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OWS GUT CHECK

Three challenges Occupy must overcome.

LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS

Hey you nimble dreamers, believers and jammer tacticians out there,

Our movement has reemerged from winter hibernation to find that this spring we are different but so too is the political and tactical situation. Occupy now faces a series of existential challenges that will define the month of May and set the tone for our long-term future.

#1 challenge: Jump over the corporate media

It took the New York Times two weeks last year to wake up to the insurrection percolating in their own backyard. This May Day, we saw an insidious attempt to ignore and discredit us right across the mainstream media. Time to jam the corpo-commercial lie machine and shift the way information flows and meaning is produced. Here is occupier Charles Young’s take on the blackout:

“I know. It’s just a coincidence. Or conspiracy theory. The .01% who rule the United States would never stoop to such stunts to knock Occupy Wall Street off the front page and surround it with mentions of terrorism… But Occupy wasn’t on the Times’ front page, online or in print, either.”

Read more at Counterpunch.

#2 challenge: Block the co-optation of our movement

Last September, the old left didn’t want to touch us. Then Occupy captured the world’s imagination and now they are jumping in to channel our energy into electoral politics and symbolic actions. Founding Zuccotti Marisa Holmes warns that the co-opters are a deep threat to our movement:

“This is an election year. Everything is at stake. There will be many more attempts like The 99% Spring to come. The 1% have no intention of funding a movement that actually poses a threat to their power. They seek to manage social movements via foundations thru resource allocation, top-down structures, and co-opting language. In the past this strategy has proven effective at dividing, conquering, and integrating movements into respectable forms of activism, and it’s starting to take hold… We have realized our collective power, and we must not be pacified!”

Read more in the Occupy! Gazette #4.

#3 challenge: Occupy the future

Our most difficult task of all is to describe, build and sustain the post-capitalist future we want to live in. Here is Slavoj Žižek’s stab to get your juices flowing:

“It is not enough to reject the depoliticized expert rule as the most ruthless form of ideology; one should also begin to think seriously about what to propose instead of the predominant economic organization, to imagine and experiment with alternate forms of organization, to search for the germs of the New. Communism is not just or predominantly the carnival of the mass protest when the system is brought to a halt; Communism is also, above all, a new form of organization, discipline, hard work.”

Read more at the Guardian.

Hey occupiers: the old world has no future; their leaders have no solutions. Now everything from how we live to how we love and how the world is governed is up for grabs. Can we rise to the challenge? Let the tactical brainstorm begin.

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

OccupyWallStreet.org / Tactical Briefing #29 and #30 / On May 12, retake the squares and on May 18, spark the #LAUGHRIOT then join the movement in Chicago

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217 comments on the article “OWS GUT CHECK”

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larry elford

accountability would restore capitalism to a sound footing. Today, it is a "winner steal all" economy. tomorrow could be an economy where those who do the greatest amount of good, attain the greatest rewards. IF we restore accountability to politics, corporate behaviours, etc.
sixty second video audition for a Ted talk on this topic at http://youtu.be/MKIwOSkSUpY

Anonymous

Well 3 is a nice digestible spiritual number. But by my own count there are actually a grand total of 4 *obstacles* that OWS must overcome.

Anonymous

http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/welcome_to_the_asylum_20120430/

This article by Chris Hedges this week describes the current state of our world and references the commune (communist?)-type of sustainable life practiced by the American Indians ---honoring the earth and all its inhabitants. Although pre-Modern man (the Indians) did not live in complete utopia, their lifestyle has a promise for a future world where all resources are shared and all opinions may be considered.

With the global economy in the tank, it may be the right time to introduce a manageable lifestyle for us and the planet + support the psychological, emotional and spiritual (not religious) side of man that has been obliterated in the consumer-driven, individualistic competetive meanness of the corporate world.

P.S. Hedges seems to come from the "dark side" but he does have all the facts on his side!!

Anonymous

The largest populations are in urban centers, those in suburban centers drive everywhere and are dependent on fossil fuels. How do you suggest they live in a sustainable model based on that of indigenous american indians when they themselves don't even live that way anymore. Also how are you going to sell that "pre-modern man" model to the majority? Most people do not want to go back to anything but want a highly advanced technological future. I know for a fact most people that I know would simply laugh at such a proposal.

Anonymous

we don't have to sell our ideas to urban people - urban centers of mass populations are death-traps, and you'll see that much more clearly when civilian travel is forbidden. i urge you to study the history of the warsaw ghetto. it's just one example of how urban populations can be isolated, cut off from contact with the outside world, and liquidated.

it will happen here, and the people doing it will be waving the flag the whole while...

Anonymous

The old way is unsustainable and everybody knows it. The bankers have been acting like people running around crazy on the sinking Titanic for about a decade now. The classic scene where all pretense of integrity is dropped as the grown man yanks the life jacket off a small child is a good example. The bankers are acting like this. Grabbing and dropping all pretense of integrity, law abiding, even their humanity.

We must not allow ourselves to be drug down and destroyed by WWIII. The financial elite want th is huge war to funnel more real assets into their hands and so they can redefine everything as theirs, wipe out the country and rewrite history, and establish a new ignorant dumbed down peasant class... because I think that is the plan. These drones and lack of integrity in our foreign policy is , frankly, mind blowing.

We, the American people, are in trouble and OWS protesters are set to grow exponentially as the one percent try to get this all going.

A lot of people couldn't understand why OWS went into overdrive when the 99% Spring started trying to move in and take the reins of OWS. Fortunately, people are waking up to the fact that this has been the method to stop movements for a long time now. So many movements for working people have been poisoned from within by the status quo controllers. We have no time for that now. We MUST stop this buildup to war and we must stop the control of the financial elite taking us to war to destroy a country that's on to them.

These elites know their way of life is in danger like it has never been before as we reach peak oil and people are aware that the financial system is a bogus scam. They will level this country and the globe rather than be forced to step down. People need to get it that this is real.

We have one choice and one choice only and that is to save our country the same way as Iceland. Don't be fooled, both presidential candidates are sworn to stop this. Get ready for serious problems and serious push back.

Anonymous

"We MUST stop this buildup to war and we must stop the control of the financial elite taking us to war to destroy a country that's on to them."

How? What's your plan.

"The old way is unsustainable and everybody knows it."

Actually you're wrong about that. There are a lot of people who think that the trouble is that the US embrace of neo-liberalism which happens to be radical conservatism is the problem and that what the country needs to do is go back to the "old way" which they perceive as sustainable. You should never assume to know what everybody knows, its a form of arrogance that will get you into trouble when you really begin to engage with everybody else.

Zarathustras.Id

That was a good email. But a proper discussion of those ideas requires a better online forum. Something like http://www.phpbb.com/ where threads and topics can be created and shaped. You seem to have rather good resources, but I can help you (gratis) if you want.

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