AuthorTopic: Official OWS Thread  (Read 39097 times)

Offline Surly1

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Official OWS Thread
« on: February 21, 2012, 03:09:53 AM »

In the scheme of things, the politics of Occupation occur on bigger stages than Norfolk, VA. Better known and noisier Occupations on Wall Street or Oakland, even Richmond, make the news and earn the headlines. Yet the fact that several groups of Occupiers maintain a presence and effect actions here in the heart of East Coast military might, and continue to bear witness to the abuses of the combination of state and economic power even here, has seemingly rattled the judgement of the stewards of that power here in southeastern Virginia.

Later she told me, "Right before it happened, I had a moment of clarity: that this was going down, and I could choose to go through with it, and if I did there could be repercussions. And I decided then to do it. And while they were arresting me, I felt pity for them." The pretrial thoughts of Carmen, my 20-year old daughter, the "littlest Occupier."
 
The case of three of the Norfolk Occupiers for "obstruction of justice" by the police of the city of Norfolk went to trial today in General District Court. The three, Angela, Tess, and Carmen, had charges dismissed by the judge.
 
The judge found the charges overdrawn and that the behavior in question failed to rise to the standards required of obstruction in the statute, which was it itself clarified in a 1925 Virginia state decision cited by the defense.The charges were dismissed even before the defense attorneys mounted their defense of their clients. As the judge said, "Had the City pursued tresspass or even resisting arrest charges, they might have made a case. But they didn't bring it to court."
 
The issues were several: 1) there was no evidence that a lawful order to clear the park had ever been given; discovery produced no order; 2) there was no clear indication why the three women were even arrested, where it was clear that people that were in the park at the same time were not arrested; 3) the arresting officers failed to bring those arrested before a magistrate, violating procedures. From the cheap seats, it was pretty clear that the City might have made a trespassing charge stick, but the requirements of obstruction were too high a judicial hurdle to clear.
 
The defendants' behavior didn't even belong in the same zip code as obstruction: the accused were at all times peaceable, linking arms and engaged in chanting and prayer. At no time did they so much his raise their voices. They simply linked arms.
 
Given the events of this morning, one has to wonder why the district attorney even brought these charges, knowing that she had such a weak case with so many holes?  If doing this was an attempt to send a message to the burgeoning Occupy  movement, I have to think the message was marked as "not received." That doesn't mean that civil disobedience does not and will not have its costs.
 
On this day, justice was served. There will be other causes, other days, and we must remain ready.




« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 03:18:38 PM by Surly1 »
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

nobody

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Re: Burlesque in Norfolk: Charges dismissed for "Obstruction of Justice"
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 08:16:07 AM »

Hey Surly, you figured this out.  Bravo.  I'm still trying.
Maybe the DA didn't succeed in the prosecution of your adorable little sweetie because of sheer incompetence.  Who else but the very lame indeed would be involved in persecution of the utterly innocent? 

Offline Surly1

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"Temperature Check" for Occupy
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2012, 04:16:52 AM »
Wondering what is going on with the Occupy movement these days? You could do worse than to read the work of Chris Hedges, one of the movement's thought leaders and clearly one of the smartest guys in the room...


Occupy Draws Strength From the Powerless
by Chris Hedges
Feb. 113, 2012 Truthout

There is a recipe for breaking popular movements. I watched it play out over five years in the war in El Salvador. I now see these familiar patterns in the assault against the Occupy movement. It goes like this. Physically eradicate the insurgents’ logistical base of operations to disrupt communication and organization. Dry up financial and material support. Create rival organizations—the group Stand for Oakland seems to be one of these attempts—to discredit and purge the rebel leadership. Infiltrate the movement to foster internal divisions and rivalries, a tactic carried out consciously, or perhaps unconsciously, by an anonymous West Coast group known as OLAASM—Occupy Los Angeles Anti Social Media. Provoke the movement—or front groups acting in the name of the movement—to carry out actions such as vandalism and physical confrontations with the police that alienate the wider populace from the insurgency. Invent atrocities and repugnant acts supposedly carried out by the movement and plant these stories in the media. Finally, offer up a political alternative. In the war in El Salvador it was Jose Napoleon Duarte. For the Occupy movement it is someone like Van Jones. And use this “reformist” to co-opt the language of the movement and promise to promote the movement’s core aims through the electoral process. 

Counterinsurgency campaigns, although they involve arms and weapons, are primarily about, in the old cliché, hearts and minds. And the tactics employed by our intelligence operatives abroad are not dissimilar to those employed by our intelligence operatives at home. These operatives are, in fact, often the same people. The state has expended external resources to break the movement. It is reasonable to assume it has expended internal resources to break the movement.

The security and surveillance state has a vast arsenal and array of tools at its disposal. It operates in secret. It dissembles and lies. It hides behind phony organizations and individuals who use false histories and false names. It has millions of dollars to spend, the capacity to deny not only its activities but also its existence. Its physical assets honeycomb the country. It can wiretap, eavesdrop and monitor every form of communication. It can hire informants, send in clandestine agents, recruit members within the movement by offering legal immunity, churn out a steady stream of divisive propaganda and amass huge databases and clandestine operations centers. And it is authorized to use deadly force.

