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Excerpt: "One thing is clear already: if this illegitimate wave of repression is allowed to stand ... if the powers-that-be succeed in suppressing or marginalizing this new movement ... if people are once again 'penned in' - both literally and symbolically - things will be much worse.... This is a call for massive demonstrations - soon - carried out in public spaces where they can have maximum impact and exposure and where the authorities cannot pen in, suppress, and otherwise attempt to marginalize these demonstrations."

Occupy Wall Street activists are forcibly removed by New York City Police from Liberty Plaza, 11/15/11. (photo: Lucas Jackson, Reuters)
Occupy Wall Street activists are forcibly removed by New York City Police from Liberty Plaza, 11/15/11. (photo: Lucas Jackson, Reuters)

A Call for Mass Action Against Suppression of Occupy Movement

By Emma Kaplan, OpenMike

30 January 12


Sign the Call for Mass Action

Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns

hese past several months have witnessed something very different in the US. People from many different walks of life came together to occupy public space in nearly 1,000 cities in the US. They stood up to vicious police violence, they broke through the confines of "protest as usual," and in the middle of all that, they built community. Even in the face of media attempts to ridicule, distort, and demonize these protests, their basic message began to get through. People throughout the US - and even the world - took notice of and took heart from these brave and creative protesters.

The political terms of discourse began to shift; the iced-over thinking of people in the US began to thaw. Standing up to the unjust brutality and arrests became a badge of honor. People began to listen to and read the stories of some of the victims of this economic crisis, and to share their own. And most of all, as the protests spread to city after city, the fact of people occupying public space forced open debate and raised big questions among millions as to what kind of society this is, and what it should be. Why does such poverty and need exist in the face of a relative handful of people amassing obscene amounts of wealth? Why do the political institutions of society seem only to serve that handful? Why do so many youth feel they face such a bleak future? Why does the insane destruction of the environment continue to accelerate? And what is needed to overcome all this?

Those who actually wield power in this country regarded these protests, and these questions, as dangerous, and reacted accordingly. Time and again those who wield power violated their own laws and ordered police to pepper spray, beat with clubs, and shoot tear gas canisters at the heads of people who were doing nothing more than non-violently expressing their dissent and seeking community. This reached a peak in the recent coordinated and systematic attacks of the past few weeks against all the major occupations. In fact, the mayor of Oakland admitted on BBC to being part of conference calls that coordinated national strategy against the occupiers. On top of all that, and in another blatant show of illegitimate force and power, they attempted to prevent journalists and photographers from covering these acts of repression - unless they were "embedded" with the police.

To put the matter bluntly, but truly: the state planned and unleashed naked and systematic violence and repression against people attempting to exercise rights that are supposed to be legally guaranteed. This response by those who wield power in this society is utterly shameful from a moral standpoint, and thoroughly illegitimate from a legal and political one.

Now this movement faces a true crossroads. Will it be dispersed, driven into the margins, or co-opted? Or will it come back stronger? This question now poses itself, extremely sharply.

One thing is clear already: if this illegitimate wave of repression is allowed to stand… if the powers-that-be succeed in suppressing or marginalizing this new movement ... if people are once again "penned in" - both literally and symbolically - things will be much worse. THIS SUPPRESSION MUST BE MASSIVELY OPPOSED, AND DEFEATED.

On the other hand, this too is true: movements grow, and can only grow, by answering repression with even greater and more powerful mobilization.

The need to act is urgent.

As a first step in the necessary response, there must be a massive political mobilization on a day, or days, very soon to say NO! to this attempt to suppress thought and expression with brutality and violence. This mobilization should most of all be in New York, where this movement started ... but it should at the same time be powerfully echoed all around the country and yes, around the world. This is a call for massive demonstrations - soon - carried out in public spaces where they can have maximum impact and exposure and where the authorities cannot pen in, suppress, and otherwise attempt to marginalize these demonstrations.

These demonstrations must be large enough to show clearly that people will not tolerate that which is intolerable ... that people will not adjust to that which is so manifestly unjust. Such demonstrations, along with the efforts to reach out and build them, can draw many more people from passive sympathy into active support and can awaken and inspire even millions more who have not yet been reached. Such demonstrations can powerfully answer the attempt by "the 1%" to crush and/or derail this broad movement. Thousands and thousands in the streets, acting together, can seize new initiative and change the whole political equation. The urgent questions raised by Occupy - and other urgent questions that have yet to be raised in this movement - can once more reverberate, and more powerfully than before.

The repression of the Occupy movement must not stand. Act.

