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Table of Contents New York City - Page 1 Detroit - Page 3 Oakland - Page 6 Portland - Page 7 Portland - Page 11 New Haven - Page 12
Reflections from the Street Where to from Here
NEW YORK CITY - Today, after two months of occupations and the attacks on the occupations in Portland, Oakland and now Manhattan, OWS might be crossing a new threshold–a massive convergence of students in Union Square and a working-class convergence in Foley Square attempting to give reality to the growing calls for a general strike. That new threshold should include the extension of the occupations to buildings for the coming winter and, beyond that, to workplaces, where the working class can make the system stop, as a further step toward taking over the administration of society on an entirely new basis. Whatever happens today (November 17th) and in the coming week of action, it is time to assess the strengths and limits of the occupation movement both in New York and around the U.S. There is no question that this is the most important movement to hit the streets in the US in four decades. That its wildfire spread to 1,000 cities in a few weeks attests to that. The avalanche of “demands” has suddenly made the social and economic misery of 40 years, largely suffered passively, with occasional outbursts of resistance, a public reality impossible to ignore from now on. Politicians, TV personalities and various experts have been caught flat-footed before a movement that refuses to enter their suddenly irrelevant universe. For all the “grab-bag” quality of what it has said, the movement has been absolutely right to refuse to identify too closely with specific demands, ideologies and leaders. Daily social reality over years has educated it all too well for it to fall into that game. Underneath everything is the reality of what the movement represents: the refusal of a system that places ever-greater numbers of people on the scrapheap. To identify itself too closely with any laundry list of demands would be to fall beneath the movement’s deeply felt sense that everything must change and the certainty that nothing should be as before. In response, the largest forces with a potential to derail this movement into respectable channels (the Democratic Party and the union officials) are scrambling to control, defuse and repress it, as they did successfully, for example, in Wisconsin in the spring. They are not having an easy time of it. The realities of occupations in 1,000 cities defy easy generalization. The news media has attempted to portray the core of the movement as young, white, unemployed and “middle class”–the latter tag being a fast-disappearing mistaken identity for the working class. Whatever the case in the early stages, in different cities (most notably in the
See Occupy Buildings, Occupy Workspaces, Page 10

D12 - MONDAY DECEMBER 12 2011 - D12
The Next Step for Occupy Wall Street: Occupy Buildings, Occupy Workplaces

Chicago - Page 2 New York City - Page 3 Portland - Page 4 Oakland - Page 5 Seattle - Page 6



Photo by Lauriel & Paul at The Portland Occupier

CHICAGO, IL - Occupy Chicago has continued to branch out into neighborhood occupies. Without ever being able to officially occupy a park or site, many occupiers have put energy toward outreach and organizing peripherally to General Assemblies. On November 9th, a team of 15 people occupied the Chicago Transit Authority’s, (CTA) Red Line subway car from 95th and Dan Ryan to the General Assembly at Jackson and Columbus. The action was organized by Chicago’s Occupy the Southside, which is a recent formation that comes out of a strategy to connect the overwhelming white majority occupy movement to the black and brown communities of Chicago, including the Southside. The action started at Chicago’s 95th and Dan Ryan at a nearby McDonald's. A young boy joined us as we were leaving. He was drumming on a plastic bucket to make money, but decided instead to join us as we rode the Red Line. A meeting was held on short notice where we practiced guerrilla theater and discussed our plan to weave in and out of the different Red Line cars in order to pass out fliers and talk with people riding the CTA. The interviewer in the theater skit asked questions like, “What is this Occupy thing all about and what does

Chicago by Becca, Xloi, Kingsley

Occupy the Southside have to do with Occupy Wall street?” The response was, “Occupy Chicago is about economic Justice. You know if you live in the Southside or the West side there are so many foreclosures. People don’t have jobs. We need to stop the budget cuts, and stop more schools from being shut down.” We would then repeat the skit on another subway car. At the end of on of the skits, a young man in an ROTC uniform jumped up on the seat in the train and started yelling with us as we exited the train to the next car, “Occupy Chicago, Occupy the Red Line.” Find videos from the Occupy the Red Line at The flyer passed out on at the Occupy the Red Line Action, called for participation in an Occupy action at a hearing on transit budget cuts in the Chicago Transit Authority. Indeed, Occupy Chicago and the Amalgamated Transit Union packed the hearing, and controlled the proceedings. Cries of "mic check", fiery speeches by bus drivers, and general disregard for the "presiding" C.T.A. Board defined the evening. Rather than simple economic demands for protection of wages, the protest, particularly by the black women bus drivers, had broader content: anger at having been disrespected by the chairman of the Board who had said they were taking too long (three minutes) on bathroom breaks! See Reflections: Chicago, Page 7

DETROIT - Members of the First of May Anarchist Alliance are participating in the Committee for a General Strike. This flier is in response to the Detroit crisis which has been highlighted by both the mayor and City Council's on-going proposals for mass layoffs, wage and city service cuts, liquidating of union contracts, and a general assault on the city's workers and our communities. Detroit has been ground zero for such attacks nationwide. Taking inspiration from the Occupy movement and its increasingly radical dimensions, we are arguing for a popular resistance to the crisis and the government austerity proposals. We are under no illusions and fully realize that, much like in Oakland, a general strike will be difficult to carry out. However, we believe that a general strike remains a powerful weapon for the working class and poor. By reintroducing its potential as a creative and militant expression of selfdetermination, we believe its tactical value will increasingly resonate within the broader movement. BUILD A GENERAL STRIKE OF ALL WORKERS AND THE COMMUNITY CANCEL THE DEBT; STOP ALL DEBT SERVICE PAYMENTS TAX THE RICH: MAKE THE BANKS AND CORPORATIONS PAY NO SERVICE CUTS; NO LAYOFFS; NO WAGE AND BENEFIT CUTS Mayor Bing and the banks have decided on a new round of cuts in jobs, benefits and services to the people of Detroit. They claim the city is bankrupt so union contracts must be thrown aside and the people must endure still greater cuts in basic services. Why should the working class and poor continue to pay for a crisis made by the banks, the giant corporations and the politicians who serve them? We have to stop transferring tax dollars and public resources to the banks which caused this economic crisis. The city budget provides for more than $433 million in payments to the banks for debt service this year. That’s where the money is going. We must demand cancellation of the debts and stop all payments of public funds for service on the debt. The banks made billions by selling impossible and predatory loans to working people in our community and throughout the country. When the bubble burst and millions faced foreclosure, the government took our tax dollars and bailed out the banks to protect their profits. Now, when housing prices have fallen off the cliff and thousands of vacant, foreclosed homes fill the city, the banks demand that still more tax dollars be paid to them. We say no more. Mayor Bing, Ficano and company tell us that the public funds must be paid to the banks, and that the rest of us must pay for the crisis. This is a government of the banks and for the banks. What resources we have from property taxes, income taxes and other sources must be directed to meeting the needs of our people. Tax dollars from casinos and revenue sharing are to go only to education; that’s what we were promised. But 87% of those tax dollars are going instead to the banks for payment on the debt. Of the $590 million in state per pupil aid for Detroit, more than $512 million is paid directly to the banks for service on the debt. Not one more penny to the banks. See Build a General Strike, Page 9

