Monday, August 15, 2011
We ask that everyone take a look at the above site; there are some excellent resources already being developed at this site for the purposes of organizing, and I am sure they could use assistance in any further development.
September 17th is fast approaching; let us be as prepared as possible for what can be a momentous act of beautiful, tangible, undeniable resistance to the powerful and ever-growing forces of corruption and oppression which seek to exploit our inaction or indifference, which seek our silent submission and acceptance of their destructive, brutal enterprise; with enough courage, effort, solidarity and diligence we can succeed beyond our most hopeful and impassioned imaginings. It can truly be whatever we make of it, thus let us make of it something great.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
(Enough words have been exchanged;
now at last let me see some deeds!)
-- Goethe, Faust I *
What we ask of you is action. To act in accordance with the beauty of freedom, with the love of freedom with which we are each imbued, but which has been manipulated into a hatred for that which we believe to be impossible. Yet this love cannot be silenced by such pained inversions, only relegated perhaps to a universal disquiet, which at times is roused in fury, be it consciously or of circumstance or action. We ask you now to be so roused. Be no longer satisfied with such placating delusions as to the inevitability of this bondage, these tyrannies, this injustice; be no longer convinced of, enamored with, the false nobility of your idleness and despair. You must act, you must decide. You may wish to extract yourself from this struggle, to subscribe to the comforts of the notion of futility of action, but we must remind you that in refusing to pass judgment, in refusing to decide, you are each moment deciding; you are deciding to conspire with the forces of exploitation and oppression who want nothing more than your silent and idle acceptance. Yet the idle silence in which you presume to sit is false; it is neither silent nor idle, for the air around you is filled with the unending noise and motion of a system unceasing in its expansion and conquest, unceasing in its infliction.
We have ourselves decided. We will no longer be complicit in this destruction, in the self-destructive ways from which our destruction of others emerges empowered. We will no longer conspire against ourselves, no longer conspire against our brothers and sisters. We will no longer conspire against humanity. We do not speak of the conspiracy in the conventional sense; these systems of treachery and injustice are so open and entrenched as to have transcended the very idea of conspiracy; it has escaped us and it traps us in its escaping. It would appear to us that we are bound to its self-established engine of persistence. These systems are often no longer guided or structured by the insidious associations so much as the systems themselves define the form these, our, associations take; these malicious principles propelling a boundless and hungry malignancy to all corners of our imperiled globe, pressing its cruel instruments into the reticent flesh of the exploited, bombing history into disgrace and children into orphans and us to our knees, pressing unwaveringly until the instruments have pierced so deeply and completely so as to form, from that which they did pierce, an instrument of piercing; and thus a new employ of cruelty is born, and this morbid, transforming dance of blades continues, its movements strengthened and sustained.
What we hope for September 17th is inextricably bound to these ideas; we hope to see a realization and celebration of human potentiality, of freedom and justice and liberty; a celebration of their realization, a realization through celebration, a reverent jubilee of resistance. But what does this mean?
It means we do not advocate a hedonistic abandon or joyous disregard or oblivious ecstasy, an uncaring rejection of the reality of the injustice which envelops us, which presses against us at each alive moment. We proceed with a reverence for the seemingly endless suffering imposed on many, around us and around the world, the calculated degradation they face, and the dignity with which they often face it; we proceed with a reverence for the courage and determination seen in the face of such injustice and suffering throughout human history, which rises to inspire us not only in many quiet and continual acts of labor, kindness, resistance and renewal, but in wondrous and resounding occurrences such as the events of the Arab spring, where millions rise in the face of entrenched, merciless, powerful oppressors and systems of oppression, to assert their humanity, their refusal to submit to the conditions of tyranny and exploitation; in their sacrifice we are guided, we are called upon by the courage and beauty of their actions, a beauty which achieves an intensity that renders our denials useless, for if an attempt at denial is made, the negation of life and freedom which is implicit in this act of denying (done in a million ways a million times each day, those smaller, subtler forms by which we subjugate ourselves to contours of a cruel system and its unopposed continuation), brings to our very bones a lasting shake and shiver, an implacable reminder of persistent power and humanity; we are made conscious of the destructive nature of our continual denials of life, and compelled to act.
