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Scott Galindez writes: "'A press release from the October2011 coalition announced that "...the People's Uprisings seen around the world and in the United States will come to Washington, DC beginning on Thursday, October 6 when thousands will converge to begin a prolonged people's occupation of Freedom Plaza.' The release claimed they were building on Arab Spring, European Summer, Madison and the Occupation of Wall Street."

Inspired by protests like the one above in Tahrir Square, a new occupation will be launched on October 6th in Washington, DC. (photo: Getty Images)
Inspired by protests like the one above in Tahrir Square, a new occupation will be launched on October 6th in Washington, DC. (photo: Getty Images)



Occupying Both Heads of the Beast

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

27 September 11


Reader Supported News | Perspective

 

Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns


ith the Occupation of Wall Street in its second week, solidarity actions are popping up around the country and the world. Cities currently supporting Occupy Wall Street are: Madrid, Spain; San Francisco, California; Los Angeles, California; Toronto, Canada; London, England; Athens, Greece; Sydney, Australia; Stuttgart, Germany; Tokyo, Japan; Milan, Italy; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Algiers, Algeria; Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel; Portland, Oregon; and Chicago, Illinois.

Cities in the process of joining Occupy Wall Street are: Phoenix, Arizona; Montreal, Canada; Cleveland, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; Kansas City, Missouri; Seattle, Washington; and Orlando, Florida.

All of those actions were directly inspired by Occupy Wall Street.

Another occupation will begin next week in Washington, DC.

A press release from the October2011 coalition announced that "... the People's Uprisings seen around the world and in the United States will come to Washington, DC beginning on Thursday, October 6 when thousands will converge to begin a prolonged people's occupation of Freedom Plaza." The release claimed they were building on Arab Spring, European Summer, Madison and the Occupation of Wall Street.

The Freedom Plaza Occupation will demand that the government represent the people, not just the top 1%. The pledge, signed by thousands, calls for using our resources on human needs and environmental protection, not for war and exploitation. The October2011 coalition stands with the American people on seven key issues:

  • Tax the rich and corporations


  • End the wars, bring the troops home, cut military spending


  • Protect the social safety net, strengthen Social Security and improved Medicare for all


  • End corporate welfare for oil companies and other big business interests


  • Transition to a clean energy economy, reverse environmental degradation


  • Protect worker rights including collective bargaining, create jobs and raise wages


  • Get money out of politics

Some may wonder ... why not join the Wall Street Occupation instead of opening up another front? Kevin Zeese from the October2011 coalition addressed that question: "We have both cross-endorsed our events and see them as synergistic. If you look at the October2011.org website we provide a lot of coverage to the Wall Street occupation, including urging people to attend and support it. Our core organizers attended many of their planning meetings and have been involved with the occupation. Three of our key people were interviewed Sunday, Chris Hedges, Medea Benjamin and Debra Sweet, and a bunch more were in the Plaza. We are mutually supportive of each other."

Both of these actions have their own strengths. Occupy Wall Street was more spontaneous. Nobody knew what to expect, nobody knew who would show up, or how long they would stay. The culture-jamming online magazine Adbusters issued the call, but did not organize the event.

One thing you hear often at the Wall Street protest is people saying that they were inspired by Tahrir Square, and didn't want the usual marches with the same talking heads that end with everyone going back to their normal lives and supporting the status quo.

They have established a close-knit community that is interdependent on each other. You hear talk of establishing a new way to build a movement; one that is inclusive and without powerful leaders. To say there are no leaders, however, is not the case. In all communities people step up and provide leadership. Those people become leaders by earning respect.

Decisions in Liberty Plaza are made by the "General Assembly" on a consensus basis. The result is everyone has a role in the decision and everyone can provide leadership in the implementation. While it can be tedious to reach a consensus, the result is a decision that everyone can get behind.

Occupy DC will be powerful in its own right but will have a different dynamic. Organizing and planning has been underway for months. There will be permits, a stage with a sound system, a medical tent, media tent and a shantytown. The National Park Service has already warned them that sleeping will not be allowed, but Zeese said the first Assembly on the 6th will discuss whether or not to comply.

As a veteran of large protests in Washington I hope that large numbers decide to sleep in the park. My guess is if only a few dozen or so decide to take a stand, the Park Police will enforce the camping regulation, but if hundreds "sleep in" they will likely back off.

In Washington there will be experienced protesters and organizers who sometimes get caught repeating bad habits. Let us hope they are watching Wall Street very closely and learning that there are no right or wrong ways to organize. Spontaneity, creativity, and imagination can sometimes be more effective than planning and preparation, but both have their place and can complement each other nicely.


Scott Galindez was formerly the co-founder of Truthout, and is now the Political Director of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

Comments   

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+21 # DaveM 2011-09-27 22:52
Do you want to see an "American Spring" or something of the sort? Never mind about Wall Street or some overpopulated and overpoliced area--the "occupation of Wall Street" has proven that today's media can even render Wall Street invisible if they so choose.