Where T : Build A General Strike o
by First ofMay Anarchist Alliance


NEW YORK, NY - On Nov. 17th, the day of national actions, I participated in the attempt to occupy the New York Stock Exchange. The numbers were big: several thousand people at around 7 am. The main march got divided into 3 or 4 smaller ones. My group blocked traffic on Broadway and Pine. Around 50 people participated in a mic-check style debate about the merits of being in solidarity with the NYPD. While the discussion followed predictable lines, I believe it was productive. It seems that at least a 1/3 of this 50 were against seeing the NYPD as being part of the 99% -- an increase from previous times. Unfortunately, many sang the national anthem. I did a miccheck and asked, "What would Iraqis have to say about the national anthem with lines like 'Bombs bursting in the air?'" The crowd had no response. Eventually we headed back to Liberty Park, where the crowd tore down one entire side of the barricades. Even more interesting is that when the police tried to push us back into the park, the crowd rallied and pushed the police back to the edge of the street. I have not seen anything like that in NYC before. My sense is that more and more people are getting confident about their ability to enforce their collective power, although I would guess this is a fragile condition. Next I went to the Graduate Center of CUNY, which is in midtown/ business/ tourist central. 30-40 people attended it. I was a little surprised by the small turnout. I rushed over to CUNYHunter to see what was up with the strike. It was about 1:30 pm when I got there, and about 20 students inside Hunter were protesting. Soon after, I went to Union Square. Very quickly thousands of students gathered. I was pretty surprised, considering how small the other events were. See Reflections: New Y City, Page 9 ork

Reflections from the Street: New York City
by Shemon Salam


PORTLAND, ORE. - In the weeks leading up to the threatened eviction of Occupy Portland, the encampment had become mired in what is now a well-known phenomenon across the Occupy movement: escalating drug and alcohol use, antisocial behaviors, and the very real risk that the deteriorating internal conditions in the encampment would bring about its collapse, absent any police or city pressure. In response to these concerns, comrades organized two demonstrations attempting to reinvigorate Occupy Portland's political content. The first was an attempted expansion of the encampment to a third park. The attempt failed, but it managed to rally hundreds into energetic support for that expansion. The second was an unpermitted march in solidarity with the Oakland General Strike. Led by military veterans, a thousand people marched throughout the city, shutting down bridges and causing a police retreat midway through the march, as they were overheard saying to each other, "There are too many of them." A day after this march, an internal police memo was "leaked," issuing orders for all officers to carry riot gear at all times, and authorizing force if necessary to stop "unpermitted marches." The public justifications were the usual "safety issues raised by the march," along with the still unsubstantiated police accusation that a protester had pushed an officer in front of a bus during this march. The next day, the Portland Police Association, in an apparent claim to represent the interests of the 99%, issued a letter demanding that City officials stand up against the protesters downtown who were disrupting life for the "real" 99%. Within two days, under public pressure from the Police Union and the Portland Business Association, the problems of drug abuse and significant antisocial behavior in Portland's encampment had become center stage in the corporate media. Mayor Sam Adams announced, "I can't wait for someone to die.” In the 24 hours prior to the march, the police reported carrying rocks and sticks out of the encampment, and developed a focused public disinformation campaign suggesting that elements of the Occupy Movement were trying to lead an attack on police. As the City's midnight deadline to clear the park approached, the Police began expressing concerns to the corporate media that campers were fashioning shields, acquiring gas masks, and “driving nails into wood” (all true – some activists were building defensive structures in the park). The police, however, cited the driving of nails into wood as proof of the accumulation of offensive weaponry. We entered that night's defense of the encampment hoping to challenge the attempted domination of the movement by the “non-violence-at-any-cost-and-as-we-define-it” sectarians and their ritual of separating “arrestables” and “non-arrestables.” Further, we hoped to shatter the city’s liberal establishment line that "if people want to be arrested in nonviolent civil disobedience, we can facilitate that." Our goal was to make it clear that there is no nonviolent way to forcibly remove people from the park, and if you do so, we will demand that you show the city what level of violence you are willing to employ. We will not be carried away quietly, nor will we be provoked to riot. We neared the parks as evening approached. Comrades had made a commitment to support the small number of folks who had barricaded themselves in the encampment, as well as those who had made the decision to be arrested in an effort to stop

Reflections from the Street: Portland
by Peter Little

the police attack. However, we also would attempt to offer tactical alternatives that did not necessitate either standing on the sidelines or guaranteeing arrest. By around 9 pm, we were feeling grim and tense. A few hundred people had gathered in the parks, with some marching around, but largely corralled by police and forced into crosswalks and onto sidewalks. Our commitment to support those most willing to resist was strong, but many of us felt that the city jail just across from our encampment might be where we would be spending the night. By eleven o'clock, chants grew bolder, and the squares began to amass with people. As the official midnight deadline to vacate the park approached, thousands were in the streets and in the two adjacent Occupy parks. The energy and boldness of the moment meant that those who were committed to symbolic arrests had been absorbed into the crowd which was on its feet facing down the riot police. As midnight approached, a spontaneous countdown to the official deadline rang out. Upon reaching zero, the crowd burst into loud cheers. By that time, the police were lined up outside of the park, and across multiple defensive lines. Within hours, more streets were claimed, and the riot police were backing away from the crowd's advancing lines. By 6 am, the parks were full of demonstrators, and Occupy Portland had claimed and barricaded another street within its encampment. As the crowd beat a tactical retreat, barricades across the encampment’s new territory were reinforced, and one lone line of riot police was left obstructing a public street. After twenty minutes of taunts from the crowd, the "bicycle swarm," 50-100 cyclists who had spent the night riding laps around the demonstration, suddenly came en mass down the street towards the line of riot police. As they approached the police line, they chanted, "Now who’s blocking traffic?!" ( Within moments, the final line of riot police melted to the side of the street, as the bike swarm rode across what moments before had been their final line. The morning ended with the sun rising over a reoccupied park, with new territory, and the City and Police's "firm deadline," and threats of imminent violence against the crowd, in tatters. One of my favorite chants that caught on during the standoff with police was, "Nightsticks to Wall Street!" The police swept the park later that morning once campers were asleep and supporters had gone home to rest. The final confrontation of the day involved about a thousand people facing off with an aggressive line of riot police jabbing nightsticks into their chests, occasionally swinging against them. Three days later, Portland made international news when a day of direct action against the banks turned into a small police riot, with police attacking and pepper spraying masses of demonstrators throughout downtown Portland. Since that time, Occupies up and down the West Coast have signed on to the December 12th “Occupy the Ports!” action directed against the repression of the 99% movement, and in solidarity with Longshoremen and unorganized port truckers. Despite solidarity from rank and file workers, the trade unions themselves have kept a sizable distance from “Occupy the Ports!”

