Posted 2 months ago on Feb. 10, 2014, 7:47 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Here's a #Justice4Cecily update! I earnestly invite each of you to join us Thursday afternoon as we pack the courtroom.
Be there Thursday! Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/732227263455605/
Court let out for today about an hour ago. We didn't get to jury selection, but we did find a judge, do the pretrial hearing, and set some dates for the rest of the trial.
Unfortunately, our judge has to see other cases tomorrow so we will not be in court again until Thursday (Wednesday is a court holiday). Jury selection will occur Thursday and the prosecution's case will be heard on Friday.
Next Monday will again be a court holiday and our judge will again be busy elsewhere on Tuesday, so next week we won't be in court again until Wednesday.
Will you #occupy?
Posted 2 months ago on Feb. 5, 2014, 4:46 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
“When we asked the revolutionary philosopher Simon Critchley to help us understand the contemporary moment from a new perspective, he replied with a richly conceived work of political satire. We read it once and laughed. Then we read it again and again—each time finding another way of understanding the story.
Occupy Philosopher, Simon Critchley, is the celebrated author of numerous books including the classic of anarchism, Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance. He is a Professor of Philosophy at The New School and the Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinäre Studien (EGS) in Switzerland. Critchley’s contribution to Occupy’s Reboot is a meditation on dynamic social change and we are honored to share it with you today.” - Micah White
An evening, sometime in the near future…
26 Kadashevskaya nab. 115035 Moscow
January 1st, 2019
I guess we could all have seen it coming a few years back. Things really started to get worse around the end of 2013 and then dragged on into the long, cold winter months. That whole business with that guy, what was his name? Mountain in Wales. Snowden. That’s it. He went underground for a while and then emerged as the CEO of Bozhe Moi! (My God!): the amazing Russian search engine that overtook Google early in 2017. Totally wiped them out. I find it reassuringly old world and Le Carré-like to have the FSB watching all of us rather than the NSA.
Shortly after the President’s death, events moved fast. Well, suspicions were raised when they declared it accidental. Everyone knew it was suicide. He lost face (and faith) after that awful video circulated. You all know the one I mean. That was just after the attempted toppling of 1 WTC. Why did they build that thing? It looked like a huge robot schlong. It was lucky that only a couple of hundred people died in the rogue drone strike, but the building’s been empty - cursed - since then, apart from a shelter for the homeless on the ground floors. The city began to go bankrupt after whatshisname, De Blasio, was unable to raise taxes to pay for all the damage from the great storm of summer 2016. That was when the BBB movement (“Bring Back Bloomberg”) really got momentum. It turned out that people missed his bad Spanish at those press conferences. He’s been in power for a year now, even bringing back everyone’s pal, Ray Kelly. It’s just like old times.
Biden governed heroically, if ineffectively, until they called an early election due to the state of emergency. But he was never going to beat Chris Christie, particularly after Hillary had to pull out of the primaries because of that scandal with Anthony Weiner’s ex-wife. God that guy really embraced new technology. I think he’s still serving time. Chris Christie was a surprisingly popular president. It was like being governed by Tony Soprano. People love a benevolent despot. But I guess we weren’t surprised when the heart attack happened. He was inspecting the Acela line to Boston after it had been destroyed by floodwaters.
President Rubio has been in power for over a year now. He looks the very picture of health, glowing like the self-satisfied Miami sun when he speaks. Obamacare has been fully repealed, the rather minimal tax increases on the rich have been reversed, the federal budget has been slashed (his “War on Debt” campaign), and Rubio plans to implement the NRA’s proposal to arm all schoolkids. That’s equality. Everyone gets a gun. People seem to feel safer that way. Or they just stopped caring after that horrific school shooting in Greenport: the sixth one last year. I mean, who’s counting, right?
