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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”

Displaying 41 - 50 of 217

Page 5 of 22

Brooke McGowen

I agree. Communism as another top-down political system where the leaders determine how and what is shared by whom is the last thing we need. Let's stay open to a new form of organisation that works from the bottom up.

Anonymous

Why because behind Occupy Wall Street at its core are the very same old Marxists that FAILED in the 20th century.

Just as soon as Occupiers get anywhere with their noble outrage at the system..

Those old fossil Marxists will sweep in and hijack your movement and attempt again to build their "Workers Paradise"

Your Pawns Occupy Wall Streeters.

Former Progressive.

Anonymous

What's with the ego's of everyone involved that there needs to be large sweeping movements? What happened to improve yourself, improve your dwelling, improve your hood? Why can't that be a goal?

For me as a science guy, I look at things like cancer, where you have one change that effects the cycle of everything. Or a virus that can make more viruses. But it starts small, starts local and sustainable (sound familiar).

The banks are not the problem, the problem is everyone using something that isn't a good option for them, because they think they don't have any other option.

Small real changes.

Anonymous

Why can't you have both at once? Why can't you have a larger movement, along with individual and community actions, that work in parallel for the same outcome?

It isn't about egos, it's about creating awareness to effect change on a broad scale.

Anonymous

You can have big and small at the same time, but the small is the foundation.

We got this amazing burst of energy from OWS-NYC and it's given us the impetus to Occupy everywhere. But the people who are in Occupy are largely those who were already working with or sympathetic to smallscale community organizations.

We can raise that number of people significantly by putting people back in their homes. Keep pounding the pavement with actions that raise awareness of foreclosure. House people, feed people, make sure they know the people helping them are committed Occupiers, and we will soon have an army of millions with which to change the world.

Anonymous

I believe you need both, working in conjunction, complementing each other. The large scale movement should be the publicity generator, that points people towards education and awareness, and lets them connect with organizations and people in their locale. The smaller actions get people physically contributing within their own homes, communities and neighborhoods, to join together and create momentum and expansion.

However, Occupy needs more structure and more ways people can contribute, so they feel part of the movement, become emotionally invested and see the results of their actions. One third of Americans support OWS, and that theoretical support needs to be harnessed into action.

Anonymous

With what money are you going to house people and feed people? Where will the funds come from?

yocahuna

I offer this as a conversation starter in the search for solutions that go beyond the limiting perspectives of left/right, communist/capitalist, fill in the blanks - replacing the money system with a socially just and environmentally sound approach based on enduring values.
http://netplanetaryvalue.wordpress.com
I have developed this idea to the level of my incompetency and it requires more prepared minds to take it further.
Let the Group Think begin!

skypixiezero_1

In all of our economic and societal woes, the people who frighten me the most are those declaring that "we need a strong leader (leadership)."

It was that kind of thinking that brought Adolph Hitler to power. These people forget that humanity's experience with strong leaders is what led to us learn that "absolute power corrupts absolutely."

The LAST thing we need is a "strong leader!!"

What we need is a responsible population. A population of citizens who will each take on a share of self governance so as to keep power in the hands of "the people".

The phrase, "of the people, by the people, for the people" has no meaning when governance is placed in the hands of an elite "leadership" for it instantly becomes governance of the elite, by the elite, and for the elite!

Good citizenship includes every citizen accepting some of the work involved in managing a society. Power must be spread horizontally not concentrated vertically in another damned pyramid of power. So long as we allow that self aggrandizing pyramid of power to exist is how long we'll keep getting shat upon by the elite who are "above"... ''"we, the people.""

How long does it take us to learn that the members of such "governments" ALWAYS use their power to their own advantage and NEVER to the advantage of those governed? Surely by now we have enough experience of such misuse of power that we should know, beyond any doubt, that such a pyramid of power does NOT work to our advantage. It never has and it is unlikely that it ever could. It is not designed for that purpose.

It's high time we designed a system of self governance that works for us - ALL of us - not just an elite few.

--an "occupier" for over 40 years--
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