Signers of this Call include:

Prof. Cornel West

Gbenga Akinnagbe, actor on the HBO series "The Wire"

Carole Ashley

Fr. Luis Barrios

Renate Bridenthal, Professor of History, Brooklyn College, CUNY, retired

Elaine Brower, World Can't Wait & Military Families Speak Out

Craig Phipps, Ombudsman, Casa Esperanza

Cynthia Carlson, artist

Nina Felshin, independent curator

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, NYC

Harmony Hammond

Barry Holden

Camille Hankins, Founder and Director: Win Animal Rights and No Kill New York

Ray Hill, producer/host of Ray on the Raydio Internet radio show, Houston, TX

Lee Siu Hin, National Coordinator, National Immigrant Solidarity Network

Judith Henry

Rev. Dr. James Karpen, Church of St Paul and St Andrew, New York City

Chuck Kaufman, Executive Director, Alliance for Global Justice

Rev. Earl Kooperkamp, St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Harlem

Jim Long, artist

Waqas Malik, artist

Lydia Matthews, Dean of Academic Programs, Associate Dean of Parsons/ Professor

Ann Messner, artist

Travis Morales

Dorinda Moreno, Fuerza Mundial / FM Global / Hitec Aztec, US Liaison Secretariat, International Tribunal of Conscience of Peoples in Movement/TICPM

Nick Mottern, &

National Immigrant Solidarity Network

Bradley Olson, Psychologist, Activist

Rosemary O'Neill

Lindsay O'Neill-Caffreyv

The Rt. Rev. George E. Packard, Retired Bishop of the Episcopal Church for the Armed Services and Federal Ministries

Ana Ratner

Suzanne Ross, PH.D., Clinical Psychologist

David E. Rousline, Ph.D. Berkeley CA

Rev. Juan Carlos Ruiz, New Sanctuary Movement

Jayce Salloum, artist, Vancouver

Irving Sandler

Donna Schaper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church

Stephen Soldz, Director, Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development, Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, Past President, Psychologists for Social Responsibility

Bob Stein

Rev. Max Surjadinata, Area Coordinator of Friends of Sabeel North America

David Swanson,

Matthew Swaye

Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait

Athena Tacha

Dennis Trainor, Jr, Writer, Producer & Host of Acronym TV

Marina Urbach, independent curator, other projects, New York

Nancy Vining Van Ness, Director, American Creative Dance

Jim Vrettos, Adjunct Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Jen Waller

Vince Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights

Andy Zee, Spokesperson, Revolution Books

David Zeiger, Displaced Films your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+17 # MidwestTom 2012-01-30 11:14
The occupy movement has yet to see the kind of institutional power that was thrown at the 1960's anti-war demonstrators and the demonstrators at the Democratic convention in Chicago. Many college campuses became literal battle grounds, culminating with killings at Kent State. The occupy movement will have to get a lot larger.
+1 # redjelly39 2012-01-31 00:12
Our police have no means to deal with a peaceful protest so they always try to invoke violence because they know how to handle that.
"When the Power of Love over comes the Love of Power - We will know Peace" Jimi Hendrix
And this is where the 1%, our government & the police all have something in common.
0 # Jim Rocket 2012-01-31 15:25
Sorry about the -1. I missed.
+5 # giraffee2012 2012-01-30 11:17
Does the militarized police action remind anyone else of the beginning of the Nazi party in Germany? The Republicans in Congress and their candidates have "mouthed" their negative opinion of the OWS.

While on subject of GOP - the candidates' motto to "beat Obama" If you are (or know someone who will vote GOP in 2012 "What besides beat Obama will their GOP choice do for the USA" Here's a question to ask a candidate "what can you do for me - if you get into office" -

I will guess a GOP pResident will "suppress any Occupy movement" (at the least) and move on to reduce the taxes of the top 1% (that is in their tax plans now).

I know anyone voting GOP will have "buyers' remorse just like those who put Walker in as gov in Wisconsin - look at the # who signed the petition for recall.

Ask your GOP relatives/frien ds/ whomever "don't you remember the "W" years and still feel the result of those 8 years"?

But listen to their answers - don't over-talk them. Why? They run out of answers before they start when asked "WHY"

VOTE in 2012 - the most important election to date and vote Dem (unless a win can come from a 3rd or 4th party ticket)
+4 # disgusted American 2012-01-30 23:42

Obama also kept the tex cuts for the wealthy. Obama just signed the NDAA after he got Congress to change some wording to give him unilateral power. Obama wants to have a Nat'l Internet ID card so everyone gets a gov't issued password for all your online action including your bill paying, banking, buyin, blog comments and emails, what sites you visit etc.

