In the Streets

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From Occupation to Communization
Danny Marcus

I first heard the slogan “Occupy Everything” in 2009 during the anti-privatization protests that shook the University of California, where I have been a graduate student since 2007. During the first weeks of the fall semester, that slogan gradually came to mean something specific, something razor-sharp, in a way that has been diluted in the present wave of protests. On September 24th, when students at UC Santa Cruz occupied the Graduate Student Commons, the words “Occupy Everything” could be seen spray-painted on the side of the building. The same moment saw the publication of pamphlets and websites devoted to theorizing and propagating occupations, bearing the slogan, “Occupy Everything, Demand Nothing.” But it was the slogan of a vanguard, not the broad majority of protesters, and referred to the controversial tactic of forcibly locking down campus buildings with bike locks and barricades without any provision of demands or benchmarks for de-escalation. Occupations were a contentious tactic both inside and outside the organizing coalition, especially since the point wasn’t to force a negotiation with the administration, it was rather to block business as usual—and also, at least in theory, to wrench a parcel of space and time free from the capitalist order. This last point proved to be an Achilles heel for the UC occupations, since the occupiers had to rely on the very structures and temporalities of student protest they aimed to supercede. What they wanted was a commune—to communize, more specifically—but this would remain an elusive horizon during the first two years of campus revolt.

A Movement Without Demands?
Marco Deseriis and Jodi Dean

The question of demands infused the initial weeks and months of Occupy Wall Street with the endless opening of desire. Nearly unbearable, the absence of demands concentrated interest, fear, expectation, and hope in the movement. What did they want? What could they want? Commentators have been nearly hysterical in their demand for demands: somebody has got to say what Occupy Wall Street wants! In part because of the excitement accumulating around the gap the movement opened up in the deadlocked US political scene—having done the impossible in creating a new political force it seemed as if the movement might even demand the impossible—many of those in and around Occupy Wall Street have also treated the absence of demands as a benefit, a strength. Commentators and protesters alike thus give the impression that the movement’s inability to agree upon demands and a shared political line is a conscious choice.

Solidarity Aid Appeal for Striking Oil Workers in Kazakhstan

For many months, workers at the Ozenmunaigas oilfield in Kazakhstan have been locked in a bitter battle with the bosses at the state-owned oil company KazMunayGas.

The workers first took action over promised hazard pay that was never delivered. What began as a small strike soon grew into larger activity, drawing in thousands of workers with wider demands. The state's response has been brutal.

Around 1,000 workers have been fired. Two of the workers' elected representatives, unionist Akzhanat Aminov and labor attorney Natalya Sokolova have been arrested. Sokolova has been sentenced to prison for a term of six years for “stirring up social conflict.” The house of another negotiator has been burned to the ground, and Zhalsylyk Turbaev, a leading militant, has been murdered.

"Thank You, Anarchists"
Nathan Schneider

It is becoming something of a refrain among the well-meaning multitudes
now energized by Occupy Wall Street that the movement needs to shed its
radical origins so as to actually get something done. “If they can avoid
fetishizing the demand for consensus,” James Miller wrote in late
October [1] in the New York Times, “they may be able to forge a broader
coalition that includes friends and allies within the Democratic Party
and the union movement.” According to some activists [2], groups like
Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream are poised to turn occupiers into Obama
voters. Especially as the 2012 election season starts, the thinking
goes, it’s time to get real.

"Occupy Wall Street, Act Two"
Peter Lamborn Wilson

"Money Has An Enemy." — Charles Stein

Some radical historians claim the entire Historical Movement of the Social went wrong in 1870 when the Paris Commune failed to expropriate (or at least destroy) The Bank. Could this really be so?

Since 1971 Bank Power — "Money Interests" as the oldtime Populists and Grangers used to say — i.e., the power to create money as debt — has single-handedly destroyed all chances to remake any world closer to our heart's desire. Some anarchist theorists hold that there can be no real revolution except the revolt against money itself — because money itself WANTS capitalism (i.e. money) to rule. Money itself will always find a way to subvert democracy (or for that matter any government power that opposes Money's interests) and to establish the rule of Capital — i.e. of money itself.

