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Articles tagged Direct Action

#TheoryThursday: We Are A Movement of Movements

Posted 1 year ago on April 3, 2014, 1:19 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: NYC, Direct Action, WaveOfAction

This piece was written for our contemporary myriad movements, but it is particularly poignant in regards to the Wave Of Action, which is attempting to tap into the incredible creativity around the globe. As events, actions, and images are being crafted, remember to look for opportunities to strategically collaborate with one another. We can increase our strength by working together not only in name, but in coordinated actions. This essay was inspired by a group of women during a Women Weaving the World discussion. Many thanks to all of them for the deep reflections, but particularly to Kathe Schaaf who spoke of the movement of movements in an eye-opening way. Learn more about Women Weaving the World here. ~ Rivera Sun

This article originally appeared on WaveOfAction.org

I feel like shaking everyone and saying, don’t you get it? We are a movement of movements.

My friends, we have been trapped in old dominant paradigm thinking. We have been steeped in warmongering, hierarchical, competitive, control-based mindsets since birth. We think we are lacking something, or that we’re ineffectual at organizing, or we’re failing. We call for a Movement of Movements, like the War to End All Wars, a rallying cry that will amass the allies on the edge of the battlefield so we can massacre our enemies.

It makes me want to laugh – and cry.

We want to name, label, categorize, and control the emergent phenomenon of this revolutionary resistance. We want to take the wild flurry of activity that is erupting on a thousand fronts and turn it into an army for change. We want to call it something because then we can control it. This is what our lineage of science and religion has taught us: if we give it a name, it is ours. If we trademark the Movement, we can capitalize on it. If we organize it all in one place, we can make it work to what we consider its highest potential.

We need to let go.

We need to surrender to this very large phenomenon and join with it. We need to trust each other, the causes, and the organic, emergent nature of what is happening . . . this is revolutionary. This is a way of participation that is radical in our society. The long history of invasion, conquest, genocide, wars of aggression, and abuse of people and the planet has indoctrinated us in false beliefs that we must organize everything in order to survive. But these old patterns of competition and control are a worldview perpetuated by the wealthy elite, who profit from such mentalities at our expense. To this end, they have abused the theories and philosophies of the Judeo-Christian God and Darwin, alike. They school us in fear-based, violent mindsets to ensure that we will never pose a serious threat to their dominance. If we do not emancipate our minds from their worldview, we will remain blind to the greatest strengths of our movements.

Building a Movement of Movements seems to be the logical, strongest, and wisest approach to breaking our opponents’ power, but our real strength may lie in our myriad movements. The empowered elite are fighting us on all fronts. We have them surrounded on all sides. Our plethora of issues distracts them, divides them, and weakens their centralized position. They sit in the fortress of wealth and power, staring wild-eyed into the living, breathing, diverse jungle of opposition. There is nothing they would like more than to see us assemble all of our strength in one place and march down the road to their fortress. Then they could destroy us in one swoop. So, from the balustrades of their socio-political system, they taunt us and mock us, calling us disorganized and inefficient.

We are not disorganized. We are organized differently.

“We are the ivy crawling up the buildings, the moss breaking down the bricks, and the dandelions shooting up in the sidewalks. We’re as vast as the planet and as microscopic as infectious disease. The Dandelion Insurrection isn’t a handful of radicals. It’s all of Life itself!” – from The Dandelion Insurrection

We must learn to look at the interconnections of our myriad causes and wage struggle through collaboration, not control. Our causes are not at odds with each other, nor do they need unification under one name or coordination from a central command. Instead, we need to collaborate strategically, using our diversity of issues as our strength. If we look at the overlapping issues of health, economy, jobs, peace, surveillance, education, energy, housing, environment, democracy, and so on, we will see that every movement is working to replace destructive, corrupt systems with constructive, life-supporting, sustainable alternatives. Our strength lies in our inherent unity, not in the label attached to it. Our only weakness is in our uncertainty . . . and the fact that we remain unaware of the power of our situation.

