Occupy Plays Jazz

Innovation is brewing for a hot summer.


This week, a federal judge praised Occupy’s “troublemakers” as our global movement continues to innovate spontaneously towards a hot summer.

“What a huge debt this nation owes to its ‘troublemakers,’” writes federal Judge Rakoff. “From Thomas Paine to Martin Luther King Jr., they have forced us to focus on problems we would prefer to downplay or ignore. Yet it is often only with hindsight that we can distinguish those troublemakers who brought us to our senses from those who are simply troublemakers. Prudence, and respect for the constitutional rights to free speech and free association, therefore dictate that the legal system cut all nonviolent protesters a fair amount of slack.”

Meanwhile in Seattle charges against 16 occupiers were dropped after a judge ruled that they were not trespassing when they occupied an abandoned building last December. Charges against jammers who occupied a Seattle Chase Bank were similarly dropped in March. And in Asheville, North Carolina a jury acquitted an occupier who was arrested in November. Numerous cases across the nation have shown that the police crackdown on Occupy is unconstitutional which will surely embolden us all in the weeks ahead.

A round-up of Occupy actions shows that our movement is innovating furiously. In Mexico, under the banner of #YOSOY132, and Quebec, where an “infinite strike” has been raging for weeks, students are rising up in unprecedented numbers. In Moscow, a real challenge to autocratic Putin is gathering momentum despite draconian new anti-Occupy laws. Similarly, in Egypt, a second Tahrir Uprising is revving up as the people try to shake off the military government. And across the world, local militant actions that show a growing rage among people are flaring up: in Seattle 50 black bloc anarchists attacked police this week; in Spain striking miners blockaded roads; in Portland a molotov was thrown through a bank window. Check out the Occupied Wall Street Journal and Dissident Voice for a rundown of what’s happening.

If the global economy keeps tanking then campuses, cities and whole nations could suddenly explode this Summer in a way we have not seen since the wildcat general strike of 1968.

Stay loose, play jazz, keep the faith … capitalism is in terminal crisis and our movement has just begun.