In the Streets

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n - 1. Making Multiplicity: A Philosophical Manifesto
Gerald Raunig

Occupation without subject. Movement without subject. Asubjective composition. The current occupation movements are characterized by their dispensing with any subject. No unity, no wholeness, no identifiable class. Classical theories of revolution would see this as a problem, the (revolutionary) subject being a condition for the possibility of revolt, insurgency, revolution as a fixed component of a theory of stages: only once a uniform subject appears on the horizon, a molar block, the working class, a united front, only then – seen from this angle – can the revolution get going.

Beyond the Old Virtue of Struggle: Autonomy, Talent, and Revolutionary Theory
Richard Gilman-Opalsky

(For the precarious people of Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, and Elsewhere - 4/26/2011)

1. STRUGGLE & PLEASURE: PRELIMINARY GESTURES

[1] The concept of "struggle" has occupied a central place in the radical imagination. For Frederick Douglass, all progress requires struggle, and for Karl Marx, human history consists of human conflict and class struggle. Struggle has become an integral substance, and is often the crux, of transformative projects and politics. Even today, influential thinkers like the autonomist Marxist John Holloway understand that, fundamentally, revolution begins with a scream of sadness. From an affective point of view, however, people do not want to struggle or to scream with sadness. I explore the contradiction of desire embodied in wanting a different world without wanting to struggle. I argue that there is an intractable absurdity at the heart of any politics that valorizes struggle: If the narrative on virtuous struggle is not deconstructed, it shall always be ultimately undesirable to make the world that we desire.

Share Our Future – The CLASSE Manifesto

For months now, all over Quebec, the streets have vibrated to the rhythm of hundreds of thousands of marching feet. What started out as a movement underground, still stiff with the winter consensus, gathered new strength in the spring and flowed freely, energizing students, parents, grandparents, children, and people with and without jobs. The initial student strike grew into a people’s struggle, while the problem of tuition fees opened the door to a much deeper malaise – we now face a political problem that truly affects us all. To find its remedy and give substance to our vision, let us cast our minds back to the root of the problem.

The way we see it, direct democracy should be experienced, every moment of every day. Our own voices ought to be heard in assemblies in schools, at work, in our neighbourhoods. Our concept of democracy places the people in permanent charge of politics, and by « the people » we mean those of us at the base of the pyramid – the foundation of political legitimacy. This becomes an opportunity for all those who are never heard. It is a time for women to speak up as equals and to raise issues that are too often ignored or simply forgotten about. The democracy we see does not make promises: it goes into action. Our democracy banishes cynicism, instead of fuelling it. As we have shown many times over, our democracy brings people together. Each time we take to the streets and set up picket lines, it is this kind of democracy that at last breathes free. We are talking about shared, participatory democracy.

Occupy the US! Horizontal Decision Making in the Occupy Movement
Marianne Maeckelbergh

The year 2011 has breathed new life into horizontal models of democratic decision-making. With the rise of the 15 May movement and the occupy movement horizontal decision-making became one of the key political structures for organising responses to the current global economic crisis. While this decision-making process has arguably never been as widely practiced as it is today, it has also never seemed as difficult and complicated as it does today. At its height there were 5,000 people at the general assemblies in Placa Catalunya in Barcelona and even more in Madrid. It is no longer just activists trying to use and teach each other these decision-making processes but it is hundreds or thousands of people who have a far greater disparity in terms of backgrounds, starting assumptions, aims and discursive styles. This is incredibly good news, but it is not easy.

Dow Pays "Strategic Intelligence" Firm To Spy on Yes Men

Takeaway: movement is on the right track!

WikiLeaks begins to publish today over five million e-mails obtained by Anonymous from "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The emails, which reveal everything from sinister spy tactics to an insider trading scheme with Goldman Sachs (see below), also include several discussions of the Yes Men and Bhopal activists. (Bhopal activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India, that led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.)