How do we fight back? We do not have the tools or the wealth of the state. We cannot beat it at its own game. We cannot ferret out infiltrators. The legal system is almost always on the state’s side. If we attempt to replicate the elaborate security apparatus of our oppressors, even on a small scale, we will unleash widespread paranoia and fracture the movement. If we retreat into anonymity, hiding behind masks, then we provide an opening for agents provocateurs who deny their identities while disrupting the movement. If we fight pitched battles in the streets we give authorities an excuse to fire their weapons. 

All we have, as Vaclav Havel writes, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets—utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit.

Havel, who would later become the first president of the Czech Republic, in the essay writes a reflection on the mind of a greengrocer who, as instructed, puts up a poster “among the onions and carrots” that reads: “Workers of the World Unite!” The poster is displayed partly out of habit, partly because everyone else does it, and partly out of fear of the consequences for not following the rules. The greengrocer would not, Havel writes, display a poster saying: “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient.” And here is the difference between the terror of a Josef Stalin or an Adolf Hitler and the collective charade between the rulers and the ruled that by the 1970s had gripped Czechoslovakia.

“Imagine,” Havel writes, “that one day something in our greengrocer snaps and he stops putting up the slogans merely to ingratiate himself. He stops voting in elections he knows are a farce. He begins to say what he really thinks at political meetings. And he even finds the strength in himself to express solidarity with those whom his conscience commands him to support. In this revolt the greengrocer steps out of living within the lie. He rejects the ritual and breaks the rules of the game. He discovers once more his suppressed identity and dignity. He gives his freedom a concrete significance. His revolt is an attempt to live within the truth.”

This attempt to “live within the truth” brings with it ostracism and retribution. Punishment is imposed in bankrupt systems because of the necessity for compliance, not out of any real conviction. And the real crime committed is not the crime of speaking out or defying the rules, but the crime of exposing the charade.

“By breaking the rules of the game, he has disrupted the game as such, he has exposed it as a mere game,” Havel says of his greengrocer. “He has shattered the world of appearances, the fundamental pillar of the system. He has upset the power structure by tearing apart what holds it together. He has demonstrated that living a lie is living a lie. He has broken through the exalted façade of the system and exposed the real, base foundations of power. He has said that the emperor is naked. And because the emperor is in fact naked, something extremely dangerous has happened: by his action, the greengrocer has addressed the world. He has enabled everyone to peer behind the curtain. He has shown everyone that it is possible to live within the truth. Living within the lie can constitute the system only if it is universal. The principle must embrace and permeate everything. There are no terms whatsoever on which it can coexist with living within the truth, and therefore everyone who steps out of line denies it in principle and threatens it in its entirety.”

Those who do not carve out spaces separate from the state and its systems of power, those who cannot find room to become autonomous, or who do not “live in truth,” inevitably become compromised. In Havel’s words, they “are the system.” The Occupy movement, by naming corporate power and refusing to compromise with it, by forming alternative systems of community and society, embodies Havel’s call to “live in truth.” It does not appeal to the systems of control, and for this reason it is a genuine threat to the corporate state.

Movements that call on followers to “live in truth” do not always succeed. They failed in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, triggering armed insurgencies and blood-drenched civil wars. They have failed so far in Iran, the Israeli-occupied territories and Syria. China has a movement modeled after Havel’s Charter 77 called Charter 08. But the Chinese opposition to the state has been effectively suppressed, even though its principal author, Liu Xiaobo, currently serving an 11-year prison term for “incitement of subversion of state power,” was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Power elites who stubbornly refuse to heed popular will and resort to harsher and harsher forms of state control can easily provoke counterviolence. The first Palestinian uprising, which lasted from 1987 to 1992, saw crowds of demonstrators throw rocks at Israeli soldiers, but it was largely a nonviolent movement. The second uprising, or intifada, which erupted in 2000 and endured for five years, with armed attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians, was not. History is dotted with brutal fratricides spawned by calcified and repressive elites who ignored peaceful protest. And even when nonviolent movements do succeed, it is impossible to predict when they will spawn an uprising or how long the process will take. As Timothy Garton Ash noted about Eastern Europe’s revolutions of the late 20th century, in Poland the revolt took 10 years, in East Germany 10 weeks, in Czechoslovakia 10 days.

Occupy’s most powerful asset is that it articulates this truth. And this truth is understood by the mainstream, the 99 percent. If the movement is severed from the mainstream, which I expect is the primary goal of the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, it will be crippled and easily contained. Other, more militant groups may rise and even flourish, but if the Occupy movement is to retain the majority it will have to fight within self-imposed limitations of nonviolence.

I do not know if it will succeed. If it does not ,then I fear we will see the classical forms of violent protest that are used by an enraged and frustrated populace; for me such a turn to violence, while understandable, is always tragic. Violence is a poison, even when it is ingested in a supposedly just cause. It contaminates all who use it. I watched this poison work on repressors and the repressed from Latin America to the Middle East to the Balkans. I am not a pacifist. I know there are limits. But I desperately want to avoid going there.