We can tap into the collective and coordinated strength of our many movements by learning to strategically collaborate with one another. A few key elements of such an approach are: - Celebrate other’s achievements; the success of one cause is the success of the whole. - Support each other’s efforts through solidarity, encouragement, resources, media campaigns, etc. - Take time to analyze the interconnections of the movements. Search for untapped strengths and sources of support. Identify pivot points of change and opportunities for other movements to help sway a critical element of your own movement. - Talk with each other. Find out how your efforts overlap and look for opportunities for strategic collaboration. - Our movements are revolutionary; their manner of collaborative, horizontal organization is the most natural, organic system on Earth. We terrify the empowered elite because we reflect, in our very structure, the most powerful force on the planet: Life. In what they call our disorganization, we embody the natural systems that the patriarchal, Puritanical European colonizers have been trying to repress and control for thousands of years. Our movements are as frightening to them as a liberated woman, or the pagan religions of old Europe that succumbed to the first invasion of the mentality that now engulfs the empowered elite around the globe. We are organic and uncontrollable...and we are, ultimately, unstoppable.

Instead of codifying our movements under one name, we must learn to recognize who and what we are. We are a movement of movements, a great multiplicity of motion.

Author/Actress Rivera Sun is a co-founder of the Love-In-Action Network, a co-host on Occupy Radio, and, in addition to her new novel, The Dandelion Insurrection, she is also the author of nine plays, a book of poetry, and her debut novel, Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, which celebrates everyday heroes who meet the challenges of climate change with compassion, spirit, and strength.



Yo Occupy! Join the #WaveOfAction in NYC

Posted 1 year ago on April 1, 2014, 1:22 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: #www, NYC, #WaveOfAction, #YouAreNeeded, Direct Action

"You are needed for a wave of action." - Occupy Wall Street

We need you to join the #WaveOfAction that is rising everywhere on Friday. If you cannot make it to an action in your city, please consider supporting the food fund for on the ground participants.

In NYC we will be directly confronting the power of the 1%. Marching on multinational airport corporations who pay poverty wages in the morning, and on Wall Street for the closing bell in the afternoon, and back to our park in the evening where we will begin a three month fight back against the oligarchy that gets stronger everyday.

On the first day of Occupy Wall Street no one thought it could happen either.

The Plan on Friday (April 4) in NYC

3:00 pm: Summer Disobedience School Reunion (People's Gong!)

Federal Hall, 26 Wall St., NYC

Perform the People’s Gong with the #OWS Direct Action Summer Disobedience School! This is a great entry point into the global wave of action on Wall Street.

Find out the specifics at nycga.net.

7:00 pm: 99% City-Wide Wave Of Action (People's Assembly!)

Liberty Square (Formerly Zuccotti Park)

7:05pm Vigil for Dr. King / 7:15pm Assembly

The People’s Assembly will happen after the vigil of Dr. King to reconvene the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street Movement as well as many of the movements that preceded it.

All the details are at nycga.net


Follow #WaveOfAction and #YouAreNeeded.

WaveOfAction.org | OccupyWallSt.orgWorld | NYC | London | Chicago | Boston | Reno, Nevada | Fort Wayne, Indiana | Orange County, CA | Windhoek, Namibia | Philadelphia | Mississippi | Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | Amsterdam | Seville, Spain | Lansing, Michigan | 5 cities in Tennessee | Ontario, Canada | Various cities, Germany | Johannesburg, Za | Various cities, South Africa | Sydney, Australia |

Wave of Action in Los Angeles: https://www.facebook.com/events/1413346825582931/

Full Schedule for NYC:

Friday, April 4

9:30 am: The Dream Marches On: Sanitation Workers 1968--Airport Workers 2014

Meet just south of the intersection of Belt Parkway and Lefferts Blvd

Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in 1968 as he stood with striking Memphis sanitation workers, who were struggling to make the American dream accessible to all. 48 years later, New York area airport workers are organizing renew that road to the American dream. Workers, elected and clergy leaders and community supporters will gather at the Lefferts Blvd JFK AirTrain Station at 9:30 a.m. They will march along Lefferts to 83rd Avenue to Queens Blvd to Junction Blvd, with the march ending at 3:30 p.m. on the 94th Street Bridge by Ditmars Blvd, which leads into LaGuardia Airport.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/432929090175142

11:00 am: Vigil at Congressman Charlie Rangel's Office

163 W 125th Street, New York, NY

Join the vigils at congressional district offices across the United States to demand that congress pass the Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street – the only real cure to the illness of rampant economic inequality.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/752900214729898/756392451047341

3:00 pm: Summer Disobedience School Reunion People's Gong

Federal Hall

Join the #OWS Direct Action Summer Disobedience School Class of 2012 as they come together as a part of the global wave of action on Wall Street to perform the People’s Gong.

