Posted 1 year ago on May 24, 2012, 7:17 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
During the recent NATO counter-summit in Chicago, we sat down for tea with the ghosts of Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, and Rosa Luxemburg, who granted us a rare interview. (The ghost of Mikhail Bakunin, crashing on the couch while in town for the protests, also chimed in.) We discussed Occupy Wall Street, NATO, the demonization of anarchists, May Day, the crisis in the European Union, prison reform, the U.S. Presidential elections, and more.
OWSt.ORG:The recent mass mobilization here in Chicago was one of the most significant events in the young Occupy movement’s history. We were joined by veterans against war, nurses for a Robin Hood Tax, anarchists opposed to police brutality. What are your thoughts on NATO? Why is it relevant to Occupy?
EMMA: We Americans claim to be a peace-loving people. We hate bloodshed; we are opposed to violence. Yet we go into spasms of joy over the possibility of projecting dynamite bombs from flying machines upon helpless citizens. It's quite saddening.
LUCY: Yes, but the NATO protest which has just been observed in Chicago was a great success from many standpoints, notably among which was the increased number of young people who took part in it. Very inspiring.
MIKHAIL: Why are so many people generally discontented with NATO today? The ruling class (the 1%, as your slogan goes) – which created NATO to protect its commercial and industrial transactions against the terrifying red phantom [the Soviet Union] – had not reckoned with the fact that a military regime is very costly, that through its internal organization alone it paralyzes, it upsets, it ruins nations, and moreover, obeying its own intrinsic and inescapable logic, it has never failed to bring on war; dynastic wars, wars of honor, wars of conquest or wars of national frontiers, wars of equilibrium – destruction and unending absorption of States by other States, rivers of human blood, a fire-ravaged countryside, ruined cities, the devastation of entire provinces – all this for the sake of satisfying the ambitions of Wall Street and their favorites, to discipline populations, and to fill the pages of history.
ROSA: The action at the Boeing headquarters was particularly brilliant for highlighting the connection between business and war. Armaments and wars, international contradictions and colonial politics accompany the history of capitalism from its cradle. It is the most extreme intensification of these elements, a drawing together, a gigantic storming of these contradictions.
Anarchists at the NATO summit
OWSt.ORG:Do you support the military veterans who returned their medals at the NATO summit?
EMMA: Absolutely. It is probably even more important to carry the truth into the barracks than into the factory.
OWSt.ORG:Surely by now you’ve heard of the #NATO5 (originally the #NATO3 before 2 more were arrested), the alleged anarchists being accused of making molotov cocktails during NATO who are now being charged with terrorism. The case bears striking resemblance to the anarchists who were arrested before May Day in Cleveland. In both examples authorities are being accused of entrapment, even planting evidence. What are your thoughts?
Posted 1 year ago on May 23, 2012, 9:53 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Occupiers from across the country gathering at Boeing in Chicago as part of the counter-NATO week of actions
Last weekend, scores of occupiers took buses from New York to Chicago to join thousands of people from the social justice movement, peace advocates, occupiers, students, and labor to face the forces of the self-appointed world police: NATO. The demonstrators protested the culture of militarism, war, and oppression pursued by NATO, by creatively bringing their messages to the streets. Once again peaceful demonstrators were pushed back violently and then blamed for the violence. The only suitable answer for those who try to silence us is to speak even louder, take more streets, occupy more public space, and continue to inspire the 99% to create democratic change
Occupy these Upcoming Events
Every Wednesday, 4pm The People’s Gong
This Wednesday, and every Wednesday thereafter, we call on all people to join Occupy Wall Street in ringing the People's Gong. We first meet at the steps of Federal Hall, mic check, and afterwards we return to Liberty Plaza to debrief and work on projects across OWS. We invite all working groups to re-occupy Liberty Park with us and join the report-back circle at 7:30pm.
Wednesday May 23, 6pm Winning at Work: Labor Law for the 99%
Communication Workers of America, 6 Harrison Street
“If it’s effective, it’s illegal”. This is common wisdom for anyone trying to organize in workplaces today. The OWS Labor Alliance presents a workshop with Daniel Gross and Sonia Lin about how to challenge the hurdles facing workplace organizing.
Wednesday May 23, 8:30pm Occupy: Chicago was a TRIP
The Yippie Cafe, 9 Bleeker Street
We've all heard it: Chicago was freaking CRAZY. So if you were there, come out to Occupational Hazards: we'll have free food for Chicago Occupiers (and anyone else) and a soapbox to tell your story. This event features Sumumba of OccuEvolve, here to discuss how Occupy can reach the next level, and a musical guest.
