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Occupy movement: discussion and updates

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CRUD's picture
CRUD
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Oct 15 2011 22:42
Hieronymous wrote:

This is actually a victory for Occupy Oakland

I saw Boots Riley there. Had a few beers and went home. Didn't see moveon people but if I did (especially after a few beers) it would have been interesting. Hopefully we can fend off the Democrats/liberals but I'm not that optimistic.

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Boydell
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Oct 15 2011 22:52

Here's some micro-interviews of folks at the Bristol one in the afternoon, pretty good 'pot luck' up of different views of the one at occupybristol then (got bigger in the evening so might have changed.

http://www.mixcloud.com/fbwl/from-occupy-bristol-with-love/

tastybrain
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Oct 15 2011 22:56
CRUD wrote:
Here we go....

http://www.pantagraph.com/news/national/article_0573d760-ef5f-11e0-8509-001cc4c03286.html

Obama 2012!

Pfft....America is so predictable.

Yeah dude I've known about that for a while. Because they are getting involved hardly means the entire movement is going to mobilize for Obama.

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Arbeiten
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Oct 15 2011 23:34

I just got back from London. Not very impressed to be honest. No real politics. The occupation is now out from of St Paul's cathedral, so there is no chance of an economic blockade. And there was a nutter with a microphone who described himself as an intergalactic wizard. It seems that this idea of being peaceful has actually become a hindrance because the whole day was basically herded by the police

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Oct 15 2011 23:41
tastybrain wrote:
CRUD wrote:
Here we go....

http://www.pantagraph.com/news/national/article_0573d760-ef5f-11e0-8509-001cc4c03286.html

Obama 2012!

Pfft....America is so predictable.

the entire(American) movement is going to mobilize for Obama.

Yes I agree smile....wait a minute...I should have frowned sad

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Oct 16 2011 03:49

A brief report I wrote after coming home from the local Occupy Wellington event an hour or so ago:

Quote:
I popped down to the Wellington one an hour or so ago. There were 30-35 people there, and 19 tents up. Some brief thoughts:

Positive
- I only recognised 3 of the people there from other political stuff, so lots of new faces.
- Some of them seemed to be engaging with passers by, talking about why they were there.

Negative
- The crowd was almost entirely younger hippies. Most were just dreading each others hair, playing guitar etc. It could've easily been just another day hanging out on the grass in the sun if it wasn't for the placards strung along the fence.
- The few non-hippies I saw were older men, talking approvingly about conspiracy theories.

To be honest, my earlier lack of enthusiasm about Occupy Wellington was more or less confirmed by my brief visit. I didn't see much there to engage with so I only stuck around for 15 mins or so before coming home.

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Oct 16 2011 06:55

Ok, first a warning, then a clarion.

Well, yes, the "Occupy Everywhere" movement is rather problematic. It lacks focus and a has no coherent set of demands, and from my point of view as an anarchist-communist who happens to be a Jew, I perceive a metric shit-tonne of crypto/overt anti-Semitism from a lot of the folks.

That being said, I think this is essentially a class movement. The arguments seem to be class based, if too often focused on a failed commodity fetishist view of banking. But the posters and propaganda emerging thereof are often vulgar marxist, which I'm All Fucking For. Vulgar marxism is gut-level and can explaion 90% of what goes on in the world. The rest is fodder for the academy.

Nonetheless, many anarchist-communist movements have been building organisers and capacity for years. This is the sort of movement that is essentially congruent to our ideas. How can we build on it and move forward? There are a tonne of proletarians who are pissed about their lives, and rightfully so. This movement is international, so are we. There are many parallels. Ditch the chaff and move forward with the wheat.

We're organisers aren't we? Are the folks involved going to join AC movements? Maybe, maybe not, but that's irrelevant. We need to build leftist, socialist working class power, that's anarchism at its best. If we fail to build on these events, someone else will, and momentum and energy will be lost. And maybe taken up by the extreme right. If folks want a revolution, we have a platform. Let's work together to make it happen.

