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#TheoryThursday: We Are A Movement of Movements

Posted 1 week ago on April 3, 2014, 1:19 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: NYC, Direct Action, WaveOfAction

This piece was written for our contemporary myriad movements, but it is particularly poignant in regards to the Wave Of Action, which is attempting to tap into the incredible creativity around the globe. As events, actions, and images are being crafted, remember to look for opportunities to strategically collaborate with one another. We can increase our strength by working together not only in name, but in coordinated actions. This essay was inspired by a group of women during a Women Weaving the World discussion. Many thanks to all of them for the deep reflections, but particularly to Kathe Schaaf who spoke of the movement of movements in an eye-opening way. Learn more about Women Weaving the World here. ~ Rivera Sun

This article originally appeared on WaveOfAction.org

I feel like shaking everyone and saying, don’t you get it? We are a movement of movements.

My friends, we have been trapped in old dominant paradigm thinking. We have been steeped in warmongering, hierarchical, competitive, control-based mindsets since birth. We think we are lacking something, or that we’re ineffectual at organizing, or we’re failing. We call for a Movement of Movements, like the War to End All Wars, a rallying cry that will amass the allies on the edge of the battlefield so we can massacre our enemies.

It makes me want to laugh – and cry.

We want to name, label, categorize, and control the emergent phenomenon of this revolutionary resistance. We want to take the wild flurry of activity that is erupting on a thousand fronts and turn it into an army for change. We want to call it something because then we can control it. This is what our lineage of science and religion has taught us: if we give it a name, it is ours. If we trademark the Movement, we can capitalize on it. If we organize it all in one place, we can make it work to what we consider its highest potential.

We need to let go.

We need to surrender to this very large phenomenon and join with it. We need to trust each other, the causes, and the organic, emergent nature of what is happening . . . this is revolutionary. This is a way of participation that is radical in our society. The long history of invasion, conquest, genocide, wars of aggression, and abuse of people and the planet has indoctrinated us in false beliefs that we must organize everything in order to survive. But these old patterns of competition and control are a worldview perpetuated by the wealthy elite, who profit from such mentalities at our expense. To this end, they have abused the theories and philosophies of the Judeo-Christian God and Darwin, alike. They school us in fear-based, violent mindsets to ensure that we will never pose a serious threat to their dominance. If we do not emancipate our minds from their worldview, we will remain blind to the greatest strengths of our movements.

Building a Movement of Movements seems to be the logical, strongest, and wisest approach to breaking our opponents’ power, but our real strength may lie in our myriad movements. The empowered elite are fighting us on all fronts. We have them surrounded on all sides. Our plethora of issues distracts them, divides them, and weakens their centralized position. They sit in the fortress of wealth and power, staring wild-eyed into the living, breathing, diverse jungle of opposition. There is nothing they would like more than to see us assemble all of our strength in one place and march down the road to their fortress. Then they could destroy us in one swoop. So, from the balustrades of their socio-political system, they taunt us and mock us, calling us disorganized and inefficient.

We are not disorganized. We are organized differently.

“We are the ivy crawling up the buildings, the moss breaking down the bricks, and the dandelions shooting up in the sidewalks. We’re as vast as the planet and as microscopic as infectious disease. The Dandelion Insurrection isn’t a handful of radicals. It’s all of Life itself!” – from The Dandelion Insurrection

We must learn to look at the interconnections of our myriad causes and wage struggle through collaboration, not control. Our causes are not at odds with each other, nor do they need unification under one name or coordination from a central command. Instead, we need to collaborate strategically, using our diversity of issues as our strength. If we look at the overlapping issues of health, economy, jobs, peace, surveillance, education, energy, housing, environment, democracy, and so on, we will see that every movement is working to replace destructive, corrupt systems with constructive, life-supporting, sustainable alternatives. Our strength lies in our inherent unity, not in the label attached to it. Our only weakness is in our uncertainty . . . and the fact that we remain unaware of the power of our situation.

