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Forum Post: Winter is Coming... Lets Occupy the Caribbean!

Posted 8 years ago on Oct. 21, 2011, 12:31 a.m. EST by metapolitik (1110)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement


The good news is that I live in a beautiful, natural paradises. The bad news is... My area is sadly lacking enough radicals to hold a decent protest.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with St. John & St. Thomas, this is the place where the 1% come to buy vacation homes and sail their yachts. With most of the island being National Park, land prices here are insane! Meaning that only the 1% can afford to buy land. And with rental villas going for upwards of $2500 a week (?!), it is becoming harder and harder for regular people like myself to simply find affordable housing.

You Occupiers will certainly get cold up there (and you will). Might I suggest coming to the Caribbean and help me 'Occupy the VI'. There's a nice, recently remodeled park here with room for about 200 tents, public bathrooms nearby, and (best of all):

A kick ass, white sand beach across the street.

Here's a photo: http://tinyurl.com/6eboeax (not the beach, the park adjacent)

[An interesting side note: That statue you see in the photo is commemorating the slave uprisings that happened here hundreds of years ago when this was a dutch sugar plantation. Thousands of slaves rose up and put an end to slavery in the West Indies. Appropriate symbolism for what we are doing.]

Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, thousands of well heeled CEO types come here to spend their filthy lucre on expensive jewelry and dining. It is a place for them to escape the hustle and bustle of corporate life and to get away from news media, protesters, etc...

How truly awesome it would be for them to arrive on the Ferry, ready for a nice Thanksgiving weekend away from the hustle and bustle of protesters and news media... Only to find 200+ protesters camped-out in the backyard of their favorite escape :)

Wikipedia: http://tinyurl.com/42nglcy

Contact me for details: http://metapolitik.org/contact

Or, check it out the MeetUp page: http://www.meetup.com/occupytogether/St-John-VI/



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[-] 3 points by Ohcubss (29) 8 years ago

Finally, something I can get behind. I love St. John and wouldn't mind "occupying" it for a while!

[-] 3 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

I'm dead serious... I'm not talkin' about sipping rum punch in the shade.

I'm talking about a park full of people, news media and lots of nasty scowls and dirty looks from wealthy vacationers who weren't expecting to see us when they got here.

[-] 1 points by Ohcubss (29) 8 years ago

Perfect. You popping for the airfare?

[-] 3 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

No, but I can (and will) feed mad people if they show up.

You just get here.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Please tell everyone... And please BUMP!

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Y'all KNOW you want to!

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Sweet! ASL?

(psyche, I don't date trolls)

[-] 2 points by demonspawn79 (186) 8 years ago

Why don't you ask the locals how they feel about their situation (working for minimum wage in a hotel that makes millions in profits), I'm sure you'd find a lot of support for the OWS movement among the inhabitants of the islands.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

One would certainly think so. But the reality seems to be quite different.

There's a long list of reasons for this:

  • Less visible big-corporate influence here, more local biz. (with the exception of The Westin, almost all of the local businesses here are just that - local)

  • No one here makes minimum wage or will consider it. (The cost of living here is much higher, thus no one in their right mind will even consider working for less than $12 an hour and few have the hubris to offer anything less)

  • Nearly all news comes from CNN, FOX et al. (This place is pretty "3rd World" in a lot of ways. There wasn't even cable or broadcast television until the mid-80s, the infrastructure wasn't there. Thus, most of the locals are still caught in the grip of the illusion and have no interest in questioning the basic assumptions of Capitalism)

  • For all of the income inequality that is visible and present here, many locals - especially those who have inherited land - are doing well for themselves and aren't about to upset that particular apple cart.

The socio-political climate here is simultaneously unique / unusual while at the same time, an odd microcosmic reflection of US society at large. This is difficult to explain or articulate to anyone who hasn't spent any time here, but I can assure you it is true.

On an island that's only 8-miles long, with an annual population hovering at around 4000 people... An island that is removed from the discourse taking place on the mainland but that caters to the wealthy denizens thereof... An island that is simultaneously VERY dependent on US tourist dollars (our sole industry) yet gripped with horrible income inequality and classism... Organizing a protest feels a lot like trying to walk up the down escalator.

