Tag Archive | "Occupy Wall Street"

Big banks and law enforcement worked together to attack Occupy

Probable anarchist being very scary indeed

Probable anarchist being very scary indeed

Some are mystified by the concerted government / business attack against Occupy. I wasn’t mystified at all as I was politically active in 1960’s counter-culture and protests. We were monitored then, we are monitored now. Deal with it. It goes with the territory. Seriously.

The FBI labeling Occupy as terrorist is more laughably clueless than anything else and makes me wonder if they are even capable of spotting real terrorists. Governmental overreaction like this almost always happens when anarchists are involved. There’s just something about young male anarchists that gets the government’s panties in a twist. Mention anarchy and the government practically pees on itself in response. They don’t have the same response to hardcore Marxist revolutionaries who are arguably more dangerous since they tend to be better organized but only to anarchists. Which also shows the government doesn’t have much of a clue about what anarchy is.

It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves –was coordinated with the big banks themselves.

Posted in News

Occupy Wall Street one year anniversary

As anyone who ever spent time in Zuccotti Park during the encampment phase of Occupy knows, OWS was in disarray from day one. It continually teetered on the edge of implosion due to conflicting forces within and opposition from police and political forces without.

Organized chaos (or chaotic organization) was always OWS’s calling card and to some degree it succeeded against all odds, and against the predictions of professional pundits. This morning’s blockades were a combination of demonstrators “winging it” and careful planning beforehand among a cadre of local activists who have come to know and trust one another over the battles of the past year.

A foldable version of the map above with a three-day itinerary and detailed explanation of events was handed out at various intersections in the Wall Street area throughout the morning

More on IVN

Posted in News

OWS Activists Protesting the RNC/DNC Need Your Help

We have taken our message to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and gotten positive press coverage for Occupy and #S17, but we’re having an issue with getting back to New York City. Plans for buses fell though and at this point 40-45 people are stuck here in Charlotte, North Carolina. We’re trying to raise funds so the people who came from NYC can get back. Some of the people have court dates that are related to Occupy actions.

The bottom line is we’re stuck in North Carolina unless you donate.

If you can help, please do, and please let others know that we need support via email, Twitter, and Facebook. Click here to donate. Thanks!

Posted in Politics

Police violence precedes governor’s conference in Vermont

Credit: dylankelley.blogspot.com

New England governors and friends were on their way to a dinner party prior to a conference in Burlington, VT and found the way blocked by pedestrians and protesters. So they did what was only natural and called in the police, with police violence the predictable result.

This happened in Vermont, which is not a state known for big protests or huge overreaction response from police.  Yet that’s what happened. Something think Occupy has gone away. It sure hasn’t in Vermont, which is a state that has been libertarian since long before the word was invented.  Instead of negotiating with protesters the police arrived in gear more befitting a drug cartel raid than for dealing with peaceful protesters. The level of police violence continues to grow unabated. They apparently view the public as the enemy.

And yes, I have helped organize protests, some of which were huge, where police and organizers did negotiate. They key seems to be size. If there are 100 protesters, police won’t negotiate but they probably will if 100,00 are watching.

The Burlington protesters were perhaps invoking the spirit of the patron saint of Vermont, Ethan Allen.

Posted in News

Class war by the rich against the rest of us 2012

Credit: links.org.au

While watching the news from Spain, I wonder what it would be like to live there now during the global depression and ongoing class war. Or Greece. Or Iceland, or Italy, or Portugal, or any other country threatened with what I call “national devaluation.” I would be angry.

Because I’m not an economist but I can smell a scam. I have studied some difficult subjects but I never dared try the dismal science. I am actually proud to have spent a lifetime ignoring the theories of economists. Years ago I thought I just didn’t understand them, but now I’m starting to think economists are intentional liars rather than just confused and confusing observers of the marketplace. Paid shills whose job is to mystify and distract us while the ultra rich steal what little we have left.

We have all heard reams of economic analysis in the last few years, but of course no one would dare say out loud what is really happening. I’m not an economist – I’m a logician. Let me have a try at it.

Read the whole post by my friend Barry Hyman at Independent Voter Network. Yes, there is a class war going on, and the 1% started it. Barry dissects their scam, how the rest of us are expected to pay for their criminality, excess, and incompetence. Austerity must be the order of the day, they squeal, imposing Draconian measures on us while evading the law, buying politicians, and getting governments to send them trillions. A level playing field? I think not.

