With my interest in the Occupy Movement at the front of my mind it becomes a compulsion to write about it and to think through it. Shortly after I began writing, I created a venue for my thought in the form of a web site and a twitter account. As I write about the things that I am seeing, and my thoughts and feelings toward the actions of Occupiers locally and nationally, I almost feel as if I am trying to speak the unspeakable. It’s as if every idea I construct from the conditions of this movement is self destructive, in the attempt to solidify it. It is within a web of structure that I am trying to quantify an anti-structural phenomenon, and as such I am in a sense puncturing the ideals that characterize Occupy. It is with ambivalence that I deconstruct something I support so wholly in the same mode I would deconstruct an object of my disdain, and I have received backlash for doing so. But I must continue on, and with careful strategy, because I know the world won’t wait until this thing flushes itself out to try to understand it. I have to challenge that understanding such that it can not come to formation, and while I may ruffle a few feathers on my own side, I do it in earnest.
Occupy Oakland has a group of individuals that calls themselves the Tactical Action Committee, and they are behind the anti-foreclosure actions at 18th and Linden in West Oakland, California. Unfortunately, while they were granted permission to “occupy” the lawn by the homeowner, she later changed her mind because of outside pressure. The group, while continuing to offer foreclosure assistance (They can be reached at 510-282-1121 or 415-290-5102) has plans to take their actions further.
While many around the country question the leadership of the Occupy Movement, I look to Julian here in this video hilight (you may need to reset or click on the timeline to see the 50 second clip), and see a man who could usher Occupy Oakland into the New Year with an informed and representative voice.
Also, a clear leader that I will only refer to here as V, (because I do not know if this person wishes their identity to be disclosed) has been the driving force behind the West Coast Port Shut Down action scheduled for December 12, 2011. With this person’s ability to orate, organize, and their passion for revolution, there is absolutely no telling how strong Occupy Oakland could grow.
We have been doing a lot of live tweeting and a bit of streaming over the past few days. We were live at the Oakland occupation of 19th and Telegraph, and the raid of 101 market street in San Francisco. We went to UC Davis yesterday, and we were live at the 18th and Linden occupy Oakland camp last night.
In all of the flurry of spaces, places, faces and voices, I found myself more and more at peace with the growing limbs of the movement. I have witnessed the spread of strategies from site to site. We have established a network of solidarity that spans the globe From Wall Street, to Tahrir. I am convinced that despite presentations of mainstream media, the impact of the Occupy Movement, and our message will be heard. But, our success has a direct relationship with the duration of our tactical operations. Despite the variety of our tactics, they are united by one strategy, and that is placing our bodies in a space that draws attention to our plight.
If this strategy is to work, because of its lack of hierarchy, its decentered multiplicity, it will be through a relationship with the physicality, the visceral nature of occupation. As the weather grows colder, if the numbers sustain through the deathblow of winter, a new cycle-the spring of 2012-will cultivate the Occupy Movement like a virus in an incubator. Only if the strongest among us are able to sustain the icy chill, and continue to occupy the harshest that space has to offer, then the rest of us will come with the warm weather.
If we sustain and fortify, I am sure that by next summer Occupy camps around the country would become sites of mass visitation. Rather than giving their money to the travel industry, the 99% could pilgrimage to Occupied Wall Street. I am picturing a Summer of Occupy, vis-a-vis the 1967 Summer of Love.
Sustain Comrades, the world is watching.
This shows the entire length of the march today on Lakeview Elementary. See for yourself how many people support Occupy Oakland
it’s a long way to the promise land
so you’d better well know your way
where’s a ship on the ocean
and an albatross who is trying to lead you astray
leaders, politicians, and power whores
are in line to receive your choice
and you bet your ass, if you give it to them,
they will gladly take your voice
it’s a long way to the promise land,
if we work we might find it here
there’s no substitute for enlightenment,
there’s no reason for bridled fear
when you join the people who’ve joined the club
you gotta clench and play your hand
cuz if you fall in line you’re gonna fall in time
and you’ll never make a stand
it’s a long way to the promise land
what are you going to do?
when they call for you?
bend and capitulate?
or keep your head on straight?
easy answers bought without experience,
is gonna lead you to certain doom
because the truth is just what you make of it,
it begins and ends with you!
- Greg Graffin – Bad Religion -
There are many ways to consume both the raw and the mediated, but the raw is predicated on unknowing, or known unknowns, bound by a linear experience of space-time, and the mediated is predicated on understanding. It is with intention of knowing, and dominating with understanding that mainstream media approaches the raw. It utilizes the mechanical apparatus of televisual media and the structure of language to transcend and recombine space-time in order to refigure or negate the reality of a situation. By reality here, I am referring to a multiplicity of converging, conflating, coalescing, individualities, which are in their entanglement (in their intra-action) structurally un-knowable. It is precisely in the moment of assumed understanding of the other that we are able to dominate and destroy it. When capitulated through the mainstream media, whether left or right, the raw is consumed, and digested, at which point the abjection is ready for re-consumption. The mediation of the Occupy Movement is dependent on a framework of structure that presupposes it’s subject. Neglecting its multiplicity, its life, its inability to be re-inscribed, Occupy has been stereotypically produced in mainstream media, which continues to propagate myths and characterizations that surround and stifle potential threats to hegemonic ideology in a complex masking.
The realistic goals of this movement, while unclear to some, have come to the surface. We need to change the outrageous laws in this country that allow the rich to keep getting richer on the middle class’s suffering. That is really the FOCUS of the occupy movement, at it’s base level.
- There are laws in place that allow this exploitation to happen, and they need to change.
- Simply, we demand that corporate and elite-class tax loopholes be closed.
- We need to curtail corporations in a way that will allow the gap between the super rich and the rest of us to close.
- We need to remove private and corporate money from politics to ensure public interest moving forward.
These are not my own opinions, merely the reasonable agenda of the 99% as I am receiving it on the streets of Oakland, YouTube, and my Twitter feed.
We have but one tactic, NON VIOLENT OCCUPATION OF PUBLIC SPACE. And it is working.
The Occupy Oakland protestors left their camp today to march 3 miles from Frank Ogawa plaza to the UC Berkeley campus, in a sign of solidarity.
Just two days ago, the students were beaten by police, and forced to leave Sproul Plaza.
I think today it is important to remember the transcendent words of Mario Savio, and take these words into tomorrow. Let us throw our bodies onto the machine, and show them we are not going anywhere. The can arrest us, fracture our skulls, rupture our spleens, and another will take his or her place. The violence exercised by the police at Berkeley, upon steps named for the man below, is a sign that we are on the right track. For now, our spatial presence is enough. To live in public space, and reclaim it in the name of humanity, is to realistically resist the normalizing forms of power that allow for corporate malevolence. Saying no to leaving is the first in a series of nos to come. This is not march on wall street… it is #OccupyWallStreet