Adbusters

Flash Encampments

Occupy morphs into a new model!

PETER LEEMAN

Hey all you wild cats, do-gooders and steadfast rebels out there,

Our movement is living through a painful rebirth… “There has been a unfortunate consolidation of power in #OWS,” writes one founding Zuccotti. “This translates into ideological dominance and recurring lines of thought. We are facing a nauseating poverty of ideas.” Burned out, out of money, out of ideas… seduced by salaries, comfy offices, book deals, old lefty cash and minor celebrity status, some of the most prominent early heroes of our leaderless uprising are losing the edge that catalyzed last year’s one thousand encampments. Bit by bit, Occupy’s first generation is succumbing to an insidious institutionalization and ossification that could be fatal to our young spiritual insurrection unless we leap over it right now. Putting our movement back on track will take nothing short of a revolution within Occupy.

The new tone was set on Earth Day, April 22, in a suburb bordering Berkeley, California when a dozen occupiers quietly marched a small crowd to a tract of endangered urban agricultural land, cut through the locked fence and set up tents, kitchens and a people’s assembly. Acting autonomously under the banner of Occupy, without waiting for approval from any preexisting General Assembly, Occupy The Farm was notable for its sophisticated preplanning and careful execution — they even brought chickens — that offered a positive vision for the future and engendered broad community support. While encampments across the world were unable to re-establish themselves on May Day, this small cadre of farm occupiers boldly maintained their inspiring occupation for nearly four weeks.

In Minneapolis, a core of occupiers have launched an Occupy Homes campaign that is unique for its edgy tenacity. “What is unusual, in fact utterly unprecedented, is the level of aggression and defiance of the law by these activists,” a spokesperson for Freddie Mac, a U.S. corporation that trades in mortgages, told a local paper. “Over the past week … the city has tossed out protesters and boarded up the house, only to see the demonstrators peel back the boards and use chains, concrete-filled barrels and other obstacles to make it more difficult to carry them away,” the article reports. Last Friday, police were so desperate to prevent a re-occupation of the foreclosed home that they surrounded the house with “30 Minneapolis police officers with batons” and “over two dozen marked and undercover squad cars and a paddy wagon.” Occupiers responded by laughing and signing songs… joyous in their struggle to elevate the home into an symbol of democratic resistance to the banks.

In its own sweet way, our movement is now moving beyond the Zuccotti model and developing a tactical imperative of its own: Small groups of fired up second generation occupiers acting independently, swiftly and tenaciously pulling off myriad visceral local actions, disrupting capitalist business-as-usual across the globe.

The next big bang to capture the world’s imagination could come not from a thousand encampments but from a hundred thousand ephemeral jams… a global cascade of flash encampments may well be what this hot Summer will look like.

Meanwhile, tents are up once again in Tahrir Square and youth from Quebec to Auckland to Moscow to Oakland are rising up against a future that does not compute.

Stay loose, play jazz, keep the faith … Capitalism is crashing and our movement has just begun.

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

OccupyWallStreet.org / Tactical Briefing #34

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126 comments on the article “Flash Encampments”

Displaying 41 - 50 of 126

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Anonymous

The 1% are poisoning the planet: food, water, air, land.
I wonder how the rest of us will fight back once everyone has "gotten the memo".
Occupy has been about educating the 99% about what is happening to us, and the message is getting through.
Now what?
The power is in our numbers.

Anonymous

Apart from the fact that there is no civil revolt in Syria, but a western-backed and funded conflict.

Anonymous

100% correct. Wesley Clark listed the countries we're after, Syria's just another one to cross off. The gas pipelines in that country are the prize. And in civil unrest, everything's up for grabs.

batman

its just a simple fact. too many wanna be activism rock stars emerged. too many tried to take leadership roles. too many confused being out there with getting something done. cliques formed, as they always seem to do, and people ostracized. wasted money, wasted energy, some in the movement tried to recreate occupy as an institution, when we are the anti-institution.

now is the time to go viral.

to spread seeds here, there, everywhere. to lead by example, show how an alternative works. if people will not be repelled by the vipers in their nest we must entice them with the honey in ours. show them compassion, equality, freedom can work.

go forth and occupy!

Anonymous

Occupy isn't about groovy youth vibes though that may sell magazines. When Adbusters talks about "old lefty cash" or insidious institutionalization" or "youthful spiritual insurrection" it uses code words to pander to a demographic as cravenly as MTV. BS!

Second, the battle for the soul of Occupy is joined, but "a global cascade of flash encampments" and "staying loose and playing jazz" is IMHO the territory occupied by upper-middle-class fops with worthless art/media degrees and no clear vision of the future. You won't "culture jam" a bullet or a baton upside the head. Get REAL!

Third, as the "founders" Adbusters might be a tad more critical. Cheerleaders are not wanting. Intelligent critiques of the movement are.

Anonymous

Who decides what type of degree, or level of education is worthwhile? Your corporate overlord?

Anonymous

For real!

DEAR ADBUSTERS,

GO TRAVELLING! WRITERS/ EDITORS/ MARKETING TEAM/ ALL OF YOU!

MONTREAL IS A GOOD START, BUT AFTER THAT MOVE OUT OF CANADA AND THE STATES.

AND LET GO OF THE WORD "OCCUPY"... IT'S IN THE PAST.

IF YOU WANT TO, TALK ABOUT THE RED SQUARES, BUT DO NOT MARRY TO THAT SYMBOL EITHER, AS IT WILL ALSO MORPH INTO SOMETHING NEW.

I KNOW YOU GUYS HAVE THIS ATTACHMENT TO THE TERM "OCCUPY WALL STREET", BUT LET GO...
FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.

LIVE IN THE PRESENT.

peace.

Anonymous

I can't speak about anything stateside as it many years since I've been there but here in the UK the 'movement' (in London at least) is as good as dead and buried. Everyone has gone back the office etc as mentioned in that depressingly accurate first few sentences and left the homeless and vulnerable in the one last remaining camp, (Finsbury Sq) to fend for themselves. They've even taken the kitchen, leaving those that remain to live off????
The remaining few 'off site' occupiers that had been USING these vulnerable people, some with mental health and drug/alcohol issues as pawns have now left leaving those that work to help those remaining.
I am disgusted with the London occupiers and just want to get back to the class war without the help of the middle class professional protester class.
Ocasionalmente Titulado Cockneyreject

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