Thursday, May 24, 8am Goldman Sachs 2012 Shareholders Meeting
Goldman Sachs, 30 Hudson St, Jersey City
This year most financial groups are holding their shareholders meeting outside of NYC - away from Wall St. and OWS. Citigroup is having theirs in Dallas. Goldman Sachs is holding theirs conveniently across the river in Jersey City. Field trip anyone?
Thursday, May 24, 630pm National Occupy Networking This Summer - A Town Hall Meeting
The Brooklyn Commons - 388 Atlantic Ave.
Seven months ago to the day, the Occupy movement spoke to each other for the first time on the first ever InterOccupy conference call. Join us this Thursday to celebrate how far we have come, and discuss how we can build together through the summer and into year two! Learn about what is happening and how you can plug in!
Saturday May 26, 12pm Summer Disobedience School
Bryant Park, 42nd Street and 6th Avenue
The OWS Direct Action Group is launching Summer Disobedience School. We’ve completed Spring Training – and we’re moving and communicating in the streets like never before. Join us!
Saturday May 26, 1pm Critical Walking Tours
The Gandhi statue in the southwest corner of Union Square
Engage the city, your body, and others, by putting yourself in motion on a set of 6 summer discussion-walks to engage the political, ecological, and your embodied urban environment – New York City. Each walk will start at different point in the city with a short inspirational text and space from which to launch our journey and discussion.
Sunday, May 27, 2pm OccuPicnic at Astoria Park
Astoria Park, 23rd avenue and 19th street, Astoria, Queens
Occupy Astoria Long Island City would like to invite everyone to an Occupy Picnic! We'd like to celebrate the Occupy movement, catch up with all our friends throughout the five boroughs and make new friends.
Tuesday, May 29, 630pm
OWS Summer Reboot
33 West 14th Street
In the Community Dialogues there was a break-out group around GA, Spokes, and structure.
These points came up consistently: intentionality, inclusivity, community, communication, coordination, access, transparency. Now, we must ask ourselves what a structure looks like that meets these needs. Come to the Summer Reboot! Create the OWS you always imagined! (re-scheduled from Wednesday, May 23)
Indig-Nación is the first Spanish language newspaper of OWS, and we aim to be an instrument that mobilizes and builds bridges between Latino occupiers, grassroots organizations and those yet to enter the conversation. Although a wide spectrum of Latinos have participated within the Occupy movements, the media discussion in Spanish regarding Occupy is underwhelming at best. We believe it’s essential for diverse voices in Spanish to intervene in the public conversation by sharing their personal stories and connecting Latin American history and experiences of struggle to our current situation.
Daily #OccupyUnionSq Info Table, 9am - 9pm @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 in the park and across OWS. Click here to find out how you can help out with immediate needs of the Union Square occupiers to keep it running and growing. Help is particularly requested for providing content on the new website: http://occupyunionsquare.wordpress.com.
For Text Message alerts on your cellphone about daily events, actions, and important information, sign up for the ComHub SMS blasts by texting @owscom to 23559.
The protests in Chicago show that Occupy is a network committed to social change through direct action. Arguably,the policies of NATO benefit Americans the most, so to march against NATO in America is a very strong statement against war and how it perpetuates uneven capitalist development. At NATO, the rich and powerful decide which countries will be unified, which they will ignore or refuse aid, and those they will invade. NATO is both a military alliance and an instigator of severe repression as its policies ensure the reign of the global north over countries who adopt other economic systems. This history of NATO shows that it began as an arrangement to suppress communism, but it now endures to secure the profits of multinational corporations.
As for this weekend, perhaps mirroring the military strategy of NATO, the protests were over-policed and extremely violent. Police beat and sprayed non-violent protesters with impunity. Those who were live streaming events were pulled over by police, detained, and harassed. Others had their homes invaded and have been accused of terrorism. Several participants in the Occupy movement who traveled to Chicago reported being followed by unmarked police vans as they moved about the city. In another instance, travelers who intended to camp in a backyard were met with police condemning the back porch and requiring them to move along. When real police oppression is happening, it becomes difficult to focus on the policies of NATO as the target of protest activities. But, those from the Occupy movement went to Chicago to support the Nurse’s Union’s call for a Robin Hood Tax, to support veterans’ calls to end all wars, and to raise awareness that NATO is the army of the 1%.
Moving forward, the more the Occupy movement converges at these large-scale protests, the more fundamentally influential we will become on setting the national political agenda. Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. People that resist together form dense ties and begin to trust each other’s judgement. These are the moments where movements crystallize and become strongly aligned in vision and goals. Those who met in Chicago will have ample opportunities to rally again as plans are in the works to protest the DNC and RNC as well as the November elections. In addition, an open and transparent national gathering in Philly is happening on July 4th.