Choose some rural location on a main highway and not too far from a fair-sized urban area, preferably surrounded by public land--national forest or similar--or a large area of privately-owned land and permission of the landowner. Build Freedom City, with tents/campers, portable sanitation, every comfort possible--and invite all people who want to spread the message of American freedom by living it, whether via carrying signs or wireless internet or any of the other home-grown mass media that now exist. Invite the "mainstream media"--and if they don't show up, go visit them now and them to remind them that Freedom City is still up and running. Picket the highway, and if chased off, "adopt" it and pick up litter while carrying signs.

Remember Camp Casey, which stood for months as a living example of everything that was wrong with the G.W. Bush Presidency and the Iraq war. It was in the news for months, even though it was located more or less in the middle of nowhere. And it was on private land via permission granted by the owner. Even the Tea Party couldn't argue against that.
 
 
+6 # Scott Galindez 2011-09-28 05:36
Quoting DaveM:

Remember Camp Casey, which stood for months as a living example of everything that was wrong with the G.W. Bush Presidency and the Iraq war. It was in the news for months, even though it was located more or less in the middle of nowhere. And it was on private land via permission granted by the owner. Even the Tea Party couldn't argue against that.


Ahhh but you forget, Camp Casey was less than a mile from the Presidents ranch, and you had the White House Press Corp sitting around in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. Camp Casey rescued them from an otherwise boring month in a town that didn't even have a bar.

If you set up in the middle of nowhere it will be harder to get any press.
 
 
+3 # noitall 2011-09-28 16:43
Go to your state capital steps on Oct. 6th with a sign "in solidarity with Freedom Plaza".
 
 
+19 # balancingact 2011-09-27 23:39
This is the sort of news that brings hope!

Looks and sounds to be a burgeoning of that indomitable human spirit who embraces courage and proudly steps out of conformity to meet directly the forces of fate and destiny with the power of choice.

Is this nation going to allow a totalitarian corporate system to usurp justice and devastate the biosphere OR have we an overwhelming majority that will summon the boldness and wisdom to accept the uncertainty of change and chart a better course?

My vote: sail towards new horizons.
 
 
+20 # Dion Giles 2011-09-27 23:57
Is it class warfare? Of COURSE it's class warfare. Class warfare is the alternative to surrender of the producers to the predators. The call to participate in class warfare, by any means appropriate to the public interest, on behalf of those who personally produce goods and services for the people, is a call to duty. An outspoken commitment to class warfare by President Obama's administration and party would be a much-needed blow for the people.
 
 
+13 # Carolyn 2011-09-28 08:04
This reads like sea-change. We are no longer expecting our elected representatives to help us, the American People. We have given up on them. this is beyond oratory. It is about life itself.
 
 
+5 # Capn Canard 2011-09-28 08:09
I will start off by apologizing for this post...I know that people will object to the following. I heard a talk on YouTube given by a Rev. Lindsey Williams and his assertions that there would uprisings, riots, mass protests, $4 gallon gas, $4 loaf of bread, etc etc following the desires of the Ultra wealthy. re the "Energy Non Crisis". Now I am not sure I believe in Rev Williams assertions however the information he has presented has come to pass. His "connections" amongst this elite has pssed information that suggests that the wealthy are playing games amongst themselves and we are the pawns, thus we are easily sacrificed. One could presume that the Ultra wealthy want the middle class to disappear and weaken the American people. This sheet is very reminiscent of the movie "Network" re the speech given by the CEO of the network as played by Ned Beatty. "YOU HAVE MEDDLED WITH THE PRIMAL FORCES OF NATURE, MR BEALE!"

We are effectively becoming a feudal economic system. No more upward mobility in the game of monetary system of wealth. It is time to eliminate the illusory fiat-money based wealth.
 
 
+10 # SouthBrun 2011-09-28 08:15
At least Lawerence O'Donnell has reported about "Occupy Wall Street and the police brutality. To view it go to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5zmzV5IxpQ&feature=player_embedded
The seven key issues and the Americas Job Act would be a winning platform for the Democratic Party.
 
 
+12 # Lulie 2011-09-28 09:52
It sounds like this group of protesters is committed and getting themselves organized. This could be the real deal -- the beginning of something big.
 
 
+3 # noitall 2011-09-28 16:42
It isn't practical that we all converge on D.C. Imagine the $ going into THEIR pockets by this jesture. Each of our state capitals are OUR DC. We need to converge on each of our Capital's front porch enmasse. THAT act will be noticed and covered by the bored reporters (possibly). Call out our representative to represent us. It is our representatives from OUR states who we elected to watch out for US. We should make it known that we ARE the crowd in DC and the crowd in DC is US. We are the UNITED STATES, not collectives of fiefdoms. Our gatherings could be virtually connected and communicate openly to each other and the World. The ear that we want, and the voice that we want to represent us is OUR individual REPRESENTATIVE. They're either for us or for those we demonstrate against. Their silence will be our answer.
 

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