In their attempts to corral, intimidate, or reduce to impotence the Occupy movement, the Police and the State have created selective pressures towards three dangerous lures for the Occupy movement: Between 1) Police so-called nonviolence and 2) riot: In the recent footage from LA's sweep, in recent radio interviews, and in the streets of Portland, different police officials have been heard repeating (almost verbatim), “For those who want to be arrested, we can facilitate that in a nonviolent way.” The charade of nonviolence played out by police carrying away limp protesters fits within the State's phony narrative of, “See, we respect free speech here.” In Portland, when the crowd refused to sit down and be arrested, police horses charged the crowd, attempting to either push them back or incite a fight. The crowd won the day because it refused to move (facing down chemical and less-lethal munitions, baton swings, and horses’ hooves), while simultaneously refusing to offer the police a justification to react with overwhelming force. Rioting on the part of the protesters would have played into the corporate media’s narrative of “besieged police force vs. violent hooligans.” 3) The Trade Unions and the Democratic Party: Occupy will find strength in the upcoming coordinated “Occupy The Ports!” action by raising the mantle of the Union for everyone: the trade unionists, the unemployed, the retired, the students, and the 89% of the employed working class with no trade union to speak for them. As its successes around workplace and community actions grow, trade unions and political parties will attempt to bring Occupy under their wings with the enticements of jobs for organizers, establishment legitimacy, and a false sense of influence or power. Is Occupy prepared to assert its independence from reformist institutions and resist the lure of “a seat at the table?” The moment our movement seeks legitimacy within the halls of power of the 1% is the moment our movement will lose its legitimacy with the 99%. Our task is not to figure out the best ways to appeal to a degenerate establishment for mercy. It is to continue to remind the people of this country that another world is not only possible, but is necessary as a matter of survival. We simply have to learn to take matters into our own hands.

Oakland, CA - On the evening of Nov. 2nd, while many in the local Occupy movement were involved in the shutdown of the Port of Oakland, a mass text was sent out calling for a reconvergence at Oscar Grant Plaza at 10 pm. Once people started arriving at the plaza, small fliers were discreetly distributed inviting people to the occupation of a building on 16th street, about a block from the plaza. The building that was to be occupied had previously been home to an organization dedicated to providing services to the homeless. It had been shut down due to a lack of government funds. The flier stated that the space was to be occupied once again to provide services to the people. According to some individuals in the crowd, the folks that used to run the building had been contacted and expressed support for the reopening. One organizer stated that the plan was to provide social services in the building but also to use it as a base from which to organize the occupation of other buildings and homes. Inside the window of the occupied building was hung a large banner that read, “OCCUPY EVERYTHING.” Within minutes banners were hung from the top of the building announcing the opening of the “Raheim Brown Free School,” named after a young black man recently shot and killed by transit police. The prevailing sense in the crowd was awe: awe that the space was being taken, awe that we were not being stopped, awe that we were finally taking this logical next step in the progression of the occupation, a step that would, if successful, make it more sustainable and more able to last through the winter. Someone delivered a speech on a loudspeaker, the essence of which was that we, the people, have needs and we will no longer ask to have them filled, but rather will do what we must to fill them. There was a callout in solidarity to the people of Occupy Wall Street, Greece and Cairo, stating that we are one and welcoming them to our space. Some of the people in the building and on the street at that point had their faces covered; many did not. The crowd was predominantly white and not representative of Oakland’s larger population. That is not to say that it did not represent the sentiment of a larger demographic, but possibly that more people of color did not feel safe in that space with the likelihood of a police confrontation. At that point, there were between 1,000 and 1,500 people on the 16th Street block. Many of those were people who had come out to march and stayed to support the building occupation; many were people who had been occupying the plaza from the beginning. There was an air of celebration and excitement, as Jay-Z’s “Who's Gonna Run this Town Tonight” was played over the system. As people walked through the building and moved books in for the new library, they appeared relaxed and confident that we had gained a new space for the movement. The message of the speech and banners was unapologetic, serious and clear, but by no means violent or aggressive. I had no sense that people were expecting or even prepared for confrontation. After a few songs and some dancing in the street, an announcement was made that police were coming over from Alameda. The person announcing this asked people to stay to defend the building. What followed seemed to be a discussion See Reflections: Oakland, Page 7

Reflections from the Street: Oakland
by Cicily Raye



SEATTLE, WA - Many of the first people to organize Occupy Seattle were downwardly mobile urban professionals (dumpies) who the economic crisis had dumped into the middle of the working class. The majority of these folks in Seattle are white, but not all. We wrote a piece summarizing the early limitations of the movement, emphasizing that the dumpies can join but they should not be allowed to use their managerial background to dominate, and other layers of the working class, especially workers of color, should be in the lead: Over time, the emphasis on sharing useful resources communistically and democratically attracted groups of homeless people who found direct benefits from being in the camp. Also, groups like Hip Hop Occupies, the People of Color Caucus, and radicals from various tendencies came together to develop a much more working class, multiracial, and radical tendency within the movement, which has grown fast. The non-sectarian collaboration among different groupings has made this possible, and many people who started out as liberals have become committed radicals over the past few months. Some dumpies have argued that homeless folks are free-riders who aren’t really involved in “the movement”. This is not true. In Seattle, homeless folks have been on the front lines, including in major clashes with the police. Jennifer Fox, a homeless, pregnant 17 year old woman, was struck in the stomach by the cops, after which she miscarried. Moreover, the dumpie line of thought betrays an overemphasis on politics as protest, as pressure politics, instead of as attempts to directly take back useful resources and share them through occupation, which itself is political, especially if it helps the working class develop organizational forms to meet its own needs (of course the danger is we could become a social service agency that provides material goods as the state does less and less of that - that’s why we need to take resources from the 1%, not just donate them, and we need to also fight cuts to social services while we occupy). Our favorite chant has become “everything for everyone, the revolution has begun.” At first, Occupy Seattle occupied Westlake Park, ground zero for the WTO uprising in 1999, and a common spot for protests in the city. This gave us visibility. It gave us a way to challenge the extreme gentrification that has occurred in Seattle the past 20 years with the rise of the tech industries: (’s-wallstreet/).

Reflections from the Street: Seattle
by the Black Orchid Collective

Originally published by Counter Punch “Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children….” These were Father Daniel Berrigan’s words when he was on trial in 1969 for a draft board raid in Catonsville, Maryland. He and eight others had entered the draft board office during business hours, removed draft files (against some resistance from the staff) and then burned them out front with homemade napalm. At the time, there were many who construed this as an act of violence and, given the denunciations of property destruction emerging out of Oakland today, there are many in our current day who would undoubtedly agree. But Berrigan and many of the others who carried out draft board raids were principled pacifists and did not understand the destruction of draft files as an act of violence. Disruptive, disturbing, provocative? Without a doubt. Shot through with incivility? Perhaps, if you insist. But the point was that when the forces of order and “civility” wreak havoc—destroying homes, livelihoods, and lives—the “fracture of good order” is not only warranted, but necessary and indeed a moral obligation. There are no easy or simple parallels between the destruction of draft files in the 1960s and the breaking of bank windows today. It is, however, worth thinking through the commonalities—both are largely symbolic actions targeting the physical manifestations of a system that causes harm to people—and pausing a moment on that logic. This means restraining the urge to react with hostility to the idea of property destruction, reining in the urge to simply denounce it as violence and thus close off reflection and debate (since all “good” people are necessarily opposed to violence). And it means setting aside for the moment—but only for the moment—the question of whether tactics involving property destruction makes sense in this particular time and place. The question that first needs to be addressed is: what is violence? what defines an act as violent? This seemingly simple question is anything but. This has been a point of contention—and yes, division—in progressive social movements for at least the past half century. For those who see property destruction as a legitimate tactic under certain circumstances, including Catholic pacifists in the 1960s who saw little disjunction between their avowed pacifism and acts of restrained destruction, violence above all denotes harm to human beings (and other living things). This is the touchstone for determining whether an act constitutes violence: are See Reflections: Seattle, Page 8 people being injured or killed? When the definition of violence is expanded to include acts that are directed at property only, in which no person is at risk of injury, property is treated as on par with (and in practice often more valuable than) human life. We live in a system characterized by deep stratification and inequality. In this context in which some human lives are accorded very little worth, to treat
See The Fracture of Good and Evil, Page 14