Posted 1 year ago on May 22, 2012, 2:15 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Today, students and their allies in Quebec mark the 100th day of protest since the beginning of a student strike to defend accessible public education and oppose tuition increases. The strike has spread and become a general revolt against austerity and corrupt, illegitimate politicians. Throughout the massive demonstrations, which have reached sizes of around 300,000 people, riot police have brutally attacked marchers using clubs, grenades, rubber bullets, and chemical weapons. Two protesters have lost eyes and one has nearly died. Police have also illegally arrested entire busloads of protesters on their way to or from demos.
Last week, the government of Quebec passed an emergency law (Loi 78) criminalizing the massive demonstrations and assemblies in an effort to stamp out the strike. The new law restricts demonstrations and orders the closing of some universities. Among other things, organizers must inform police of the route of any demonstration that includes 50 or more people 8 hours before the demonstration. Unions and student federations are threatened with fines of up to $125,000 if someone is prevented from entering an educational institution.
Just after the law passed, thousands took to the streets in Montreal. Student and union leaders, activists, the Quebec Bar, and opposition politicians see the law as a direct attack on the right to demonstrate. Quebec Premier Jean Charest and Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay´s attempts to legislate the end of the student movement and attack on the democratic freedom to assemble must be resisted. The policies of austerity and repression are global; so is our indignation.
Today in New York City, we will demonstrate in solidarity with Quebec students and in defense of our right to protest. An increase in the powers of the police and the state anywhere is an attack on us everywhere.
TUESDAY, MAY 22 – SOLIDARITY WITH QUEBEC STUDENT STRIKE
Frankfurt, Chicago, Quebec. We are with you!
2pm to 4pm—Demonstrate, 1 Rockefeller Plaza
Demonstration in solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike
Outside the Quebec Government Offices at 1 Rockefeller Plaza
5pm—Gather, Check-in, Washington Square Park, North Side of Fountain
Gather to paint banners, make ‘book bloc’ shields, and cut red squares for the evening march.
Check-in for those who want to facilitate lectures, workshops, skill-shares, and discussions. Please bring all the materials you may need to make banners and host classes.
6pm—Free University, Washington Square Park, various locations-- check board on North Side of Fountain
Teach in/Speak out assembly about the Quebec student strike, the emergency laws, and the criminalization of dissent; followed by self-organized lectures, workshops, skill-shares, and discussions of the Free University.
8pm—Assembly and March, Washington Square Park
General Assembly and March against Repressive anti-protest laws worldwide
Request for solidarity and support for the Legal Committee of the CLASSE
We write you during a dark time for democratic, human and associative rights in Quebec with the following appeal for your help and solidarity. As you have no doubt heard, the government recently enacted legislation that amounts to the single biggest attack on the right to organize and freedom of expression in North America since the McCarthy period and the biggest attack on civil and democratic rights since the enactment of the War Measures Act in 1970. Arguably, this
recent law will unduly criminalize more law-abiding citizens than even McCarthy's hearings and the War Measures Act ever could.
While tens of thousands are in Chicago protesting NATO and many more are marching in the streets of Quebec, the action in your city must not stop! NOW IS THE TIME TO AMPLIFY!
Use the tag #SOLIDARITYSUNDAY to organize! Send your meet up locations to Info@interoccupy.org or post a comment here to be included in this list. We will update as soon as we can.
Occupy Boston: Action Assembly at 5:00 pm EST at Copley Square OWS NYC: Emergency DA Meeting – Sun 2pm, Washington Sq Park, NYC Occupy Denver: Gather at Lincoln Park, Rallying at 5PM and departing at 5:30 Occupy Portland: Meet up 2PM at Director Park, SW Yamhill + Park Occupy Austin: Pease Park at 2 PM Occupy Rochester: 3:30-6:30pm by the Liberty Pole Occupy Los Angeles: Will be meeting at 1pm PST (MacArthur Park/Leavitt Pavilion) for a potluck picnic and community activities including a women’s self-defense class. Tonight, Join Occupy The Hood LA Action Assembly and LA CAN to reclaim public sidewalks in the “New Downtown” and make it clear that the business community is not the only voice in Downtown LA! We will be camping out at LA Live or in front of the Central City Association H.Q. Bring things to stay overnight. Where: Meet at LA CAN office, 530 S. Main Street (7pm) or corner of Figueroa and 11th street (8pm) Occupy Orlando: Meeting at Senator Beth Johnson Park for all day/all night solidarity. Occupy Salt Lake City: Be at the Library Square Occupation at 8PM.
Last week, Chicago police officers promised ¨billy clubs to the fucking skull¨ to a group of activists they'd pulled over without cause in the South Side neighborhood of Bridgeport. The activists recorded the encounter with a cell phone and the video spread virally across the internet. Now, three of them are locked up on charges of terrorism that witnesses, lawyers, and family say are ridiculous. Lawyers for the accused say CPD planted evidence.