Communard
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Oct 16 2011 09:50

ROME

http://www.repubblica.it/politica/2011/10/15/foto/i_lacrimogeni-23287242/1/?ref=HREA-1

http://www.corriere.it/gallery/cronache/10-2011/scontri/3/assalto-blindato-carabinieri_30800e94-f75f-11e0-9ce3-b3213c3a5a87.shtml#1

http://roma.corriere.it/roma/gallery/roma/10-2011/corteoindignati/1/roma-corteo-indignati-italiani_57097ac4-f72c-11e0-9ce3-b3213c3a5a87.shtml#3

Mark.
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Oct 16 2011 10:44

Santiago

Tel Aviv

Dataran (Malaysia)

-----

Paul Mason on the occupy protests

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Felix Frost
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Oct 16 2011 11:32

I stopped by the local "occupy parliament" happening in Norway yesterday. At the time it was only about 50 people left, but I heard there had been a couple hundred there earlier in the day. All the usual suspects were there: Food not Bombs were giving out free food and coffee, a couple of people from Attac had brought flags, another couple of people were giving out Venus project leaflets, there was a drum circle and lots of people just hanging out on the grass. There were some assemblies during the day too, but I didn't attend any of them.

All in all it seemed quite pleasant, but as Asher phrased it, it didn't amount to much more than "another day hanging out on the grass in the sun." And Norway is really a bit too cold for that at this time of the year...

woooo
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Oct 16 2011 11:51

i went to occupy melbourne for a few hours today. lots of people from socialist alternative. lots of conspiracy kooks. some anarchists about, lots of young and curious.

glad to see a strong indigenous statement and workgroup from the start.

no consensus on 'anti-capitalist' yesterday, by consensus on 'non-violence' lots of little working groups. ie. medics, legal, 'authorities liason'

i didnt have a sense that this was going to springboard action. hope i am wrong. at least radical ideas are being discussed by some.

but i listed too so much stupid zeitgeist stuff. ' we must issue our own currencies, thats what matters ... '

bastarx
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Oct 16 2011 12:18

Speaking of indigenous stuff some clown from the tent embassy gave this long rambling self-congratulatory speech at Occupy Canberra about how he'd guilt tripped the stupid hippies organising it into moving the protest from Parliament House to this hidden hilltop park next to the CBD because they hadn't got permission from the rightful owners. And the dumbfucks all applauded this assertion of imaginary property rights.

rooieravotr
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Oct 16 2011 22:56

A few thousand demonstrators in Amsterdam, several hundreds in the Hague. In bth cities eole ut up camps and spent the nights. 65 tents still standing on 16th October, several tents in The Hague. Smaller actions in Utrecht, Rotterdam, Heerlen, Maastricht and Enschede.

I spent the day in The hague, having played a role in the orginzation of the tion there. Hundreds of people left the encampment, confronted the police (which took a less confrontational position than usual); after a minor scuffle, police gave way and people spent the afternoon yelling slogans, giving and listening to impromptu speeches, and having music. That plaza occupation - unplanned, and against what organizers had in mind (at least officially) was a victory of sorts. Early evening people either went home or returned to base camp. There, the most vocal ones were spiritually, Zeitgeist-minded and related people. The leftwingers, revolutionaries and/ or socialists had mostly gone home by then.

It will be interesting what happens next. Most encouraging: for many of these people - not just the demonstrators but organisers as well - this was the first street action they ever did in their life. Another positive thing: actions in provincial towns, organised in just a few days, but still attracting dozens, sometimes a few hundreds, of people. Less positive; the central role of conspiracy-minded people at least in The Hague, and the visible dominance of the International Socialists, at least during the day. Still, a serious beginning of a movement with great possibilities. Work to do for anarchists/ communists!

Mark.
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Oct 17 2011 00:00

Lisbon had one of the bigger turnouts yesterday. There's a report here on the build-up to the protests. The second video is from the assembly in front of parliament.

-----

These reports on Spain, from El País, aren't great but as yet I haven't seen much else in English, apart from an article from Laurie Penny which isn't great either.

Madrid's Sol square lights up the global stage for world protests

May 15 protestors occupy private buildings after forging global voice

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Oct 17 2011 00:37

deleted post

bootsy
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Oct 17 2011 09:37

I've been down to Occupy Wellington a couples times now and Asher basically sums it up. Although I am planning on actually pitching a tent for as long as I can stand it in a few days.

I've heard more positive things from some of the occupations in other cities, especially Auckland. There was a further occupation of the university there today which involved students and staff and which got the support of the Occupy movement.

It seems like the Auckland one is more overtly political, whereas here in Wellington its really just a bunch of hippies chilling out in a park. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

wojtek
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Oct 17 2011 13:20

An initial statement by Occupy London:

Quote:
1 The current system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust. We need alternatives; this is where we work towards them.

