope for a design akin to
pure communism, which could in theory simultaneously be pure anarchy. Third party
populist movements are fine but unfortunate. Once we succumb to the system we’ve
already got, it’s kind of all lost, because that thing doesn’t work, nor will any
amount of tinkering fix it in any meaningful way. The authorities will try to break
us but must not succeed and indeed must never tame the radical spirit of this
movement. We should strive to cast aside the obsolete machines some of us are hung
up on remaining enslaved to. Be practical: Demand the impossible. There is not much
time. The 99% are combating 235 years worth of lies, misdeeds, and crimes
perpetrated by a bourgeoisie greed and a government, that, while designed for a population of
roughly one million people is all this time later controlling populations
numbering in the hundreds of millions; with no adjustment made for the population
inflation. We want world peace not world tragedy. We want everyone to get what
they deserve. It’s what people have always struggled for, peaceful lives free from
the blood lust and power trips of others. In our eyes we envision utopia and thus
can guide all people there. Our one demand is all demands met. That includes your
righteous demands. Don’t accept concessions and we’ll make it all way to the big
picture together. Solidarity and love from Occupy Hartford.

-Roze-

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Historical Look Back

I lived in NY for my entire life, I've blogged about political reform and preached
the good word about Ending the Fed, 9/11, and Bilderberg for years.  This August I
moved to Virginia and what happens, the next month the revolution I have been
waiting for begins in the place I just left.  WTF?!  So here is my helping hand,
since I couldn't make it to Liberty Square during the occupation, here is the first
part of my historical look back on the origins of Occupy Wall Street.
http://www.youtube.com/embed/eYIJtsbxAZo

-Frank Somma-

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Occupy LA to DC: SEIU, Occupy, and a National General Assembly

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Ryan Rice’s blog.

Washington, DC–The big question on everyone’s mind seems to be, “Did the SEIU try to co-opt the occupy movement?” We all knew the Democratic Machine would attempt this at some point, so was this the first attempt? I think they tried early in the week and got dealt a massive blowback by three hundred occupiers that defiantly marched out of the SEIU camp, held general assemblies to talk out strategy, and aired tons of grievances directly to the organizers.

Obviously I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. I assume something dastardly. But I know that the SEIU structure made a noticeable shift in power with our actions. They stopped enforcing wrist bands for food, allowing hungry but unaffiliated people to eat. They worked horizontally with some occupiers to open up two hours of us introducing the concept of a general assembly, consensus, the history of the movement, and all the spirit finger stuff.

We then posed a question to the audience of rank-and-file and participants. I recognized the three organizers in the audience that had been introduced from the meeting the previous day. So, everyone was in attendance, along with an estimated thirty occupiers in a crowd of about one hundred and fifty people. “What ways can the Occupy Movement and Labor further their similar goals?”

Excerpt:

  1. Beef up “direct” journalism
  2. Mass actions at the capitals of each state combining the spontaneous and organic nature of the Occupy movement with the resources and existing networks of the trade unions, especially the membership
  3. Overcome barriers to communication between the two movements; create direct and transparent lines of communication
  4. Labor and unions are top-down, bureaucratically-structured organizations while the Occupy movement is horizontal and “leaderless”
  5. National Labor Committee for National GA
  6. Further outreach to local community members through Local Labor Committees for local Occupy locations
  7. Get to know each other better, more dialogue, better planning

We lost a little bit of attendance and ended up taking the most interested parties (the three organizers were not among them) and moving to the international tent. We now had a split group of about fifteen occupiers and fifteen union members. I believe there was a writer for Truthout present and a Mother Jones writer who came in late. Either way, Gia shot video and recorded the discussion.

The conversation was really productive, in my opinion. These workers said the same types of things that people say on their first day visiting an occupation. Most of them were just as radical and excited about the “systemic change” needed. I said something about Occupy co-opting the unions and giving them their teeth back. I said I thought a great marriage would be using the direct and radical action that occupations have spearheaded and inspired with the numbers the unions can mobilize.

 

And Liz, who facilitated in OWS and helped us in our first days here in Occupy LA, made great points about questioning all of the privileges a capitalist society creates. Check that privilege! And stop policing our comrades that take the streets! I’m excited to see the media our people shot.

We exchanged contact info and agreed it would be helpful to continue organizing actions together in a transparent, local-level way. OccupyLA hopped into a ‘SEAL’ action [covert and risque] where we went to protest Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Christmas Party at the Chamber of Commerce. Great target, and it was a combination of clever renditions of Christmas caroling and angry boos when attendees arrived and had to walk around a “99% Carpet” with protesters prostrate underneath. It was a great photo-op, as union events tend to be.

I talked with a few occupiers about the week’s events, and no one could recall a protest against a Democrat. There was a “find your representative” action, but it was fairly neutral in messaging and more educational.

I spent the next hour at a sandwich shop with Occupies Boston, LA, Portland, and travelling occupiers. Strategy, shared meals, and a breakout spoken word session. Reminded me of just how protective we must be of this movement. Of course we will not be co-opted, even though they try. We are all too beautiful and brave to allow that. We all clearly march to the beat of our own autonomous drums, and poetry by fiery revolutionaries reassures me of that.

We walked on over to the Washington Monument for the second ‘national general assembly’ of occupiers and whomever else wanted to attend. There were 19 occupations and 5 organizations (unions, businesses, etc.) It worked more like a giant working group, where facilitation posed 2 questions:

  1. What does Phase 2 look like?
  2. How do we increase solidarity and cooperation between the occupations?

We shared contact info, and just like how OccupyLA started, we took down emails for a google group. Funny how organic processes can repeat themselves. Nevertheless, just like the first general assembly, it was like a family reunion. We were more determined to talk strategy, and I think the notes show that.

Personally, I feel like the initial backlash to the situation at the National Mall was real, collective, and necessary. And with the events and awareness that happened throughout the rest of the week, I’ll submit that the Occupy Movement passed with flying colors. We were all transparent in our gripes with unions and yet were still open to talking issues and vision of whatever it was that brought each occupier to the streets.

-Ryan Rice-


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