“We would not have a movement if violence or property damage were used from the outset,” Kevin Zeese, one of the first activists to call for an Occupy movement, told me. “People are not drawn to violent movement. Such tactics will shrink rather than expand our base of support. Property damage justifies police violence to many Americans. There is a wide range of diversity of tactics within a nonviolent strategy. Disciplined nonviolence is often more difficult because anger and emotion lead people to want to strike back at the police when they are violent, but disciplined nonviolence is the tactic that is most effective against the violence of the state.”

The organizer Lisa Fithian is an author of one of the most concise arguments for nonviolence, “Open Letter to the Occupy Movement: Why We Need Agreements.” The essay points out that without agreements that enshrine nonviolence, “the young [are privileged] over the old, the loud voices over the soft, the fast over the slow, the able-bodied over those with disabilities, the citizen over the immigrant, white folks over people of color, those who can do damage and flee the scene over those who are left to face the consequences.”

“ ‘Diversity of tactics’ becomes an easy way to avoid wrestling with questions of strategy and accountability,” Fithian and two other authors write of the slogan used by the Black Bloc anarchists. “It lets us off the hook from doing the hard work of debating our positions and coming to agreements about how we want to act together. It becomes a code for ‘anything goes,’ and makes it impossible for our movements to hold anyone accountable for their actions.”

“The Occupy movement includes people from a broad diversity of backgrounds, life experiences and political philosophies,” the article goes on. “Some of us want to reform the system and some of us want to tear it down and replace it with something better. Our one great point of agreement is our call for transparency and accountability. We stand against the corrupt institutions that broker power behind closed doors. We call to account the financial manipulators that have bilked billions out of the poor and the middle classes.

“Just as we call for accountability and transparency, we ourselves must be accountable and transparent,” the authors write. “Some tactics are incompatible with those goals, even if in other situations they might be useful, honorable or appropriate. We can’t be transparent behind masks. We can’t be accountable for actions we run away from. We can’t maintain the security culture necessary for planning and carrying out attacks on property and also maintain the openness that can continue to invite in a true diversity of new people. We can’t make alliances with groups from impacted communities, such as immigrants, if we can’t make agreements about what tactics we will employ in any given action.”

We must assume we are targets. And we must fight back by relying on our strength, which in the great paradox of resistance movements is embodied in our weakness. This does not mean we will avoid being repressed or persecuted. It will not keep us safe from slander, lies or jail. But it does offer the capacity to create internal divisions in the apparatus of the oppressors rather than permit the oppressors to create internal divisions within the movement. Divided loyalties create paralysis. And it is our job to paralyze them, not allow them to paralyze us.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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Re: Burlesque in Norfolk: Charges dismissed for "Obstruction of Justice"
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2012, 04:22:40 AM »
Thanks for reading. It is incomprehensible to me why the DA brought such a flawed case, except, and I infer here, the Mayor has such a bug up his butt about Occupy that he ordered the DA's office to "hit them hard."(There is sufficient anecdotal evidence in town to suggest that Hizzoner ain't a fan.)
So who can say?
You may have been following the news from richmond, where in Virginia the Heirs of Jefferson are trying to enact forcible transvaginal ultrasounds for women considering abortion, and a "personhood" bill. 1200 people showed up Monday to keep a vigil, including 30 Occupieras from Norfolk. Another big action planned for Thursday. So stay tuned...
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline RE

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Re: Burlesque in Norfolk: Charges dismissed for "Obstruction of Justice"
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2012, 11:17:20 AM »

Hey Surly, you figured this out.  Bravo.  I'm still trying.
Maybe the DA didn't succeed in the prosecution of your adorable little sweetie because of sheer incompetence.  Who else but the very lame indeed would be involved in persecution of the utterly innocent?

Actually, I dropped that pic in for Surly.  However, you can replace it simply by going to "modify post" and pasting in the URL of one of your own pics housed in photobucket or elsewhere over the URL I used.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

nobody

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Re: Burlesque in Norfolk: Charges dismissed for "Obstruction of Justice"
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 12:59:09 PM »
RE, I'm far more pathetic than you think.. I was complimenting Surly on posting text... I hadn't done it yet -only replied.

Offline Surly1

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Official OWS Thread
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 03:11:21 PM »
I get a lot of crap from right wingers about supposed violence at Occupy gatherings. from first hand experience, I can say that I have never met such a fine and peaceable group of individuals. There are those, the younger, less patient "black bloc" crowd who want more confrontational direct action and to mask themselves, etc.

For my part I want them to know who I am, for better or for worse: I own a home, have raised a daughter, pay taxes and have had a career and a public life of sorts in this community, and I withhold consent from the entire rotten edifice of fixers and thugs.

In any event, it comes to this: a definitive look at the record of Occupy's supposed record of lawlessness in the face of multiple police riots, by rebecca Solnit, one of the most inteligent observers we have.