An Absolute Refusal? Notes on the 12 February Demonstration in Athens
Pavlos Hatzopoulos, Ilias Marmaras, Dimitris Parsanoglou

1. The 12th February demonstration in Athens, consolidated, what is becoming clearer in the past weeks: a growing majority of the Greek people support the refusal of the memorandum no.2 no matter what. In spite of the fear mongering spread by the pro-memorandum forces that a negative parliamentary vote would entail an immediate euro exit and the ensuing Africanisation of Greece, the popular support for the new EU-ECB-IMF loans and the correlated austerity measures is waning significantly. The formal political debate is increasingly based on a politics of fear: the government’s and mainstream media’s principal argumentation is stripped, on the one hand, to the bare threat of what a disorderly Greek bankruptcy would entail -invoking often assumed similarities with Greece’s plight during the World War II occupation by German and Italian troops- with basic food and medicine shortages and a lack of basic public amenities like gas, heating, electricity; on the other hand even mainstream media cannot but be critical vis-à-vis the most dismantling provisions of the memorandum no.2 for any sign of consensual legitimacy, such as the automatic decrease by 22% of minimum wages, the content and scope of collective bargaining and so on, insisting however ‘in the final analysis’ that the dilemma posed leaves only one choice.

Do the right thing. 11 thesis on the conflict to come and the world to invent
Libera università metropolitana

1. «The world is all that is the case». Let’s start from Oakland.

On November 2nd a new era began for the #occupy movement and, more in general, for the indignados movement. The occupation of streets and squares –following the Spanish model and the example of Zuccotti Park – was accompanied by an extraordinarily powerful general strike. The port was blocked, public offices closed. Road transport and production came to a stop. Even the police folded their arms. Tens of thousands of people took to the squares, picketing the city, strengthening the paralysis of the port.

We look, with great admiration, to Oakland as to a prototype. It is no doubt an incomplete one, partially immature, yet capable of giving shape temporarily to much needed conflict, able to square with the new composition of labour and with the financial violence. Trade unions are not sufficient to organize a fragmented and widely precarious work force, immersed in the communication flow and forced to slavish job performances. If present day exploitation takes place on the grounds of financial accumulation, class struggle must involve social reproduction, life and extra-labour cooperation, entirely. However, as we feel part of the #occupy movement, we think that much more could be done. Its strength shows the crisis of liberal democracy before the arrogance of financial dictatorship, but does not yet indicate the way to “hurt the masters”, to hurt the bankers. It’s necessary to speak out and start “telling the truth to power”, but power must be sought in the net of metropolitan exploitation, in the theft of surplus value.

In this respect Oakland is a prototype, and in this sense we re-discover our republican inspiration with no shyness.

"Anarchy Can't Fight Alone"
Kuwasi Balagoon

Of all ideologies, anarchy is the one that addresses liberty and equalitarian relations in a realistic and ultimate fashion. It is consistent with each individual having an opportunity to live a complete and total 1ife, With anarchy, the society as a whole not only maintains itself at an equal expense to all, but progresses in a creative process unhindered by any class, caste or party. This is because the goals of anarchy don't include replacing one ruling class with another, neither in the guise of a fairer boss or as a party. This is key because this is what separates anarchist revolutionaries from Maoist, socialist and nationalist revolutionaries who from the onset do not embrace complete revolution. They cannot envision a truly free and equalitarian society and must to some extent embrace the socialization process that makes exploitation and oppression possible and prevalent in the first place.

Shut Down Corporations February 29th

Occupy Portland calls for a national day of non-violent direct action to reclaim our voices and challenge our society’s obsession with profit and greed by shutting down the corporations. We are rejecting a society that does not allow us control of our future. We will reclaim our ability to shape our world in a democratic, cooperative, just and sustainable direction.

We call on people to target corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is a prime example of the way corporations buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves the interests of corporations and not people. They used it to create the anti-labor legislation in Wisconsin and the racist bill SB 1070 in Arizona among so many others. They use ALEC to spread these corporate laws around the country. Read the full call to action here.

Occupy Oakland: Are We Being Childish?
Osha Neumann

“The Bay Area Occupy Movement has got to stop using Oakland as their playground,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, speaking at a press conference Saturday evening after a day of demonstrations called by Occupy Oakland that saw approximately 400 arrests, multiple injuries, and numerous confrontations with police. She ticked off the damage that had been done when a group of protesters broke into City Hall, overturning a scale model of the building, vandalizing a children’s art exhibit, and burning an American flag. The next day in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, she returned to her talking point: “It’s like a tantrum . . . They’re treating us like a playground.”

For the first time since October when the Oakland police violently evicted the occupation from Frank Ogawa Plaza after renaming it in honor of Oscar Grant, Mayor Quan, her protesting days behind her, looked genuinely comfortable in the role of champion of law and order. It was as if by trashing City Hall, Occupy had done her a favor. She was the adult, genuinely concerned with the well-being of the city. We were children, playing childish games, oblivious to the serious real-world consequences of our actions.

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