Find out more at nycga.net.

4:20 pm: Medicine for the Movement

Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park)

Occupy Reefer Madness is a coalition of seasoned lawyers, policy experts, Occupy Wall Street Activists, artists, marijuana users and non-users who are new to activism. We demand the passage of The New York State Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. We will be giving a public teach-in on the details of this bill how you can help make recreational marijuana a reality in New York and beyond as part of our contribution to the #waveofaction beginning on April 4th. If we can make our medicine legal in the marijuana arrest capital of the world then we can do it everywhere.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/744843895539992/

5:30 pm: 99% Wave of Action - Say No To the Regressive Agenda of Cuomo!

Federal Hall

Demand a New York that works for #AllOfUs, not only the 1%.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/475983245864460/

6:00 pm: Political Prisoner & Movement Martyr Night Vigil

New York City Veterans Memorial

Join local peace activists as they join the World Wide Wave of Action with a candle light vigil & silent night march from Foley Square to the NY Veterans Memorial to raise awareness about those killed & imprisoned during the on going non-violent struggle for justice for all.

More Information: Wave Of Action

6:00 pm: Know Your Rights - NYC #WaveOfAction Mask Edition

Did you know you can be arrested for wearing a mask during #WaveOfAction?

Police in New York City sometimes enforce a very old city law that bans masks and facial coverings at gatherings of two or more people unless it is “a masquerade party or like entertainment.”

If there is more than one masked individual at an event, everyone wearing a mask could get arrested. The law permits the police to use discretion in enforcement, so there may be some situations, and some types of face coverings, that police will ignore.

Find out more at nycga.net

6:30 pm: Operation Safe Winter Community Potluck

60 Wall Street, New York, NY

Join members of the NYC Activist community to provide healthy hot meals to those in need in & around the Financial District of New York City. This project is a grassroots volunteer effort inspired by Operation Safe Winter.

Find out more on nycga.net

7:00 pm: Book as Tactic: NYC Launch for Debt Resisters' Operations Manual

Join us on Friday April 4th for the New York City launch of the fully revised and updated edition of the Debt Resisters' Operations Manual. We will discuss the original conception of the manual as a form of collaborative research to emerge from Occupy Wall Street, and reflect on the possibilities of using the format of the book as an organizing tool in the task of building a debt-resistance movement. Along with a brief introduction to this revised edition, the event will also be an opportunity to celebrate the role played by books in emancipatory movements more generally—including book blocs of course! Refreshments will be served, red squares will be distributed, and plans will be hatched for moving from analysis to action in the years to come.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1375597829385171/

7:00 pm: 99% City-Wide Wave Of Action- People's Assembly

Liberty Square (Formerly Zuccotti Park) 7:05pm Vigil for Dr. King / 7:15pm Assembly

The People’s Assembly will happen after the vigil of Dr. King to reconvene the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street Movement as well as many of the movements that preceded it.

Read more at nycga.net

8:30 pm: People’s Grassroots Conference on Monetary Affairs

Federal Reserve Bank 33 Liberty Street New York 8:30pm

We will be giving presentations and answering questions on the history of the Federal Reserve, The NEED Act, the Livable Wage Movement and the New York City Bitcoin Center in front of the NYC Federal Reserve from 8pm – 11pm as our contribution to the #waveofaction kick off party.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/517755408329988/

9:45 pm: Occupy Veterans Memorial Civil Disobedience

New York City Veterans Memorial 55 Water Street New York 9:45pm

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a POP space intended to be open to the public 24 hours a day to honor those who served in South East Asia yet at 10 PM it is closed by management. Take a stand with Occupy as we honor those who have died in wars both past & present on April 4th with a reading of names at the space starting at 9:45 PM. At 10 PM we will engage in a non-violent sit in to protest this 1st amendment infringement & to raise awareness about the need to end all wars. This action is to also show solidarity with Veterans for Peace who have supported Occupy & it’s community.