Where to: For the Fracture of Good and Evil
by Emily Brissette

Where to: The Occupy Movement is a
PORTLAND, ORE. - Three weeks after the eviction of the second-largest occupation in the country, there was an attempt to re-occupy a public park here today. After a rally at Waterfront Park, about a thousand folks marched through the streets of downtown. I saw many familiar faces from the budding Occupy Portland community. The event culminated in our arrival at our newly declared encampment at Shermanski Park, as marchers were greeted by cries of “Welcome home!” After about four hours of song and celebration, the riot cops were sent in, and the violent eviction commenced. Soon after the police action, the occupiers regrouped as a fluid mass, headed for City Hall, wound through the streets at the peak of the week’s bar and pub activity, collected sympathetic partiers, and headed back to Shermanski Park where they once again declared their occupation. What could the cops do? The city’s overtime meter was ticking. So the cops retreated into the night. The Occupy movement is proving to be an adaptable community of resistance. Similar in concept to the principle of dual power, the concept of communities of resistance emphasizes the need to create, when possible, living, breathing alternatives to existing dominator institutions (that’s the community part), while at the same time practicing the art of resistance to oppression in all its forms. Building communities of resistance nurtures revolutionary consciousness, which in turn sharpens and hones revolutionary practice. While some critics have seen the physical occupations as being merely symbolic, I believe that it is the communitybuilding aspect of the daily physical occupation of public spaces that has been largely responsible for the movement’s success thus far. Being in direct physical contact with people of different ethnic, educational, class, and racial backgrounds forces us to challenge our own assumptions, confront our own fears, and examine questions of privilege. Living and working together, as difficult as it may be sometimes, causes the meta-mind of our social movement to thrive because it will, if navigated skillfully, lead to building trust. And this is the dangerous part for the 1%.

Community of Resistance by Glenn G.

present world has to offer. As the Occupy movement grows and evolves, the question of the need for physical encampments in public spaces will be passionately debated. Regardless of the outcomes of those debates, whether our communities are in the parks or whether they shift into newly formed worker collectives, reclaimed factories, free health clinics, building liberation projects, or foreclosure prevention brigades, our power to resist will only be as strong as the communities doing the resisting.


Reflections: Oakland
(continued from Page 5)

of the vulnerability of our location with discussions of different people's willingness to be a part of a confrontation with police, whatever that might look like. Much of the crowd left at that point, likely either too exhausted from the events of the day or simply not up for the type of confrontation that might be coming. What followed was some frenzied preparation. Those choosing to stay began to build barricades. There was no apparent leadership or well-organized plan of what defense would look like. It had likely been assumed that more people would stay to defend the space, but that didn’t happen. A police warning was given, and many more chose to not be around for what followed. A few people stayed and observed, as police in full riot gear lined up, many deep. The building was taken by police shortly after. Someone was brutally beaten by OPD that night. There were teargas and beanbag rounds shot into the crowd that remained. The building is now boarded up, still completely unused, but marked forever by history (and tagged by a few artists as well). Some questions: Was the police response factored into the plan? What was achieved by having the building occupation to be such a public spectacle? Was it important to show the world this next step of the movement? Would it have been more or less effective if done more discreetly? Did organizers overestimate people's willingness or ability to defend the space? Was it worth what seems to be lots of inner dispute within the occupation? Could more communication from organizers to the Trust is the currency of our movement, and it needs to be public have created a more supportive environment? Did the guarded because it can be difficult to build and easy to subvert. building occupation successfully open doors in the minds of Learning that we’re not all that different, that we all have observers of what is possible? hopes, fears, dreams, insecurities, loves, and defenses allows us to get out of our own heads and open our hearts to the joy and suffering of others. For example, listening to the experience of Reflections: Chicago an Iraq War veteran helps students to more fully grasp the (Continued from Page 2) depravity of modern warfare, and therefore reinforces the need to incorporate an anti-war/anti-imperialist perspective into the There was absolute unity between enraged union members and Occupy Chicago, between bus drivers and the declasse youth. Occupation movement. When we start awakening to the reality that an injury to one The union president, forced into a stance of militance, read the truly is an injury to all, we tap into a kind of strength that can’t lyrics of "Solidarity Forever" to the Board. Perhaps most be extinguished by tear-gas, bullets and bombs. It’s the power striking is the fact that the black drivers and motormen appear of fearlessness founded upon our love for our community, and to have gained union dominance. In 1968 and 1975 black by extension, the world. It’s the power of solidarity! Once we drivers went out on wildcat strikes in reaction to get a taste of this, settling for life as an alienated discrimination, and that problem seems to have been largely spectator/wage-slave/consumer becomes less and less tolerable. remedied. Nevertheless, naivete about the larger containment We’re increasingly moved to resist, not just in collective ways role inevitably played by all unions, unless dispelled rapidly, such as occupations and protests. We learn to creatively resist will come back to bite "Occupy". in our everyday lives the grand and petty injuries that our