Read it here: http://www.salon.com/2012/02/21/the_truth_about_violence_at_occupy/

When you fall in love, it’s all about what you have in common, and you can hardly imagine that there are differences, let alone that you will quarrel over them, or weep about them, or be torn apart by them — or if all goes well, struggle, learn, and bond more strongly because of, rather than despite, them. The Occupy movement had its glorious honeymoon when old and young, liberal and radical, comfortable and desperate, homeless and tenured all found that what they had in common was so compelling the differences hardly seemed to matter.

Until they did.

Revolutions are always like this: at first all men are brothers and anything is possible, and then, if you’re lucky, the romance of that heady moment ripens into a relationship, instead of a breakup, an abusive marriage, or a murder-suicide. Occupy had its golden age, when those who never before imagined living side-by-side with homeless people found themselves in adjoining tents in public squares.

All sorts of other equalizing forces were present, not least the police brutality that battered the privileged the way that inner-city kids are used to being battered all the time. Part of what we had in common was what we were against: the current economy and the principle of insatiable greed that made it run, as well as the emotional and economic privatization that accompanied it.

This is a system that damages people, and its devastation was on display as never before in the early months of Occupy and related phenomena like the “We are the 99%” website. When it was people facing foreclosure, or who’d lost their jobs, or were thrashing around under avalanches of college or medical debt, they weren’t hard to accept as us, and not them.

And then came the people who’d been damaged far more, the psychologically fragile, the marginal, and the homeless — some of them endlessly needy and with a huge capacity for disruption. People who had come to fight the power found themselves staying on to figure out available mental-health resources, while others who had wanted to experience a democratic society on a grand scale found themselves trying to solve sanitation problems.

And then there was the violence.

The Faces of Violence

The most important direct violence Occupy faced was, of course, from the state, in the form of the police using maximum sub-lethal force on sleepers in tents, mothers with children, unarmed pedestrians, young women already penned up, unresisting seated students, poets, professors, pregnant women, wheelchair-bound occupiers and octogenarians. It has been a sustained campaign of police brutality from Wall Street to Washington State the likes of which we haven’t seen in 40 years.

On the part of activists, there were also a few notable incidents of violence in the hundreds of camps, especially violence against women. The mainstream media seemed to think this damned the Occupy movement, though it made the camps, at worst, a whole lot like the rest of the planet, which, in case you hadn’t noticed, seethes with violence against women. But these were isolated incidents.

That old line of songster Woody Guthrie is always handy in situations like this: “Some will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen.” The police have been going after occupiers with projectile weapons, clubs and tear gas, sending some of them to the hospital and leaving more than a few others traumatized and fearful. That’s the six-gun here.

But it all began with the fountain pens, slashing through peoples’ lives, through national and international economies, through the global markets. These were wielded by the banksters, the “vampire squid,” the deregulators in D.C., the men — and with the rarest of exceptions they were men — who stole the world.

That’s what Occupy came together to oppose, the grandest violence by scale, the least obvious by impact. No one on Wall Street ever had to get his suit besmirched by carrying out a foreclosure eviction himself. Cities provided that service for free to the banks (thereby further impoverishing themselves as they created new paupers out of old taxpayers).  And the police clubbed their opponents for them, over and over, everywhere across the United States.

The grand thieves invented ever more ingenious methods, including those sliced and diced derivatives, to crush the hopes and livelihoods of the many. This is the terrible violence that Occupy was formed to oppose. Don’t ever lose sight of that.

Oakland’s Beautiful Nonviolence

Now that we’re done remembering the major violence, let’s talk about Occupy Oakland. A great deal of fuss has been made about two incidents in which mostly young people affiliated with Occupy Oakland damaged some property and raised some hell.

The mainstream media and some faraway pundits weighed in on those Bay Area incidents as though they determined the meaning and future of the transnational Occupy phenomenon.  Perhaps some of them even hoped, consciously or otherwise, that harped on enough these might divide or destroy the movement. So it’s important to recall that the initial impact of Occupy Oakland was the very opposite of violent, stunningly so, in ways that were intentionally suppressed.

Occupy Oakland began in early October as a vibrant, multiracial gathering. A camp was built at Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza, and thousands received much-needed meals and healthcare for free from well-organized volunteers. Sometimes called the Oakland Commune, it was consciously descended from some of the finer aspects of an earlier movement born in Oakland, the Black Panthers, whose free breakfast programs should perhaps be as well-remembered and more admired than their macho posturing.

A compelling and generous-spirited General Assembly took place nightly and then biweekly in which the most important things on Earth were discussed by wildly different participants.  Once, for instance, I was in a breakout discussion group that included Native American, white, Latino, and able-bodied and disabled Occupiers, and in which I was likely the eldest participant; another time, a bunch of peacenik grandmothers dominated my group.

This country is segregated in so many terrible ways — and then it wasn’t for those glorious weeks when civil society awoke and fell in love with itself. Everyone showed up; everyone talked to everyone else; and in little tastes, in fleeting moments, the old divides no longer divided us and we felt like we could imagine ourselves as one society. This was the dream of the promised land — this land, that is, without its bitter divides. Honey never tasted sweeter, and power never felt better.