2 We are of all ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, generations, sexualities dis/abilities and faiths. We stand together with occupations all over the world.

3 We refuse to pay for the banks’ crisis.

4 We do not accept the cuts as either necessary or inevitable. We demand an end to global tax injustice and our democracy representing corporations instead of the people.

5 We want regulators to be genuinely independent of the industries they regulate.

6 We support the strike on the 30th November and the student action on the 9th November, and actions to defend our health services, welfare, education and employment, and to stop wars and arms dealing.

7 We want structural change towards authentic global equality. The world’s resources must go towards caring for people and the planet, not the military, corporate profits or the rich.

8 We stand in solidarity with the global oppressed and we call for an end to the actions of our government and others in causing this oppression.

9 This is what democracy looks like. Come and join us!

Meanwhile, Labour's version of the BNP's token Sikh, John McDonnell is trying to co-opt it (or what there is of it) already:

Morning Star: McDonnell urges MPs to back protests

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Oct 17 2011 13:55

initially in 2 they wanted a cross class alliance. a few of us suggested that that was not possible. So it was changed to the slightly more irritating hands-off 'background'. ggggrrrrrrrr!

Spikymike
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Oct 17 2011 14:44

Just to mention briefly the gathering in Manchester (UK) Piccadilly Gardenson the 15th initiated by the small remnant of campers from the earlier 'occupy Albert square' action during the TUC sponsored anti-tory demo and located at the time on another site.

This was a very small (core group of about 60 max) if viseable and vocal event which did manage to garner some interest from passers buy during the 'open mic' session.

Best part was the emphasis on our facing common problems accross the world and the need to work together accross national boundaries in opposing austerity measures. Opposition to politicians, big corporations and banks was common ground but not much understanding of class or the all-encompassing nature of capitalism as such. Some good personal accounts.

The emphasis on non-violence by several speakers and core organisers, whilst it might have been a practical necessity in the circumstances, was clearly a much more deep seated ideological stance and potential barrier to effective action in other circumstances.

I also noted that the Greater Manchester Police Force clearly had learned some lessons from their academic consultants (discussed in a different context elsewhere on this site) in creating a controlled, compliant self policing event and generally encouraging in the organisers (who were perhaps already inclined that way) a belief in their impartiallity as protectors of peaceful democratic protest rather than protectors of class property and power.

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Oct 17 2011 14:51

The Green Party have come out in support of Occupy LSX.

Quote:
I am fully supportive of peaceful protest, although my favourite form of direct action is of course voting

http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/17-10-11-Green-Party-backs-global-economic-defiance.html

Am now hoping it seriously kicks off, to see how fast they disown it. black bloc

Valeriano Orobó...
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Oct 17 2011 14:54

Apparently yesterday there was elections in Italy, hence the tittle of the interview of the on-line mag Independenti with one of italy's autonomen, a certain Lucca:

“Niente comizi, la piazza si conquista” (Screw elections, squares are to be conquered)

http://www.indipendenti.eu/blog/?p=26075

Quote:
Gianluca, redattore di Infoaut, spiega dall’interno l’origine politica della violenza alla manifestazione degli indignati a Roma. “Bruciare macchine e spaccare la statua della Madonna è stata una gigantesca cazzata, ma attaccare banche e ministeri è un segnale politico”. E conferma la presenza in piazza di ultras del calcio e “reduci” degli anni Settanta
“Certo ci sono stati episodi deliranti, come bruciare le macchine, cosa che finisce solo per spaventare il corteo, o spaccare la statua della Madonna. Sono cazzate pazzesche. Ma attaccare le banche o gli uffici dei ministeri, che piaccia o meno, è un’indicazione, un segnale politico”. Gianluca, redattore di Infoaut, portale di politica e controinformazione di diversi collettivi dell’area autonoma, spiega la violenza esplosa alla grande manifestazione degli Indignati a Roma, terminata in ore di scontri in piazza San Giovanni, e con l’annullamento di tutti gli interventi finali.