There is hope though. We had a Wendy's here a few years ago and the locals burned it down. Then there was a Subway that went under because no one ever ate there. There is SOME anti-corporate sentiment here. But it mostly comes from people that distrust caucasians in general (for good reason).

Anyway, it's a moot point as the almost total and complete lack of interest means I'll probably be heading to NY for the winter. Aside from maintaining a blog/website on the movement, I'm not doing nearly as much good as I would like.

Also, someone made this point out over at OccupyR:


"Good idea but the 1%ers have enough money and other vacation homes that they can fly to another resort location."


...And as Hilscher points-out:

"...An island will offer less mobility in the event of a police push back, as well as increased transport there. Miami is probably a better target."


...Not that the police here ever seem to do much.

[-] 2 points by demonspawn79 (186) 8 years ago

Holy crap, I thought you were just trolling but that was a pretty damn good post! Very informative and well written, sorry for doubting your sincerity. If you don't mind me asking, are you a native or did you move to the Virgin Islands from the U.S.?

[-] 2 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

I moved here in 2001 when I first started feeling the negative effects of the economy. Back then, you could come down here with a backpack and find seasonal work making decent money. Since the rich come here to spend their cash, it was a virtual guarantee that jobs would be available. Now, even that has changed. 8 restaurants went out of business in just the last two weeks.

[-] 1 points by demonspawn79 (186) 8 years ago

Yeah, it seems this global "recession" (larceny) has wormed it's way into every country around the world. Well, I'd honestly love to take you up on the offer but I live in Ireland and plane tickets cost a fortune. I've been seriously considering moving back to the U.S. though, perhaps I could stop by St. John's and help you get something started down there. It would be pretty awesome living in such a beautiful place for a while.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Clarification: It's actually St. John (no 'S' on the end).

It's confusing because there is a 'Fort St. John' in BC, 'St. Johns, Saba' in the Netherlands, and then there is this place (Virgin Islands).

More confusing still, is that if you compare photos of the last two, they look remarkably similar to each other.

[-] 1 points by demonspawn79 (186) 8 years ago

Ok, good to know! I'll have to remember that if I ever manage to afford tickets. For the last few years I've even toyed with the idea of commandeering a small sea vessel and braving the waters of the Atlantic, though that's really more of a fantasy than anything I'd actually attempt doing. =P

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Sounds like a good way to drown or end up in the clink.

But I admire you for daring to dream :)

...Is Ireland really that bad?

I heard your economy was doing a lot better than ours.

[-] 1 points by demonspawn79 (186) 8 years ago

The only reason Ireland is not completely in ruins is because thousands of our young people have emigrated to the U.S., England, or Australia to look for work. Chances are they will never return. Unemployment is officially at 14.3%, unofficially it's a lot higher. Public services are being shredded while politicians get pay raises and extra staff. Once again our young people are forced to leave the country because of incompetent or corrupt politicians and businessmen.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Wow... It really is global.

[-] 2 points by demonspawn79 (186) 8 years ago

Yup, we had a pretty big march on the 15th, you can find it on Youtube. Just search for Occupy Dame Street (that's where the Irish Central Bank is located). Occupy Dame Street has been going since the 8th of October. We also had another very large march on the 22nd. We even had Billy Bragg come play some songs for us! =P


[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Great footage!

[-] 2 points by demonspawn79 (186) 8 years ago

We now have this thing in Ireland called the "Troika". It's the IMF, the EU, and the ECB and they are basically dictating Ireland's economic policy while our politicians sit on their hands. They are destroying our social services and forcing us to sell off our national assets like the forestry service (32 mil euro profits for 2010) and electricity supply (340 mil euros profits for 2010). It's larceny on a national scale and there's not a whole lot we can do about it, our entire political system is corrupt to the very core.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Sounds like it's time to Occupy Ireland!

Were there many protests there on October 15th during the global uprising?

Tried to find more info about it online but didn't see much.

I guess if most of the young have left, that doesn't leave many to protest.

[-] 1 points by demonspawn79 (186) 8 years ago

Here's a better video of the actual march yesterday. I think you'll like it.


[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Strong and Warm... Wild and Free!

