What is Occupy morphing into?

Tactical Briefing #38.

Kim Komenich, SF Examiner, 1986 © Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley

Hey all you redeemers, reckless dreamers and radicals out there,

Look!… look! … look! Regimes are being toppled, leaders thrashed, embassies stormed, movements and masses are rising. One by one all the old paradigms, power structures and civilizational norms are biting the dust … Capitalism, infinite growth based economics, the sacred morality of Western leadership, the invincibility of totalitarian and corporate driven regimes, the cult of individualism — all the sacred touchstones of our civilization are reeling under attack like never before.

As our first anniversary passes we can see that our indignation, the nascent revolution, the calls for new ways of being, are just one part of the global insurrectionary jam. Tunisia, Tahrir, Indignados, Casseroles, Pussy Rioters, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Russia, Chile, China, Spain, Greece, Quebec, Indonesia and beyond … the world political compass hasn’t wobbled like this since 1968. The ecstatic confusion points to global seismic shift … a new point of collective reference is appearing on the horizon.

So what can we make of all this? Yes, we here in North America gave birth to something weird and wonderful that swept the world last year, but now as the global heartbeat thumps ever louder, the fire in our bellies is smoldering and we are just one of a myriad of revolutionary forces pulsing through the world. We must get over our obsession with ourselves, our neurotic micromanaging of our GAs and encampments and learn to rumble anew.

This is a delicious moment … the world is morphing into something new … don’t miss it! Get in there and do what you’ve always wanted to do.

for the wild,

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17 comments on the article “What is Occupy morphing into?”

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Here is a piece I wrote about Occupy's transition to distributed direct action:


"Yes, we here in North America gave birth to something weird and wonderful that swept the world last year." Uhhhhh....pretty sure the 'Arab Spring' came first. Cult of the individual indeed.


A week before S17, it was reported that Wall Street had it's best trading day in the past eight years. The week before that, a report was making headlines that average household income in the US was at 1995 levels--So it begs the question: what did OWS achieve with it's hundreds of occupations, and protest marches? It's too simple and inadequate to respond with the "we changed the dialogue" line. In New York State, Governor Cuomo balked at rescinding the millionaire tax. Was that because of OWS, or was it a just a practical decision in the context of the current economy? Thousands withdrew their money from commercial banks and deposited it in credit unions and savings an loans. Did that send a message to the commercial banks? Perhaps, but it sure as hell hasn't stopped them from reaping even more profit from new fees than they did only one year before.
The rich got richer while the poor got poorer and thousands were pepper-sprayed, unlawfully arrested, and beaten down. So many of my friends at Zuccotti aka Liberty Park, continue to this day to speak in the terms of "new paradigms", somehow expecting the financial and political sectors who've orchestrated and fixed the game for the 1% against 99%, to somehow acquire a conscience and relinquish their power and greed.
Simply put: It ain't gonna happen.
So, as anathema as the prospect of the political system may be to so many, some practical reflection and strategies are going to have to be devised to use that very system to achieve the goals OWS has espoused. The US ain't Egypt nor is liberty Park Tahir Square. Occupiers can't depend on some outside super-power to come to our support. In fact, it is that very super-power that is stifling and oppressing OWS and it's allies.
If less informed, less sophisticate people mostly voting against their own self-interest could galvanize their energy into a Tea Party, and elect ignorant, dogmatic, obstructionists to Congress, shouldn't Occupiers also be able to create their own independent party and take the reins of government in the only viable manner available? If the super-aggressive police tactics--including sophisticated surveillance technology and practices, the total abandonment of due process and disregard for American First Amendment rights allow some to believe that we are somehow going to overthrow the American form of government through naive, idealistic occupations and protest marches, that we are creating a new paradigm, then OWS will have been less influential than the suffrage , civil rights, anti-war, women's and gay-rights movements combined.
Each and every one of those previous protest movements engaged in the political process, and while far from achieving the total sum of their agendas, they've gotten a lot further than OWS might ever get. And the reasons are simple: As long as Wall Street and the "corporate persons" continue to wield their financial power and keep in place those politicians who'll do their bidding, nothing will change. Politicians stay in power so long as they get the money and votes. Greed will continue to thrive so long as those same politicians are in place. The only way to right the the wrongs, is by taking political power out of their hands. After all, 99% vs. 1% should be winning odds.