Lui era lì, nel cosiddetto “blocco nero”, quello dei manifestanti coperti da caschi e cappucci che sono diventati protagonisti delle violenze. “Non raccontiamoci la storiella di due o trecento ‘black bloc’, magari fascisti o infiltrati della polizia”, continua Gianluca. “Tra il Colosseo e piazza San Giovanni, alla testa del corteo si è venuta a formare una componente di migliaia di giovani che non si riconoscevano negli organizzatori della manifestazione”. Addirittura cinque-diecimila, secondo il redattore di Infoaut, testata che in un editoriale definisce i fatti di Roma un episodio di “resistenza”.

Qui sta il cuore della frattura tra pacifici e violenti, con i secondi che di fatto hanno monopolizzato le cronache della protesta tra incendi e sassaiole. “La costruzione del 15 ottobre in Italia è stata nettamente al di sotto di quello che doveva essere. Gli organizzatori sono cadaveri: gruppi, sindacati e partitini che non esprimono niente nelle città, nelle scuole… Secondo loro, il corteo doveva finire con dei comizi elettorali, un modo secondo noi stupido di coronare una giornata di lotta. E la manifestazione sarebbe passata lontano dai veri luoghi della responsabilità”. Vale a dire i palazzi del potere, ritenuti colpevoli della crisi e del “furto” del futuro per le giovani generazioni.

Così, ragiona ancora Gianluca, molti hanno deciso di “uscire” dal programma preconfezionato. “Si possono anche deprecare le violenze di due o trecento persone, ma quando migliaia di giovani resistono per ore alla polizia è un fatto politico, come è accaduto anche nella manifestazione studentesca del 14 dicembre, sempre a Roma. Invece di aspettare i comizi, si sono presi la piazza. Questi giovani sanno che il loro futuro non esiste e non sono più riassumibili e compatibili in partiti, sindacati, associazioni. Se il percorso ufficiale della manifestazione avesse toccato i palazzi del potere, forse le cose sarebbero andate diversamente”.

Le azioni dei “neri” hanno provocato rabbia e reazioni molto decise da parte dei manifestanti che, nella stragrande maggioranza, puntavano a una giornata pacifica. E che invece si sono visti “scippare” i contenuti della protesta dalla risonanza mediatica degli scontri. Ma Gianluca la vede diversamente: “I contenuti politici ormai si conoscono: la crisi economica, il governo che sta in piedi a stento. Non si capisce perché la rivolta vada bene solo in Egitto”.

Alla fine, chi erano i violenti di piazza San Giovanni? “Al di là dei gruppi storici, c’è ormai uno strato sociale che si esprime in questo modo. Certo che Nichi Vendola dice che non si riconosce in quella piazza, ma neppure quella piazza lo voterà mai, perché sa che da lui arriveranno le solite ricettine”. Gianluca conferma che a manifestare a Roma c’erano anche gruppi ultras del calcio: “Ho visto ragazzi con lo striscione contro la ‘tessera del tifoso’, ma va capito che gli ultras sono un fenomeno sociale di massa. Rappresentano una forma di conflitto che per me sta al di sotto, ma dopo la normalizzazione del ministro Maroni tornano in strada e trovano un ambiente affine. Non sono alieni, sono anche loro proletari, stanno anche loro nelle scuole, nei luoghi di lavoro”. Così come, in mezzo a tanti ragazzi, si sono dati da fare contestatori più attempati, “quaranta-cinquantenni provenienti da altre battaglie”.

A questo punto, conclude, la definizione di “black bloc” diventa stretta. Il termine lo inventò la polizia tedesca negli anni Ottanta per definire gli Autonomen, che nei cortei facevano più o meno le stesse cose viste a Roma il 15 ottobre e si vestivano tutti di nero anche per rendere più difficile il riconoscimento nei filmati della polizia. In seguito, è stato utilizzato per definire la tattica di piccoli gruppi più o meno coordinati che si infiltravano nei cortei e ne uscivano per colpire gli obiettivi simbolo del capitalismo. Per Gianluca, i protagonisti degli scontri di Roma sono invece “una minoranza, ma di massa”.

Basically the main ideas in the interview (as far as my crappy italian is concerned) are: That the burning of the cop's lorry and the humilliation af a mother mary sculpture were bullshit but that attacking banks and ministries was a meaningful political action. That we shouldn't believe the lies that the black block were some hundred hooligans or undercovered police but around a thousand genuine autonomen and some football hooligans that he salutes as fellow working class members.That the demos, according to the organisers wishes, should have ended with the elections,something the autonomos considered a moronic way of crowning a day of fight. That they didn't feel represented by the organisers (parties, ngo's, unions) who he describes as corpses. That the main reason to start the fight came from the fact that the organisers consciouslly designed the itinerary in order to avoid political buildings (seats and headquarters), this had not happen perhaps violence wouldn't had broken. That this youth has no future and therefore cannot feel represented by the ones that can only offer the same recipes. And finally he alludes to the fact that the black block definition is pathetically narrow, an invention of the german police to name a fighting minoroty when in rome it was a fighting mass.

