More images from today.
A flying live streamer, sprinting rain soaked activist clowns, Taking cover underneath a momentary tent in front of the Bank Of America (2 seconds later we were attacked by the cops,) a fallen clown is arrested with a mandolin player, my camera shuts down right about there….
Will put up the rest on my flickr later tonight.
Since today is supposed to be a “day of action” — and certainly hasn’t failed to deliver in this respect — I think it’s important to talk about just what kind of action is desperately needed from OWS. This is where Fanon’s discussion of decolonization becomes relevant. Make no mistake: The wholesale restructuring of the dominant ideologies and institutions of a society is always and necessarily a radically violent act. It was in this sense of the word that Slovenian philosopher and critical theorist Slavoj Žižek could say that “Gandhi was more violent than Hitler: Gandhi’s movement effectively endeavored to interrupt the basic functioning of the British colonial state” whereas Hitler merely “stages a big spectacle of Revolution so that the capitalist order could survive.”
This is the fundamental failing of those who resign themselves to passivity and surrender from the outset according to a ridiculous and inaptly named principle of “nonviolence”: what they create is mere spectacle, devoid of substance — an occupation without seizure of power. Such movements can never formulate, let alone defend what Fanon calls “the minimum demands of the colonized.” Just as Orwell claimed during the Second World War that “the pacifist is objectively pro-Nazi,” so too with OWS. The pacifist now is objectively pro-Wall Street and, regardless of intention, stands should-to-shoulder with members of the financier and rentier classes.
Read the whole thing, it’s really a fantastic analysis.
Egyptian activists have called for an international day of action to defend their country’s revolution, as global opposition mounts towards the military junta.
In a statement appealing for solidarity from the worldwide Occupy movement that has taken control of public squares in London, New York and hundreds of other cities, campaigners in Egypt claim their revolution is “under attack” from army generals and insist they too are fighting against a “1%” elite intent on stifling democracy and promoting social injustice.
The announcement came as Alaa Abd El Fattah, the jailed Egyptian revolutionary who has become a rallying figure for those opposed to the junta, had his appeal against detention refused by a military court. He and 30 other defendants accused of inciting violence against the military will remain in prison for at least 10 more days. The authorities could then choose to extend their incarceration indefinitely. This week a secret letter written by Abd El Fattah from inside his cell at Bab el-Khalq jail was published by the Guardian and the Egyptian newspaper al-Shorouk, laying bare the growing chasm between the ruling generals and grassroots activists who believe that their revolution has been hijacked.
In Thursday’s communique, which was jointly signed by a number of activist groups and published on the website of the “No to military trials” campaign, Egyptian protesters say that while global media attention has shifted elsewhere since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in February, their struggle has continued.
“Again and again the army and the police have attacked us, beaten us, arrested us, killed us,” reads the statement. “And we have resisted, we have continued; some of these days we lost, others we won, but never without cost. Over a thousand gave their lives to remove Mubarak. Many more have joined them in death since. We go on so that their deaths will not be in vain.”
The statement reaffirms activists’ decision to withdraw all co-operation from the military justice system: “We now refuse to co-operate with military trials and prosecutions. We will not hand ourselves in, we will not submit ourselves to questioning. If they want us, they can take us from our homes and workplaces.”
It ends with a call for an international day of action on 12 November. “Nine months into our new military repression, we are still fighting for our revolution,” the activists conclude. “Our strength is in our shared struggle. If they stifle our resistance, the 1% will win – in Cairo, New York, London, Rome – everywhere. But while the revolution lives, our imaginations knows no bounds. We can still create a world worth living.”
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.
A visit today to #occupywallstreet blew my mind. So much energy, noise, crowds yet peaceful all at once. Cops were making friendly banter, crowds moved amongst one another with chaotic decorum instead of force. The notion of #revolution is palpable. #ows #occupytogether #newyorkcity #cnnireport #peace #globalchange #empowerment #empower #aquarianage (Taken with Instagram at #OCCUPYWALLSTREET)
Terrific piece from Al Jazeera feat @davidgraeber my fav speaker from #occupywallstreet movement.
Posted Oct. 8, 2011, 1:30 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
#ows is growing. We will be in a thousand cities in this country by the end of the month - hundreds of cities in other countries. We will see General Assemblies on six continents.
Liberty Square has grown exponentially over the last three weeks. It is time to form a second General Assembly in Manhattan. We expect more to follow.
On October eighth at three in the afternoon a General Assembly will convene in Washington Square Park. At the same time Anti-Flag will play an acoustic set in Liberty Square in solidarity with our movement’s expansion.
We are growing. Block by block – city by city. We will see change in this country, in this world. It will happen sooner than you can imagine.
We’re talking about a democratic awakening. We’re talking about raising political consciousness, so it spills over; all parts of the country so people can begin to see what’s going on through a different set of lens. And then you begin to highlight what the more detailed demands would be, because in the end we’re really talking about what Martin King would call a revolution; a transfer of power from oligarchs to every day people of all colors, and that is a step-by-step process. It’s a democratic process, it’s a non-violent process, but it is a revolution, because these oligarchs have been transferring wealth from poor and working people at a very intense rate in the last 30 years, and getting away with it, and then still smiling in our faces and telling us it’s our fault. That’s a lie, and this beautiful group is a testimony to that being a lie.
When you get the makings of a U.S. autumn responding to the Arab Spring, and is growing and growing—-I hope it spills over to San Francisco and Chicago and Miami and Phoenix, Arizona, with our brown brothers and sisters, hits our poor white brothers and sisters in Appalachia—-so. it begins to coalesce. And I tell you, it is sublime to see all the different colors, all the different genders, all the different sexual orientations and different cultures, all together here in Liberty Plaza; there’s no doubt about it.
Cornel West, interview. Democracy Now!, 29 September 2011
A good response to people who keep demanding that the OWS protestors draw up some sort of platform of demands. That rarely happens in the early stages of liberation movements. At the moment, it’s about raising the consciousness of everyday Americans who have thus far accepted the notion that the U.S. is a democratic, fair, and equal society. It may be a strange notion to most Americans, but our country is one that—like the countries involved in the Arab Spring—is crying out for a democratic revolution.
Democracy Now! covers Occupy Wall Street.
From the General Assembly site:
The Bedding Working Group has requested help with the following items:
- Solutions: We need ideas and input about how to solve the bedding situation. We have continue to have people who are cold overnight. It is necessary to come up with strategies of how to make sure our sleepers are warm and comfortable.
- Funding: We are requesting donations at this time help us acquire our sheltering needs.
- Donations of blankets and pillows are always neeeded.
- Rain gear, especially ponchos and tents that can be used to shelter from wet weather are urgently requested, as forecast has rain in next days.
- Space Blankets, mylar heat insulating blankets, such as seen here http://www.rei.com/gear/feature/search/Google/space%20blanket?s_kwcid=TC|13029|space%20blanket||S|e|7282087925&cm_mmc=ps_google_CH-_-Category%20-%20HFS-_-HFS_Brand_Space-_-Space%20Blanket&gclid=COHXjaOpqasCFUt_5QodnlIb4A are very helpful.
For any questions, please find Lizzy at Liberty Plaza.
The Fun Stuff Working Group has needs for the following:
Bubbles, chalk, face paint, glitter, noisemakers, shakers.
Please find Becky Wartell at Liberty Plaza or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.