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Forum Post: Occupy your Workplace!

Posted 2 years ago on March 4, 2012, 11:43 a.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Michael Moore on the Flint Sit-down Strike:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8x1_q9wg58&feature=relmfu

Noam Chomsky on workers´ self management:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJnX96id-xI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YftlB3AxBws

The Take (excellent documentary by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQHo8l92U3U

32 Comments

32 Comments


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[-] 4 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I would love to see people take over their workplaces

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Hey jart. My favorite occupier :)

The way I see it, non-violent action such as sit-downs and local general strikes etc. should be prioritized, along with building solidaric and engaged communities. When community support and backing is big enough it can become reality.

It happened in Catalonia in the 1930s, it happened in Argentina ( as discribed in the great documentary The Take: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEzXln5kbuw ) etc, it can happen again.

Solidarity struggleforfreedom

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Agree 100%. The US doesn't even use militant nonviolent tactics yet, so I guess the queer ultraviolence will have to wait until we've given that a try

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I think US citizens in reality have more potential impact than many of them think... Just keep on doing what your doing, and keep on growing. The revolution starts Now!

[-] 3 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

True and especially true for NYC. We're in many ways thought of as the de facto capital of the world, so as activists--even though we're far from being the best in the world---if we manage to accomplish anything of substance then the world will follow suit. But that's why I'm here I guess :)

Love the video about Argentina btw. What the IMF did to that country is unforgivable.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

What you and your fellow occupiers have done so far is just amazing. Keep it up. It´s important and noble work you´re doing.

Yes, "The Take" is an awesome documentary. Make sure to watch the entire thing :)

Here are some more documentaries if you´re interested: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323595118_documentaries.html

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Thanks <3

I only watched the first part so far. I'll watch the rest probably tonight when I'm done working and need to unwind

[-] 1 points by ogrdanny (73) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 2 years ago

Usually after watching something like that, you'd not want to unwind, but rather be inspired to begin work towards this cause! :)

[-] 3 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Dude, I'm one of the people who started OWS :P Look at my profile signup date.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I thought you were Canada

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Why would you think that? I'm not from Adbusters

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

a while ago posters claimed Adbusters was behind OWS

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

That's because they published an article in July calling for it to happen. Then our affinity group started organizing it, then the nycga came along and made it happen, then some girls got pepper sprayed, and so goes the story.

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

By force?

[-] 3 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Yes absolutely. Resistance is always a show of force whether its militant nonviolence or armed insurrection. Without force and conflict there's no change. If you only do what you're told then you're not going to be very effective.

[-] 2 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Change through democracy, is peaceful change. No force no military required.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Only if you're delusional enough to believe this is a democracy.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

if a separate verifiable voting system where in place,

the public will know it's own voice

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Of course we live in a democracy. Our leaders are elected. And new ideas are debated every day. We have the tools to make change without violence. Protesting democracy is disoriented.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Do you believe it's wrong to overthrow democratically elected leaders? Do you believe it's wrong to overthrow a government that uses voting no matter how evil it may be?

Hitler was elected and ran a popular government. And we all know that voting was what got him out of power >_>

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

What we have today is a democratic deficit:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1321956132_our_democratic_defici.html

What must be done is building democracy from below, with much more direct participatory democracy. That way power hungry demagogues and right-wing bigots will never make it.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

What do you think needs to happen for people to care enough to start moving in that direction?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

That´s a very important question. Well, the way I see it, we know what has to happen: There has to be a change of attitude among the general population. And then of course another question follows: "Well, how will that happen?". My answer to this is: Keep on doing what you´re doing.

It is exactly what you and your fellow occupiers have done so far that has to be done: Building an active, solidaric growing Movement Meet with people, wherever they are; contact and meet with neighbors, workers, unions and other organizations and people. Talk with them, try to convince and enlighten (in a respectful manner of course) Hand out flyers, and of course make good use of the internet*. As support grows, protests and strikes can be organized more often. Sit-down strikes local general strikes and other forms of strikes (eventually spreading more and more) must be prioritized more and more.

In my article "The Transition Phase: The Road to Freedom" I shared some of my thoughts regarding these things. Here´s an excerpt:

*"Stage I: The beginning of the road to freedom - Building a movement: organization and growth.

