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Occupy's Spiritual Quest

The fork in the road ahead.

MARCUS DEMERY

Dear occupiers, jammers, dreamers,

Three years after the May 1968 uprising that swept the world, the great French philosopher Michel Foucault observed that a key strategy of power is to “appear inaccessible to events.” Power, Foucault argued with a nod towards 1968’s failed insurrection, acts to “dispel the shock of daily occurrences, to dissolve the event … to exclude the radical break introduced by events.”

Forty years later, in light of Occupy, Foucault’s observation still strikes home. Despite achieving the impossible at unprecedented speed – sparking a global awakening, triggering a thousand people’s assemblies worldwide, and giving birth to a visceral anti-corporate, pro-democracy spiritual insurrection – Occupy is now struggling through an existential moment. Our movement has been dealt a blow: our May 1 and follow-up events have been dissolved by power; the status quo has shown itself to be far more resilient than many of us expected.

Now a passionate debate is emerging within our movement. On one side are those who cheer the death of Occupy in the hopes that it will transform into something unexpected and new. And on the other are patient organizers who counsel that all great movements take years to unfold.

OCCUPY WALL STREET IS NOW DEAD

May 1 confirmed the end of the national Occupy Wall Street movement because it was the best opportunity the movement had to reestablish the occupations, and yet it couldn’t. Nowhere was this more clear than in Oakland as the sun set after a day of marches, pickets and clashes. Rumors had been circulating for weeks that tents would start going up and the camp would reemerge in the evening of that long day. The hundreds of riot police backed by armored personnel carriers and SWAT teams carrying assault rifles made no secret of their intention to sweep the plaza clear after all the “good protesters” scurried home, making any reoccupation physically impossible. It was the same on January 28 when plans for a large public building occupation were shattered in a shower of flash bang grenades and 400 arrests, just as it was on March 17 in Zuccotti Park when dreams of a new Wall Street camp were clubbed and pepper sprayed to death by the NYPD. Any hopes of a spring offensive leading to a new round of space reclamations and liberated zones has come and gone. And with that, Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland are now dead.

The task ahead of us in Oakland and beyond is to search out and nurture new means of finding each other. We are quickly reaching the point where the dead weight of Occupy threatens to drag down the Commune into the dustbin of history. We need to breathe new life into our network of rebellious relationships that does not rely on the Occupy Oakland general assembly or the array of movement protagonists who have emerged to represent the struggle. This is by no means an argument against assemblies or for a retreat back into the small countercultural ghettos that keep us isolated and irrelevant. On the contrary, we need more public assemblies that take different forms and experiment with themes, styles of decision-making (or lack there of) and levels of affinity… Most of all, we need desperately to stay connected with comrades old and new and not let these relationships completely decompose.

— Read the rest of the this article, by anonymous West Coast anarchists, at Bay of Rage

THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT HAS BARELY BEGUN

O

ccupy Wall Street was at the pinnacle of its power in October 2011, when thousands of people converged at Zuccotti Park and successfully foiled the plans of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sweep away the occupation on grounds of public health. From that vantage point, the Occupy movement appears to have tumbled off a cliff, having failed to organize anything like a general strike on May Day – despite months of rumblings of mass walkouts, blockades and shutdowns.

The mainstream media are eager to administer last rites. CNN declared that “May Day fizzled,” the New York Post sneered “Goodbye, Occupy,” and The New York Times consigned the day’s events to fewer than 400 words, mainly dealing with arrests in New York City.

Historians and organizers counter that the Occupy movement needs to be seen in relative terms. Eminent sociologist Frances Fox Piven, co-author of Poor People’s Movements, says:

“I don’t know of a movement that unfolds in less than a decade. People are impatient, and some of them are too quick to pass judgment. But it’s the beginning, I think, of a great movement. One of a series of movement that has episodically changed history, which is not the way we tell the story of American history.”

— Read the rest of Arun Gupta’s What Happened to the Occupy movement?

The fire in the soul of Occupy burns from Oakland to Quebec, Barcelona to Chicago, Wall Street to Moscow and Frankfurt… the question now is which fork in the road will our movement take?

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

OccupyWallStreet.org

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197 comments on the article “Occupy's Spiritual Quest”

Displaying 171 - 180 of 197

Page 18 of 20

Anonymous

take all forks. at 8 pm, leave your house with spoon and pan, clanging. find out who in your hood stands

Anonymous

NYC students have faced rising student debt for far too long. The strike in Quebec symbolizes a struggle for a system that provides everyone equal opportunity to achieve their full potential. Debt is slavery and education is the liberation that will help us win all our struggles. It is time to bring Quebec's infinite strike to the United States, starting in NYC.

We have created a Facebook page and Twitter to help us organize actions around NYC infinite strike Quebec solidarity marches, please like, follow, and share:

Tonight and every night, infinite student strike! Solidarity with students in Quebec and around the world. It is time to end debt. Washington Square Park at 8PM:

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/JDGC75

Twitter: http://bit.ly/ML0cM7

Saxman

Your students, why should anyone care if your going on strike Your not providing a service to anyone. Why should we care if you refuse to attend the class you already paid for. Thats like like sending Walmart a check every week but refusing to shop there. Even in Quebec, the real students aren't striking. Serious students in math, sciences, engineering, etc. are going to class. By and large (at least at the English schools) the strikers are getting useless arts degrees. We don't need anymore 'Queer Studies' or 'Lesbian Musicology' Majors, let em strike as long as they want. Those Starbucks barista jobs will be still be waiting when their done.

Dear Poli-jack-...

Do your professors work for free?

Go on, ask them to.

I am not paying any more of your education, pal.

You in Quebec pay squat for your university educations - less than anyone else in Canada or the USA.

You don't know how lucky you are to be subsidized to the fantastic amount that you are. Maybe your IQs are too low to understand.

You have been robbing your fellow citizens, and now you are wrecking public property and rioting in the expectations that you can rob even more.

Well, to Hell with that, Mack. Now STFU and get off the streets.

If you don't, you will regret it.

Anonymous

Since you are not paying for their education in the first place, maybe it's you who should STFU?

Anonymous

Since you are not paying for their education in the first place, maybe it's you who should STFU you dumb nosy twat?

Reject violence...

Occupy wants 'change', although it's not clear what the change is that it wants.

Its ultra-left-wing wants revolution and is committing rampant violence, harming innocent citizens, their health and their private property.

Pop culture 45 years ago rejected that strategy.

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

And society also rejects it today.

Let's not be dorks. Learn from history.

Anonymous

All the top Rock'n'Roll musicians of the last 50 years say Occupy should stop what it's doing and go home.

Anonymous

Not true. These fine musicians fully support Occupy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-agl0pOQfs

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