occupy-sandiego

occupy-sandiego:

photos of #occupYrcorner and #occupySD at Mardi Gras in Downtown SD! Showing support for #OccupyWalk too! http://occupywalk.org 2/21/12 Photos by the amazing Johnny!

Also, we have the PDF available for anyone who would like to make their own Occupy mask!

Little did Willie Nelson know when he recorded “Crazy” years ago just how crazy it would become for our cherished family farmers in America. Nelson, President of Farm Aid, has recently called for the national Occupy movement to declare an “Occupy the Food System” action.

Nelson states, “Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of our soil…”

Hundreds of citizens… joined Occupy the Food System groups, ie Food Democracy Now, gathered outside the Federal Courts in Manhattan on January 31st, to support organic family farmers in their landmark lawsuit against Big Agribusiness giant Monsanto…

The lawsuit addresses the bizarre and shocking issue of Monsanto harassing and threatening organic farmers with lawsuits of “patent infringement” if any organic farmer ends up with any trace amount of GM seeds on their organic farmland.

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More activist musicians, please!

citizen-earth

An Open Letter to Chris Hedges by David Graeber in response to “The Cancer in Occupy”

I am writing this on the premise that you are a well-meaning person who wishes Occupy Wall Street to succeed. I am also writing as someone who was deeply involved in the early stages of planning…

99serbia

1. THE STRATEGY OF DISTRACTION

An essential element of social control is the strategy of distraction, which is to divert public attention from problems and important changes decided by the political and economic elites. Through the technique of flooding, constant distractions and trivial information the mind becomes more docile and less critical. The strategy of distraction is also essential in preventing mass interest in science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. “Keep the public busy, busy, busy, with no time to think; back on the farm with the other animals.(Quoted in the text Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars).

2. CREATE PROBLEMS AND OFFER SOLUTIONS

This method is also called “Problem-reaction-solution.” They create a problem, a “situation” to cause some reaction in the audience, so that this becomes the norm of the measures you would accept. For example: ‘let us intensify urban violence, or organize bloody attacks, so that the public becomes more accepting of the laws and policies that are detrimental to their freedom’. Or: create an economic crisis in order for the public to accept as a necessary evil the annulment of social rights and dismantling of public services.

3. THE STRATEGY OF GRADUALISM

To make an unacceptable measure acceptable, gradually apply enough pressure, drop by drop, for a few consecutive years. It is in such a way that new, radical socioeconomic conditions (neoliberalism) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s the minimal state, privatization, insecurity, flexibility, mass unemployment, wages that do not ensure decent incomes, many changes that would have given rise to a revolution if they had been applied all at once.

4. THE STRATEGY OF DEFERENCE

Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful and necessary”, in order to win over public acceptance at that time. It is easier to accept a future sacrifice than an immediate sacrifice. First of all, because the measure is not used immediately; secondly, because the public, the masses, always have the tendency to expect naively that “everything will improve tomorrow” and that the sacrifice required may be avoided. This gives more time to the public to get used to the idea of change and accept it without resignation when the time comes.

5. ADDRESS THE PUBLIC AS YOU WOULD A LITTLE CHILD

Most ads targeted towards the general public use discourse, arguments, characters with especially childish intonation, often targeting frailty, as if the viewer were a creature of very young age or mentally impaired. The more you try to fool the viewer, the more childish the adopted tone. Why? “If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, due to suggestive quality, the other person tends, with some probability, to respond or react without much thought as a person 12 years old or younger would (see “Silent Weapons for quiet wars “)

6. APPEAL TO EMOTIONS RATHER THAN REASON

Make use of Emotional response’ is a classic technique to cause a short circuit on rational analysis and finally the critical sense of the individual. Moreover, appealing to emotions opens the door to the unconscious and makes it easier to implant ideas, desires, fears and doubts, compulsions, or induce behaviors…

7. KEEP THE PUBLIC IN IGNORANCE AND MEDIOCRITY

Make sure the public is incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslave. “The quality of education given to the lower social classes should be as poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance between the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to achieve for the lower classes (see ‘Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars).

8. ENCOURAGE THE PUBLIC TO BE COMPLACENT TO MEDIOCRITY

Make the public believe that being stupid, vulgar and uneducated is fashionable, while at the same time suffocate culture, science and art that do not conform to the norm.

9. REINFORCE SELF-BLAME

Make the individual believe that he/she is the culprit of their own misfortune and make them doubt their intelligence, their abilities, or their efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual devalues and blames himself, which generates a depressive state, the purpose of which is to stifle action, and without action, there is no revolution!