However, occupying one of the corporate hubs of the entire West Coast proved difficult in the face of police harassment. At first the police response was passive aggressive. This is the post-WTO police force and they learned from their mistakes. They were careful not to use tear gas, baton rounds, or pepper spray which might prompt a backlash or might radicalize people by showing them what the servants of the 1% are willing to do to maintain capitalist power. Instead, they shined light in our eyes, made us stay up all night, and hoped we’d get so sleep deprived we’d turn on each other. These are prison guard tactics adapted for use in a public park. We made two attempts to occupy the park with tents, and each time the police tore them down with raids. Then, we moved to Seattle Central Community College where we occupied the campus for several weeks, against the wishes of the college administration. The relative passiveness of the police gave ammunition to the liberals who wanted to argue that police are part of the 99%, and that we should welcome them and try to win them over. We would not be surprised if their tactics were calculated to help shore up this tendency. However, their strategy backfired to some extent because the radicals were able to respond in loosely coordinated, strategic ways. It also backfired when the police overreacted at times, especially when they pepper sprayed 84 year old Dorli Rainey. The radicals in the crowd would avoid police provocations to riot, but would engage in mass refusal to obey police orders, refusal to move, and open hostility to the police aimed at making them unwelcome in our space. These tactics seemed to build political confidence among occupiers. They avoided the dangers of a riot situation we and our supporters are not prepared for, but also tapped into folks’ sense of dignity, defiance, and frustration with the often scripted and passive forms of civil disobedience promoted by liberals (“okay, everyone who wants to get arrested come over here, we’ve told the police what we are about to do, they’ll ask you to move, just say no and go peacefully and silently when they take you.”) Instead, the police would face an uncontrollable situation with no “movement cops” to help mediate. port-shutdown. This approach lessens the division between those “risking arrest” and those not risking. It maximizes chances for folks to participate who are willing to risk but would prefer to avoid arrest, which tends to be a large group. Folks can participate in various ways, then get away, and those who want to stand their ground and get arrested could also do so –both are valid. Each time these tactics were used early in the movement, it would spark open air debates of hundreds of people about the role of the police, which ended up raising all sorts of crucial political questions about class, the state, and how capitalism functions. Over time more and more people became critical of the police, culminating in a mass anti-police brutality march. Many of the folks who mobilized last year against the murder of the late Native woodcarver John T. Williams came back out. The crowd was more multi-racial than most occupy events, and there was a spontaneous standoff at the precinct. The liberals flipped out about this and kept saying we were "diverting" the movement away from the core issue of fighting the banks by making it about police too. Our response was: it's about both, police are tools of the 1%. We chanted things like “cops and bankers we don’t need them, all we want is total freedom.” This action was followed by a highly successful occupation of a Chase bank, leading to a standoff with the police where protestors refused to allow the police to arrest the

(continued from Page 6)

Reflections: Seattle

bank occupiers. The people of color caucus, anarchists, us, and other radicals united to pass this "decolonize" resolution in the General Assembly: It emphasizes this is stolen native land, we're not trying to continue that colonial occupation, we're trying to end it. When we say "occupy Seattle" we mean it in the tradition of militant workers who have occupied their factories from Argentina to S. Korea. Several hundred folks from Decolonize -Occupy Seattle also attempted to take over an abandoned warehouse in Capitol Hill. Immediately upon occupying the space, folks began clearing it up, painting the walls with beautiful murals, holding some of the most civil and thoughtful General Assemblies so far, barricading doors, etc. Notably, radicals initiated this action, but liberals supported and actively helped build it. In the early morning hours, a SWAT team raided the place through the roof and kicked everyone out, leading to a number of arrests. An abandoned house has also been occupied. Finally, Occupy Seattle voted unanimously to support and build the West Coast Port Shutdown action on Dec. 12th. This is a coordinated response to the police repression against the movement, and it is a labor solidarity action with port truck drivers who face racism, poverty wages, and unsafe conditions, as well as ILWU members who are fighting union busting in Longview, WA. Here we are focusing on this action as a concrete way to confront the devastating WA state budget cuts to education, health care, and social services: if the 1% cuts the working class, we will cut their profits. Not only did we occupy the state capitol – we will also occupy their capital, including Goldman Sachs owned port terminals. Locally, we are building connections with rank and file longshoremen and truck drivers, and recently had a march to the ILWU hall and a mass meeting to discuss plans for the 12th. High school students are organizing walkouts on that day. Our messaging and reasons for shutting down the port can be found here:

(Continued from Page 3) The Fight against “Austerity” is nationwide and international. From Egypt to Greece to W Street to Oakland, people are rising all up against the banks and governments. W cannot succeed in this e struggle if we are isolated or separated. All workers and all unions must join together and act together against these cuts. Bus

Build a General Strike


drivers, bus mechanics and bus riders must stand together. The people of the community who rely on city services must join the fight. Our allies are the Wayne County workers and residents who face similar cuts. The workers and people of Hamtramck, Highland Park, Flint, Pontiac and Benton Harbor who already are suffering under the boot of emergency managers must join together. The workers and people of Taylor, Plymouth, Hazel Park and Warren face the same attacks. Occupy Oakland organized a general strike in that city in response to police attacks on demonstrators and the life threatening attack on an Iraq War veteran active in the protests. The workers of Greece have carried out several general strikes against austerity cuts in that country and caused a government to fall. We stand with them all.

Our response must be unified and direct. W must organize and e mobilize f a general strike. And we must build a movement or that includes workplace and neighborhood organizations f or def and to meet the basic needs ofour people. ense

No one is coming to save us. We must rely on ourselves and our allies to end the domination of the banks and corporations. Our goal must be direct control of public resources and the economy by the workers and the people. We can build the new society, together. Committee for a General Strike - P.O. Box 15024, Detroit, MI Reflections: New York City 48215 – (continued from Page 3) - What happened next blew my mind away. By the time the march left, it was huge. People just took the streets and blocked traffic. We marched through stopped cars, trucks and taxis. The trucks and taxis were in solidarity with us, rolling down their windows, waving, raising their fists, and honking their horns. It was very powerful. One truck driver of color got out and gave everyone high fives. People rejoiced to see that happen. It was unbelievable to walk through all the various avenues and streets and literally stop traffic. The cops were nowhere to be seen. Eventually on one of the intersections they brought a semi-truck to block the entire road, and some cops stood their ground to force us onto the sidewalk. People just walked around them and back onto the street. I could not believe it. It was a powerful lesson. I saw that when people want to do something, they will just do it. I am also wondering what the NYPD higher ups were thinking. Maybe they knew rich Columbia and NYU students were attending and did not want to bust their heads so took a more hands-off approach. Not sure. I know that to prevent budget cuts more militant struggles will have to happen. At the same time, I am against the idea that doing radical shit means you are a superhero. Militancy is something that should not require a cape. There will always be a level of risk, but actions need to be planned so that large numbers of people can participate. Revolution is a mass activity, and those actions we do today have to be mass actions. What happened yesterday, was many first-time protestors did something pretty illegal, but it was in mass numbers.


Occupy Buildings, Occupy Workspaces
(continued from Page 1)

November 2nd mass march on the Port of Oakland), significant numbers of blacks and Latinos, as well as older people, have expanded the movement in many places beyond the initial core. Our purpose here is not to dwell on the thousand slogans, something that is to be expected from a very young movement made up to a great extent by people for whom this is the first such experience of their lives. Ideas such as the “1%” or “make the rich pay their fair share” or “make the banks pay” or “abolish the Fed” sit side by side with attacks on “capitalism”. We would suggest that the excessive focus on the “banks” does not recognize that the source of widespread misery is the world crisis of the capitalist (wage labor) system and, as a result, it does not point to the overcoming of the crisis by establishing a world beyond wage labor, namely socialism or communism (although we are well aware of the abuse of those words in far too many cases). To arrive at such a focus requires speaking openly of class. It is clear that the large majority of workingclass people in the U.S., while sympathetic to the movement, have not joined it in any active way, if only because they are working and caught up in daily survival. The Occupy movement needs to build on the creative militancy in the streets of thousands of people (as shown in Oakland, Portland, Seattle, New York and elsewhere) to reach out to that large majority which sometimes seems, a block or two from the street battles, to be going about business as usual. The growing number of anti-eviction and anti-foreclosure actions has made that outreach. Taking over buildings for meetings and muchneeded living space, as well as for workshops and teach-ins, could be an important next step. Beyond that should be the extension of the movement to work stoppages and occupation of workplaces, posing even more sharply than before the questions of private property and of “who rules”?