Now here’s something astonishing. While the camp was in existence, crime went down 19 percent in Oakland, a statistic the city was careful to conceal. “It may be counter to our statement that the Occupy movement is negatively impacting crime in Oakland,” the police chief wrote to the mayor in an email that local news station KTVU later obtained and released to little fanfare. Pay attention: Occupy was so powerful a force for nonviolence that it was already solving Oakland’s chronic crime and violence problems just by giving people hope and meals and solidarity and conversation.

The police attacking the camp knew what the rest of us didn’t: Occupy was abating crime, including violent crime, in this gritty, crime-ridden city. “You gotta give them hope, “ said an elected official across the bay once upon a time — a city supervisor named Harvey Milk. Occupy was hope we gave ourselves, the dream come true. The city did its best to take the hope away violently at 5 a.m. on October 25th. The sleepers were assaulted; their belongings confiscated and trashed. Then, Occupy Oakland rose again. Many thousands of nonviolent marchers shut down the Port of Oakland in a stunning display of popular power on November 2nd.

That night, some kids did the smashy-smashy stuff that everyone gets really excited about.  (They even spray-painted “smashy” on a Rite Aid drugstore in giant letters.) When we talk about people who spray-paint and break windows and start bonfires in the street and shove people and scream and run around, making a demonstration into something way too much like the punk rock shows of my youth, let’s keep one thing in mind: they didn’t send anyone to the hospital, drive any seniors from their homes, spread despair and debt among the young, snatch food and medicine from the desperate, or destroy the global economy.

That said, they are still a problem.  They are the bait the police take and the media go to town with.  They create a situation a whole lot of us don’t like and that drives away many who might otherwise participate or sympathize. They are, that is, incredibly bad for a movement, and represent a form of segregation by intimidation.

But don’t confuse the pro-vandalism Occupiers with the vampire squid or the up-armored robocops who have gone after us almost everywhere.  Though their means are deeply flawed, their ends are not so different than yours. There’s no question that they should improve their tactics or maybe just act tactically, let alone strategically, and there’s no question that a lot of other people should stop being so apocalyptic about it.

Those who advocate for nonviolenceat Occupy should remember that nonviolence is at best a great spirit of love and generosity, not a prissy enforcement squad. After all, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who gets invoked all the time when such issues come up, didn’t go around saying grumpy things about Malcolm X and the Black Panthers.

Violence Against the Truth

Of course, a lot of people responding to these incidents in Oakland are actually responding to fictional versions of them. In such cases, you could even say that some journalists were doing violence against the truth of what happened in Oakland on November 2nd and January 28th.

The San Francisco Chronicle, for example, reported on the day’s events this way:

“Among the most violent incidents that occurred Saturday night was in front of the YMCA at 23rd Street and Broadway. Police corralled protesters in front of the building and several dozen protesters stormed into the Y, apparently to escape from the police, city officials and protesters said.  Protesters damaged a door and a few fixtures, and frightened those inside the gym working out, said Robert Wilkins, president of the YMCA of the East Bay.”

Wilkins was apparently not in the building, and first-person testimony recounts that a YMCA staff member welcomed the surrounded and battered protesters, and once inside, some were so terrified they pretended to work out on exercise machines to blend in.

I wrote this to the journalists who described the incident so peculiarly: “What was violent about [activists] fleeing police engaging in wholesale arrests and aggressive behavior? Even the YMCA official who complains about it adds, ‘The damage appears pretty minimal.’ And you call it violence? That’s sloppy.”

The reporter who responded apologized for what she called her “poor word choice” and said the piece was meant to convey police violence as well.

When the police are violent against activists, journalists tend to frame it as though there were violence in some vaguely unascribable sense that implicates the clobbered as well as the clobberers. In, for example, the build-up to the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, the mainstream media kept portraying the right of the people peaceably to assemble as tantamount to terrorism and describing all the terrible things that the government or the media themselves speculated we might want to do (but never did).

Some of this was based on the fiction of tremendous activist violence in Seattle in 1999 that the New York Times in particular devoted itself to promulgating. That the police smashed up nonviolent demonstrators and constitutional rights pretty badly in both Seattle and New York didn’t excite them nearly as much. Don’t forget that before the obsession with violence arose, the smearing of Occupy was focused on the idea that people weren’t washing very much, and before that the framework for marginalization was that Occupy had “no demands.” There’s always something.

Keep in mind as well that Oakland’s police department is on the brink of federal receivership for not having made real amends for old and well-documented problems of violence, corruption and mismanagement, and that it was the police department, not the Occupy Oakland demonstrators, which used tear gas, clubs, smoke grenades and rubber bullets on January 28th. It’s true that a small group vandalized City Hall after the considerable police violence, but that’s hardly what the plans were at the outset of the day.

The action on January 28th that resulted in 400 arrests and a media conflagration was called Move-In Day. There was a handmade patchwork banner that proclaimed “Another Oakland Is Possible” and a children’s contingent with pennants, balloons and strollers. Occupy Oakland was seeking to take over an abandoned building so that it could reestablish the community, the food programs and the medical clinic it had set up last fall. It may not have been well planned or well executed, but it was idealistic.