Yet in the spirit of such somber and deserved reverence, what place is there for the joyous celebration, the laughter and pleasure implied by a jubilee? This reverence is not intended to drive us into despair, an idle contemplation of the ills of the world; it shall drive us to resistance. And we shall celebrate joyously our renouncement of the comforts of despair, and our acceptance of the responsibility of action. We will celebrate this rejection of the disempowering opiate of delusion, the excursion of our duplicitous, life feeding phantoms; and as the dark of their malignant hunger and death peddling recedes, we will make a raucous play among the restored light. In our acts of resistance we will find a welcome lessening of the forces of dread and despair which may have previously rendered us bewildered and inactive; as we proceed in a way more free and integrated, we are less afraid, more emboldened, and less susceptible to the lustrous, bitter sweets, the vile candy of despair. And all this is pervaded with a spirit of resistance, for each act, the reverence we cultivate and express for those courageous acts and ideas, which power structures and their heirs despise and depict as dangerous and regrettable; the celebration of our freedom in humanity, in the streets of that leading citadel, the hospice inhabited by the vanguard of the elite, built to subvert, subjugate and exploit our humanity, to denigrate it to a form we ourselves would come to view as undesirable, to be condemned, repressed or destroyed (and in our expressed desire we announce our refusal to accept such a detestable view); in our tiny acts of struggle and striving, the spirit of resistance in within it all, for it is all born out the liveliest struggles and passions and desires, by the same storming current which courses hot and irrepressible through all those who rise for themselves to say, "no more," who rise to say, as did the Zapatistas, expressing a thought shared by those oppressed throughout the world, "Enough is enough! Ya basta!"
We will no longer assist in the curtailing of human freedom, of others or our own, but rather actively resist and oppose such subordinating authorities. We will work to see liberty realized for every man and woman, so that each may develop fully, unhindered, their own capacities and powers. We will struggle and strive consciously together to relieve, even if only in some small way, the suffering of our fellow human being. In the West we squander what privileges of freedom we have; we misspend the tremendous opportunity for change, a change not callously commoditized and packaged in electric colors and meretricious exuberance, a tranquilizing tonic of spent action and manipulated sentiment, which they will so generously deign to bestow on us from above, to permit us to experience for a brief time before betrayal, but rather a true change which is within our reach, within the reach of such privileged limbs, born to the best of suns and bountiful nutrient, only to be cut away by those who possess them, so that they may better justify to themselves their inaction under the growing, swirling cries of suffering, the mounting victims of tyrants, the mass graves marked most notably by the simultaneous side-glance of a million healthy eyes.
We ask only that you realize the boundless potential of the unfettered individual. We say only, but we know we ask much of those who have long been entombed in the dead airs of delusion, in the pacification of unreality; one must work to find extraction from the pressing teeth of tyranny, the encircling binds of subservience, that ever-present bridling at once reassuring and terrifying. We ask that you cast off these fetters, immediately and with vigor. We have for too long accepted, with a numb smile and dull gaze, with the glaze of delusion and denial, with the stultifying salve of despair, these entrapments that we have ourselves erected and allowed to negate our strivings: bring a fearless fire to them all, and nourish your expanding soils of tomorrow with their ash-filled rains; seed the dawn with the courage of resistance, seed the night with noble dreams of justice. And we ask this all of ourselves. Each day we renew our commit, as we know it necessary to do so. We claim no authority but the sovereignty of the self. We seek to learn from, and develop in, the beauty of our collectively realized potentialities, of our collectively unbound humanity.