The pending contract renewal of Local 100 of the Transit Workers Union is one obvious link here in New York. The ongoing standoff between west coast dock workers (ILWU) Local 21 and the scab-herding EGT Corporation in Longview, Washington, is another. The planned occupation, together with parents and students, of five public schools slated for closure in Oakland, is still another. In such efforts, we believe that the movement will have little difficulty distinguishing between the rank-and-file workers (who have already joined it on occasions) and the trade-union bureaucrats who have passed one toothless resolution after another of “support” without the slightest, or only token, mobilization. Still less needs to be said about the Democratic Party politicians–most notoriously, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan–who have tried to ride the movement for their own ends–before sending in the riot police.
However, occupation is only a further step: beyond it is the question oftaking over the production ofsociety f ourselves and or running it on an entirely new basis.

Whatever happens in the immediate future, a wall of silence on the accumulated misery of four decades has been breached. Every day brings further news of attacks on working people as world capitalism spins out of control. Never has it been clearer that capitalist “normalcy” depends on the passivity of those it crushes to save itself, and from Tunisia and Egypt, via Greece and Spain, to New York, Oakland, Seattle and Portland, that passivity is over. The task today is to throw everything we have into approaching that point of no return where conditions cry out: “We have the chance to change the world, let’s take it.” or-ows/

Where to: Nightsticks to Wall Street! Lessons
by the November 13th Group

of Saturday Night


"Nightsticks to Wall Street!" —chanted on the streets of Portland, Oregon on the morning of Sunday, Nov 13th while riot police menaced the crowd "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." —Frederick Douglass Saturday night, and the subsequent raids and police actions nationally, have made a number of points clear: 1. This movement is no longer made up of just those staying at the encampments, nor those participating in the Assemblies. In Oakland and Portland, we’ve seen that large numbers of the population who are not camping or are unable to attend nightly meetings are still willing to come out in support of the Occupy movement. 2. The argument that “We can’t afford to disrupt life for the 99%” doesn’t always hold water. When Occupy Portland publicly defied both the Police and the City by insisting it would stay, Portlanders rallied behind it in numbers that matched those of day one of Occupy. Occupy Portland’s willingness to disrupt business as usual for the 1% found massive support—and that support won the night for Occupy Portland. Occupy Oakland’s call for a General Strike in response to state repression found somewhere well beyond 20,000 people marching behind it, shutting down Oakland’s economic foundation, the Port of Oakland. Our strength lies in our willingness to disrupt business as usual for the 1% and their tools. 3. There is a national strategy emerging against the Occupy movement. In Portland (as elsewhere), this has consisted of attempts to demonize the protest encampments with tales of violence, drug use, and even bomb-making. Cities across the country appear to be issuing versions of the same press release, uniformly citing health and safety concerns. These attempts at discrediting the movement have come alongside ‘soft’ police violence. Since the General Strike in Oakland, in response to massive and publicly-viewed police brutality against the Occupy movement, the State has concluded (at least temporarily) that the political costs of deploying overwhelming force against the Occupy movement in view of the public are too high—every time it does so, the movement’s numbers swell. 4. The Police are not our allies. Individual cops may be our friends or neighbors, they may be workers like ourselves, but the role and function of police is as enforcers for the 1%. Relatively soft treatment early on inspired some occupiers to view the police as allies, but now it is evident that the police will beat us and destroy our encampments for the 1%. Policing and crime enforcement in the United States are structured entirely around race and class. When the poor and marginalized demand power, the 1% will always cry “criminals!” The 1% can gamble away our pensions, take our savings,

foreclose our homes, destroy social security and run our economy into the ground—and what happens? The federal government rains dollars over them in the billions. Daily enforcement of drug laws, property crimes, and petty statutes disproportionately target the poor, people of color and the homeless. These policies are known failures at preventing antisocial behavior. Through incarceration, parole, probation and street-level policing, the 1% maintains a constant and evertightening control over the sectors of society most likely to rebel. If Occupy Portland is truly committed to a diverse movement of the 99%, it cannot afford to simply conclude that “the Police are our friends.” We embrace the position heard in the streets Sunday: “the police can join the rest of the 99% when they put down their batons and take off their riot gear.” To this we would add “and when they cease to kill and incarcerate our brothers and sisters in our neighborhoods and streets.” 5. The Liberal Political Establishment is incapable of upholding its own ideals. Perhaps the most progressive mayor in the United States, Jean Quan, has presided over multiple violent evictions of Occupy Oakland. On Saturday we saw Portland Mayor Sam Adams order police to forcibly remove the encampments, and when thousands came downtown to oppose the eviction on the night of the deadline, he made no effort to address these citizens of Portland. Sam Adams claims, “I support this movement.” But Adams only supported this movement until it became an actual political threat. Sam Adams moved when the federal strategy of action against the Occupy movement emerged, and when the Portland Business Alliance and Portland Police Association publicly demanded that he do so. He may “support Occupy’s message against economic injustice,” but at the end of the day, he has made clear that he takes orders from those who perpetuate or protect those economic injustices. Sam Adams has presided over further unweaving of our city’s social safety net. The now destroyed Occupy encampment served 1500 meals a day and attempted, imperfectly, to provide mental health care and a sense of community to the city’s most vulnerable. Our movement is centered on humanitarian ideals—liberty, human rights, expansion of freedoms and democratic participation. The liberal political establishment has acted to squash the greatest manifestation of them in our lifetime, at the behest of money and power. Our strength lies in demonstrating to the world that Occupy comes closer to putting these ideals into practice than any liberal politician ever will. See Nightsticks to W Street, Page 13 all

12 The contradictions oftothe Arab Spring Where :
by Immanuel W allerstein

The Spirit of 1968 flows through Arab Spring and Occupy Movement–as its counter-current attempts to suppress uprising. The turmoil in Arab countries that is called the Arab Spring is conventionally said to have been sparked by the selfimmolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in a small village of Tunisia on December 17, 2010. The massive sympathy this act aroused led, in a relatively short time, to the destitution of Tunisia's president and then to that of Egypt's president. In very quick order thereafter, the turmoil spread to virtually every Arab state and is still continuing. Most of the analysis we read in the media or on the internet neglect the fundamental contradiction of this phenomenon that the so-called Arab Spring is composed of two quite different currents, going in radically different directions. One current is the heir of the world-revolution of 1968. The "1968 current" might better be called the "second Arab revolt". Its objective is to achieve the global autonomy of the Arab world that the "first Arab revolt" had sought to achieve. The first revolt failed primarily because of successful Franco-British measures to contain it, co-opt it, and repress it. The second current is the attempt by all important geopolitical actors to control the first current, each acting to divert collective activity in the Arab world in ways that would redound to the relative advantage of each of these actors separately. The actors here regard the "1968 current" as highly dangerous to their interests. They have done everything possible to turn attention and energy away from the objectives of the "1968 current", in what I think of as the great distraction.
The past didn't go anywhere

success anywhere, menaced all of them. The governments of the world joined forces to destroy the "1968 current".
A growing world movement

