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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 91 - 100 of 126

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Anonymous

I'm not sure if your being sarcastic, but I don't think that Occupiers have bad intentions. Their just ignorant. The dumbbells at this "occupy the farm" mess are a perfect example. They sound like bunch of starry eyed college kids who think they know it all. Meanwhile they destroy the work of people who might actually make a real positive difference in the world. That being said, I think most of them have good intentions. Their just caught up in the herd mentality a silly, ill-conceived movement, which no doubt gives them a sense of belonging and purpose that many of them are looking for at their age. They get to be around like minded people and fight 'the man' and delay growing up and facing any kind of real responsibility.

Anonymous

I'm not sure if your being sarcastic, but I don't think that Occupiers have bad intentions. Their just ignorant. The dumbbells at this "occupy the farm" mess are a perfect example. They sound like bunch of starry eyed college kids who think they know it all. Meanwhile they destroy the work of people who might actually make a real positive difference in the world. That being said, I think most of them have good intentions. Their just caught up in the herd mentality a silly, ill-conceived movement, which no doubt gives them a sense of belonging and purpose that many of them are looking for at their age. They get to be around like minded people and fight 'the man' and delay growing up and facing any kind of real responsibility.

Sheller

Silly, ill-conceived movement? Where do you observe that notion? I don't think it's fair or, more to the point, accurate to say the Occupy movement is "ill-conceived" considering the impact it had/has, the fact that it spread like wildfire across the US and the world (proving just how fed up and ready to fight people are all over the place), the impressive dedication to staying put in one cold, hard place, the brilliance of establishing roots (even if they were uprooted by bullies with guns) and learning to create and live in a quasi-village environment, and their adhesion to democratic ideas like consensus gathering based on free and open assemblies (even using a "people's mic" as a clever and inventive way to amplify their voices). They also had the organizational and attraction power to bring in a diverse range of powerful individuals, activist groups, and unions to their cause(s). Way beyond just antsy young people or college students. You can call this particular group on this one experimental farm "starry-eyed" or naive all you want, but to call this whole movement, this whole phenomenom, silly and ill-conceived based on your opinions of this one group is, well, silly and ill-conceived.

Anonymous

And they stole those chickens to boot. Some BS about saving them from slaughter. And yes I am being sarcastic but not to your detriment. I actually agree with you that they were ignorant not to mention starry eyed and now they have law suits and arrest warrants waiting for them. They will lose the land as the university isn't going to just back down, it is there property after all and they were doing research which is what they should be doing with university land not providing carrots to the local community.

Sheller

"Their only goal is to destroy all that is Good in the World, all Environmentalist good work and research, all social programs that help millions of people, and just pretty much everything there is that is productive and for the well-being of humanity as a whole.

It's time to send them back to the evil from whence they come."

oh stfu! do even hear yourself? how ridiculous you sound? Please tell me this irony or sarcasm because if it isn't you just sound like a buffoon.

Anonymous

Biofuels? Aren't they those heavily subsidized big ag crops that can never replace oil! 10 years? Where's his Lulzzzzzz

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