Despite this, many people who had no firsthand contact with Occupy Oakland inveighed against it or even against the whole Occupy movement. If only that intensity of fury were to be directed at the root cause of it all, the colossal economic violence that surrounds us.

All of which is to say, for anyone who hadn’t noticed, that the honeymoon is over.

Now for the Real Work

The honeymoon is, of course, the period when you’re so in love you don’t notice differences that will eventually have to be worked out one way or another. Most relationships begin as though you were coasting downhill.  Then come the flatlands, followed by the hills where you’re going to have to pedal hard, if you don’t just abandon the bike.

Occupy might just be the name we’ve put on a great groundswell of popular outrage and a rebirth of civil society too deep, too broad, to be a movement. A movement is an ocean wave: this is the whole tide turning from Cairo to Moscow to Athens to Santiago to Chicago. Nevertheless, the American swell in this tide involves a delicate alliance between liberals and radicals, people who want to reform the government and campaign for particular gains, and people who wish the government didn’t exist and mostly want to work outside the system.  If the radicals should frighten the liberals as little as possible, surely the liberals have an equal obligation to get fiercer and more willing to confront — and to remember that nonviolence, even in its purest form, is not the same as being nice.

Surely the only possible answer to the tired question of where Occupy should go from here (as though a few public figures got to decide) is: everywhere. I keep being asked what Occupy should do next, but it’s already doing it. It is everywhere.

In many cities, outside the limelight, people are still occupying public space in tents and holding General Assemblies.  February 20th, for instance, was a national day of Occupy solidarity with prisoners; Occupiers are organizing on many fronts and planning for May Day, and a great many foreclosure defenses from Nashville to San Francisco have kept people in their homes and made banks renegotiate. Campus activism is reinvigorated, and creative and fierce discussions about college costs and student debt are underway, as is a deeper conversation about economics and ethics that rejects conventional wisdom about what is fair and possible.

Occupy is one catalyst or facet of the populist will you can see in a host of recent victories. The campaign against corporate personhood seems to be gaining momentum.  A popular environmental campaign made President Obama reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from Canada, despite immense Republican and corporate pressure. In response to widespread outrage, the Susan B. Komen Foundation reversed its decision to defund cancer detection at Planned Parenthood.  Online campaigns have forced Apple to address its hideous labor issues, and the ever-heroic Coalition of Immokalee Workers at last brought Trader Joes into line with its fair wages for farmworkers campaign.

These genuine gains come thanks to relatively modest exercises of popular power.  They should act as reminders that we do have power and that its exercise can be popular. Some of last fall’s exhilarating conversations have faltered, but the great conversation that is civil society awake and arisen hasn’t stopped.

What happens now depends on vigorous participation, including yours, in thinking aloud together about who we are, what we want and how we get there, and then acting upon it. Go occupy the possibilities and don’t stop pedaling. And remember, it started with mad, passionate love.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline RE

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Re: The truth about violence at Occupy
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2012, 12:50:34 AM »
With your permission, I'm going to take this post and your first one on OWS and do some reconstruction and Editing  to get it up as a Feature Post on the Blog.  Until you become conversant and comfortable with using Wordpress, I'll do this stuff for you. At the moment, I don't have a whole lot of responding to do here in the Forum anyhow. LOL.

I'm going to create a "Surly" Author on the Blog so I can post this under your nom de plume.  If you have some Pics for me to drop in the Article, the best way to add them is to use the "Gallery" Peter put up here in the Forum (link on the Nav Bar at the top).  I'll also send you the Password for this ID so you can go into Wordpress and start messing around with Authoring yourself there.

Once I get the article formatted up, you can go into Wordpress  and review it before we Publish.  I'll work on this tomorrow.  If you can't get the pics loaded into the Gallery here, I can still get them off of Photobucket or other pic storage sites if they are already there.  I just need the URLs.

Also, we have unlimited Email Addys here on DD, so I or Peter will make for you also a Surly@doomsteaddiner.net email for all correspondence you engage in here with others, so it does not necessarily clutter up your normal mailbox.  You can though forward mail from one box to another if you want to.  Also, soon as I figure out HTF to do it, I'll make you a Global Moderator on the Forum so you can access the Back Rooms where Peter and I are working out all the functionality of the site.  Or maybe Peter will do it before I figure it out.

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Offline Surly1

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Re: The truth about violence at Occupy
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 01:16:53 PM »
Sounds good to me. Appreciate it.
The pictures I have access to of my daughter are from a friend''s FB page, and once downloaded they are pretty small. I have PLENTY of other Occupy Norfolk pix and video. I'd be happy to "occupy" the Occupy desk and contribute to conspiracies, because I never have seen one I didn't like, and am a long time dot-connector. So I will play as seems best.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

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Re: The truth about violence at Occupy
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2012, 03:56:30 PM »
I will work on editing up an OWS article soon here then.  I have a bunch of crap I have to do today so not sure it will get done today though.