As the header image for this blog says, ‘They only call it class war when we fight back.” And fight back we must.

Posted in Politics

Rent Strike in Sunset Park, Queens

First published here.

My local Occupy group, Occupy/Ocupemos Sunset Park, has been immersed in a local struggle, a rent strike in a series of buildings on 46th street in this Brooklyn neighborhood. Here are some of the flyers we’ve been producing for the actions.

The strike has been receiving terrific media coverage and terrific support from the Occupy network. I will be back in the next few days with a post to detail what’s been happening and put the struggle in context.

The first action ended with an impromptu hour-long occupation of state assemblyman Felix Ortiz’s office, which was truly awesome. Tonight, see the last flyer below, we’re staging a sidewalk sleep-in and people’s inspection of the buildings.

The video below was taken at the first action; it sums up what was happening at the beginning. Yours truly is interviewed at length toward the end. Enjoy.

A terrific account of the strike with interviews with many of the rent strikers can be found here: “Brooklyn Women Make Their Building Theirs.”

Update from OccupyWallSt.org:

Support Rent Strikers: Don’t push the 99% out of NYC + #OWS Events 7/25-8/3

Posted 21 hours ago on July 25, 2012, 4:28 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Something big is happening in Sunset Park. Tenants are demanding liveable conditions and a response to the 400 documented housing violations in their building. For years residents in these three buildings have been living in fear of fires, electrical blackouts and disease-triggering agents like mold, cockroaches and rats. Despite numerous complaints made to city agencies and politicians’ offices, these violations continue to threaten the lives of dozens of residents.

All over New York City, landlords like Orazio Petito are trying to displace residents from their homes because they can gentrify the buildings and raise rent. Read more about how this courageous community is standing up to defend their home.

Occupy Sunset Park asks you to join them to show ongoing support for the rent strikers by stopping by for a nightly vigil from 6pm to 7pm on 46th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, near the R train at 45th St.

Occupy these Actions and Assemblies:

Friday, July 27th, 3:00pm
March on Wall Street
Liberty Plaza (Zuccotti Park) to Wall Street
Join us in meeting the bankers and brokers for the closing bell as we issue our grievances and stand in support of workers everywhere.

Friday, July 27th, 7:00pm
Sunset Park Food For Thought Film Series: Broken on All Sides
La Casita, 414 45th Street, Sunset Park
Next Friday’s Food For Thought FIlm Showing will be BROKEN ON ALL SIDES, a timely exploration of mass incarceration and the racist nature of the criminal justice system as explored in Michelle Alexander’s THE NEW JIM CROW Join us for film and discussion! Friday, July 27, at La Casita in Sunset Park. FREE.

Saturday, July 28th, 7:30am
Stop the Frack Attack. Rally in DC (bus leaving from NYC)
Liberty Plaza (Zuccotti Park)
OWS Environmental Solidarity joins other New Yorkers in the fight against Fracking. Now is the time to bring the stories of the people truly impacted by oil and gas development to the legislative and regulatory entities that can—and must be pushed to—make a difference in the way that the fossil fuel industry operates in this country and the energy options the nation pursues.

Saturday, July 28, 11:30am
Premiere of Occupy Brooklyn TV
Brooklyn cable TV & streaming
Occupy Public Access TV is launching a new OWS TV show this week. It will air on TW channel 35, Cablevision channel 68, and RCN channel 83 in Brooklyn, and on Verizon cable channel 43 throughout NYC. A special edition of the show, with extra footage, will be published on occupypublicaccesstv.com.

Saturday, July 28th, 1:00pm
Radical Walking Tours – Gowanus Canal & Brooklyn Transect
Union Street @ Gowanus Canal
Engage the city, your body, and others, by putting yourself in motion to engage the political, ecological, and your embodied urban environment – New York City.

Saturday, July 28th, 2:00pm
S17 Education Planning Assembly
Washington Square Park
September 17th, Occupy’s one-year anniversary, is just around the corner. This is a call for all groups planning education-related activities to come together and coordinate actions, resources, needs, etc. If you aren’t involved in a group, but want to help plan educational events for S17, this meeting is also for you.