[-] 1 points by jbell78 (152) 8 years ago

i like this.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

come on down

[-] 1 points by Markmad (323) 8 years ago

You mean take a vacation while the revolution is going on? I’m not so sure! The dollar may be worthless down there. Besides, they may want to retaliate against us for some previous tyrannical actions committed by our own government. Be real!

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Wow... You totally misunderstood the entire thrust of the post.

No, that's not what I meant.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

It should be noted that I have no desire to lessen the size, scope or impact of the NY Occupation.

I was kind of hoping to get like 10-20 people from like 10-20 cities.

[-] 1 points by diff (26) 8 years ago

Even up the wealth of the nation. Better yet, the world. Everyone can have the same opportunity, the same starting point, Everyone can work to their ability/desire, without having been hampered at the start.

But what about my neighbour? She has four kids, i only have three to raise. Does that mean she gets more than me? The older bloke up the road has asthma, he needs his medication. I suppose that means he should get a little more. Sharon's oldest son is quadraplegic, so she needs probably more again.

Dispensing the wealth of the nation is becoming complicated, and that's only in this culdesac. We will need someone to administer this wealth, that we'll accumulate by taking it off the rich.

I think that should be my job. I will be fair and even. I know what is right and wrong. I can handle the responsibility of massive amounts of money, even though I've never actually earned any myself. I can imagine what it will be like. That's all the experience I need.

Spread it out. That's the first and most important.

Doesn't matter what you have done to earn it. There's enough to go round. You can sit in front of your computer watching porn. You can drink yourself to a stupor every morning. You can smoke dope till your eyes bleed. You can study at uni till you're fifty years old. You can all have the same amount. It's fair.

Occupy Wall Street What a JOKE! You think you're revolutionaries, The ideal you seek is Communism.

You think you can do it right? What happens when a centralised agency has to administer the wealth of the nation? Ask Russians how that worked for them.

The only fair way is CAPITALISM Trade takes two parties, one to provide one to want what is being provided.

Earn what you get If you want more Earn it.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Who said anything about centralized agencies?

We're advocating deep, direct democracy.

The cold war is over... Try to keep up.

And as for "what you have done to earn it"

  • What have the children of Billionaires done to "earn" their inheritance?

  • What have the denizens of Goldman Sachs done to earn theirs (besides completely tanking our economy)?

  • What has Paris Hilton contributed to society?

  • How is a state run by greed and corporate interests any less totalitarian that say, Marco's Spain?

The capitalist rhetoric of 'meritocracy' is a lie. There is no merit in obscene wealth any more than there is merit in us letting a handful of banks have complete control over our economy.

You speak of Communism... Wall St. is the new Stalin!

[-] 1 points by RantCasey (782) from Saginaw, MI 8 years ago

Nice I wish I could. Be great having signs up saying you can run but you can't hide from the 99% or the 99% is everywhere

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

I know!


[-] 1 points by occupyvenicefl (9) from Englewood, FL 8 years ago

Ah yes, we could occupy Cinnamon Bay, plenty of room, good facilities. Tough for folks to get down there though, expensive plane ride and ferry. We have great beaches here on the Sun Coast and likewise a shortage of folks willing to stand up for meaningful social change so when those winter winds start blowing down the canyon of Wall Street send a few bus loads of folks down here.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

There's an idea.

Greyhound is a lot cheaper than airfare.

[-] 1 points by Mike122333 (102) 8 years ago

If the winter pushes people out of the park and the movement winds up online, I think the best Forum for the movement is http://www.themultitude.org/forum/

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 8 years ago

Troll... lame appeals. Nice try. Wish i could attempt to derail revolution and get paid, all in the comfort of my beachfront bungalow. I've been to St. John, it's a ghetto ... just like much of the U.S. I hope that you will be met down there, with much resistance.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Who's trolling?

If I could afford a plane ticket I'd be in NY right now.

And yes - just like the mainland - parts of St. John are 'ghetto'... All the more reason to do something about it!