Find out more on nycga.net For more information go to nycga.net

Occupy Jail Support

NYPD Central Booking 100 Centre Street 10:00pm Civil Disobedience often means having to take an arrest to carry the message of economic injustice to the wider world & those facing arrest need your solidarity in the form of jail support. Please join the Occupy Wall Street Jail Support community as they volunteer to track, wait for & then greet those arrested as they are released. For more information please follow the hashtag #JailSupport on April 4th online via Twitter & Facebook and visit nycga.net.

11:00 pm: Wildcat March

From Federal Hall Steps to Union Square

Wear Black. Bring Pots, Pans & Noise Makers.

Find out more on Facebook


Blueprint for the Future: Housing the 99%

Posted 1 year ago on Feb. 27, 2014, 3:14 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Homelessness, Occupy Madison, tiny homes, housing, Direct Action

This article is by Damien Crisp

The future has not been written, but blueprints are being drawn up everywhere.

Many of us live as prisoners to architecture defined by capitalism. Rent is too high and far out of balance with wages. Mortgages are rigged against us.

We can pay and pay but still lose our home to foreclosure. The job market around you has collapsed and you live in fear of exile. We live in fear. Many people are homeless in the United States. Elderly and whole families unable to find shelter are becoming more and more common across the country. Homelessness and becoming a prisoner to your home mortgage are intertwined states.

What is the solution? There are endless solutions. Long term solutions demand redefining architecture, redefining the home, redefining homeless shelters, and redefining perceptions of homelessness. These solutions require lengthy dissections of our whole system but their need is immediate.

In Wisconsin, Occupy Madison occupiers collected energy leftover from the end of a successful occupation and focused on building an organization capable of redefining what it means to shelter the vulnerable homeless from economic violence.

Their tiny houses project has the promise of permanent revolution for Madison. Each homeless person, inside each tiny house, will become a homeowner and steward of projects on the land where houses are parked. Occupy Madison’s solution is: give people a home. Plans for OM’s tiny houses include composting toilets, structures wired to plug into both the grid and solar power sources, vented propane heaters for blistering Wisconsin winters and a water system.

The group imagines on-going construction leaving many tiny houses spread across the city. Mobility and adding sites are central to realizing this larger idea. Tiny houses are designed with trailers on wheels. Keeping homes mobile will allow owners to rotate through a circuit of sites. Becoming stewards for various spaces, every owner would play a role all along this network. Travelling with their house to points along a circuit, owners would have shifting views through windows as they switch parking lots. Tending to projects such as gardens established at all sites, everyone would contribute to projects sustaining the community without becoming fixed on one particular role. Expanding the projects’ map furthers potential for sustainability. One garden becomes two gardens, two become four and four become eight as the list of sites grows. Every additional site multiplies openings for new stewards.

As the circuit grows, it could become a community living visionary alternatives to our dominant order that question traditional parameters defining how living, home and survival are conceived. Purchasing just one site, however, has been difficult enough. Buying one site after another is an impossibility for now but Occupy Madison is working around this obstacle by connecting with churches willing to share their parking lots and surrounding land.

How did Occupy Madison shift from encampment to construction?

“Our encampment was one of the longest,” Occupy Madison’s Bruce Wallbaum said. “It was about 580 days. We found that people that camped and were part of the political protests joined with people who didn’t have homes.“

When Occupy Wall Street was in full swing and energy flowed towards occupations movements nationwide, Wallbaum says, their focus was the “greater political protest”. Special communities had developed within Occupy Madison and lasted after “greater political protests” under Occupy’s banner were pressed until dissolution under the boot of the all-knowing State. Small communities within communities, which had orbited within Occupy Madison at its encampment, were all seeking ways to create a better world with the collective energy they found together occupying. Several people from OM travelled to Eugene, Oregon and learned from a tiny house project there. Wallbaum recalls they found the same narrative there: collective growth during occupations and a shift from greater protest towards creating another world. Because Occupy Madison became a combination of occupiers with homes and Madison’s homeless, their shift from encampment towards building another world for the homeless was simply their group dynamic manifested into an idea.

