The Do-It-Yourself Occupation Guide: 2012 Redux

March 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm (Building Occupations, Housing Occupations, Occupations, Squatting, Student Occupations, Workplace Occupations) (, , , )

A new occupation guide, as a continuation and re-adjustment of the previous DIY occupation guide that emerged during the student movement in the fall of 2009. This guide takes into account the strategy and tactics of the previous student movement in relation to Occupy Oakland and the J28 Move-In Assembly. With various practical how-to’s as well as general strategic and tactical questions, this guide hopes to further the discourse and debate on how to occupy.

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Announcing: Occupy Everything: Anarchists in the Occupation Movement 2009-2011

January 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm (Building Occupations, Housing Occupations, Land Occupations, Squatting, Student Occupations, Workplace Occupations)

From LBC Books

Anarchists in the Occupation Movement 2009-2011

Since the first day that Zuccotti Park was occupied there has been a shadowy figure haunting Occupy Wall Street. The anarchist. Who is this anarchist? What role has she played in the Occupy Movement? What would Occupy be without him?

This is a book where anarchists, in their own words, express how and why they engaged in Occupy, what methods they used, and evaluates the success of Occupy on anarchist terms. It also expresses the flexibilty, energy, and experience that anarchists brought to The Occupy Movement as it moved beyond lower Manhattan onto the docks and streets of Oakland, the town square of Philadelphia, and abandoned buildings around the country.

The anarchists’ way of operating was changing our very idea of what politics could be in the first place. This was exhilarating. Some occupiers told me they wanted to take it home with them, to organize assemblies in their own communities. It’s no accident, therefore, that when occupations spread around the country, the horizontal assemblies spread too.
-From Nathan Schneider in The Nation

Contributors: Antistate STL, Anon, Ben Webster, Cindy Milstein, Crescencia Desafio, Crimethinc, David Graeber, Denver ABC, Dot Matrix, Ignite! Collective, ingirum, John Jacobsen, Phoenix Insurgent, R.R, Serf City Revolt, TEOAN, Tides of Flame, TriAnarchy

Edited: Aragorn! publishes books at Little Black Cart, edits The Anvil Review and writes on popular culture, nihilism, and identity. He also blogs and does technology consulting.

Buy: Now
250 pages, Digest
$15
ISBN 978-1-62049-000-6

Purchase at Little Black Cart


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Argentina to Wall Street: Latin American Social Movements and the Occupation of Everything

October 13, 2011 at 6:09 pm (Building Occupations, Housing Occupations, Indigenous, Land Occupations, Peoples' Assemblies, Squatting, Student Occupations, Workplace Occupations) (, , )

Assembly at Occupy Wall St. Photo: Flickr/MatMcDermott

By Benjamin Dang, Toward Freedom

Massive buildings tower over Wall Street, making the sidewalks feel like valleys in an urban mountain range. The incense, drum beats and chants of Occupy Wall Street echo down New York City’s financial district from Liberty Plaza, where thousands of activists have converged to protest economic injustice and fight for a better world.

As unemployment and poverty in the US reaches record levels, the protest is catching on, with hundreds of parallel occupations sprouting up across the country. It was a similar disparity in economic and political power that led people to the streets in the Arab Spring, and in Wisconsin, Greece, Spain and London. Occupy Wall Street is part of this global revolt. This new movement in the US also shares much in common with uprisings in another part of the world: Latin America.

This report from Liberty Plaza connects tactics and philosophies surrounding the Occupy Wall Street movement with similar movements in Latin America, from the popular assemblies and occupation of factories during Argentina’s economic crisis in 2001-2002, to grassroots struggles for land in Brazil.

Latin America: Economic Crisis and Grassroots Responses

Almost overnight in late 2001, Argentina went from having one of the strongest economies in South America to one of the weakest. During this economic crash, the financial system collapsed like a house of cards and banks shut their doors. Faced with such immediate economic strife and unemployment, many Argentines banded together to create a new society out of the wreckage of the old. Poverty, homelessness, and unemployment were countered with barter systems, factory occupations, communally-run kitchens, and alternative currency. Neighborhood assemblies provided solidarity, support and vital spaces for discussion in communities across the country. Ongoing protests kicked out five presidents in two weeks, and the movements that emerged from this period transformed the social and political fabric of Argentina.

These activities reflect those taking place at Occupy Wall Street and in other actions around the US right now. Such events in Argentina and the US are marked by dissatisfaction with the political and economic system in the face of crisis, and involve people working together for solutions on a grassroots level. For many people in Argentina and the US, desperation pushed them toward taking matters into their own hands.

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#OCCUPYWALLSTREET

August 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm (Building Occupations, Housing Occupations, Land Occupations, Student Occupations, Workplace Occupations) (, , )

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET

A shift in revolutionary tactics.