When we speak in a manner in which we cast ourselves as our own worst oppressors, we speak of a degrading submission of will to, and a collaboration with, their forces, and we do not mean to discount the existing regimes of violence and oppression and terror, and the immeasurable pain they bring to bear. We do not propose to understand what it is to experience the immense suffering they inflict, nor the effects of such an experience ; a suffering which must, for those who endure it, reside in each moment of each day, be it in the bright and burning foregrounded or for a brief period subdued. We know we cannot accurately imagine all this entails, in the West it is clouded from many of us, despite our struggles, even those deemed intolerable. We know we stand only at the mouth of the immense and terrible canyon which suffering has opened wide upon the earth, and from here we remember that other human beings have been made to experience the depths of this place, this place which overpowers with its scent of exacted horrors; we remember, and are thankful for, this gift of lacking knowledge when we come to think our own trials have grown too great. Yet we will not because of this inability forgo all attempts at empathy or a conditioned understanding, and still believe we must strive to find some point of relation among us, be it only in our abiding respect for, and inspiration taken from, the courage, determination, strength, the innumerable just qualities we see which give us hope in our largely far less perilous and restrictive, our far less insurmountable circumstances in the West.
While for some it is a spring of hope, for others it is one of fear. These regimes feed violently on a separated and subjected people, and they fear the gathered rising. They fear the beauty of the blossoms which have together risen, and continued to rise, out of out the impassioned earth set upon by this Arab spring, a spring who's imploring winds blow hard and implacable across all lands inhabited by the exploited, imprisoned, oppressed, winds which blow across the minds of those who daily suffer the terrors of a pervasive, imposing tyranny, and yet who’s dreams spill to dissolve fear at the enkindling kiss of such winds, as oxygen to a flame nearly undone in deprivation. And as these winds reach us in our land of gilt decay, our landscapes of exceptionalism, our seas of electric flesh and well-armed influence, are not impervious to the promise of this kiss; one can read in the reaction of the oppressors what is possible if one were to only act upon this promise, this call; whether one decides to answer this call to action, or further bundle in delusion against the growing winds and changing sky, this is the great, inescapable decision.
So what is to be done? We offer only guiding principles which we believe to be a valid, honest way to begin. We have made our position known; what exactly you should do, if anything, is for you to decide. Indeed, you must decide for yourself whether you believe what we ask deserves any answer at all. But in determining this know that you inevitably determine your position on the matters involved. As we have previously stated, we believe an answer is offered even by those who adopt a position of distance or refusal, and for us this is a most troubling form of response; for in their refusal exists a great and terrifying acceptance of things as they are, the world as it stands, and, perhaps, something beyond an acceptance of, more a submission to; it is a resignation wove out the screams of massed gunships' spinning steel arms, out the wet pulling guts of wounded animals, out the cries of lost children and the felt weight of intolerable defeat. And fingers which stitch while unaware they are stitching are the most difficult to still. We have seen grow in these fields of unawareness a spurious comfort beneath which resides a seething hatred, in love with its roiling, an inward hatred out which is forged a hatred of the world, of life and the living. At other times this resignation of latticed fear and foreboding has mingled with an overwhelming despair, and ones' internal skies are lit with little bright wounds which to gaze upon, to receive their cold fire, you would think death welcome; we make constellations of doom and sacrifice ourselves to the movements of these morbid stars, to the dark emptiness left in the wake. And at the worst times it is both and more. We would like to convince you that it does not have to be this way, but we believe you will only come to truly know this through the experience of a living aligned with freedom, with justice, with humanity, through action beyond our words; thus we say to you: join us. Act with the spirit of the free man or woman, and be realized.
You may object that our language is too grand or bewildering, that it is without proper grounding or foundation. We respond that yes, we are in some ways bewildered and bewildering, but our language is founded in a reverence for the beauty of human potential, as it has been, and will continue to be realized, and that there is no grander (nor perhaps bewildering) subject to be found.
We are often confused. We assume this is evident in the above. But we are trying. We are often scared, nervous, despairing. But we are sometimes bold, strong, determined. We are trying, we are acting. We ask that you act with. We ask that you go toward life, not against it or away from it, but toward. What we ask of you is action.