We can tap into the collective and coordinated strength of our many movements by learning to strategically collaborate with one another. A few key elements of such an approach are: - Celebrate other’s achievements; the success of one cause is the success of the whole. - Support each other’s efforts through solidarity, encouragement, resources, media campaigns, etc. - Take time to analyze the interconnections of the movements. Search for untapped strengths and sources of support. Identify pivot points of change and opportunities for other movements to help sway a critical element of your own movement. - Talk with each other. Find out how your efforts overlap and look for opportunities for strategic collaboration. - Our movements are revolutionary; their manner of collaborative, horizontal organization is the most natural, organic system on Earth. We terrify the empowered elite because we reflect, in our very structure, the most powerful force on the planet: Life. In what they call our disorganization, we embody the natural systems that the patriarchal, Puritanical European colonizers have been trying to repress and control for thousands of years. Our movements are as frightening to them as a liberated woman, or the pagan religions of old Europe that succumbed to the first invasion of the mentality that now engulfs the empowered elite around the globe. We are organic and uncontrollable...and we are, ultimately, unstoppable.

Instead of codifying our movements under one name, we must learn to recognize who and what we are. We are a movement of movements, a great multiplicity of motion.

Author/Actress Rivera Sun is a co-founder of the Love-In-Action Network, a co-host on Occupy Radio, and, in addition to her new novel, The Dandelion Insurrection, she is also the author of nine plays, a book of poetry, and her debut novel, Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, which celebrates everyday heroes who meet the challenges of climate change with compassion, spirit, and strength.


HOW TO HELP: FOOD FUND


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Yo Occupy! Join the #WaveOfAction in NYC

Posted 2 weeks ago on April 1, 2014, 1:22 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: #www, NYC, #WaveOfAction, #YouAreNeeded, Direct Action

"You are needed for a wave of action." - Occupy Wall Street

We need you to join the #WaveOfAction that is rising everywhere on Friday. If you cannot make it to an action in your city, please consider supporting the food fund for on the ground participants.

In NYC we will be directly confronting the power of the 1%. Marching on multinational airport corporations who pay poverty wages in the morning, and on Wall Street for the closing bell in the afternoon, and back to our park in the evening where we will begin a three month fight back against the oligarchy that gets stronger everyday.

On the first day of Occupy Wall Street no one thought it could happen either.

The Plan on Friday (April 4) in NYC

3:00 pm: Summer Disobedience School Reunion (People's Gong!)

Federal Hall, 26 Wall St., NYC

Perform the People’s Gong with the #OWS Direct Action Summer Disobedience School! This is a great entry point into the global wave of action on Wall Street.

Find out the specifics at nycga.net.

7:00 pm: 99% City-Wide Wave Of Action (People's Assembly!)

Liberty Square (Formerly Zuccotti Park)

7:05pm Vigil for Dr. King / 7:15pm Assembly

The People’s Assembly will happen after the vigil of Dr. King to reconvene the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street Movement as well as many of the movements that preceded it.

All the details are at nycga.net


HOW TO HELP: FOOD FUND


Follow #WaveOfAction and #YouAreNeeded.

WaveOfAction.org | OccupyWallSt.orgWorld | NYC | London | Chicago | Boston | Reno, Nevada | Fort Wayne, Indiana | Orange County, CA | Windhoek, Namibia | Philadelphia | Mississippi | Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | Amsterdam | Seville, Spain | Lansing, Michigan | 5 cities in Tennessee | Ontario, Canada | Various cities, Germany | Johannesburg, Za | Various cities, South Africa | Sydney, Australia |


Wave of Action in Los Angeles: https://www.facebook.com/events/1413346825582931/


Full Schedule for NYC:

Friday, April 4

9:30 am: The Dream Marches On: Sanitation Workers 1968--Airport Workers 2014

Meet just south of the intersection of Belt Parkway and Lefferts Blvd

Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in 1968 as he stood with striking Memphis sanitation workers, who were struggling to make the American dream accessible to all. 48 years later, New York area airport workers are organizing renew that road to the American dream. Workers, elected and clergy leaders and community supporters will gather at the Lefferts Blvd JFK AirTrain Station at 9:30 a.m. They will march along Lefferts to 83rd Avenue to Queens Blvd to Junction Blvd, with the march ending at 3:30 p.m. on the 94th Street Bridge by Ditmars Blvd, which leads into LaGuardia Airport.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/432929090175142