Occupy! Onward Conference
New School, New York City, December 18, 2011

Dear Friends,

Sorry for the short notice: the Occupy! Gazette has put together a conference on some of the main issues around the current crisis and what Occupy Wall Street and the rest of us can do about it. The conference this Sunday, the 18th, from noon to six at the New School (55 W. 13th Street). It will consist of four lightning-fast panels with some of the most interesting thinkers and activists in the field and then ``report-backs``ˇ from several of the most active OWS working groups, including labor, legal, and facilitation. It`s everything you always wanted to know about OWS but were afraid to ask. Schedule below. The conference is free but space in the auditorium is limited, so please let us know if you`re coming (at our Facebook event page or at editors [at] nplusonemag.com) and please come on time.

Schedule below.

Beyond Adbusters
Jason Adams

Despite his comparative anonymity, it may actually turn out to be James Alex, the blogger/artist who kicked off the recent pepper-spray cop meme, who becomes the more important model for the future of Occupy Wall Street than Kalle Lasn, the now-famous head of Adbusters. Let me explain why, through my own encounter with each of them. In Summer 2002, fresh out of liberal arts school, I was, like many, disheartened by emergent post-9/11 culture and ready for new surroundings generally. So I moved from the U.S. Pacific Northwest to Vancouver, Canada, where I pursued a graduate degree in Political Science.

In the wake of what had up until then been a steadily growing antiglobalization movement, it wasn’t long before the thought occurred to me that the skills I’d honed in the design and technology niches within which I’d involved myself might be useful at the city’s most impactful alternative media institution: Adbusters. So, I called them up, proposed to share my work, and following an affirmative response, made my way down to the headquarters in West Vancouver.

Occupied Warehouse on Capitol Hill in Seattle
by Anonymous

Friday, December 2nd at 6pm, 70 people gathered at Seattle Central Community College and marched through Capitol Hill behind a banner that read "You Can't Evict An Idea, Occupy Everything". This demonstration was called for on the news that Seattle Central Community College and the state were filing an emergency ban on Occupy Seattle's encampment at the college.

The march ended at a warehouse on Union and 10th Avenue East, and the doors were opened to the excited crowd and flyers were handed out. Once inside, occupiers immediately began cleaning up the space, stringing lights, hauling in furniture, food and supplies and unfurling banners. As of 8pm, the cop cars that were parked across the street surveilling had left. There are plans for a dj later tonight, and an assembly to decide further what this occupation will look like. We invite you to help us hold this location indefinitely!

Making Worlds: An OWS Forum on the Commons
February 16-18, 2012

An Invitation

The Occupy movement is entering a new phase, one in which many of us feel the need of combining a renewed engagement with direct actions and mobilizations with a deep reflection on the strategic objectives of our movement. In order to fulfill this need, the organizing committee of Making Worlds* is inviting all the Occupy supporters and sympathizers as well as other organizations to participate in this Forum on the politics of the commons. In particular, we are interested in understanding how groups and communities working on housing, health care, education, food, water, energy, information, communication and knowledge resources can develop a vision of these resources as commons, that is, as an alternative form of social organization to the state and corporate capitalism. Making Worlds has the ambitious goal of articulating a strategic vision from and for the movement as well as specific political initiatives aiming at its realization.

Some Critical Notes on the Occupy Movement's Recent Attempt at a General Strike in Oakland, California

My personal experience of the Nov. 2nd, 2011 attempted general strike in Oakland was a blast. The event was beautiful and exhilarating -- even the colors in the sky were perfect! More importantly, as the first attempt at a general strike in a U.S. city in sixty-six years, I hope Nov. 2nd in Oakland can stir a long-suffering and silent wage-earning class in the United States to see the collective power we can have when we use a mass-scale workplace walkout as a political weapon against the owners of America. This is a gift to our future from the Occupy movement as a whole, and in particular a tribute to the outward-directed and working class focus of Occupy Oakland. Today in the Occupy movement, Oakland leads the way.

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