Valeriano Orobó...
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Oct 17 2011 15:01

The interview is posted too in Indymedia Roma

http://roma.indymedia.org/

According to Público in La Repubblica there is an interview with another autonomo that states that this day was prepared in Athens learning from the greek comrades...but i smell a rat there.

http://www.repubblica.it/politica/2011/10/17/news/black_bloc_piani-23345453/index.html?ref=HRER3-1

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Oct 17 2011 16:35
Quote:
R.R. Berkman wrote:from my point of view as an anarchist-communist who happens to be a Jew, I perceive a metric shit-tonne of crypto/overt anti-Semitism from a lot of the folks.

well yes, i haven't been involved with or even been able to pass by Occupy Newcastle this weekend, but have just seen some photos and what stands out is an anti-semitic "peace" flag hanging in pride of place. Earlier photos show it being carried by one woman (probably a lone conspiracy type) but the fact that it has presumably gone unchallenged and people are happy to have their banners next to it is absolutely shit.

Sidney Huffman
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Oct 17 2011 17:04

wow i passed through there at the weekend and i didn't see that banner and to be honest i couldn't see what the problem was at first glance at the photo you posted...but it is a star of david with a swastika inside it isn't it? i am blind as a bat without my glasses mind... embarrassed

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Arbeiten
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Oct 17 2011 17:12

oh my days. that flag is abhorrent. If it is still up can someone can tear it up please? The 'non-violent'* ideology probably allowed for the person to 'express' there anger in a peaceful way....

*read totally passive to the point of toothless

EGADS
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Oct 18 2011 17:14

I think that's also the old logo of that crazy UFO cult, the Raëlians(they've removed the swastika now).

So, either they're tolerating UFO cultist twats or they're tolerating anti-Semitic twats...fucking shit.

Mark.
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Oct 17 2011 19:47

Report from Portugal

mons
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Oct 18 2011 00:21

Not sure if this is the right thread to post in, but I was at an anti-cuts meeting today and I heard - for the first time ever - somebody, alongside propping the occupy protests, talking about the federal reserve (this is in England btw... roll eyes ) and saying that we don't really live in a free market capitalist system, we live under 'financial capitalism'...

I'm slightly worried that these protests might add to the influence and numbers of people promoting this kind of perspective, along with the Zeitgeist-type perspective. Or at least it's bringing them out of the shadows and into actual organising and doing stuff, for better or worse. I think a massive load of people, a significant proportion of young people, are really into Zeitgeist-type stuff, and conspiracy theories about Rothschild's etc. That's just based on the people who went to my school and what they're into now though, so isn't based on any actual proper evidence.

Is there any article written from a libcom perspective criticising this kind of perspective (obviously it's not a homogeneous set of ideas but still), in a really friendly way? I think it would be really really worthwhile, and if written really well and spread through social media, etc. could be properly influential. I would try and write one but I don't know enough about their ideas. If I miraculously have a load of free time at some point then I'll look into it more properly.

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Arbeiten
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Oct 18 2011 00:25

mons, where in the uK are you? because I went to london yesterday (I live in london) and some idiot make a distinction between corporate/crony capitalism (what ever the fuck that is) which we all apparently disagree with, and a sort of 'good' capitalism that we should all fight for. I nearly teared my eyes out. the worst part is? She did not face major opposition!

wojtek
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Oct 18 2011 01:49

Arbeiten, 'crony capitalism/ corporate socialism' is if I'm not mistaken the narrative used by (radical) social democrats, e.g. Neil Clark, George Galloway, Dan Hind in this country or Michael Moore and Amy Goodman in the US, who desire a Keynesian economic stimulus, nationalisation/ co-operativisation of industry, full unemployment, etc. It's reformist and will in all probability lead to a 'vote Democrat/ Labour' stance come election time. It's the 'end corporate greed' and 'Wall Street hijacked our government' slogans. I'm sure CRUD will tell you more wink