… Read the rest
In response to “The Cancer in Occupy,” by Chris Hedges.
I am writing this on the premise that you are a well-meaning person who wishes Occupy Wall Street to succeed. I am also writing as someone who was deeply involved in the early stages of planning Occupy in New York.
I am also an anarchist who has participated in many Black Blocs. While I have never personally engaged in acts of property destruction, I have on more than one occasion taken part in Blocs where property damage has occurred. (I have taken part in even more Blocs that did not engage in such tactics. It is a common fallacy that this is what Black Blocs are all about. It isn’t.)
I was hardly the only Black Bloc veteran who took part in planning the initial strategy for Occupy Wall Street.
Tag Archives | OWS
Erik Eckholm ponders the future of the Occupy movement, writing at the New York Times:
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The ragtag Occupy Wall Street encampments that sprang up in scores of cities last fall, thrusting “We are the 99 percent” into the vernacular, have largely been dismantled, with a new wave of crackdowns and evictions in the past week. Since the violent clashes last month in Oakland, Calif., headlines about Occupy have dwindled, too.
Far from dissipating, groups around the country say they are preparing for a new phase of larger marches and strikes this spring that they hope will rebuild momentum and cast an even brighter glare on inequality and corporate greed. But this transition is filled with potential pitfalls and uncertainties: without the visible camps or clear goals, can Occupy become a lasting force for change? Will disruptive protests do more to galvanize or alienate the public?
Though still loosely organized, the movement is putting down roots in many cities.
Chris Hedges writes about the Black Bloc at Alternet (thanks to Adam for the tip):
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The Black Bloc anarchists, who have been active on the streets in Oakland and other cities, are the cancer of the Occupy movement. The presence of Black Bloc anarchists—so named because they dress in black, obscure their faces, move as a unified mass, seek physical confrontations with police and destroy property—is a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state. The Occupy encampments in various cities were shut down precisely because they were nonviolent. They were shut down because the state realized the potential of their broad appeal even to those within the systems of power.
They were shut down because they articulated a truth about our economic and political system that cut across political and cultural lines. And they were shut down because they were places mothers and fathers with strollers felt safe.
Black Bloc adherents detest those of us on the organized left and seek, quite consciously, to take away our tools of empowerment.
From Johan of HoodooEngine:
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The whole #OccupyWallStreet thing is cool and all, but it’s not a real party until some heavyweights of radical music start throwing their weight behind it. Fans of industrial metal will be pleased to know that KMFDM has done just that, releasing a new version of their classic track (which the more angsty of us rocked in our angsty bedrooms over a decade ago), A Drug Against War, but have altered their own lyrics to spotlight the recent rebellion against evil psycho-clown corporations.
The vocals in the track are now all about defeating our shady bankster-GMO-Annunaki overlords with the new title A Drug Against Wall Street! Calling upon the 99% to “march to the drum of the ultra heavy beat,” the vocals warn against remaining passive to the ravages of class warfare, warning us rather succinctly that “make no mistake, our children’s future is at stake.”
Shortly after the release of this slammer in its new incarnation, KMFDM’s founder and front-man, Sascha K, stated, “On Oct 15, I suddenly had this idea of doing a new version… using alternate lyrics voicing support of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Every social movement I have been involved with, or covered as a journalist, develops its own language of liberation, its own alphabet, and its own buzzwords, rhetoric and discourse.
Here are some of the key words I heard/retained in covering the Occupy Wall Street movement. I am sure there are many words, phrases, and slogans I overlooked, never heard or forgot. Send your favorites to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are words that power a struggle and speak to the internal processes that attracted so many to take part, as well as the issues that drive it and the obstacles that face it. They are some of the phrases, terms, sayings and expressions that the occupiers use in their conversations to define themselves and discuss their mission.
A. Adbusters, Anarchy, Arrest, Activist, Action, Anger, Angry, Atrium, Assembly (Freedom of,) Arab Spring, Autonomy, Anonymous. All Night, All Week, Austerity, Autumn Awakening.
B.… Read the rest
Out with the old. I would say good riddance to 2011 even as I fear 2012 may be worse, given the financial trends, social chaos and political idiocy that we confront every day.
Every time I think it can’t get worse, it does.
It seems so clear that the political system is moribund and paralyzed and the economic system may be in worse shape.
A tiny sliver of the 1% may be in charge although not in control. Their own short-term greed makes it unlikely that they can stabilize the system or do any longer term planning. Their Titanic has hit its iceberg. Some new technologies may be keeping it afloat for now but for how long?
We lurch from crisis to crisis in an atmosphere of deep denial.
Obama clearly has no new ideas and the Republican candidates for the most part don’t know what an idea is, as they pander to a know-nothing base to prove that they can be as crass as they are.… Read the rest
Five members of the Occupy the Caucus movement in Des Moines Iowa were arrested this morning while blockading the entrance to Ron Paul’s campaign headquarters.Using their iconic mic-check speaking style, the protestors spoke out against Ron Paul’s campaign pledge to close the Environmental Protection Agency if elected.
Sitting arm in arm, the members of the Occupy movement chanted; “We are fighting for the future generations. In order to live we need clean air, clean water, and safe food. Don’t dismantle the EPA. We won’t allow this business to open before our demands are met.”
Police gave the protestors the opportunity to move from the private entrance to the public sidewalk twenty feet away. Some complied, but five refused to move and were arrested.
Many of the occupy demonstrators claimed sympathy, if not outright support for the ideology of Ron Paul, which made this protest especially uncomfortable for both the occupiers and the campaign…
[continues at CNN]
In addition to the morally ambiguous Catwoman and the enhanced strongman Bane, it appears the new Batman movie will tackle income inequality, according to the below trailer.
In the clip, a whispering Anne Hathaway (Catwoman) can be seen telling Bruce Wayne, Batman’s billionaire alter-ego: “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne… when it hits, you’re all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”...
BBC News asks What Would Jesus Do to OWS?
The Occupy movement has become the latest to use the slogan “what would Jesus do?”, something that has been questioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury. But where did the slogan come from and is there ever an answer to the question posed, asks Stephen Tomkins.
Like all the most enduring slogans, “what would Jesus do?” has inspired countless rewrites.
There has been everything from political parody – anti-war T-shirts asking “who would Jesus bomb?” – to the beyond parody such as the “what would Jesus eat?” biblical diet plan.
The original question “what would Jesus do?” has been taken seriously by millions of Christian teenagers who have worn it over the last 20 years as a reminder to live their life in the right way. But it’s now been co-opted by protesters outside London’s St Paul’s Cathedral threatened with eviction.
Particularly in the US, but also elsewhere, it’s on wristbands, mugs, T-shirts, bumper stickers, necklaces and earrings, though most of those seem rather to defeat the purpose of reminding the owner about anything…
[continues at BBC News]