The truth is that national politics no longer seems to matter. Neither does the state. Cosmos is the new 1% international political force, set up by Jamie Dimon and other senior business figures from across the world. Its radical plan is to abandon all states and national borders and establish an independent league of mega-cities (initially New York, Shanghai, London, Tokyo, Mumbai, Moscow, but many others want to join) with its own police force and border agents. They’ve already begun to issue passports. It comes free when you sign up for their premium credit card. I have one here in my wallet. It has their catchy motto engraved on the titanium: “The world is ours. Make it yours”. They were initially called “The League of Rootless Cosmopolitans”. But they shortened their name: like the magazine, like the drink. The only political imperative was how to preserve the patina of liberalism while maintaining existing levels of inequality. Unsurprisingly, this is not that hard. It turns out that this is what we had anyway. A large proportion of the funding base for the Democratic Party has evaporated. Bozhe Moi! is also a big funder of the Cosmos party. Secession from their various states is expected to begin this year.
After the whole Google glasses debacle and the copycat suicides where people filmed their own deaths while wearing them, huge amounts of money were spent on lawsuits and the program was abandoned. Capital was poured into the development of what was called “inner space research.” There were various plans to insert probes under the skin at the wrist in order to internalize search functions with fingertip control. They also tried to develop an ultra-gossamer type mask where computer and skin surface would meet and merge. They called it “2 Skin”. It also failed. As did the plan to insert implants in the retina. The stroke of genius at Bozhe Moi! was realizing that the search engine and the whole apparatus could be run from a customized pair of headphones. People really like headphones. It turns out that there is still a huge difference between what you are prepared to stick in your eyes and your ears. I’m wearing mine right now to talk to you. The translate function means that everyone can speak any language they wish, which is what I do here in Moscow. Rosetta Stone is already a distant memory.
Of course, we knew that the rise of Bozhe Moi! was a soft authoritarian takeover. Old-fashioned leftists would proclaim that the promised means of our emancipation (the internet circa 1996. Remember that?) had merely shackled us more tightly in virtual servitude. Boring! I mean we read Foucault too when it still mattered. But the truth was that people didn’t really care about their privacy. Not really. Not even the Germans.
Wars came and went in the Middle East, huge populations were displaced and innocent civilians were killed. Business as usual. The pieces moved slightly on the global chessboard and then moved again. We stopped caring, particularly after the big broadcast networks began to fold – CNN was first. We knew less and less about world, particularly after all those attacks on BBC journalists. But life was just fine here. There is still no two-state or one-state solution in Israel and settlements are still being built. After the attacks on Iran following their nuclear tests, the Ayatollahs even took out a new fatwa on Salman Rushdie and one on Bono too, after he was involved in that hit musical about the Iranian Revolution. But I think they both still go to parties.
I guess the weirdest changes have been around sex. The omnipresence of the highest quality 3D pornography, combined with “sensorium” patches that went on sale in 2015, effectively killed it off. Together with the first cases of a fatal testicular cancer caused by a variant of the HPV virus that was said to be in 90% of the sexually active young male population. That got their attention.
This led to two trends. A sudden vogue, that summer, for reckless, public sex: in buses, parks, sidewalks, subways, everywhere. It became a kind of display of political indifference or even resistance among the poor, but it was picked up and imitated by a lot of college kids. They call themselves the “League of Lovers” or LOL as way of mocking the Cosmos. There continue to be many arrests and an African-American couple was shot last weekend for refusing to stop making love in Prospect Park. Not so much “Stop and Frisk” as “Stopping Friskiness.”
The other trend – less numerous, but much more influential - was the Cenobite movement, where people would pay significant amounts of money to live together but in such a way that they could remain apart and not constitute any kind of threat to each other. The first one was founded outside Warren, Vermont a few years back. But they have spread all across Vermont, New Hampshire and Upstate New York. After electing to withdraw from the world – what they call anachoreisis – each Cenobite is given an “anchorhold” where they can stay safe and warm with their devices and sleep. Any participation in public events is optional, but with the right use of a wonderful new anxiety medication called Atarax, cenobites are able to be together socially and even main eye contact without looking at their devices for up to two minutes. For fear of contagion, celibacy is the rule in all cenobite groups. This did not extend to masturbation, of course. That would have taken things too far.