What do I mean by a "1968 current"? There were two essential features to the world-revolution of 1968 that remain relevant to the world situation today. First, the revolutionaries of 1968 were protesting against the inherently undemocratic behaviour of those in authority. This was a revolt against such use (or misuse) of authority at all levels: the level of the world-system as a whole; the level of the national and local governments; the level of the multiple non-governmental institutions in which people take part or to which they are subordinated (from workplaces to educational structures to political parties and trade-unions). In language that was developed later on, the 1968 revolutionaries were against vertical decision-making and in favour of horizontal decision-making - participatory and therefore popular. By and large, although there were exceptions, the "1968 current" was deeply influenced by the concept of non-violent resistance, whether in the version of satyagraha developed by Mahatma Gandhi or that pursued by Martin Luther King and his collaborators, or indeed older versions such as that of Henry David Thoreau. In the "Arab Spring" we could see this current strongly at work in Tunisia and Egypt. It was the rapid public embrace of this current that terrified those in power - the rulers of every Arab state without exception, the governments of the "outside" states who were an active presence in the geopolitics of the Arab world, even the governments of very distant states. The spread of an anti-authoritarian logic, and especially its

So far, they have not been able to do it. Indeed, on the contrary, the current is gaining force around the world - from Hong Kong to Athens to Madrid to Santiago to Johannesburg to New York. This is not solely the result of the Arab Spring, since the seeds and even the revolts elsewhere predated December 2010. But the fact that it has occurred so dramatically in the Arab world, once thought relatively unresponsive to such a current, has added considerable momentum to the growing world movement. How have the governments responded to the threat? There are really only three ways to respond to such a threat - repression, concessions and diversion. All three responses have been used, and up to a certain point, their use has achieved some success. Of course, the internal political realities of each state are different, and that is why the dosage of repression, concessions and diversion has varied from state to state. However, the decisive characteristic is, in my view, the second feature of the world-revolution of 1968. The world-revolution of 1968 included in a very major way a revolution of the "forgotten peoples" - those who had been left out of the concerns of the major organised forces of all political stripes. The forgotten peoples had been told that their concerns, their complaints, their demands were secondary and had to be postponed until some other primary concerns were resolved. Who were these forgotten peoples? They were first of all women, half the world's population. They were secondly those who were defined in a given state as "minorities" - a concept that is not really numerical but rather social (and has usually been defined in terms of race or religion or language or some combination thereof). In addition to women and the social "minorities", there exists a long list of other groups who also proclaimed their insistence on not being forgotten: Those with "other" sexual preferences, those who were disabled, those who were the "indigenous" populations in a zone that had been subject to in-migration by powerful outsiders in the last 500 years, those who were deeply concerned with threats to the environment, those who were pacifists. The list has continued to grow, as more and more "groups" became conscious of their status as "forgotten peoples". As one analysis Arab state after Arab state, one realises quite quickly that the list of forgotten peoples and their relation to the regime in power varies considerably. Hence, the degree to which "concessions" can limit revolt varies. The degree to which "repression" is easy or difficult for the regime varies. But make no mistake about it, all regimes want, above all, to stay in power. One way to stay in power is for some of those who are in power to join the uprising, casting overboard a personage who happens to be the president or ruler in favour of the pseudoneutral armed forces. This is exactly what happened in Egypt. It is that about which those who are today reoccupying Tahrir Square in Egypt are complaining as they seek to reinvigorate the "1968 current". See The Contradictions ofthe Arab Spring, Page 16

Nightsticks to Wall Street
(continued from Page 11)

6. Nonviolence will not protect us from police violence. We respect those who practice true nonviolent resistance. Nonviolence, however, is no guarantee of immunity from repression or violence, especially when we are not willing to simply give up and go home (those of us who have one to go back to). We refused to be provoked, but we also refused to back down. This is what thousands came down to support, and why even some of the “nonparticipants,” who had lined up at the Justice Center to witness the eviction joined the crowd as it pushed riot police off of the street. A movement of thousands managed to push riot police out of our encampments and off the streets. Our simultaneous refusal to riot and refusal to back down in the face of police provocation is a reflection of our strength and discipline. 7. The powers that be fear using violence in the public view. This is a temporary calculation, one based on the assumption that the costs in terms of increased public sympathy for Occupy are higher than the benefits of fear and demoralization created by state violence. In Portland, the Police and the Mayor have made clear their desire that those who wish to be arrested do so peaceably, and have stated that, “we can accommodate them.” The 1% knows from experience that deploying tear gas, concussion grenades and billy clubs risks inspiring sympathy from average people, as it already has across the country and around the world. The Police and the City establishment will be more than happy to shuttle as many “symbolic arrests” through the justice system as we can offer. This allows them to continue to propagate the lie that they have been nonviolent, obscuring the reality underlying the entirety of their actions—when you threaten someone with weapons, beatings, and arrest, and that person does what you say, violence has been enacted. Police and the City retreated Sunday morning not because the crowd overwhelmed them militarily, but because the crowd called their bluff. Although unwilling to give the police the provocation they wanted for an attack, those present stood firm, letting police know that to clear the crowd, they would have to show the population of the City and the whole world the real violence which underlies Sam Adams’ and Mike Reese’s threats. The Police backed down because they fear the backlash that would be generated from that show of force. If the demonstration had had clearly demarcated “arrestables,” separated and seated quietly, the police would have had the quiet charade of “nonviolence” they needed to perpetuate their lie. When this failed, they retreated. Occupy Wall St. in New York was swept with outright violence in the form of tear gas and batons, while media were cordoned off blocks away because the State knew that the costs of such violence being seen by the public would be too high. It is that the Police in Portland avoided the use of chemical content/uploads/2011/11/PortlandPositionPaperNov17.pdf munitions and forms of more spectacular violence, despite hours of speaker truck announcements promising just that to the crowd if it did not disperse. (Nearing the end of the eviction on Sunday, when smaller numbers refused to be moved, we felt the overhand strikes of police batons: Saturday night succeeded because thousands of people came down in defense of Occupy Portland, and they saw an alternative to the false choices of negotiating with the city, sitting down and being arrested, or rioting.

