Flash Encampments

Occupy morphs into a new model!


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 / Tactical Briefing #34

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126 comments on the article “Flash Encampments”

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Excellent comment!
I'm getting back to the class war here in the states.
This struggle is not over by a long shot!
In solidarity with all fighters for justice around the world.


Occupy is a spirit. Here's what the spirit has accomplished. Occupy has made 99% and 1% household words. Everybody in the world knows who the 1% are now. Before occupy nobody knew...except the 1%. Is that not "progress"? Was that not "necessary" for our survival? Was that not necessary for our "development"? Was that not critical for our children?
Pretty awsome huh? Please try and stay current on this historic global uprising.


Yeah, and Rachael Ray made "Yum-O!" and "EVOO" national catch phrases. So, what's your point?


What is needed is leaders. Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Jesus someone that embodies the ideals that people are trying to stand behind. They change the ideals from mere concepts into a human reality.

They were extraordinary people, or normal people with extraordinary ideas, or methods or whatever. However you look at them they were successful. They had people willing to fight and die for their ideals. Ideals are just ephemeral things, you need a face to place on these ideas. This attempt to avoid a centralized leadership is part of the problem.

You have massive corporations, the government and all that against you. Do you just try to find like minded people? Does that work? It obviously hasn't with OWS. It won't work as history has proven.

one two three four!

Your comments espouse the liberal ideology which despite its appearance is more aligned to the states mode of thinking, a society of domination. I suggest you study a bit more of "history" of which you refer and read about the Paris Commune.


Finally you guys took a dose of reality... teh very configuration of occupy movement was always meant to fail, even if we didn't realize that at first. And don't worry, because all institutions - that this almost dead movement was against - aren't relevant any more... Meaning that or goals will prevail. Maybe through a new movement that will still to become, maybe through nature, maybe through the supernatural. The beginning is near!


It hasn't failed and relying on the supernatural left people in the dark ages for hundreds of years.


And relying on the revolutionaires made more than 100 million ppl dead in URSS just last century, and nowadays China (another product of so called revolutionaires) still kills ppl everyday, communism is today's dark age.


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