We have always had a voice. But it shall no longer be a murmur which lowers its head. It shall now be a shout which lifts the gaze and we shall force them to see us as we are, and to accept us as we are.
-- Subcomandante Marcos
September 17th 2011: Toward a reverent, jubilant, resistance.
*The conflict which is born of our selection of epigraph to perch about such an unrestrained spilling of words is known to us; we find it fitting as it makes a mantling crystal lens for the light of this conflict to pass through, a passage who’s end gifts to the pages of this missive the myriad hues of interpretative process and provocation; we ask you to trace the strain and play of these here newborn yet long present colored pools and shadows, and speak to us of the geometry you find.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
What is #OCCUPYWALLSTREET : http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/occupywallstreet.html
What can I do? For us, creating this blog was one way, albeit a small one, of answering this question. We believe movements such as this are built of a million small, unacknowledged actions. We see the both the drudgery and beauty in this.And remember that our work has been made much easier by all those unacknowledged actors before us who, in the face of unimaginable adversity, continued to act.
What follows is a brief, preliminary sketch of some questions which occurred to us in our initial consideration of the practicalities of this action; please be aware that it indeed that it is indeed very preliminary, and as such is yet in a rough, somewhat confused form. Clarity is our eventual aim for what we hope arises from these questions. The sheer amount of considerations which came upon first becoming aware of this action initially overwhelmed, us, and at times still does. Our focus is on three areas of concerns (which themselves encompass many others) that we believe to be of prime importance. Many other questions must yet be asked, and many other questions will undoubtedly arise in the course of preparing for this action (and also, of course during the occupation itself). We ask that you contribute any thoughts you may have regarding the questions asked, or pose new ones yourself. We will continually revise this document as new information is submitted and collected, as new ideas occur and old ones develop.
We believe this act is what we make of it, what we are willing to invest in the just and human ideas it represents. More about this can be found, for those interested, in the (coming) section of this site entitled "What is it?."If all the aforementioned tiring, tiny acts are undertaken with the deserved spirit of courage and determination we believe what we make will be beautiful, beyond what we can know imagine or set down in words. It is true that many factors conspire against us, but we must recognize the struggles of those who rose up under conditions of poverty, under the fire of hunger and illness, under the rule of military dictatorships, under the grip of secret police, under the malicious steel of live rounds and infantry, under the teeth and blood of tyranny.
We must recognize our own great opportunity and potential. We believe we ourselves hold the power to ultimately determine the outcome, for their power is contingent upon the submission of our own, and if at last we are to say, "enough, no more," we believe something beautiful will start to happen.
Again, below are just a few of our concerns, and the questions we believe they raise. We would like to see a practical document eventually develop from the questions to follow. We would like to see creative responses to the problems we face, creatively uses of the significant resources and opportunity we have in the United States. and the Western world in general. For too long we have let these things be used employed mercilessly in the service of injustice and increased suffering, both here and aboard; let us at last employ them in the service of the just and free.
These are all just suggestions; we do not claim to be an authority on these matters, but rather wish to assist in the development of these ideas through the application of critical thought and reason. Please make suggestions of your own in the comments below, or email us at: occupywallstreet at gmail dot com.This is just a beginning, but it is necessary to begin somewhere. Much work needs to be done. We need all the help we can get.
1. Awareness and Organization
We believe that if we were able to adequately convey not only the details of this action, but a way for others to form for themselves an idea as to what it represents for them, that we dramatically increase the potential for a signifigant, effective, occupying presence on September 17th, on Wall Street and in similar centers of finance and injustice around the world. Thus we must ask: How do we make as many people as possible aware of this action and the ideas which inspire it?
- Persistent small acts of raising awareness; posting online, flyers, posters, contacting relevant organizations, discussion
- Engagement; continually developing ideas and making others aware of these develops. Fostering the momentum inspired by the initial announcement, and hopefully working to grow this momentum in the coming months
- Use of independent media, print, radio, and online. This action corresponds to their expressed principles. We seek their support.
- Use of social media; here (and in general) one should study the Arab Spring, what tactics proved most effective.
