Category Archives: Direct Action

Occupy Wall Street Braces for Confrontation: Bloomberg Wants to Clean House

Bloomberg at Zuccotti

Photo by Reachout

Update: The cleaning has apparently been delayed.

A couple days ago, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he wouldn’t be attempting to evict Occupy Wall Street demonstrators from Zuccotti Park, OWS’s base of operations. But Wednesday Bloomberg visited the Occupy Wall Street encampment in privately-owned Zuccotti Park, and then promptly issued a declaration that Occupiers will be forced to leave the park Friday to allow it to be cleaned.

Bloomberg previously used cleanup and maintenance as a pretext for shutting down Bloombergville. I suspect that city officials have been working on ways for officials and police to shut down the Zuccotti Park encampment since the owners, Brookfield Properties, allowed demonstrators to remain on their property. I am assuming that city officials stand to gain from this situation regardless of the choice made by demonstrators.

Let me just say that for the record I believe Occupiers are right to refuse to leave the premises, instead offering park officials to oversee the Occupiers clean up the park themselves. Continue reading

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The 99%: Should We Be Aligned with Killers and Bigots?

With the exception of a tendency toward reformism, I support the general idea of Occupy movements; that is, I don’t oppose it, but many potential participants would like to see a better, more cogent analysis of class from the movement. The analysis of the 99% of society vs 1% of the top owners and controllers of wealth and resources is a start, but it begins with a flaw: much, much more than the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the U.S. are a part of “the problem.” (Corporatism cannot be fixed by reforms, as capitalism itself is the problem, and is the perpetual crisis, but that is a subject for another post.) To begin with, if I remember correctly about 90% of the wealth in the U.S. belongs to about the top 5% of the population.

In addition to this issue, when you say “We Are the 99%” you are including the following groups and individuals. But, do we really want to be aligned with:

  • Cops who have killed people? Done terrible things to people on a daily basis, because it’s part of State policing? Police departments are composed of people who have systematically assaulted, intimidated, harassed, stolen from, framed, sexually assaulted and committed any other number of degrading, traumatic and immoral things to us. They’ve squashed our freedom of speech, preyed upon people of color and poor people, and protected each other against accountability for their actions. According to the Occupy analysis, they are the 99% and therefore “one of us.”
  • White supremacists? White nationalists, racist civil-libertarians, members of the Ku Klux Klan, racists who are not part of a group, Minutemen border patrollers and other nativists, citizen groups that seek to oppress groups because of racist viewpoints, anti-immigrant groups, well-connected bloggers who call for violence against Muslims and other people they oppose. There are Holocaust deniers and historical revisionists like Mark Weber and followers of David Irving. They are all part of this 99% category.
  • Religious groups and their members which advance an agenda of oppression? Groups like the Family Research Council, Abiding Truth Ministries. There’s “gay conversion therapists,” the Heritage Foundation, the 700 Club, and plenty more anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and otherwise xenophobic religious groups, members and followers falling into the 99%.
  • Individuals who promote hate? I doubt Glenn Beck falls into the top 1% of all wealth-owners in the U.S. There’s Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer, Robert Spencer, Pam Geller, Mat Staver, Harry Jackson, Jerry Boykin. Are these our allies?

Here I have provided just a handful of examples of groups and individuals who Occupiers may want to reconsider being aligned with. There’s plenty more, and I’d like to hear your examples, as well as rebuttals and ideas about the 99% class analysis. Please leave your comment below.

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Message to Occupy Movements from a White Male Writing on No One’s Behalf

Resistance is something the pacifist left hates.I have a piece of self-criticism about the subject of my writing on Occupy and my inexperience in organizing which can be found here. As I wrote in that piece, in relation to speaking about Occupy movements:

…since I have white male privilege on my side, chances are that more people will listen [to me] than if I were a woman, trans- or cis-gender, if I were a person of color, and many other things in our society that disempower others and thus [result] in empowering me. This is a huge part of what we are fighting.

So, as a reminder to myself as much as to anyone, I am a single person, with white male privilege, writing from a location of and perspective of relative isolation. In other words, these views and words are not intended to represent anyone except myself.
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A couple days ago I wrote a piece of alarmist propaganda raising the issue of infiltration by Ron Paul and Ayn Rand types into the Occupy movement.

While I stand by saying that these free-market capitalists should be given no quarter within the Occupy movements, it has come to my attention that the true enemy of the Occupy movements is an age-old enemy of uprising and revolution: liberal reformists, authoritarian self-appointed organizers, their “Peacekeeper” bullies/snitches, and anyone else trying to stifle opposition to the police and the use of civil disobedience in the movements. (It is absolutely amazing to me that most civil disobedience tactics are being disallowed in the Occupations of many cities because the particular tactics, such as taking the street, marching unpermitted, linking arms in the street and so on, are illegal.)

Due to my ignorance on the past roles of official Left/anti-war organizers/student leaders and similar groups in squashing uprising and revolution, I was unaware of what was in store for Occupy. Continue reading

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A Message To Occupy Chicago (and to Occupy Everywhere)

Reposted from infoshop.org. Emphasis in bold belongs to the editor. Note that these messages are representative of the authors and do not include the opinions of all anarchists, as we are not homogeneous and hold a diversity of thoughts and opinions. That said, I think these letters have a lot of content worth considering.

Also see: “Open Letter To Occupy Chicago”
http://anarchistnews.org/node/15459

Occupy Chicago,

We approach you today from a curious position on the margins of your activity, lingering here because we don’t quite no what to make of you in many respects. We have friends that have been maced and kidnapped by the New York Police Department, and in many ways we are excited about the creation of new spaces in which bonds might be formed in struggle that will take us places further than just a symbolic encampment in the financial district. We have skills, ideas, and energy to make Occupy Chicago a greater force to be reckoned with. We also recognize that those who are a part of Occupy movements around the country are a part of the middle class that is being dismantled by austerity measures being put into place around the country, and have had little experience with conflict. Many want a return to the middle class, for it to be saved. But no such salvation can be delivered to the middle class for an economy in crisis. Instead, as some who have inhabited this dispossession most of our lives, we say: welcome home, but we still have a long way to travel together. Continue reading

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