11:00 am: Vigil at Congressman Charlie Rangel's Office

163 W 125th Street, New York, NY

Join the vigils at congressional district offices across the United States to demand that congress pass the Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street – the only real cure to the illness of rampant economic inequality.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/752900214729898/756392451047341


3:00 pm: Summer Disobedience School Reunion People's Gong

Federal Hall

Join the #OWS Direct Action Summer Disobedience School Class of 2012 as they come together as a part of the global wave of action on Wall Street to perform the People’s Gong.

Find out more at nycga.net.

4:20 pm: Medicine for the Movement

Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park)

Occupy Reefer Madness is a coalition of seasoned lawyers, policy experts, Occupy Wall Street Activists, artists, marijuana users and non-users who are new to activism. We demand the passage of The New York State Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. We will be giving a public teach-in on the details of this bill how you can help make recreational marijuana a reality in New York and beyond as part of our contribution to the #waveofaction beginning on April 4th. If we can make our medicine legal in the marijuana arrest capital of the world then we can do it everywhere.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/744843895539992/

5:30 pm: 99% Wave of Action - Say No To the Regressive Agenda of Cuomo!

Federal Hall

Demand a New York that works for #AllOfUs, not only the 1%.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/475983245864460/

6:00 pm: Political Prisoner & Movement Martyr Night Vigil

New York City Veterans Memorial

Join local peace activists as they join the World Wide Wave of Action with a candle light vigil & silent night march from Foley Square to the NY Veterans Memorial to raise awareness about those killed & imprisoned during the on going non-violent struggle for justice for all.

More Information: Wave Of Action

6:00 pm: Know Your Rights - NYC #WaveOfAction Mask Edition

Did you know you can be arrested for wearing a mask during #WaveOfAction?

Police in New York City sometimes enforce a very old city law that bans masks and facial coverings at gatherings of two or more people unless it is “a masquerade party or like entertainment.”

If there is more than one masked individual at an event, everyone wearing a mask could get arrested. The law permits the police to use discretion in enforcement, so there may be some situations, and some types of face coverings, that police will ignore.

Find out more at nycga.net

6:30 pm: Operation Safe Winter Community Potluck

60 Wall Street, New York, NY

Join members of the NYC Activist community to provide healthy hot meals to those in need in & around the Financial District of New York City. This project is a grassroots volunteer effort inspired by Operation Safe Winter.

Find out more on nycga.net

7:00 pm: Book as Tactic: NYC Launch for Debt Resisters' Operations Manual

Join us on Friday April 4th for the New York City launch of the fully revised and updated edition of the Debt Resisters' Operations Manual. We will discuss the original conception of the manual as a form of collaborative research to emerge from Occupy Wall Street, and reflect on the possibilities of using the format of the book as an organizing tool in the task of building a debt-resistance movement. Along with a brief introduction to this revised edition, the event will also be an opportunity to celebrate the role played by books in emancipatory movements more generally—including book blocs of course! Refreshments will be served, red squares will be distributed, and plans will be hatched for moving from analysis to action in the years to come.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1375597829385171/


7:00 pm: 99% City-Wide Wave Of Action- People's Assembly

Liberty Square (Formerly Zuccotti Park) 7:05pm Vigil for Dr. King / 7:15pm Assembly

The People’s Assembly will happen after the vigil of Dr. King to reconvene the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street Movement as well as many of the movements that preceded it.