I am going to go over to the Back Room and try to make you a Mod there.  Let me know if you can see it after I do that.  I will also get over to Wordpress and make you an Author there.  This should get you onto the Dashboard.  I will send you your Login Info here in a Private Message.

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Re: The truth about violence at Occupy
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 10:54:30 PM »
Surly, I have transferred the text of the "Burlesque in Norfolk" and "Truth about Violence at Occupy" over to the WP Blog under your Surly Authorship.  You can access there with your Login Info to further edit the post and add Pics and Vids.

I want to publish it tomorrow so if you can get any pics in there this would be great, but not 100% necessary since we can add them later.  I can put up some temporary graphics until you get the Pic thing figured out.  A Vid made by yourself would of course really bring this thing Home, and all you need to do there is upload it to You Tube and I can do the rest once you send me the You Tube link.

I have another Article in the queue of my own to follow it, the OWS Storage Unit Professional Protester Parddigm from over on Reverse Engineering which you read there.  I want to publish that one directly after your article.

If you don't get back to me by tomorrow afternoon, I will publish both, just yours will be mostly text with just a Feature Pic I dig up from Occupy Norfolk.  We can spruce it up after that with your own graphics.

Gotta keep new stuff rolling out there every day to keep the new readers coming back for more.  No rest for the weary Blogger. LOL.

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Offline Surly1

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Re: The truth about violence at Occupy
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 02:34:45 AM »
OK, RE, thanks.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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Official OWS Thread
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 03:04:20 PM »
Local Virginia organizers team up with Occupy, unions for the public’s divided attention

Read it yourself at
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/03/08/local-virginia-organizers-team-up-with-occupy-unions-for-the-publics-divided-attention/

I actually know Teresa Stanley and she is a terrific organizer. IN Virginia, we are busy preparing our pursuit of the 17th century, complete with war on women (these R's got elected on a "jobs" platform; who would have thought there are jobs in women's vaginas?) and an inability at the legislative level to raise the money to build the infrastructure that the local port industry desperately needs. The net result, as mentioned in the article, is restoring tolls on roads that are already clotted with people and which, if enacted, will cost the average family $1000 a year. It is, by the way, a perfect regressive answer; rather than raise the gas tax two cents, they make the citizens of Hampton roads, who in the past have built gleaming four lane roads out west for the rural counties, now have to reach down deep and pay for their own improvements.

A lot of people down here are pissed. And the trouble Sunday in Richmond ain't nothing compared to what will happen when J6P and Bubba finally realize they are going to be on the hook for these tolls.

And if you're keeping score at home: toll roads and transportation are not necessarily Occupy issues, but the crony-capitalism-"private-public-partnership" back room dealing that led to this Satanic arrangement is certainly within Occupy's purview. Oh, and here's the kicker: should the state, under some future administration, decide to build a "third crossing" which would relieve congestion, especially for the ports, and which is part of the Hampton roads long range transportation plan-- the taxpayers will have to pay an INDEMNITY to the private contractor to replace the money they didn't make.

Thus the spoils of crony capitalism, and of "risk."
***





“People are overwhelmed with all the economic hardship, most of which has been caused by the bad decisions of the people in power,” said Teresa Stanley, the South Hampton Roads Organizer with Virginia Organizing. “And politicians are focusing on issues that are not where the people are.”

Stanley, a long-time activist and Hampton Roads resident, spends her days organizing people in Norfolk and Hampton Roads to get active on issues affecting their community, which has been hard hit by the economic downturn. She tries to get people active on issues such as predatory lending, the privatization of roads to the area (which has resulted in new tolls) and the lack of jobs.

“Young people are the future,” she said, “and the jobs are not there like they were when they’re getting out of school now.” Plus, she said, politicians “are still no focusing on jobs like they should,” and are instead focusing on everything from limiting access to abortion to attempting to kill unions.

She sees the Occupy movement — with which she’s worked in Norfolk — as an antidote. “The Occupy movement has been an inspiring message for getting issues into the mainstream media that would otherwise be ignored.” And although she admitted that learning to work within their General Assembly structure was initially challenging for someone more used to traditional organizing methods, she sees the benefits of the focus on direct democracy and consensus building these days. “It’s been inspiring to see young people claim the non-violence mantra,” through the General Assembly process. “Claiming the non-violence mantle is power.”

But it’s not just the Occupy movement she’s found herself partnering with of late. “Unions are really reaching out to environmental and social justice folks in a way they never have before,” she said. “The energy of Wisconsin was good for those of us who weren’t even aware that unions have been climbing out of this ditch they had been thrown into on a national level.” Their efforts are working to bring together “those of us that can stand together on a lot of issues we haven’t before.”

But, she said, “Hopefully it’ll result in meaningful, take-it-to-the-streets action,” or else she worries things will never change.

