Forum Post: I think the link listed below is the most important occupy-related link on the internet. . .
Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 10, 2012, 3:40 p.m. EST by therising
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
*I think that links like this are the most important occupy-related links on the internet: http://da.nycga.net/
Google any city's Occupy site in the country and you're likely to find a direct action working group. Every working group is important, but my personal view is that the direct action working groups are where the rubber meets the road (where feet hit the street). Whether it's a march, sit in, walk out, strike, boycott, an afternoon of handing out leaflets, a street theater performance or any other of the dozens of forms of nonviolent direct action, it's when we take action that others take notice. That's how the good word spreads, awareness arises and the movement grows in numbers and in strength. Direct action brings injustice into the light of day and when direct actions are particularly creative, noticeable or large, even the mainstream press can't ignore them.
*We need more of this. More NON-VIOLENT DIRECT ACTIONS. Would love for participation at all levels to be so high that the list of past and future direct actions is outrageously long.*. Half way down this post are 3 suggestions for what kind of direct actions some might want to take next. But first, what can protesting do?
What can one protester do? These 2 photos tell the story:
And what can a group of those individual protesters do? These 5 photos make it plain:
Tiananmen Square crowd http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/gallery/p2p-47271336/
and Walmart's in small-town America: http://www.google.com/search?q=walmart+protest+photos&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari#miuv=3
Americans and citizens of the world rise up and take notice when their fellow citizens take the streets, squares and public spaces. The mainstream press can't ignore it at that point.. And that's what REALLY shakes the power structure, the LIGHT OF DAY.
We collectively have the power to shine that light wherever we want to aim it. It's a powerful light. We just need to wake up and realize we ARE the 99%, that we have more in common than we have dividing us. Then we can make decisions from a position of united strength instead of demands from a position of divided weakness.
NOTE 1: I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to stand in front of tanks, perform street theater or march on picket lines. We all have loved ones we need to take care of, work to do and the daily business of life to attend to and those things are of prime importance. Even a rally of 100,000 is only made up of a fraction of a percent of the country's citizens. What matters just as much as the march is that there are people at home affirming the importance of the direct action, spreading information about the issue at hand. That's the whole point really, to get the whole neighborhood, the whole town, the whole state talking and taking action of their own in the form of decisions in their own lives. For example, people vote every day with their wallets. And the impact of that can be huge. The nonviolent direct action is the match. The rest of us are the fuel as we help by spreading the awareness. We facilitate change when we make it a part of our daily lives, not just one passionate day of marching.
NOTE 2: *I think we need to remember that part of our job, if we're someone who can get out into the streets, is to create nonviolent tension whether it's with sit ins, marches, street theater, walk outs, writings, strikes, blockades, boycotts or any other of the dozens of types of nonviolent action. Tension is not a bad word. In fact, it may be the primary ingredient of healthy change.*
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi were both experts at working with others to create healthy tension. King described it like this in his "Letter from the Birmingham Jail":
"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood."
"The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation."
Here's the entire "Letter from the Birmingham Jail": http://abacus.bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html . It's a treasure and is as timely as ever.
So what do we do? Well here's one person's view:
*SUGGESTION ONE* -- Right now, as many of us as possible should "Occupy the Capitol" -- Nonviolent direct action
From the current occupywallst.org News page: “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped.” —Martin Luther King
full article from news page calling on people to Occupy the Capitol: http://www.occupywallst.org/article/lansing-occupy-capitol-d11/ Here we go... :)
*SUGGESTION TWO*. -- Do THIS in the U.S. http://occupywallst.org/article/starbucks-occupied-across-britain/ . Brilliant. This action really shows how you can reveal the absurdity of actions of corporations that are too cozy with government:
*SUGGESTION THREE* -- major nonviolent direct action (either summer 2013 or summer 2014) in support of these 8 items http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/you-may-have-seen-this-list-of-8-practical-goals-b/ . Obviously more detail would need to be filled in. And here's an overview of how it would happen. I think it would take a crowd of about 800,000 which should be entirely doable if the right steps were taken and the message were clear:
TACTICS FOR DEMANDS FOR CONGRESS (nonviolent direct action)
We should make the demands below very publicly at a press conference a few days after arriving in DC. When doing so, we should give a clear deadline of 3 days for a firm written commitment with signatures from at least 60% of members of House and 60% of the members of the Senate to pass these bills by the end of the year. If this commitment on the full slate of demands is not met by midnight on the 3rd day (which it won't be) we should be prepared to non-violently block access to all or part of the Capitol complex the next morning by traditional proven non-violent tactics. The purpose is to bring the leaders of the House and Senate to the negotiating table.
NOTE: There are always entrances because there is always a point where people who work there have to leave the public street and enter secure space. We should focus our non-violent direct action and civil disobedience on those entrances no matter where they move them because these are, by definition, always accessible.
We must adhere to the nonviolent principles set forth by Gandhi and ML King, Jr.
I think we need to understand that there is a good kind of tension and we need to create it. Martin Luther King, Jr. described it in his "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" (excerpt and link above).
*I think the intro to the American people for this action goes something like this:* http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/our-turn-a-message-to-all-americans/
And then you give them this list (adding some detail and a date of course): http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/you-may-have-seen-this-list-of-8-practical-goals-b/
I'm not in any way suggesting that now is the time for that. Tons of groundwork would need to be laid of course in all sorts of ways.
NOTE: I don't think we all have to do the same thing. I think Occupy is a fleet of powerful ships rather than one tanker. Here's why: http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/occupy-is-a-fleet-of-ships-and-there-is-no-they-in/