People incapable of even this degree of social activity or who could not bear to be disconnected from their devices began to gather outside the Cenobite communities in more extreme group. They began to be called “Hamlet camps” or the “Inkies” after their customized black clothing, that was something between sports clothing and a Benedictine habit. The sign up fee is prohibitively high in order to pay for the private police force and guarantee exclusivity. But I hear that some of the “Inkies” are beginning to produce some really high-level electronic music.
New York City began to feel too much like Alexandria in the late fourth century and I decided to get out when the right job offer came through. I’ve been living in this hotel in Moscow for the last 6 months working for a contemporary art space funded by one of oligarchs behind the Cosmos. It’s alright. The Russians make a generic version of Atarax and I have a bodyguard and a driver. But I stay in the hotel most of the time as it’s too dangerous to go out. Oh, happy new year.
Posted 2 months ago on Feb. 4, 2014, 8:58 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Posted 2 months ago on Feb. 1, 2014, 3:25 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Written by Damien Crisp (Zuccotti)
Dust off your television. Attend a Super Bowl XLVIII party. Throw one. Make vegan snacks. Make anti-capitalist pamphlets with colorful pictures of the Seattle Seahawks... or, I mean, the 99%. Find a good sports bar and subvert it. Occupy football language. Insert slogans. Be quick with your facts. Start conversations. Who is your team? “The 99%”. You want to see Denver... I mean the 1%, go down in a ball of flames and left behind crying on the football field when the night ends. Invite your dad over to watch the game. Invite co-workers. Neighbors. Tell them about the battle between the 99% and the 1%
The game of American football is beautiful as movement and strategy, a slow but dramatic event, and I understand why fans are driven to support the games year after year. On a deeper level, Super Bowl XLVIII symbolizes the contest between the 1%—who have only increased their monopoly over a corrupt 30 year reign—and the 99%—a fractious mass of everyone else increasingly unified around calls for economic justice.
Occupy does not need to claim, redefine or save football. Occupy needs to hijack the event’s meaning. Our movement can’t afford commercial airtime to address the world directly, so we must run interference and attack dominant culture at the level of imagination.
Occupy should hijack the meaning of Super Bowl XLVIII. One team will represent the 1%. One team will represent the 99%. We will invade every living room, every tailgate party and every sports bar. Refuse to use the words “Seattle” and “Denver”. Drive Super Bowl fans mad while insisting on a real conversation about economic violence.
Does Denver or Seattle deserve the label “home of the 99%”?
All NFL teams declare themselves representatives of their cities. We need to know which city - Denver or Seattle - most represents the people over profits. Super Bowl’s are advertised as contests between cities. We also need to consider which team most represents the people over profits.
I chose the Seattle Seahawks as the true Occupy team. As a city and as a team, Seattle comes closer to what we want in an advocate for economic justice. You could choose Denver. Either way, we can create conversations around this single event but let me tell you why I chose Seattle.
Like many cities U.S. Seattle and Denver have increasingly reconstructed their social make-up. Both cities have developed into gentrified zones. In 2012, blogger Michael J. Petrilli created a list of the fastest gentrifying neighborhoods in the US. He relied on counting the “white share” of zip codes. It is a crude test but gentrification is class violence often tied race and displacement of marginalized communities. Denver is number 11 on Petrilli’s list. Seattle is not on the list. Denver’s “white share” of population increased 29.2% to 56.2%, 2000 to 2010.
Remember the Battle of Seattle? Seattle has the spirit of resistance in its past and present even though it faces gentrification by forces such as Microsoft and the city’s previous Mayor McGinn who worked hard for real estate developers. Seattle’s current Mayor Murray recently raised wages of all city workers to $15 per hour. He has worked to reform the culture of the city’s police. Murray is the city’s first openly gay mayor. As a senator, Murray led the state’s winning legislation for same-sex marriage.
Just this Wednesday, Seattle’s city council member delivered the best response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. Kshama Sawant declared, “Tonight, President Obama talked about the deepening inequality. But that is a testament of his own presidency. A presidency that has betrayed the hopes of tens of millions of people who voted for him out of a genuine desire for fundamental change away from corporate politics and war mongering. Poverty is at record-high numbers - 95% of the gains in productivity during the so-called recovery have gone to the top 1%. The president’s focus on income inequality was an admission of the failure of his policies. An admission forced by rallies, demonstrations, and strikes by fast food and low wage workers demanding a minimum wage of $15. It has been forced by the outrage over the widening gulf between the super-rich and those of us working to create this wealth in society.”