1. End the Electoral College by promoting the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact in states representing at least 270 electoral votes; once that critical mass is reached, the national popular vote will go into effect de facto.

2. Organize a new political party at the state level (a new party can appear on the 2016 ballot in California even if only 1% of the population declares membership of that party). Work together to form a platform. Vote on it. Select candidates who will go on record saying they'll advocate that platform. Hold them accountable to it, and kick them out if they don't.

3) ????



Thanks for writing a clear, concise post with a direct action that will actually do something to improve the system!


In order for Occupy to have relevancy and real purpose, it will have to choose to be an honest movement. You can not just shout and complain about the fraud and greed of the 1% and ignore the Elephant in the middle of the room. I am referring to the War(s). The War is a greatest thief of our nations wealth. It is redistributing the wealth of the nation into the pockets of the war profiteers. Until Occupy has the honesty and integrity to make the War the first priority, it will remain irrelevant. The 99% is directly impacted by the War. Whether it is Seniors who have their social security benefits frozen, schools that lack funds to provide adequately, or the millions that can not find a good job, it all comes down to "the economy ...." You have started getting people to think about what is wrong and what needs to be changed. You just have not gone far enough. You have been like the mainstream news that leaves the War out of the focus. "What war?" Last month I wrote a letter to the editor at the NY Times regarding the papers dishonest journalism. When do you see photos of the war, real pictures of bleeding/dying US soldiers or civilians that we have killed. WTF! It is happening everyday! And yet, we do not see it in the paper or on the news. I tried to see if I could find it on the internet and it seems like we are not allowed. I guess China is not the only country that censors online information. So if you want to just be a bunch of posers and piss away a real opportunity to bring about real change, continue the same old bush-it. Or you can get radical about Peace and Justice. Maybe you could admit that Obama is just another warmonger asshole and that the other choice is no choice. Why not declare that you are going to call off the elections until we have someone that wants to end the War NOW! Declare that both candidates are full of shit and they can go to Hell! Ever wonder why half the country does not vote? The country has been psychologically beat down and exhibits Stockholm syndrome behavior. Its part of the government's "strategy of tension". I watched a video yesterday of Obama's election victory and saw the tears in peoples eyes. I will admit that on election night I had a tear in my eye. The question we should all be asking ourselves is why were we crying? You don't do something that is abnormal unless you have a reason to do so. I did not cry for the victory of any president before! I'll admit that Obama had tricked me with that "Hope" and "Change" Bush-it! Now, I just want to see him and Bush (along with the rest of the guilty) being prosecuted for war crimes! So maybe you need to get in touch with your real selves and admit that this Administration is just a third term of Bush-it ! Let the country know that you are mad as hell and that you are not going to take this anymore. Do you want headlines and real public's attention? Call out for voters to come out and demonstrate against this selection and the war. Okay, here is where I would throw in a dose of reality. Americans use to get mad as hell and not stand for crap, but now as beat-down people you do not realize your potential. Take a look at those who boldly brought about an Arab Spring . They faced much more opposition than we do, but they were not Afraid! Tell the government that they can take that fear and shove it! It is still "we the people" and we do not want to play their F-ing game! Just get angry. It is what they don't want and are most afraid of. I'll close with a word of encouragement. In the late 60's during the Johnson presidency, the Pentagon was trying to get Johnson to use nuclear weapons on Vietnam. Johnson never did and his words explain why. He said; "If I use nuclear weapons in Vietnam, how long will it take for those protesters to storm these walls and hang this president". It was those who were protesting the war that had communicated that they would not tolerate more. They kept the president in check without even knowing it. Bush and Obama have only been able to get away with these atrocities because the "people" let them. Hey, the ball is in your court. In Europe, the anti-war demonstrations often exceeded a million people. You think that the police could fence them in? LOL Here in the states, the numbers were pitiful and the police did what they wanted. Its a numbers game. You want a million person march. I guarantee that the police will keep their distance. They would not want to be enveloped by that crowd. Peace is worth the struggle.


in spain we started something...the 15M movement occupied the plazas in Spain in 2011 and spawned a new conciousness. peaceful, elegant, prosaic crititicism of the capitalist paradigm...a necessary protest, long overdue, in a country with a decadent class of career politicians greasing the wheels of system with no moral compass. Occupy Wall street sprang from this. please take note , Spain deserves some credit....


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