Alright you 90,000 redeemers, rebels and radicals out there,

A worldwide shift in revolutionary tactics is underway right now that bodes well for the future. The spirit of this fresh tactic, a fusion of Tahrir with the acampadas of Spain, is captured in this quote:

“The antiglobalization movement was the first step on the road. Back then our model was to attack the system like a pack of wolves. There was an alpha male, a wolf who led the pack, and those who followed behind. Now the model has evolved. Today we are one big swarm of people.”— Raimundo Viejo, Pompeu Fabra University
Barcelona, Spain

The beauty of this new formula, and what makes this novel tactic exciting, is its pragmatic simplicity: we talk to each other in various physical gatherings and virtual people’s assemblies … we zero in on what our one demand will be, a demand that awakens the imagination and, if achieved, would propel us toward the radical democracy of the future … and then we go out and seize a square of singular symbolic significance and put our asses on the line to make it happen.

The time has come to deploy this emerging stratagem against the greatest corrupter of our democracy: Wall Street, the financial Gomorrah of America.

On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.

Tahrir succeeded in large part because the people of Egypt made a straightforward ultimatum – that Mubarak must go – over and over again until they won. Following this model, what is our equally uncomplicated demand?

The most exciting candidate that we’ve heard so far is one that gets at the core of why the American political establishment is currently unworthy of being called a democracy: we demand that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. It’s time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY, we’re doomed without it.

This demand seems to capture the current national mood because cleaning up corruption in Washington is something all Americans, right and left, yearn for and can stand behind. If we hang in there, 20,000-strong, week after week against every police and National Guard effort to expel us from Wall Street, it would be impossible for Obama to ignore us. Our government would be forced to choose publicly between the will of the people and the lucre of the corporations.

This could be the beginning of a whole new social dynamic in America, a step beyond the Tea Party movement, where, instead of being caught helpless by the current power structure, we the people start getting what we want whether it be the dismantling of half the 1,000 military bases America has around the world to the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act or a three strikes and you’re out law for corporate criminals. Beginning from one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics – we start setting the agenda for a new America.

Post a comment and help each other zero in on what our one demand will be. And then let’s screw up our courage, pack our tents and head to Wall Street with a vengeance September 17.

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

—————————————————————————————————————————————

Is America Ripe for a Tahrir Moment?

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET goes viral.

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET

Hey you rebels, radicals and utopian dreamers out there,

Our call to #OCCUPYWALLSTREET on September 17 shook up a tsunami of spontaneous enthusiasm. Jammers from all over the nation (and a few Canadians!) have sent word that they will be there. Meanwhile various activist organizers have realized the potential of this event, rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work. While some techies have teamed up to build an indie open source website for organizing carpools to the event (occupywallst.org), others are thinking through the logistics of feeding everyone and defending the first days of the occupation. Through it all, a deluge of solidarity messages have been pouring in from Spain, Egypt and elsewhere.

Will you be there?

Imagine … the dawn of the 13th day of the occupation … you’re tired, not sleeping or eating too great … you’ve been harassed, maybe tear gassed and beaten. Bloomberg is threatening to call in the National Guard, Obama is hemming and hawing, but you are sitting tight because much of the nation is cheering you on. Al Jazeera and the BBC are beaming your struggle to a captivated world and the tension is building for Obama to break his silence. It feels much like it did in Tahrir Square moments before Mubarak caved. You’ve never felt so alive!

What had the power to inspire all this?

It was our one simple demand that Barack Obama must ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence that corporate money has over our representatives in Washington. Our one simple demand is: STOP THE MONIED CORRUPTION AT THE HEART OF OUR DEMOCRACY!

Achieving this Presidential Reform Commission will be the crucial first step towards opening a political space for a flurry of further people’s demands like, total transparency in all government affairs, a Tobin Tax on financial transactions, a grand strategy for reducing America’s carbon footprint …

September 17 could be the beginning of an American Spring … the moment we the people turn the tables on our would-be corporate masters and start acting like free empowered citizens once again.

Are you with us? Bring a tent.

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

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Refectory of Athens University is Occupied – Demos in 17 Cities

May 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm (Building Occupations, Student Occupations, Workplace Occupations) ()

From Occupied London:

At least 3 demonstrators had to have medical operations the last 24 hours as result of their injury by riot police during the 11/05/2011 General Strike demonstration. The refectory of University of Athens in Panepistimious Av. in the centre of Athens is occupied and an assembly will take place there after the 18:00 demo. Loudspeakers have been erected on the Refectory square (Propylea) informing people about police brutality and the first announcement of the occupation has been already issued.

There are calls for anti-repression and anti-police demonstrations at 18:00 (GMT+2) in 17 cities so far and more are to be added.

PASOK’s offices were attacked by protesters in Volos last night, while various spontaneous demos took place in other cities. the Workers’ Centre in Corfu is occupied at the moment by an assembly, preparing for the 18:00 demo.

First announcement from the occupied Refectory building in Propylaea, Athens:

From contra-info:

In the May 11th general strike demonstration, thousands of protesters voiced their opposition to the Greek government’s anti-social measures which directly affect workers. While the predatory policy of the ‘Troika’ along with the cooperating Greek government, is pushing even larger sections of society in absolute poverty and destitution, the riot police forces are attacking demonstrators with fury.