Meanwhile, Denver tends to sell development for business and real estate - gentrification - using the language of misleading rhetoric laiden with pretense towards progressive community action.
“Stimulus funds aimed at jumpstarting the economy paid for about 4,000 trees in Denver, with many ending up at million dollar homes in Denver’s priciest neighborhoods where residents acknowledge they could have paid for their own trees...”, CBS News Denver reported in September 2013, “... that the tree program had no income guidelines, so trees ended up being planted at homes in Denver’s Country Club neighborhood, Hilltop, Belcaro and Washington Park neighborhoods — all considered upscale areas of the city.”
Denver’s mayor seems to be a leader in local gentrification. He recently co-opted plans by the Parks and Recreation department to renovate a park and began a kind of architectural invasion that inspired protests by site’s neighbors. The project was called City Loop: “Food trucks for families on the go. A soft track for jogging geezers. Hammocks for summer slackers and an ice rink for Winter Olympics hopefuls. Comfort stations for the uncomfortable. All it lacks is what the initial project description insisted it would have: community context and advocacy.”
Denver’s mayor is antagonistic to the legalized pot industry. He also led a police crackdown on lower Denver bars and customers. LoDo is an area of bars where crowds gather on weekends. Real estate security. It’s safe to assume this tactic led towards further gentrification and sterilization.
Seattle’s team is the game’s underdog. Denver’s team is a football dynasty. Seattle is a defensive team. To play defense well, players have to work for each other. A defensive position is a defiant position. Denver has long been an offensive team featuring star quarterbacks and crowd pleasing acrobatics. Teams with spectacular offenses are favored by corporate America. Smiling quarterbacks sell products well. Offensive players tend to earn more than defensive players. Denver’s quarterback, Peyton Manning, makes $15,000,000 each year from his team salary. His Seattle counterpart, Russell Wilson, “makes just 3.5 percent of Manning’s base salary”.
I think we have the team of the 99%. Occupy, our team is: Seattle.
Super Bowls, of course, are commercial spectacles aired more the delivery of television ads than love of the game. Football purists often say they don’t like the Super Bowl. It is too commercial. It is also a perfect target.
A Super Bowl’s ending - which fades as it replays across mainstream media until it is forgotten - always marks a new Spring to be remembered.
A pep talk for the 99%...
“We are in hell right now... Believe me. And we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light… One inch, at a time… The inches we need are everywhere around us… either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That's
Al Pacino - final speech from Any Given Sunday
football occupy… That's all it is.”
This post was adapted from Watch This Year's Super Bowl Through the Smoke of Class Warfare
Damien Crisp is an artist, writer and activist. He has lived in New York City, Guadalajara. Mexico, and currently lives in southeast Tennessee. His writings can be followed on social media, blogs, and have been re-published widely online. He was a body, voice and citizen journalist during Occupy Wall Street's time at Zuccotti Park, as well as a coordinator for Occupy Sandy. His artwork includes painting, photography, installation, objects, text and video. He graduated from the University of Tennessee's painting program at Knoxville in 2005, and received his MFA from the School Of Visual Arts in New York in 2007.
Posted 2 months ago on Jan. 29, 2014, 10:47 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
"We were very pleased to promote the response to the State of the Union from Kshama Sawant on Tuesday evening. One of the most important values of the Occupy Solidarity Network, is that we support and promote to our networks, a broad spectrum of ideas and solutions resonating from within the Occupy Movement. Bernardo Gutiérrez's article talks at length of the importance of networks, and how they help to make possible future organizing by lighting up the supporters of prior actions. Much in the way that we hope to inspire you, those who care about the Occupy Movement, and hope to see real world change emerge." - Priscilla Grim
Written By: Bernardo Gutiérrez
Revolution is getting too small for us. Its centenary semantic wall seems to crumble. Indeed, the Internet launches a gunshot of questions to the heart of the meaning of revolution. Revolution is just "a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system"? The new system will emerge only after taking power? What if taking power after revolution, as in Egypt, comes from the hand of the army? Is it still valid the sequence revolution, counter-revolution, involution? Could it be that the network is building, without taking power, a new system from new protocols and unlikely connections?