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 8 years ago

You must be desperate, attempting to recruit strange visitors to come eat your food and drink rum in the shade. Sorry to hear it .... get out to the ghettos and maybe you can overcome the alienation you are experiencing.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

You must be a troll, attempting to belittle and ridicule strangers visiting this website. Sorry to hear it... Get out of the suburbs and maybe you can overcome the fear and paranoia that this movement is causing you.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 8 years ago

You're living in the ultimate suburb and I am fairly certain that you are far-removed from the ills that inhabit St. John. I'm living in South Bethlehem, feeling the pain of this current economic order, and witnessing it among my neighbors. Fear, no, I don't have any fear since I have nothing to lose. Paranoia, no, this is real ... and there is no beach nearby.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Fairly certain? Clearly you don't know shit!

As for suburbs... Bethlehem is a far cry from Beirut.

Maybe you need to Occupy the Middle East and quit belittling those of us that are trying to make a difference in their own communities.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 8 years ago

"rum punch in the shade" -- making a difference. Ya Man!!!

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

I don't drink

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 8 years ago

If your initial post is true, I do wish you the best. You don't need us up here, though. Work with your neighbors. Have you established any sort of trust? Love to think that cruisers would receive a rude awakening rather than white-toothed big-smiles, reggae-music (political content removed) listening boppers, ready to please, let-us-massage-away-your-corporate-pain servants. I'm wary, I must admit.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

I can respect your cynicism. But I can assure you that I am 100% legit.

And while yes, there is a lot of that here (politically sterilized reggae, etc...). There is also - lurking beneath the facade - a lot of anger and frustration at the way things are going.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 8 years ago

As I said earlier, work with your fellow islanders ... is it possible, or are you met with skepticism and/or resistance? It would be a great thing if the Caribbean islands would become more a get-real experience than a get-away. These days, a cruise is as accessible as Wal-Mart (or, amazon.com, the evil empire for whom I currently work (oh, the stories).). I'd love to view footage of your vision ... vacation dreams dashed ... there is no escape ... and so on. Make it happen, for it to be most promising, however, it must happen as a result of local consensus. You don't need any more outsiders.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

That all sounds like good advice... But unfortunately it is unlikely to happen.

99% of the locals that I've mentioned this movement to have absolutely no idea what's going on. Whereas the ones who have heard about it either don't get it or don't take it seriously.

But what can you expect from an island of people that mostly get their news from CNN and FOX?

Looks like I'll be coming to New York for the winter after all.

BTW: Now that we've established that neither of us are trolls... Does this mean we're friends now? :)

PS: Here's what I'm working on (since you sort-of expressed an interest)


[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 8 years ago

Good luck getting there without any money

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Group discounts

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 8 years ago

That would certainly help; of course you still have to have some money to get there, plus money to get back, because most of the people coming down there would probably be unemployable

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago


What are you insinuating? ...Sounds like Trollspeak.

[-] 1 points by Washington (77) from Khon San, Chaiyaphum 8 years ago


[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago


(yes, I am bumping my own post)

[-] 1 points by Washington (77) from Khon San, Chaiyaphum 8 years ago

How do you think the law enforcement folks there might react? The residents?

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

Good Question:

Law enforcement is pretty hands-off most of the time. They are accustomed to tourists who come here to party and as-such, usually look the other way when people say, drink-and-drive, smoke pot in public, etc... Actually, in many ways law enforcement here is a complete joke and are notorious for not really doing their job.

That stated, day-to-day crimes are a far cry from a huge protest. Since I don't think anyone has protested anything here in the last several decades, I imagine that they are completely unprepared and ill equipped to deal with such a situation. I know that we have a severe shortage of police officers and that the ones we do have are dealing with budget cuts and similar 'austerity' measures.

[-] 0 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 8 years ago

Good idea!!

[-] -1 points by ArrestAllCEOS (115) 8 years ago

Sounds good dude, I'll bring the drums you get the incense. Will they mind if I defecate in the park? How about on cars?

How are we going to get a ferry? We're the 99%, we don't have yachts

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

You KNOW you want to!

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

There are clean, spacious public bathrooms one exactly block away.

The ferry costs $6 each way.

[-] -1 points by ArrestAllCEOS (115) 8 years ago

Can you loan me $6, I just got the new iPhone so I'm kinda broke :(

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 8 years ago

There's an App for that.