- Use of mainstream media; consider both that this allows for the possibility of making a great number of people aware of the coming actions, but also prevents the possibility of the distortion or manipulation of the action and its ideas. How have others done this effectively, how have the avoided the potential pitfalls and used it to the benefit of their cause?
- Actions prior to September 17; For example, leaks of financial data which make mention or express solidarity with the ideas behind the #occupywallstreet activities. We believe online acts, such as some of those taken by movements such as Anonymous (specifically AnonOps) have proven effective in gaining both attention and results. We propose the undertaking of coordinated efforts online and on the ground in support of #occupywallstreet (discussed further below). Please post any updates regarding awareness (links, media coverage, ideas, etc.) below, or send them to the email above.
We are curious how you believe we could most effectively and efficiently raise awareness, as it relates to the methods above,and as well as others we have not mentioned.
Links (to be expanded):
What is Hacktivism? 2.0 (pdf file)
The action on September 17th, to occupy Wall Street (or centers of finance around the world), requires a tremendous amount of planning and organizing if any of the potential of what we believe to be a beautiful and just idea is to be realized. The type of organization we refer to above is a sort of pre-organization, conducted prior to the action itself (some considerations regarding the organization we believe necessary during the actual act will be discussed under the heading of Logistics).
We ask of you, what should such preparatory organization include? Some thoughts on the forms this sort of organizing might take follow (in what is currently an admittedly disorganized form):
- A study of the realities and environment of the space at Wall Street (physical specifics and the possibilities and challenges they pose, weather, location of surrounding businesses and services) as it relates to occupation, and all that entails (food, shelter, hygiene, etc). The questions which could be posed here are endless. How can we best relate to and make use of this space?
- A study of previous occupations (for examples those during the Arab Spring), focused on the difficulties they faced and how they overcame they; this should be done with an eye to the unique conditions of Wall Street (or other environments, i.e. urban centers of finance in the West; these present unique challenges and opportunities)
- Following research, preliminary formulations of plans as to how basic needs will be met, food, shelter, medical, hygiene, etc.
- Forms of organization for specific purposes: preparation and distribution of food, supplies, etc.
- An idea of what supplies will be needed (clean water, food, shelter, medical, etc.) and how such supplies will be acquired prior to and during the occupation /(we believe the latter to be of particular importance, as police will likely act to prevent an easy flow of supplies).
- Transportation for those who wish to participate in occupation
- Support Structures. What exactly these will look like we don't know, but we know we will need them. This should include structures within the physical occupation, but also those offering organized assistance outside of it. For example, we imagine individuals who will have better access to resources to facilitate relations with the world outside the occupation; one idea, discussed further under the heading of "Communications" is a group of individuals who monitor relevant data relating to actions, movements etc. during the occupation, gather this data and transmit it to the appropriate parties. For example, different groups could monitor food, medical, etc. situations or concerns within the occupation, police movements, and so forth. This could be collected from individuals submitting updates from within the occupation, then organized and relayed to those who are serving to address such issues within the occupation itself. These communications should be as secure and resistant to interference as possible. What about more basic support for those who decide to commit themselves to living in this occupied areas for an extended period of time? What forms could this take?
- Create ways for those who cannot participate in occupation but would still like to participate can do so. This relates in particular to the support structures.How can others effectively show support and solidarity?
- A basic idea of how we will deal with the inevitable police (and or military) repression and various efforts to disband the occupiers (and to prevent it from even happening; form ideas impervious to tactics of infiltration etc; how have other large planned events successfully navigated these difficulties? Where have they failed?); these ideas should form be built upon tactics which have in the past been proven to work in such situations, as well as a careful consideration of the tactics used by police and others during such events (see links). They should also allow for dynamic adaption as realities change during the action.
- Plan for as many contingencies as possible; different forms of opposition, police and otherwise, illness, medical emergencies, water and food shortages, inadequate shelter, weather, etc. The opportunity to plan is one benefit of an action announced with well before its occurrence. Their are of course negatives to this approach as well, which we must consider and adjust tactics accordingly.