A few years ago, the Marxist thinker John Holloway, in his book Changing the world without taking power, began to glimpse the secret ways of the new revolutions. Holloway, enthusiastic with those Mexican neozapatistas, fully questioned the meaning of revolution. Those masked people who built their own world outside the state, those Autonomous Zones of Chiapas, halfway between Hakim Bey´s pirate utopias and the indigenous culture of the commons, deeply inspired Holloway: "In this revolutionary struggle there are no models, no recipes, just a question terribly urgent. Not an empty question, but a question filled with a thousand answers". Perhaps we do not need a new and unique meaning for revolution. Perhaps it is enough to interconnect the multiple new answers.
Renaissance // Re-Birth
The writer / activist Douglas Ruskoff has another "Thesis That Questions the Revolution". In his book Open Source Democracy, Ruskoff argues that the revolution has not arrived and what we are experiencing is a new renaissance. "Renaissances are historical instances of widespread recontextualisation. It is the rebirth of old ideas in a new context. Renaissance is a dimensional leap, when our perspective shifts so dramatically that our understanding of the oldest, most fundamental elements of existence changes. The stories we have been using no longer work". The Renaissance, the dimensional leap, precedes revolutions. The perspective of the paintings of Piero della Francesca (among others) led to mathematical theory that ended some centuries later with the idea of a flat Earth. The movable type of Gutenberg´s printing machine changed the writer-reader relationship (and blew political structures). The network, connecting peers, reconfigures most definitions. From media to revolution, the meanings of the dictionaries seem not to fit into this new dimension.
The Renaissance, according to the prestigious James P. Carse, was not an "attempt to promote another vision, but that alternative visions promise other visions." The Renaissance was a new horizon more than a set of answers. A new horizon in the words of Carse, who arose against anyone and formulated a constant invitation to join him.
Perhaps the revolution is not in sight. Maybe we're just in a deep process of Renaissance. And maybe we do not even need the revolution as we know it. In fact, a pessimistic view of the three years of interconnected revolts that began with Tunisian Revolution in late 2010 would present a grim picture. The army, at the helm of Egypt that toppled Hosni Mubarak. A exagerated neoliberal Government in the Spain shaked by 15M movement - Indignados. The conservative Enrique Peña Nieto ruling México after #YoSoy132 explosion. Erdoğan, leading with an iron capitalist fist, post #DirenGezi Turkey. Changing the world without taking power?
The Network Created
"It is not what Occupy Wall Street has made, but the network that has been created." The sentence was pronounced by Joan Donovan, participant in InterOccupy, at the meeting Three Years of Interconnected Revolts, held in October in Barcelona. And that casts a beam of light on the underappreciated and networked renaissance that is flourishing in the world. From Tunisia to Brazil, from Turkey to Spain, from Greece to Egypt, the so called #GlobalRevolution is in the details of the created network. #GlobalRevolution, more Enlightenment than revolution, more connections than achieved objectives, make sense looking at the different microcosms. There´s no need for that utopia of May 68, that inoffensive “Beneath the paving stones, the beach” which never materialized. There´s no need for it because interconnected revolts have built its own utopia: tens, hundreds, thousands, of networked micro-utopias.
The prototype, a concept of digital culture, is an important key of this new renaissance: "An early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from". #GlobalRevolution is a system of micro-utopian prototypes, connected amongst themselves and (almost) in real time. Legal prototypes, communicative prototypes, political, urban, cultural, technological... And this networked collective prototypes, within this new, open, process-based world, replaces any fixed model. Maybe we do not need a definitive model for revolution. It may not be necessary to take power. Because these interconnected micro-utopias will be replacing the parts of the system. Gradually, inevitable.