In this stage organizing and growth are keywords. In this stage we would have to focus on protesting, marching, making ourselves heard, organizing, educating, convincing, enlightening others, educating others, educating ourselves, getting more people to join etc. In other words, lots of differnet non-violent actions in order to get attention and gain support. Everyone should do this. Unions, environmental groups, students, workers, seniors, idealists; really all who are concerned, engaged, and who want a better society must start getting seriously involved in working for change.

It´s important that the organizing includes having a goal of getting people to join for common causes, a common platform if you will, but without it leading to hierarchical structeres of leaders etc. Instead the differnet people and organizations should communicate, cooperate, arrange events, meetings etc - using different arenas to discuss and work for consensus, not necessarily on all topics but so that a constructive common platform and plan could evolve. Communities and local areas should of course have self determination; each community have their own issues that need to be adressed, discussed and handled based on their unique situation, but in order for a big growing movement to become sucessful there has to be some common ground worked out. We need to find a good healthy combination of self determination within communities and local areas, and at the same time, in solidarity with each other, work out common strategies and tactics.

Now in this growth phase there will be variations in terms of support for local movements and their common platform in different communities. In one town or community there will be lots of support, in another less. The people working in the different communities must take the amount of support into concideration and find the best way of organizing in their local communities. There are in other words no magic absolute formula. It depends on the circumstances. There should of course be a general fight in terms of bargening/collective bargeining everywhere, but in a community with lots of support people could for example organize sit-down strikes at different workplaces, and even local general strikes in order to get attention, gain support and of course gain more rights. In a local community with little support one should probably focus more on baregeining, protesting, convincing, and educating others. But the way I see it, a general rule of thumb when it comes to these issues is that the more support that is gained in the community and nationwide, the more direct non-violent action like sit-down strikes, general strikes etc. could be carried out.

We must also always remember, thruout this transition phase that we have to look in long term perspective. Changes arn´t going to come over night. It will be a long hard struggle, but in the end it will be worth it. In this stage I we must be a little patient when it comes to huge radical changes. The important thing in the beginning is to focus on growth; working for gaining support within the differnet communities, but also in the general population. In other words, building up an established force that will lead to serious changes."*

(read the entire thing here: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1321101669_the_transition_phase_.html )

I also highly recommend everyone involved in this wonderful movement to study Chomsky´s speech at Occupy Boston:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZbNT62aprM (q&a at 28 minutes)

Yours s

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

That seems a lot like what's been happening so far. One thing I would do is add the word "inspire" because that's the best way to win people over in a way that might change their life, demonstrating your beliefs by setting an example like we did in Liberty Square.

When it comes to getting to the later phases, and I say this all the time---I don't think that convincing people to believe stuff is going to create systemic change because it doesn't change the material conditions and people are fussy and don't want to change. There has to be a catalyst that forces people to change like an economic meltdown. Once that happens you have your best chance for social revolution because people are searching for a new way and revolution revolution because fighting the old system becomes a means of survival.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I see your point, but I think that enlightening and trying to convince people (again in a respectful manner of course) is very important at any point in our way to freedom and democracy. After all, that´s the main reason why we present our ideas, why we write books and articles, why we have discussions etc - hoping that good ideas and values will increasingly come to the fore.

I think the idea of building democracy from below thru solidaric democratic communities and institutions is something most people would embrace, but lots of propaganda has been used by power structures to devert the attention away from these ideas. That´s why it´s important to fight back with good solid honest arguments and helping people escape the propaganda.

It´s true, economic meltdowns creates anger towards the command economy, but It would be sad though, if the only way that people would change their minds was thru more grievances and misery.

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

Please keep the assembly peaceful.

[-] 2 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 2 years ago

What assembly? And you didn't respond to what I said :\

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Absolutely! Like I said in my article The Transition Phase: The Road to Freedom : "Carry the owners and CEOs out of their offices if necessary"

It should be done thru real democratic process - community support / backing etc.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

What if the community does not support the action? Do we need to take back what is ours regardless of what the tyrannical majority says?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

If the community by and large doesnt support the workers, then maybe convincing and protesting is more constructive. In "The Transition Phase: The Road to Freedom" I shared some thoughts on how we can work towards a just free society

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[-] -2 points by Carlitini99 (-167) 2 years ago

god, you liberals are stupid. most people have a work ethic and want to get ahead, get promoted and have a good employment record. taking over your place of employments ain't going to do that. Only a lazy liberal would even think of something this dumb.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

First of all. I´m not a so called "liberal", Im a libertarian socialist

Second: But you see, I want democracy, so workers self management is important to me.