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BLOCKUPY

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The global Occupy movement is undergoing a period of sustained tactical innovation. In the U.S. occupiers are experimenting with new techniques of nonviolent protest inspired by the Black Bloc. In Quebec, we are testing whether a sustained student uprising against fee hikes can spark a broad base anti-capitalist insurrection. In Spain, the indignados are imagining new ways of holding people’s assemblies without permanent encampments in the squares. And perhaps the most important tactical breakthrough has come from Germany where last week 25,000 occupiers took the streets for Blockupy, three days of visceral protest against capitalism and the logic of austerity.

The beauty of Blockupy is that it combined three tactics into one powerful event in Frankfurt’s financial district: Occupy, Blockade, Demonstrate.

One organizer explained that the goal was to transcend a narrow critique of the financial industry by broadening the movement’s tactics: “our action will visualize the different aspects of the crisis of the system we are witnessing and experiencing – a crisis of representative democracy, the destruction of the planet and our life resources, a crisis of traditional gender relations, of war regimes and militarized border regimes, of cities and urban life.”

Here is how a occupier from Amsterdam described the mood:

“When arriving to Frankfurt on Thursday we felt as if we entered a civil war zone. Five thousand police from all over Germany were brought to enforce the ban on 18 different peaceful manifestations, including public lectures, marches, workshops, a street rave and a protest camp in a public park. The city had been brought to a near-complete paralysis by dozens of police roadblocks on all roads leading into the center, the closing down of metro stations, tram lines and most of the shops, offices and banks. Buses carrying suspected protesters from other cities and abroad were detained on the highway and were forced to return to their origins under police escort. Suspected demonstrators entering the city through the main train station were illegally stopped and held captive for hours… On saturday indignant protesters descended on the city to participate in the only permitted demonstration. While 5,000 police watched, over 30,000 people marched peacefully through the hot streets…”

Another occupier explains that the heavy-handed police tactics ultimately backfired: “At the end of the weekend my impression is that the tactics the authorities in Frankfurt, and elsewhere, use against us are not sustainable in the long term for every time the authorities carry out such an assault on our democratic rights they de-legitimise themselves a little bit more and give our movement more legitimacy.”

Occupy’s Spring Offensive has begun and a total tactical rethink is underway.

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19 comments on the article “BLOCKUPY”

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Anonymous

Take some ideas from other countries yes but realize that the US is not Europe, there are some fundamental cultural and well as historical references which will render certain tactics useless if followed in the States. Europe has a deeper economic crisis (Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland) than is present in the US at this time so you have more engagement in Europe than you do in the States. Europe also has stronger historical ties with left movements. Occupy must first build a broad mass movement before it attempts tactics that can be seen as emerging from the marginalized fringe.

Anonymous

I, as a European, must say your analysis seams totally coherent to me. We have different traditions since we have different historical pasts. US didn't even exist when we had 25 centuries of history. The numbers in demonstrations are naturally different. We have important, historical trade unions that you, for the most part, lack. Decades of people's struggles and the past of a broad welfare state. We don't share as much as you do the idea that all people in society have equal opportunities. You're liberal, left-wingers, would be consider right, far-right in here.

Not withstanding, Occupy is a radical novelty in the history of the US. It's changing consciousness and, in spite of the flow of some more or less sucessful actions, on the whole it is being incredibly sucessfully both in the US and globally.

Anonymous

I agree for the most part with your analysis.

As an American, I realize that European countries have had centuries more to evolve than us. No wonder the US is intellectually immature.

We have a long ways to go before we are at the same place as Europe. Hopefully Occupy will help speed things along.

I'm not sure I agree with your comment: "You're liberal, left-wingers, would be consider right, far-right in here."

We may be more European than you think.

Just look at what we've done in Oakland CA: We're burning the city down!

Also in Montreal: 100 days of student riots and you ain't seen nothing yet!

There is hope for our movement in North America, as you can see!

one two three four!

agreed with both points, but in short radical discourse doesn't necessarily become hindered by liberal culture. Look at the US in the 1920's every single working class person knew who their enemy was the suited capitalist oppressor and they didn't need to study any of Marx to have that disposition no castrated liberal could slow down the workers from striking and fighting with the police when workers went militant. America also to overcome an immense attack against their consciousness that takes place from birth on, so getting people to tear up their cv's is a task in itself even before one could suggest polemics.

Sure in the US speaking politics is taboo, serious discussion is often ignored and unlike Paris you can't get a date by sitting in a cafe pounding the table and arguing about the significance of the situationist however don't let that get in the way North America has more radical potential than it thinks, its a matter of who will tap into it to channel resistance to the order of the day... fascist nationalist elements, liberals/centrist, or the radical left? The answer and the action is in the streets if you want the answers.

Anonymous

All one has to do to realise (and argue for) how much of a total catastrophic tragedy and hindrance Capitalism now is, is to first realise that:

Not even 50 years ago, eternal life was still considered the most whimsical fantasy that was impossible to ever occur.

And today it's a matter of at what point in this century will we reach it, not if we will reach it.

When, not if.

Anonymous

Can we blockupy here? I say people should get to work on a summer american blockupy...
Also I can't stand people who say the U.S. is a "younger country" than European countries as someone did above. The rise of the concept of the nation state occurred in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries just when the U.S. became independent. Europe before was fiefdoms, the nationalities of German, French etc. hardly existed as they do today. Also, I am quite sure there were no unions (there were guilds yes) in "medieval europe..'
A lot of that old Europe junk focuses on castles of parochial lords and is simply made-up bullshit by 19th century nationalists.

Anonymous

Well, nothing was better than the stand taken at Cermak and Michigan. Brothers and sisters, you were fucking GREAT! (and more than a few piggies got their faces smacked - I really liked that).

Occupy the pig/Military. Don't let up. And remember keep your eyes open and on the hands - not the eyes - of the cops closest to you.

Blockupy your home

Comrades,

We have reached new and glorious heights with the recent challenges to the global authoritarians at the Chicago protests and elsewhere throughout the European nations.

Hundreds of thousands (some estimate millions) of us turned out at Cermak and Michigan to set the old world straight on who will be running the show in literally no time.

Brothers and sisters, that'll be us!

We the people are planning upcoming events at Tokyo, Seóul, Mexico City, New York City, Mumbai, Delhi, Õsaka, Los Angeles, and even Shanghai!

Stay tuned for more news very soon.

In the mean time, there are lessons that can be learned locally as we prepare for the world to tremble.

We're talking about the injustice within some our own homes!

Everyone has their own story to tell about domestic injustice that requires transformational correction, whether it is sexual, monetary or activities-based abuse.

Let's here your stories here.

But don't just take the abuse at home, Occupy it!

Yes, we can Occupy our own homes, protest on the street, the front yard, our balcony, wherever!

Let's get the newspapers and TV news in front of our homes and the world will know how deep this current mess goes.

Good luck, champions!

Occupy homes, now!

p.s. Don't forget to relate your personal reasons for Occupy homes, here!

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