Spanish 15M´s lawyers – Legal Sol, TomaParte – hanging their online documentation with free licenses and working for the commons. Or Ativistas Advogados collective, who defends Brazilian protesters from police abuse. #GlobalRevolution are citizens building self mass communication, as Manuel Castells theorizes. Spanish Indignado´s TomaLaTele, Brazilian Midia Independente Coletiva platform (MIC) or Turkish Gezi Occupy News are micro-utopias shaping a new communicative renaissance. #Globalrevolution is not just a social explosion. #Globalrevolution is the Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network building free connections in Athens, a music festival crowd funded thanks to #YoSoy132 movement in Mexico City or a digital, free library called Bookcamping.cc, born in the heat of Spanish 15M. #GlobalRevolution does not need rigid dictionaries. It could be a king of set-of-links, a reconnection of dispersed hyperlocalities. An infinite open game in which it doesn´t matter not having a goal, but looking for it collectively.
this new system of imperfect and collectively improved prototypes – is not what has be done, but the created network. When Spanish Indignados were given for dead, the human created network shaped a new urban self-governed space as El Campo de Cebada de Madrid, that won the prestigious European prize Golden Nica. GlobalRevolution puts at the service of concrete causes a dense networked system that influences media and makes information get viral. That was the case of Gamonal´s riots, a working class neighbourhood of Burgos (north of Spain), rose up against urban neoliberalism, visibly helped by 15M ecosystem in its success in stopping a private parking a a new expensive boulevard.
When many thought that Occupy Wall Street had ended, the latency power of created network invented the process #OccupySandy, that after Hurricane Sandy, helped New Yorkers better than either the State or private industry. #Globalrevolution, more process than aim, resembles the unpredictable Guerrilla of T.E Lawrence that described Arab tactics that, escaping from the logic of classic war, defeated the Ottoman Empire between 1916 and 1918. #Globalrevolution would be, paraphrasing Guerrilla, "an influence, something invulnerable, intangible, moving like gas". It appears where it is not expected. Is the legion of students from #DirenODTU, replanting trees on the campus that Erdogan wanted to turn into highway. Or the Rolling Jubilee linked to Occupy Wall Street, that buy private debts and then forgive them. Or the #EfectoGamonal campaign that spreads world wide Gamonal struggle and complements the strategy of direct action and negotiation of neighbors.
Counter, lateral strike
GlobalRevolution: that guerrilla-gas, flees the classic strategy of the working class, its massive strikes. Without being antagonistic to that formula – some groups work in a self-governed strike of the 99% without unions – #globalrevolution does not find its strength in the stoppage, but in construction. Not in the boycott, but in the movement. In addition, its power is not just replacing the pieces of the system. Its explosive secret lies in the possibility of building their own pieces. Pieces-prototypes openly made in shared flows. Its sting is not, for example, blocking a port, but building an enough attractive port to replace the old one. Or better yet: to create a new system of urban gardens, parallel currencies, micro-ports and a 3D printers network to build objects that will make unnecessary the mega-port of the past.
"Don´t look at us, join us", sing the Spanish indignados. “Don´t beat the enemy, let them join you”, says Douglas Ruskoff. #GlobalRevolution is not just a social explosion. It is a lever that takes us to a new dimension in which the micro-utopias are replacing the old world, building new spaces, new inclusive processes. Micro-utopias that are shaping a new connecting meta-utopia, atmospheric and rhizomatic at the same time. Who needs, therefore, the orthodox revolution that lives in old dictionaries?
Nothing better to complete this inventory of interconnected micro-utopias, this incipient meta-utopia, as a sentence that Douglas Ruskoff uses to define Occupy Wall Street: "The movement resembles the network in several ways. In part, because it is difficult to conceptualize, because of its peer-to-peer structure. Also, for its ability to tolerate that there is not an ending, but a set of connections. And every connection is a new beginning to something new, and unfolds and unfolds, as life itself".
Bernardo Gutiérrez is a Spanish journalist and writer. He participates and researches in 15M-Indignados and Global Revolution in general. He is living in São Paulo and the founder of the network FuturaMedia.net.