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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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Anonymous

You chose to create new masters to replace the old; failing to understand any of what was said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0DxTPyh4gs

And it all went quiet in the city
And the wind blew down the road
Someone cried out "Subvert"
And the people all went cold
Subvert, subvert, subvert, SUBVERT
Meanwhile back in Subvert City
Someone's writing on the wall
"Fuck the government" spray-paint hero
Someone wants the state to fall
Religious dogma crucified
Ritual slaughter, no one lied
Living standards were dying morals
A state-controlled mass suicide
The dying breed of Subvert City
Crept into the underground
The state police just left them there
Blocked the holes, and gassed them down
Ten years later they emerged
Mutated minds so full of hate
Tried again to change the system
But this time round it was too late
There was no system left to change
The people ran the entire land
The subverts became politicians
And finally got the upper hand
Meanwhile back in Subvert City
Someone's writing on the wall
"Fuck the government" spray-paint hero
But in Subvert City, it's subvert rule
Subvert, subvert, subvert, SUBVERT

Post Growth

Re #3 - those working from a Post Growth perspective aim to create global prosperity without economic growth. We are committed to social and environmental justice, and strive for productive, inclusive ways forward – building from and moving beyond critiques of the current economic system.

Post Growth values are aligned with many of the global movements now underway, including the Arab Spring and Occupy Together, which are committed to systemic and ideological shifts, not just superficial fixes. A contribution of Post Growth, along with other future-oriented groups and perspectives, is its focus on ‘assets’ and possibilities, by asking and responding to questions like: What is working? How can we strengthen and mobilize initiatives that are already underway? How can we work towards change in ways that bring us together instead of drive us apart?

For more information about our work or to get involved, visit http://postgrowth.org

Money for nothi...

Regarding "#3 challenge: Occupy the future"

The most difficult task - to build and sustain the post-capitalist future we want to live in.

Slavoj Žižek’s 'stab' and my comments:

Žižek says: “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."

I say: We must build a future where the top 1 % work for us. First we take their money, and make them work for us. If they protest, we throw them in jail.

Žižek says: "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.”

I say: Hey, I thought communism was when we get the all the free stuff we want! We don't want no stinking "organization, discipline, hard work.”

I say: That's just us 99% having to work for a bunch of new bosses.

I say: To hell with that. F_ck communism. We want free stuff!

Occupy the Whit...

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

Culture Jammers HQ says we must ensure our movement is NOT co-opted by some old fart left-wingers.

But I SAY, if they are established and big, let's take em over!

Take the Dems: Obama's running for prez again. Last time, we voted for him big time, and HE DID SQUAT for us in his last term!

That's gotta change if he wants a second term.

We tell the Dems that if they want to win, they need our votes. And we want our demands met.

I'm talking FREE STUFF, and lots of it.

If they say no to our demands, we hold protests that embarrass the Hell out of them on TV and the internet.

They'll have to give in to our demands or they'll lose the election!

And once we have power, the tap turns on for the FREE STUFF! If not, we start protesting all over the US like they've never seen before!

Besides, what does Obama care? He can't run for a third term, so he'll be happy to give us the stuff.

So let's get started. We present our demands and let them know we mean business!

Anonymous

Just how young are you? Don't you get it. Romney and Obama both work for Goldman Sachs and Goldman Sachs is running what was our government. Obama has done nothing but continue everything Bush installed, and Bush was retarded, literally. The two party system is a laughable farce.

Occupy the Whit...

I think u r giving Goldman Sachs more credit than they deserve: I checked their website and there is no mention of them controlling the presidency and the executive branch of the US government. (Ha-ha!)

But all joking aside, how better to get our objectives met than to put it to the Dems that if Obama wants a second term, he will have to take The Occupy Movement, as a significant voting block with specific objectives and demands, seriously?

The US election is an excellent opportunity for us! But we need a strategic plan, and fast!!

If anyone has any other suggestions, I'd really like to hear them.

Anonymous

the future of occupy is likely to be a parallel track to the mainstream but consuming less, vegan, off-grid power etc. and only interacting with the mainstream when absolutely necessary (ie dentistry, cancer treatment etc.)

occupy needs to learn that most people are indeed not sleeping and don't need to be "woken up", they actually like consumerism and they like empire

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