8. Leading by following: the masses in the movement lead by action. People placed their safety and liberty on the line to defend Chapman and Lownsdale Squares from a raid by Portland Police on Saturday night, and the diverse group assembled chose to hold the line against a phalanx of armed riot police and horses, and ultimately to push forward and back the police down. All too frequently, conservative Occupy leadership tries to reign in bold action by larger groups. At the best of times, common people may be several steps ahead of leadership. 9. Changing the system requires taking risk. The Occupy movement has made headlines around the world for its creative resistance. The Oakland occupy has twice now regrouped forces and re-established the encampment after being swept by police. In Portland, occupiers showed a willingness to stand up to the announced city eviction. By remaining in the park after the declared curfew, by defying police orders to disperse, by turning back charging horses, by confronting baton jabs—with all of these actions thousands of Occupiers and supporters accepted a certain level of personal risk, and in doing so, were able to achieve a significant political victory. Our strength lies in our ability to creatively resist, and our ability to create situations that inspire people to believe that the risks involved are worthwhile. 10. In solidarity lies strength. Occupy needs a diversity of ideas and opinions to be debated and tested; this is its strength. Our movement must continue to draw masses of people into new and varied forms of activity, and solidarity must underpin this process. The media or other official institutions are not going to give Occupy a fair shake, and we should not bring the expectation that some purity of action or word will change this. While we should take seriously the issues of strategy and promote accountability, we must avoid playing into a simplistic division between legitimate and illegitimate protesters. We cannot afford this dangerous and false division, which ultimately blames people of conscience for attempting to change the world and draws attention away from the larger problems. Genuine participation in the Occupy movement may lead to murky situations which may not fit into a larger strategy. These situations will always exert a cost to the movement but without striving for solidarity, this cost will be even higher. Occupy will be undermined by the divisions which will emerge if factions continue to attempt to bolster their own legitimacy by throwing those they disagree with to police or media in denunciations or collaboration. To share your thoughts and ideas on this piece, email:



The Fracture of Good and Evil
(continued from Page )

property destruction as a form of violence minimizes the daily experience of real violence—harm to human beings—in many communities. It also makes it hard to see systemic, structural forms of violence—the harm of under-resourced schools, shuttered libraries, inadequate and labyrinth mental health services; the harm of foreclosure, unemployment, and hunger—as violence, because we are so accustomed to thinking of violence as a great outburst or a spectacle instead. That so many react with horror and outrage at broken bank windows is not, however, surprising. The capitalist system in which we live sanctifies property and personalizes corporations, while dehumanizing millions of people in the US and billions worldwide. To a very large degree these ideas suffuse our common sense; they are the taken-for-granted assumptions out of which our moral and affective reactions emerge. But if we are serious about transforming our society to put human need at the center of our politics and economic practices, then we need to attend to the way unexamined assumptions shape our interpretations of this moment, its pitfalls and possibilities, and the way forward. We must deny the existing system the power to define the situation for us. We must root out the ways it shapes our interpretations and reactions, by thinking deeply, probing our assumptions, questioning the origins of our gut reactions and the allegiances these express. We must have the courage to pursue personal transformation alongside, in conjunction with, and as mutually constitutive of the social transformations we seek. And we must have the courage to embrace disruption. As scholars and many participants of social movements have long pointed out, movements have transformative potential when they disrupt the status quo, when they interrupt or make difficult the smooth functioning of daily routines, when they unsettle a passive acceptance of social norms, values, or ideals. The Occupy Wall Street movement knows this intuitively, and on November 2nd Occupy Oakland pulled off the movement’s boldest act of disruption to date, with mass convergences and the forced closure of the Port of Oakland. Full article can be found at: or-the-fracture-of -goodorder/



The Contradictions of the Arab Spring
(continued from Page 12)

The problem for the major geopolitical actors is that they are not sure how best to "distract" attention and advance their own interests amidst the turmoil. Let us look at what the various actors have been trying to do and the degree to which they have been successful. We will then be able better to assess the prospects of the "1968 current" today and in the relatively near future.
Ex-colonial redemption

We should start the story with France and Great Britain - the fading ex-colonial powers. They were both badly caught with their pants down in Tunisia and Egypt. Their leaders had, as individuals, been personally profiting from the two dictatorships. They not merely supported them against the uprising, but actively counselled them on how to repress. Finally, and very late, they realised how big a political error this had been. They had to find a way to redeem themselves. They found it in Libya. Muammar Gaddafi had also, just like the French and the British, fully supported Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak. Indeed he went the furthest, deploring their resignations. He was obviously deeply frightened by what was happening in the two neighbouring countries. To be sure, there was not much of a true "1968 current" in Libya. But there were plenty of discontented groups. And when these groups began their revolt, he blustered about how hard he would repress them. France and Great Britain saw their opportunity here. Despite the degree to which these two countries (and others) had engaged in profitable business in Libya for at least a decade, they suddenly discovered that Gaddafi was a terrible dictator, which no doubt he was. They set out to redeem themselves by open military support for the Libyan rebels. Today, Bernard-Henri Lévy is boasting of the way in which he created a direct link between President Sarkozy of France and the structure of the Libyan rebels on the basis of active intervention to promote human rights. But France and Great Britain, however determined, were unable to unseat Gaddafi without help. They needed the United States. Obama was obviously reluctant at first. But, under internal US pressure ("to promote human rights"), he threw in US military and political assistance to what was now called a NATO effort. He did this on the basis that, in the end, he could argue that not a single US life was lost - only Libyan lives. Just as Gaddafi was unnerved by the ousting of Mubarak, so were the Saudis. They saw Western acquiescence (and subsequently approval) of his departure as a highly dangerous precedent. They decided to pursue their own independent line - the defence of the status quo. They defended it first of all at home, secondly in the Gulf Coordination Council (and in particular in Bahrain), then in the other monarchies (Jordan and Morocco), then in all Arab states. And in the two neighbouring countries in which there was most turmoil - Yemen and Syria - they began to pursue a mediation in which everything would change so that nothing would change.
A current not easily contained

geopolitical stance, first of all vis-à-vis Israel. The regime wanted to take its distance from Israel, without, however, jeopardising its ability to obtain financial assistance from the United States. They became an active advocate of reunification of the split Palestinian political world, hoping that this reunification would not only force significant concessions from the Israelis but hamper the development of the "1968 current" among the Palestinians. Two neighbouring countries - Turkey and Iran - sought to profit from the Arab unrest by strengthening their own legitimacy as actors in the Middle East arena. This was not easy for either of them, especially since each had to worry about the degree to which the "1968 current" would menace them internally - the Kurds in Turkey, the multiple factions in the complicated Iranian internal politics. And Israel? Israel has been assaulted all around by the prospect of "delegitimisation" - in the Western world (even in Germany, even in the United States), in Egypt and Jordan, in Turkey, in Russia and China. And all the while it has had to face a "1968 current" that has emerged among the Jewish population within Israel. And, as all this geopolitical juggling has been going on, the Arab Spring has become simply one part of what is now very clearly a worldwide unrest occurring everywhere: Oxi in Greece, indignados in Spain, students in Chile, the Occupy movements that have now spread to 800 cities in North America and elsewhere, strikes in China and demonstrations in Hong Kong, multiple happenings across Africa. The "1968 current" is expanding - despite repression, despite concessions, despite co-option. And geopolitically, across the Arab world, the success of the various players has been limited, and in some cases counterproductive. Tahrir Square has become a symbol across the world. Yes, many Islamist movements have been able to express themselves openly in Arab states where they could not do so earlier. But so have the secular left forces. The trade unions are rediscovering their historic role. Those who believe that Arab unrest, that world unrest, is a passing moment will discover in the next major bubble burst (which we can anticipate quite soon) that the "1968 current" will no longer be so easily contained. The full article can be found at: 539134.html

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This publication was put together by revolutionaries from across the country. The purpose is to broaden and deepen our analysis of the Occupy Movement, and develop a deeper understanding of its potential beyond and particular city or location.

The new Egyptian regime, under attack at home from the "1968 current" and always sensitive to the fact that Egypt's primacy in the Arab world had diminished seriously, began to revise its