The homeless population in Madison faces a hostile real estate owner’s market hell bent on constant production of high-end residential buildings with little consideration given to ensuring balanced growth for people from diverse economic circumstances. The city has a 2% real estate vacancy rate, which is only 1% higher than New York City. This creates a top end expensive housing market for owners and renters. It also exacerbates homelessness. The city briefly had more sway over development which ensured real estate plans included affordable housing . This attempt at balance came from legislation championed by future Occupy Madison activists.

Building a solution has been easier than challenging powerful local real estate developers with legislation. Support for OM’s tiny houses has been overwhelming, according to Wallbaum, who says the group struggles to plug in all who want to volunteer. Fundraising events have also seen overwhelming response. Still, OM’s vision faces a myriad of local zoning laws as well as the not-in-my-backyard syndrome which plagues many attempts at empowering, or even sheltering, people who find themselves homeless.

The tiny house movement is an escape for the homeless. Other models of alternative housing gaining popularity focus on building escapes from mortgages and and escapes from rent. Bruce Wallbaum says younger activists joining the tiny houses project see it not only as a solution to homelessness but as a solution to their own crisis of how to survive against the pressure of debt, against a flood of low wage jobs, against widening economic inequality. Escape from standard residential space, which demands its owners or renters play the game out of fear of homelessness, as well as escape through solutions to homelessness, could reach a depth of transformation comparable to any other powerful social revolution.

Too often “home” is narrowly defined by square feet, location, and income from full-time work. Too often “home” is defined by what we are told we deserve if we just work hard enough. Cracks in the illusion our system rewards hard work will not be repaired by raising more expensive condos or denying suffering under the thumb of capitalism all around us. Cracks in the illusion of our dominant order should be encouraged, not repaired, until the illusion shatters and leaves us free to redefine living on a large scale we can only begin to glimpse in projects like Occupy Madison’s Tiny Houses.

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 and blogs. 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.


10 Arrests in 87 Minutes: The Anatomy of the NYPD’s Protest Dispersal Process

Posted 1 year ago on Sept. 16, 2013, 12:23 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Direct Action, NYPD, First Amendment

On the eve of the second anniversary of the Occupy movement, two video activists, have released a 10 minute short film providing perhaps the most detailed civilian account to date of the NYPD’s process of crowd dispersion during mass mobilizations. The video, shot on September 17th, 2012, during Occupy Wall Street’s first anniversary celebration action, details 10 arrests that took place over the span of 87 minutes. While at first glance many of the individual arrests appear to be arbitrary, careful analysis from the videographers illustrates a larger picture wherein the NYPD’s actions are calculated and designed to derail the protestors ability to effectively assemble.

OWS Anniversary from paul sullivan on Vimeo.

This video is a powerful resource for activists of all stripes in New York City. Please watch it, share it, carefully examine the NYPD’s process in it, and use it to inoculate yourself from their coordinated attempts to stifle your first amendment protections.“On the eve of the second anniversary of OWS it bears remembering that the occupations didn’t simply fizzle and dissipate,” says Paul Sullivan, who videotaped the police response, “this video, shot last year on the morning of the first anniversary, not only reminds us of how difficult it is to protest when the NYPD is determined to shut you down, but also how the NYPD continues to supress civil liberties in order to stamp out the movement.”

Read More: http://www.sparrowmedia.net/2013/09/nypd-s17-occupy-wall-street-10-arrests/


Call or Text the 1% to Stop an Illegal Eviction

Posted 1 year ago on July 25, 2013, 9:45 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Class War, Mortgage, Eviction, occupy homes, Chase Bank, Direct Action

From Occupy Our Homes in Minnesota:

75 community members forced 30 sheriffs to retreat from a Minnesota home as boards were removed. Two were arrested and one home defender was cut out of a barrel filled with concrete by sheriffs wielding a jackhammer and saw. We have held the home!

Please be on HIGH ALERT, another eviction attempt is likely to happen in the coming days.

Here's how you can help:

Call the following Chase employees to demand they halt the eviction!

Doug Braunstein
Chase Vice Chair
Mobile: 917.837.6775

James Crown
Chase Board Member
Home: 312.642.5512

Kevin Watters
CEO of Chase Mortgage Banking
Home: 914.771.6677

Thanks for your support--with your help we will continue fighting day and night to defend Sergio's family from an illegal eviction carried out by the public servants who are paid by the public to serve the public, not private, interest.



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