Read more at nycga.net

8:30 pm: People’s Grassroots Conference on Monetary Affairs

Federal Reserve Bank 33 Liberty Street New York 8:30pm

We will be giving presentations and answering questions on the history of the Federal Reserve, The NEED Act, the Livable Wage Movement and the New York City Bitcoin Center in front of the NYC Federal Reserve from 8pm – 11pm as our contribution to the #waveofaction kick off party.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/517755408329988/

9:45 pm: Occupy Veterans Memorial Civil Disobedience

New York City Veterans Memorial 55 Water Street New York 9:45pm

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a POP space intended to be open to the public 24 hours a day to honor those who served in South East Asia yet at 10 PM it is closed by management. Take a stand with Occupy as we honor those who have died in wars both past & present on April 4th with a reading of names at the space starting at 9:45 PM. At 10 PM we will engage in a non-violent sit in to protest this 1st amendment infringement & to raise awareness about the need to end all wars. This action is to also show solidarity with Veterans for Peace who have supported Occupy & it’s community.

Find out more on nycga.net For more information go to nycga.net

Occupy Jail Support

NYPD Central Booking 100 Centre Street 10:00pm Civil Disobedience often means having to take an arrest to carry the message of economic injustice to the wider world & those facing arrest need your solidarity in the form of jail support. Please join the Occupy Wall Street Jail Support community as they volunteer to track, wait for & then greet those arrested as they are released. For more information please follow the hashtag #JailSupport on April 4th online via Twitter & Facebook and visit nycga.net.

11:00 pm: Wildcat March

From Federal Hall Steps to Union Square

Wear Black. Bring Pots, Pans & Noise Makers.

Find out more on Facebook

5 Comments

#CascadiaNow? @CascadiaNow!

Posted 3 weeks ago on March 20, 2014, 12:06 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Solidarity, Cascadia

This article was written by @TysonKelsall and originally published at Over The Edge. We're reposting because Cascadia is the future. Stay in the loop. - OSN

There is a separatist movement building slowly in the Pacific Northwest. Its speed reflects the pace of the people outside of its metropolitan centers.

It is not your typical movement based on the right and left spectrum, nor is it necessarily about protecting a certain culture. More so, it is about creating one, building off the foundation of what already goes on in the westernmost bioregion. It is about decentralizing two governments that seem to disregard what the population wants on the West Coast. The movement calls for a new sovereign state: Cascadia.

The map is not perfect yet. To some it stretches from Northern California to the Alaskan Panhandle. For Cathasaigh Ó Corcráin, co-editor of underground journal Autonomy Cascadia: A Journal of Bioregional Decolonization, since Cascadia is based largely on ecological designs its borders would reflect that, more so than current political ones. Corcráin, following Dr. David McCloskey’s influence, says that watersheds should dictate Cascadia’s region. For example, he uses the Alsek River in the Alaska and Yukon as the northernmost border, and the Klamath River as the southernmost. He also points to the importance of sharing the Salish Sea. Others include Idaho or use current political borders.

Flowing from that, Corcráin also sees the focus of bioregionalism as challenging the current way we associate ourselves with the land. Bioregionalism, as defined by Brandon Letsinger, founder of the Cascadian Independence Project and manager of Cascadia Now’s web presence, is “a way to reframe and rethink a lot of the boundaries and borders on this region to better represent economic, political, social and environmental realities.” Corcráin, who traveled around theoretical Cascadia when filming Occupied Cascadia, says that he also noticed many similarities to communities around the region who shared similar relationships with natural resources and surroundings. For example, a logging community in rural Washington likely shares many cultural characteristics as a logging community in rural northern British Columbia. Furthermore, Corcráin points to that fact that Cascadia is a very wild place, and the wilderness is rugged and “in your face, hard to ignore.” Letsinger said that Cascadia is the birthplace of the idea of bioregionalism. Further, Cascadia has much of its ecological systems still intact relative to the rest of North America.

In 2004, there was the creation of the Cascadian Cup; an intense soccer competition between the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Perhaps, if Cascadia ever were to form, the Vancouver Canucks would change their name to the Vancouver Cascadians and have an entire nation behind them. Maybe then, they could finally win a cup. Letsinger says that Washington state residents are the only state to tune in and cheer for the Canucks. He says the same can be said for British Columbians and the Seahawks. In 2011, the “Republic of Cascadia” made it onto a Times Magazine list as number 8 of the Top 10 Aspiring Nations, which, despite the journalist’s throw-in that Cascadia “little chance of ever becoming a reality,” maybe it is just the beginning.

