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Forum Post: Local GA's May Day reflection, thoughts/fears on tactics and relevance (to discuss), a Manifesto

Posted 5 years ago on May 5, 2012, 9:12 p.m. EST by JeanPaulHolmes (13)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I'm submitting for discussion 3 interconnected topics that have arisen among my local Occupy's GA-ers since May Day.

1st: Despite the media's poor coverage, we felt May Day was a huge success. This was not readily apparent among our group, as some had heard May Day activities involved 100s of people rather than 1000s. Pictures we shared from Chicago and NY quickly smashed that illusion!

2nd: Despite our happiness with May Day, we found a real need to address questions regarding our relevance.

We found that interest in our group grew this week, but that was noted as being noticeable because of the greater context of interest waning in general. We thought this might be attributed to Occupy being thought of as a brand by most non-Occupiers, and the excitement surrounding it being in decline.

Reflecting on this, most people I talked with had 2 thoughts.

One was that we noticed most interest, here, remained strongest among those who hadn't really encountered us protesting as much as among those who we worked with to build something material which matched our common values. For example, our getting a referendum on the ballot that would increase free speech rights in privately owned parking lots and malls really piqued interest. Further, our activity surrounding the treatment of local factory workers and our working with the local Jobs With Justice group on that brought in new people and landed us the resources to take a bus to the NATO protests in Chicago. We decided protest was necessary outreach, but can't sustain us (the local group) alone. Victories were necessary. Thoughts?

Another idea involved the upcoming elections. There is a lot of fear that the elections might be as a force that factionalizes us. To counter this, we are are thinking of ways to maintain unity. One thing that has worked, and we may start doing more mindfully, is to encourage discussion of ideas at a designated time with the context being that the ultimate goal we desire is, among all of us, very similar (anarchy, communism's final stage, or just plain "democracy" to some). We've found most disagreement is rooted in how we get to this ultimate goal or how much individuals believe it is actually possible to get there. That said, how we get there is something we decided should be open (barring violence) and that "we will learn what we can do together."

Regarding this, we do kind of luck out that those members who are progressive Democrats will be engaged with the referendum item in their election work, keeping Occupy relevant to them and making sure they don't lose ties with us in the election huh-bub.

3rd: Discussion on the tactical ideas in the 2nd subject has been going on before this week to a certain extant and I wrote a Manifesto for May Day which reflects them in certain parts.

I posted that here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/91901850/Manifesto-of-an-Occupier

I'd like to submit this "Manifesto of an Occupier" for use, review, dissection, and critique. I encourage it to be treated as the Situationists treated texts, so feel free to plagiarize, dismember, and re-contextualize. In a year's time I myself will likely look at some the what is written in it laugh, and re-write it. Thoughts?



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[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago
  1. May Day got poor coverage because its a yearly event, usually getting a few thousand people to march for a day.

  2. Victories would be nice, but that involves getting directly involved in the political process, something Occupy doesnt really want. OccTampa just decided we are not going to participate in the RNC in the official event zone with the rest of the hacks.

[-] 2 points by JeanPaulHolmes (13) 5 years ago

Re: 1. That is certainly part of it. I kind of think reporters have taken to thinking of Occupy as a brand too, and that they think reports now would generate less interest than they did last fall, which equals less buys/hits and less money. So they didn't report as much. It is good we have our own outlets -- I've excited that some Occupy groups have successfully established spots on public radio stations (see: http://ow.ly/aJcrU, hit them up for details)!

Re: 2. I suppose I'm starting to feel victories (quite an open term) to be necessary in keeping momentum and support for our local GA going. The question of relevance has come up here because people who were attending the GA, and others who stopped, said they feel that Occupy "isn't doing anything" (by which they meant producing "results"). So, the challenge is to do something that builds our own power, hence the referendum item to allow free speech in private lots and malls. We might look more to co-ops and civilian police oversight in the future.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Just read your piece. A few criticisms.

Alan Greenspan, despite what he says, is the exact opposite of a libertarian. He is at the immediate center of a centrally planned economy, and most libertarians hate him.

Austrian economics has nothing to do with money and politics. Our current state is due to massive apathy by the people.

If the people of this country elect these same two corrupted parties and people over and over, then I really dont want the masses having a say in my job and my work too.

Lobbying: I think we put too much emphasis on the money, and not enough emphasis on the fact that these are weak, weak men we are electing. If I was elected, no amount of money could get me to sign this crap. And if these politicians cannot help themselves and its accepted, then mankind in general has a major flaw that will never be fixed.

"Bought out" doesn not mean getting a pink slip. It means a transfer of ownership.

Overall, though, nice piece, you took a lot of time writing this. You may want to eliminate the first section on the causes of the housing bubble, or at least include turning commercial banks into investment banks (Glass Steagall repeal) and the formation of CDS.

[-] 2 points by JeanPaulHolmes (13) 5 years ago

Thank you for the feedback. I definitely struggled with what to call Greenspan -- he's one of those people who has a definite disconnect between who he says/thinks he is and what he actually is!

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Ya, Greenspan is quite the snake!! But I really liked you post, it is a post with actual thought on Occupy.