10. UNDERSTAND INDIVIDUALS BETTER THAN THEY UNDERSTAND THEMSELVES

During the past 50 years, rapid advances in science have generated a growing knowledge gap between the public and the dominant elites. With biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the “system” has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings.. The system has gotten better at knowing the common folk than what he knows of himself. This means that in most cases the system has a greater control over individuals than what the individuals have over themselves.

Coming from Chile where, generally speaking, a spirit of questioning and expressions of doubt and criticism are much more common, I’ve always found the US to be a hostile place for speaking out of turn. I forget about the legacy of social movements, and these [vintage] photographs [from 1969] remind me that the country wasn’t always silent. And of course every day it becomes more likely that it isn’t going to stay silent either.

emarketmysoul

Photos referenced: bit.ly/rQWMPN

occupyphilly

They came from New Jersey, Harlem, the Bronx and as far away as Seattle. The small, but diverse group of black women we met at Occupy Wall Street this weekend included students, a member of the Board of Ed, community organizers and church elders.  Ranging in age from 19 to 62 years old, they gathered in New York’s Zuccotti Park with a common goal: to lend their voices to the swelling demand for social and economic change.

polyslime
“OAKLAND — Occupy Oakland demonstrators clashed all over downtown Tuesday night with police who lobbed tear gas at least three times in futile attempts to fully disperse the more than 1,000 people who took to the streets after the early-morning raid of the movement’s encampment.”
(Oakland Tribune, click for story + more photos)

“OAKLAND — Occupy Oakland demonstrators clashed all over downtown Tuesday night with police who lobbed tear gas at least three times in futile attempts to fully disperse the more than 1,000 people who took to the streets after the early-morning raid of the movement’s encampment.”

(Oakland Tribune, click for story + more photos)

occupywallstreet

occupywallstreet:

Posted Oct. 25, 2011, 2:39 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

To all those in the United States currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity. Having received so much advice from you about transitioning to democracy, we thought it’s our turn to pass on some advice.

Indeed, we are now in many ways involved in the same struggle. What most pundits call “The Arab Spring” has its roots in the demonstrations, riots, strikes and occupations taking place all around the world, its foundations lie in years-long struggles by people and popular movements. The moment that we find ourselves in is nothing new, as we in Egypt and others have been fighting against systems of repression, disenfranchisement and the unchecked ravages of global capitalism (yes, we said it, capitalism): a System that has made a world that is dangerous and cruel to its inhabitants. As the interests of government increasingly cater to the interests and comforts of private, transnational capital, our cities and homes have become progressively more abstract and violent places, subject to the casual ravages of the next economic development or urban renewal scheme.

An entire generation across the globe has grown up realizing, rationally and emotionally, that we have no future in the current order of things. Living under structural adjustment policies and the supposed expertise of international organizations like the World Bank and IMF, we watched as our resources, industries and public services were sold off and dismantled as the “free market” pushed an addiction to foreign goods, to foreign food even. The profits and benefits of those freed markets went elsewhere, while Egypt and other countries in the South found their immiseration reinforced by a massive increase in police repression and torture.

The current crisis in America and Western Europe has begun to bring this reality home to you as well: that as things stand we will all work ourselves raw, our backs broken by personal debt and public austerity. Not content with carving out the remnants of the public sphere and the welfare state, capitalism and the austerity-state now even attack the private realm and people’s right to decent dwelling as thousands of foreclosed-upon homeowners find themselves both homeless and indebted to the banks who have forced them on to the streets.

So we stand with you not just in your attempts to bring down the old but to experiment with the new. We are not protesting. Who is there to protest to? What could we ask them for that they could grant? We are occupying. We are reclaiming those same spaces of public practice that have been commodified, privatized and locked into the hands of faceless bureaucracy , real estate portfolios, and police ‘protection’. Hold on to these spaces, nurture them, and let the boundaries of your occupations grow. After all, who built these parks, these plazas, these buildings? Whose labor made them real and livable? Why should it seem so natural that they should be withheld from us, policed and disciplined? Reclaiming these spaces and managing them justly and collectively is proof enough of our legitimacy.

In our own occupations of Tahrir, we encountered people entering the Square every day in tears because it was the first time they had walked through those streets and spaces without being harassed by police; it is not just the ideas that are important, these spaces are fundamental to the possibility of a new world. These are public spaces. Spaces forgathering, leisure, meeting, and interacting – these spaces should be the reason we live in cities. Where the state and the interests of owners have made them inaccessible, exclusive or dangerous, it is up to us to make sure that they are safe, inclusive and just. We have and must continue to open them to anyone that wants to build a better world, particularly for the marginalized, excluded and for those groups who have suffered the worst .