Many British Columbians have probably inadvertently seen Cascadia’s flag, amicably nicknamed the “Doug Flag,” as it has made its way onto the packaging of one of Victoria’s most popular brews, Blue Buck. The Doug Flag depicts a Douglas Fir over a typical horizontal tri-colour flag. The three colours, blue, white, and green, represent the bioregion of Cascadia. The blue is for our ocean, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water; the white for our snow-capped mountain ranges and glaciers; and the green for our lush forests.

The environment is a key factor in any movement towards Cascadia. Letsinger points’ to the 1970s novel Ecotopia, where a country formed by Washington, Oregon, and northern California is a different sort of place, with a sustainable and socially just foundation. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, PhD, associate professor of Public Administration and Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Victoria, sees similar outlooks and values on the environment throughout what some call Cascadia. British Columbia and Washington have similar ecosystems; as both Letsinger and Corcráin point out, an oil spill in the Salish Sea, or, Puget Sound is going to transcend a man-made border. Brunet-Jailly adds that Cascadia, or, the Pacific Northwest consists of a culture very engaged with the sea.

Letsinger sees growing support for Cascadia. He points to lack of other alternatives and general unhappiness when it comes to the Canadian and American federal governments. He sees this largely due to the fact that Cascadia focuses on positives and a new, untainted prospect. According to Letsinger, Cascadia Now is in direct communication with 10-15,000 people and also acknowledges the many social media groups with 1000s of followers surrounding the idea of Cascadia. Corcráin agrees, saying that he himself has seen the idea of Cascadia grow since he was first involved. He agrees that Cascadia comes without “ideological baggage,” and says that the WTO protests of 1999 were a re-awakening of the bioregional movement in Cascadia, previously being popular in the 80s. He also points to the bankruptcy of some Oregon counties, stating that economic collapse can be tragic, but it can also lead to opportunity for something new; and that through this, change is on people’s mind in a very basic and practical way.

Going further down the road of politics, of course colonialism and unceded lands in Cascadia would still exist if the moment of independence were right now. So, what could be done about this? What does decolonization look like in an independence movement? As a comparison, the Mohawk population in Quebec says they will hold their own referendum for independence if Quebec wins theirs. Alternatively, Corcráin views a tenant of decolonization as looking at how a colonial power dominated local governance, and sees the potential separation of Cascadia as being Indigenous-led, settler supported. To him, it would be interesting to see how traditional laws can be applied to a modern region with a settler majority. Part of this may be the ability to move throughout the Cascadia bioregion unimpeded by borders. Is there potential in seeing how Cascadia could play to fair land title and rights compared with British Columbia, Canada, and America, all of whom have failed to do so?

Some say Cascadia is a chance to break the old, traditional left-versus-right spectrum. Letsinger argues that it is not a red-versus-blue issue, but one of empowering communities. He says that there has been some energy in Cascadia behind a “progressive libertarian” movement. Is localizing the economy really a right or left argument? Are many people in Cascadia really chasing corporatism as a political ideology? Of course, mix in the Cascadian respect for the environment, and the political landscape starts to unfold. Letsinger points out transparency and real democracy as important tenants to Cascadia; he says the question then becomes “why are we not doing this?” when we consider the “dirty corruption” and limited democracy currently in Canada and America. He says Cascadians are further united by a love of place. He claims that none of these things are attainable within the current system.

So, is a sovereign, but undefined Cascadia possible? Letsinger says surely, and that the foundation is already being built. Brunet-Jailly says the idea of a country is too far-fetched and not something he considers, but does see much cooperation across the British Columbia and Washington border. For example, when BC-based officials were concerned that Americans would not attend the Vancouver Olympic Games, the two sides came up with an enhanced driver’s license so that border crossing would be easier, which Brunet-Jailly states is an incredibly complex process. Letsinger uses the renaming of the Salish Sea as an example, breaking down cross-border division that had an arbitrary meaning at best. Only time will give clear definition to Cascadia.

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