For instance, she cites ongoing efforts to get some sort of legislation passed in the state to restrict predatory lending, which helped trigger the housing crisis on a national level and has been an ongoing problem in her area for many low-income residents. “We’ve been working on that at the state level for eight years. But these politicians are bought by the predatory lending lobbyists,” she said. “No matter what economic evidence you send them, they just won’t pass the legislation.” By comparison, she notes that local politicians, not subjected to the same lobbying, are often easy to work with to pass restrictions or resolutions calling for state-level legislation.

She also points to the recent announcement of new tolls coming to Hampton Roads on virtually every road in or out of the geographically isolated region. “The Ring Of Fire with the tolls is huge,” she says, referring to locals’ nickname for the proposed ring of tolls encircling the area. “For families on fixed incomes, you’re talking about a crisis that will add $1,000 to a family budget just to get to work.”

Still, she hopes that by working with the folks in Occupy and partnering with other organizations interesting in social and economic justice in the area, she can get more people educated and activated, which she sees as the only antidote to the control of monied interests in the state and beyond. “The more information, the more informed a populace, as Jefferson would say, the more they can be trusted in a democracy,” she said.


« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 03:07:09 PM by Surly1 »
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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Official OWS Thread
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 03:57:33 AM »
The writer is a frequent contributor to Washington's Blog, a lively antidote to the Newspeak generated by corporate media. He is rather more optimistic about Occupy's chances of having a long term impact on American life, but then there aren't a lot of haqppy endings embedded in either full Doom, or Doom Lite.

S.

Why Occupy? A government/economics teacher explains

http://www.examiner.com/nonpartisan-in-national/why-occupy-a-government-economics-teacher-explains

“Constitutional governments and aristocracies are commonly overthrown owing to some deviation from justice…the rich, if the constitution gives them power, are apt to be insolent and avaricious… In all well-attempered governments there is nothing which should be more jealously maintained than the spirit of obedience to law, more especially in small matters; for transgression creeps in unperceived and at last ruins the state, just as the constant recurrence of small expenses in time eats up a fortune.” – Aristotle, Politics, Book V. 350 B.C.E.

 “The people — the people — are the rightful masters of both Congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.” -  "Abraham Lincoln, [September 16-17, 1859] (Notes for Speech in Kansas and Ohio)," Page 2.

Occupy is a non-violent 2nd American Revolution. Revolution is from the Latin, revolutio, a “turn around” of political power. Occupy is turning around the 1%’s political power from criminal wars and  rigged-casino economics to create policies for 100% of humanity. 

Occupy will succeed because Americans are recognizing central factual claims are easily verified as objective data. Indeed, once obfuscating spin is removed, the facts are not contested and therefore uncontroversial. 

Occupy’s victory will follow a sudden and resounding “emperor has no clothes” experience. 

Occupy is overcoming “American exceptionalism”: the beliefs of “it can’t happen here” or we’re “too modern” for such criminality. This belief exists despite acknowledged history of every other developed country in the 20th Century engaging in wars of aggression disguised by government propaganda as “defensive,” and/or wars for empire. Abraham Lincoln empathized: 

“I know the American People are much attached to their Government;--I know they would suffer much for its sake;--I know they would endure evils long and patiently, before they would ever think of exchanging it for another. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.” – Abraham Lincoln, Lyceum Address, 1838.

Occupy is similar to the Civil Rights Movement if Dr. King asked you directly for your help, or ending parasitic imperialism if Mohandas Gandhi asked you personally for your help. 

How you help is up to you. Look to your heart and mind’s best inspirations. 

Occupy is of life-and-death importance, as the 1% lies for more criminal war on Iran (here and here, after this War Crime history, and at risk of false-flag initiation), tortures, assassinates Americans, legislated to “disappear” Americans under NDAA 2012, and continues year-after-year allowing 45,000 Americans to die from lack of health care and a million children every month to die from preventable poverty rather than invest 1% of our income to save their lives while decreasing population growth.

The benefits of Occupy’s victory are literally peace, trillions of dollars annually freed for constructive investment (yes, trillions), and the final breakthrough for humanity’s transformation of realized cooperation. 

Understanding and speaking the facts why Occupy is with the law, and the 1% are psychopathically in violation will take time to learn. Investment of reading and purposeful discussion to command the essential facts makes Occupy exponentially more effective. But hey, art is also exponentially powerful, as PuppetGov’s video shows.

Occupy’s good news is that the factual claims are objective data anyone can verify. High school education provides everyone with the academic training to command and speak the facts. 

More good news is Princeton’s Professor Frankfurt’s 2005 bestselling book, On Bullshi*, that describes the only form of communication available to the 1% because all the facts expose their crimes: 

“Bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant… bullshi* is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.”

You will rightfully receive appreciation for your role in Occupy from family, friends, and the public upon critical mass of the 99% having an “emperor has no clothes” breakthrough (and perhaps receive fearful scorn before the breakthrough, as so many of you know). Your acts will also reflect in whatever spiritual spheres exist that honor love, justice, and intelligence.

Occupy respectfully reminds our brothers and sisters considering their roles  of the ancient Greek word for those who chose non-participation in important policy; so powerful it remains un-translated today: idiot.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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Official OWS Thread
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2012, 07:51:24 AM »
Discuss the article here:
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

 

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