What you do in these spaces is neither as grandiose and abstract nor as quotidian as “real democracy”; the nascent forms of praxis and social engagement being made in the occupations avoid the empty ideals and stale parliamentarianism that the term democracy has come to represent. And so the occupations must continue, because there is no one left to ask for reform. They must continue because we are creating what we can no longer wait for.

But the ideologies of property and propriety will manifest themselves again. Whether through the overt opposition of property owners or municipalities to your encampments or the more subtle attempts to control space through traffic regulations, anti-camping laws or health and safety rules. There is a direct conflict between what we seek to make of our cities and our spaces and what the law and the systems of policing standing behind it would have us do.

We faced such direct and indirect violence , and continue to face it . Those who said that the Egyptian revolution was peaceful did not see the horrors that police visited upon us, nor did they see the resistance and even force that revolutionaries used against the police to defend their tentative occupations and spaces: by the government’s own admission; 99 police stations were put to the torch, thousands of police cars were destroyed, and all of the ruling party’s offices around Egypt were burned down. Barricades were erected, officers were beaten back and pelted with rocks even as they fired tear gas and live ammunition on us. But at the end of the day on the 28 th of January they retreated, and we had won our cities.

It is not our desire to participate in violence, but it is even less our desire to lose. If we do not resist, actively, when they come to take what we have won back, then we will surely lose. Do not confuse the tactics that we used when we shouted “peaceful” with fetishizing nonviolence; if the state had given up immediately we would have been overjoyed, but as they sought to abuse us, beat us, kill us, we knew that there was no other option than to fight back. Had we laid down and allowed ourselves to be arrested, tortured, and martyred to “make a point”, we would be no less bloodied, beaten and dead. Be prepared to defend these things you have occupied, that you are building, because, after everything else has been taken from us, these reclaimed spaces are so very precious.

By way of concluding then, our only real advice to you is to continue, keep going and do not stop. Occupy more, find each other, build larger and larger networks and keep discovering new ways to experiment with social life, consensus, and democracy. Discover new ways to use these spaces, discover new ways to hold on to them and never givethem up again. Resist fiercely when you are under attack, but otherwise take pleasure in what you are doing, let it be easy, fun even. We are all watching one another now, and from Cairo we want to say that we are in solidarity with you, and we love you all for what you are doing.

Comrades from Cairo.
24th of October, 2011.

erc
The Occupy movement — like so many movements around the world now — is using general assemblies as its form of protest and process. Its members are not facing the authorities, but each other, coming to know themselves, trying to give rise to the democracy they desire on a small scale rather than merely railing against its absence on a large scale.

Let’s Find a New Dream

How have they kept the masses down? Kept them hungry, scared, uneducated, and under the illusion they are well fed on gimmicks, brave in their patriotism, and complacent in their illusions. People act like that could never happen in today’s society. Propaganda, mass manipulation? Never! Not in AMERICA, the Land of the Free. But it has happened. History repeats itself, maybe not in the same way, but due to the same human flaws. Greed, ego, and need for power. Only this time we’ve been given the heartbreaking, illusory hope of an achievable American Dream. Who are those who succeed? Those who’ve worked hard and earned it! Okay, but tell me this, why is it someone who worked 70 hours a week running a mom and pop store just to make ends meet is less deserving than someone working on Wall Street? Just tell me WHY?

Can the same be said for all work place hierarchies? High school hierarchies? Those at the top are the most deserving? I’m not talking about high-paid professionals, scientists, doctors or economists. I’m talking about the people who gamble on the stock exchange. The people who run banks making MILLIONS every year. Please someone explain to me what God-rewarded values and hard work landed them that position in life. The only common thread I see is one of sociopathy and a willingness to climb and accumulate with no regard for others, going well beyond the point where many others would stop out of moral shame or guilt or legal bounds.

The system we all are born and bred to believe in is that hard work and toil will be rewarded as deserved. And hard work is spending hard hours of study culminating in scientific, technological or philosophic contributions to the progress of society. It means working hard building and creating your own ideas or your own homes.  Protection of property means protect your right to toil and keep the fruits of that toil - your business you build, your harvest you sew, your house you build, your ideas and things you discover. The system as you imagine it is not meant to protect disinterested outsiders from camping outside your home or your small business and profiting off of bets against your failures.  

Wake up America. This is not the dream. We got lost somewhere along the way and, yes, we also learnt a lot along the way - about civil rights and environmental sustainability. So let’s step forward instead of back. Let us learn from our mistakes and develop our progresses. Now is the time to find a new dream.

Occupy your country!