Sunday, July 29th, 2:00pm
Strike Debt Strategy Session
33 W 14th St New York
Join us as we strategize about the next steps in this movement to transform, challenge and re-think debt. As Strike Debt gains momentum and as debt emerges as a key theme among many organizers, we gather to ask some major questions about debt and movement-building.

Tuesday, July 31st, 6:30pm
Occupy Astoria Movie Night – The New Jim Crow
Church of the Redeemer, 30-14 Crescent Street at 30th Avenue
Join Occupy Astoria for our ongoing Film Series. The New Jim Crow, litigator turned legal scholar Michelle Alexander’s recent book, challenges us to place mass incarceration at the heart of our struggles for racial justice in America.

Friday, August 3, 4:00pm
Wake Up Wall Street: Money Out, Voters In
The 3rd in a series of condemnations of CITIZENS UNITED. As long as our democracy is hijacked by big corporate money, there will be no business as usual.

Daily #OccupyUnionSq Info Table
@OWSUnionSquare
Every day Occupy Union Square has an info table open and staffed, acting as a hub to promote the constant flurry of events and meetings occurring across OWS.

Posted in populism

Where Is Occupy Wall Street Going?

This is an excerpt of an interview conducted by Andrew Sernatinger (A.S.) with Pham Binh (P.B.) of Occupy Wall Street for Solidarity’s Web zine.

A.S.: Where is the Occupy movement going now, especially with general elections on the horizon? David Graeber, the anarchist anthropologist, has shrugged off concerns that the movement is toast now that the camps are gone saying instead, “Occupy is shedding its liberal accretions and rapidly turning into something with much deeper roots.” Thoughts?

P.B.: People have been concerned that Occupy was toast before it even went into the toaster because of alleged difficulties such as the lack of demands, ideology, or agreed-upon political strategy; then Occupy was too middle class, white, straight, and male to gain traction with workers, women, LGBTs; and now it’s the evictions. Occupy is anything but a one-trick pony, unlike the summit-centric global justice movement of 1999-2001 that many socialists have one-sidedly compared Occupy to.

In terms of where Occupy is going, the difficulty lies in thinking of it as a definite thing with a definite direction. It’s everywhere and nowhere all at once. Occupiers now work closely with previously existing campaigns and organizations in addition to launching their own. There are new activist initiatives in neighborhoods and workplaces that do not call themselves Occupy, are not formally linked to it, but are nonetheless inspired by it and would not exist without Occupy’s example.

These are some of the “deeper roots” comrade Graeber is talking about and he’s right.

The evictions forcibly decentralized Occupy and, to a certain extent, separated the component parts of the encampments. No more one-stop shopping. Direct action, traditional protest marches, discussion circles, study groups, activist training, the people’s library, mutual aid, literature and newspaper creation, organic gardening, General Assemblies, and spiritual activities take place mostly separately from one another.

Posted in News, Politics, Socialism

Occupy and inviolability of private property

A couple of months ago, I discussed one of the most difficult challenges facing Occupy, the willingness of middle class progressives to rationalize the abuses of the police because they place a greater priority upon the preservation of social order by law enforcement. Such progressives want to square the political circle by seeking a transformation of American society without conflict. They are most perfectly represented by Chris Hedges, a man who seems to find the verbal abuse of the police at protests more disturbing than police assaults and finds himself incapable of deciding whether protesters should throw tear gas canisters back at the cops who fired them.

But what is it that these progressives believe requires the protection of the police, even at the cost of the violent suppression of Occupy protesters? Upon reflection, the answer is obvious: private property and the hierarchical social relations inscribed by it.

Read the whole article

Posted in News

May Day 2012. General Strike

On May 1, 2012 we will have a “Day without the 99%” We are urging all to not go to work or school, don’t bank or shop, don’t engage in the capitalist system that robs and steals from us; take to the streets and help us create a better world now!

http://maydaynyc.org/

Posted in News

Federal agents coordinated Occupy crackdown

Newly-released documents confirm DHS and other federal agencies coordinated the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters.

I assume liberal blogs who defended the Obama Administration on this will now issue an retraction. Really folks, Obama is no different than George Bush when it comes to stifling dissent and it’s a fool’s game to believe otherwise.

Posted in News

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