- Have clear and well-defined plans (again of the type which allow for adaption), presented in a form easy to understand. Make access to such plans easy to everyone.
- Supplies. A massive amount of supplies will be necessary, not for comfort but to meet basic needs. How will they be obtained, and how will they be regularly replenished? How much can be acquired (or re-purposed) on the scene? How can supplies be brought in before head, and acquired during the occupation? Should the environment be prepared in any way prior to the even to make it more inhabitable? If so, how, and to what extent is this possible?). These questions are to always be asked in light of the knowledge available to us from those who have in the past both succeeded and failed at similar endeavors.
- Donations or offers of assitance with supplies, etc. How can such things be organized and effectively channeled? Is anyone currently doing this?
- Involvement of existing organization with experience organizing large protests an events; this occupation could certainly benefit greatly from their experience, support, and assistance. How should we go about this?
- Should a forum be created, dedicated specifically to this type of preparing and organizing, where one could announce needs and offer assistance? If you know of one or create one yourself, please inform us.
In the course of this phase of preparation and organization, we believe one of the most effective steps we can take is to research and consult those who have undertaken similar actions, in order to better understand why they succeed and why they failed. Be open to all sources of experience and information; how has the Tea Party been so effective ( yes in part from contributions and support of established Republican institutions, etc.)? This is beyond politics, it is about that which forms the core of fear from which our faulty politics spring. Consider diverse acts as they relate to specific elements of the larger operation, i.e. how a certain group dealt with police presence at this time, how this group handled medical, etc. Also, we believe we should contact, for guidance and support, groups which have experience in the particulars of this occupation; for example, consult Food Not Bombs, medical volunteer groups, activist computer programmers, water purification specialists, survivalists, urban environment experts, members of intentional communities, squatters, etc. And of course those who have in the past participated in similar actions, among them our brothers and sisters who inspired us with their recent acts of courage acts throughout the Middle East. We believe there is much to be gained by doing this, that it will prove to be a crucial component of the form the action takes, and that to not to do is ill-advised and to our detriment. We should make the most of our collective experiences and knowledge; this is a sharing, a recognition, a celebration, a joyous collaboration in the name of all the possibilities and potentialities which exist in every one of us as human beings.
The the document we hope will result from these consideration would benefit from a clear organization with proper sections and subsections. Preparation such as this is crucial to the realizing of the potential this idea holds. Please make suggestions of past actions, uprisings, movements etc., as well as organizations or individuals to contact for information or support.
A quick note with regard to such plans: we are not suggesting that a code of conduct. a anything like it, be enforced on all those participating in the occupation, though many "codes" will in this community will inevitably arise spontaneous. We merely wish to prepare and present information which individuals might seek to facilitate their well-being during an extended occupation of an area not intended for such use, and which will be set upon by forces hostile to this occupation. However, we do believe it would be fruitful to investigate the potential forms such a code, or agreement, as to the day-to-day living arrangements, prior to September 17th; basic ideas which might serve to ease the organization to the voluntary relationships we will form in the course of close quarters living with thousands of others in the middle of a city street.
Links (to be expanded):
We understand that much has been previously written on the topics introduced by such questions by those who have already encountered and attempted to address them; guides and manuals on some of the topics mentioned, studies and analysis of movements and actions, and so forth. We are not yet familiar with this literature, and would appreciate if someone who has a greater knowledge of such things could assist us by citing some of the relevant material. We would prefer to learn from and build upon such work, as opposed to unnecessarily starting from scratch during this brief period of preparation.
It seems overwhelming when one begins to consider the thousands of questions posed by an undertaking such as this. We do not think they all must be answered right away, and many will not answer themselves until after September 17th. But we also feel it is important that we begin to think about these questions and suggest answers to the best of our abilities. We do not so much seek definite answers as the construction of a form for effectively responding to these questions as we encounter them.
To follow: Logistics, Communications, and Tactics.