In the demonstration of May 11th and while a big part of the demonstrators had passed the parliament and were heading to Propylaea (Panepistimiou Str.), the cops attacked furiously and unprovocably against various blocks of demonstrators (neighborhood assemblies, rank’n’file labour unions, anarchists/anti-authoritarians, extra-parliamentary left) beating them wildly and firing tons of tear gas. More than 100 demonstrators were transferred to general hospitals (Nikaia, ‘KAT’, ‘Evangelismos’), while three of them underwent surgery.

Comrade Yannis K. has been murderously attacked by the repression forces. Wounded and with a bleeding head, he began to move away from Panepistimiou Street along with another demonstrator. Going down Amerikis Street, at the height of Stadiou Street, they entered into a porch where people who were present saw him bleeding. He was then transferred in antemortem condition (according to the hospital doctors union’s press release) at the General Hospital in Nikaia suffering from an internal head bleeding. He was directly operated and hospitalized in intensive care, in a coma situation.

While this text is being written, the formal mechanisms of manipulation, along with their regimes’ apologists are intensively trying to present the murderous attack as an ‘injury under unclear circumstances’ relieving thereby the principals and instigators (Greek state, repression forces).

The memory of December 08 revolt is turning like an ax over the heads of the rulers, that tremble while facing the possibility of a new social explosion. Alongside, the repression forces  in close cooperation with members of extreme-right organizations, have launched a coordinated pogrom against political milieus and squats (Villa Amalias, Patission 61 & Skaramaga squat), attempting thereby to disrupt the ‘enemy within’ by sending messages of terror and fear to anyone who fights back.

Today, May 12th, at 9 o’clock, we occupied the Refectory of University of Athens in Propylaea, in Panepistiniou Str., in the centre of Athens. We have already converted the building and the courtyard in front of it into a counter-information centre and a front of struggle, as an embankment to the States’ invasion and capitalist brutality.

NO PERSECUTION AGAINST THE ARRESTED
OF THE
MAY 11th GENERAL STRIKE

WAR BY ALL MEANS AGAINST THE STATE-MURDERER

CALL FOR AN ASSEMBLY IN THE OCCUPIED REFECTORY BUILDING AT PROPYLAEARIGHT AFTER THE END OF THE DEMONSTRATION
(THE DEMO WILL BEGIN AT 18.00)

Anarchists/Anti-authoritarians from the occupied ground of the Refectory building (Propylaea)


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France: Occupations of Secondary, Primary and Infant Schools

April 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm (Building Occupations, Student Occupations, Workplace Occupations)

From Libcom.org:

Since the very end of March, there have been increasing amounts of school occupations throughout France. Provoked by the suppression of nearly 16,000 teaching posts, the closure of classes, the threatened closure of some of these schools and the consequent increases in class sizes, these occupations have been particularly concentrated on infant schools and primary schools, but have also included “Middle Schools” (“Collèges” for 11 to 14 or 15-year-olds) and those lycées with “Collèges” attached to them. Though it’s hard to gauge how many occupations there have been, it must be at least 250.

Starting off with just a 3 hour occupation at the end of March in an infant school in a village called Kernéval, south of Brest in the North West, this has spread throughout the country, with all night occupations lasting several days, often with parties, barbecues and the parents sleeping in tents in the playgrounds. In and around the Montpellier area in the South West there have been at least 15 (probably a lot more) occupations of infant and primary schools. And a bit further north in Lunel there have been several blockades of schools (as elsewhere) and also a blockade of the offices of the education section of the Prefecture.

The cuts to (mis)education, involving particularly the suppression of classes for those with learning difficulties, has been met with innumerable occupations especially of the schools in the poorer areas (though certainly not exclusively), which for obvious reasons are more effected by such cuts. The initiative for these occupations seems to have come mainly from parents, teachers explicitly saying that they have been heavily pressured to suffer – though not quite in silence, but rather into a practical acquiescence under protest.

News of these occupations have been largely restricted to local news, though just a couple of days ago, TF1, one of the main TV channels, known as Sharko’s favourite channel because its often quite unsubtle propaganda (his ex-wife’s brother is one of the heads of it), broadcast this (in French). In a sense, the fact that such a crap channel can put out a fairly neutral, if not favourable, take on these occupations is indicative of both their strength – they’ve become too extensive to ignore – and their weakness – they only confront the austerity programme but not the more profound question of the form, content and goals of miseducation (at least, not explicitly).

In many parts of France the Easter holidays have begun, but in those parts where they only begin tomorrow night, the occupations continue and many of the occupiers have vowed to continue the struggle after the Easter break. Unlike the lycée struggles, which tend to die out after Easter, these schools aren’t yet hampered by the pressure of looming exams in the summer term. So their promises to continue are very likely to be kept. Watch this space.

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