So Obama along with Demorats and Republicans have turned America into a full-fledged police state just with the NDAA, nevermind the rest. And everything else they have all done is in the best interest of the 1 percent - Wall St., the banksters and themselves.

So why would you vote for a Dmeocrat instead of a Republican? It doesn't matter. It's a one-party system.

If you vote for a Democrat, you are showing that all they have done is OK with you. You become an enabler.

Either vote third party or stay home.
0 # John Locke 2012-01-31 11:08
disgusted American: Thank you, I continually ask this question, "is to vote for who we think is the lesser of the 'two' evils still voting for evil, and perpetuating the fraud of a Democracy that no longer exists?". I am glad to see others are also seeing this.

The Voting history in the US has been in decline over the past 160 years, as more and more of us opt out af the Fraud... example in 1840 the Federal voter turnout was 80.2% it remained fairly high but steadily declining almost year over year, until 1920 when it fell below 50% for the first time, and with the exception of only 2 elections 1960 and 1964 never went over 60% again. Even when Obama was "elected" the turnout was only 57.48% ... What this means, I believe, is that an almost equal number of qualified voters feel disenfranchised from the system.

What is even more striking is not the percentage of voter turnout but of voter registration itself which has also declined year over year.

An observation: In 1960 we actually had more votes cast than registered voters by a margin of 4 million votes...If I recall that was due to Chicago and the number of persons who were deceased but still managed to vote.
+3 # RLF 2012-01-31 07:18
Why is it so important? With Obama being a cricket fart from a republican. In all probability, no Supremes will come up until the following presidency, making it a sure thing that the next justice will be appointed by Rethugs. What is really important is that we stop allowing the Dems to be proto-republica ns and get away with it.
+21 # redjelly39 2012-01-30 11:46
The GOP may be the worse of the 2 evils but Obama also got elected on the bankroll of the 1% and has not shown his support for the 99%. The last person to stand up to the banks was shot in the head in 1963 - message delivered !!! Not a single politician has been brave enough to challenge them since.
Its simple as far as this election goes - the candidate will stand with the 99% or with the 1%. This is the biggest reason Occupy will be repressed. Candidates want to run their traditional $$ wasting campaigns of lies & false promises and keep the status quo.
Someone needs to finish what JFK started and repeal the Federal Reserve so we aren't under the control of the Central Bank.
This is the question for all those who want to represent We the People.
+1 # colvictoria 2012-01-31 19:50
Thanks redjelly39 for your comment on the Fed.
I like many was pretty ignorant about the Fed but then I started reading and digging for the truth. You are right about JFK and since then no one has had the testicular fortitude to get rid of these monstrous bankers who control our entire economy and our government.
It is infuriating to recognize this fact and our only hope is to fight back through OWS and doing simple things like moving our money into community or credit union banks and just educating ourselves and becoming more politically aware.
+15 # Lolanne 2012-01-30 12:52
Let it be so, O Lord, let it be so.
Such a massive turnout by the people in solidarity with OWS is the only chance we have to change things.
+21 # DPM 2012-01-30 13:33
The Occupy movement, where I live, is small, but persistent. We are gaining recognition. We are gaining strength. And, we are in it for the long haul. It's cold, but we are still here.
Join your local movement and plan for the upcoming year!
Occupy! Occupy!! OCCUPY!!!
+8 # Terrapin 2012-01-30 15:26
Srew us and we multiply!
+2 # Majikman 2012-01-30 20:18
+9 # wsh 2012-01-30 17:09
If the Occupy movement is suppressed in its traditional role (and I hope to the gods it isn't), how about taking a page from the Teabaggers: Start taking over Town Hall meetings. After all, this is where the Baggers got their power and media attention. And it worked for them...make it work for us.

Every Town Hall meeting, Dem. or Rep., should have the Occupy Movement there in force so WE can change the make-up of the Congress to Progressive.

Force the Dem. candidates toward Progressive stances...and shame and ridicule the Rep. candidates for standing up for the 1%.

And on the way out, thank a Teabagger for showing us the way. ;-)

+6 # Huck Mucus 2012-01-30 17:28
I support this Occupy movement in the same way most folks support the troops: I might put a yellow ribbon on my rig. WTF? I guess I should get off my ass and actually do something. However, I just gotta vent a little bit first.

The coverage of this movement is not unlike the media coverage of the poor and starving in America: They inevitably focus on some fat chick with a whole litter of brats. Now, thinking people know that one can be malnourished and still overweight at the same time. It's a fact; look it up. NEVERTHELESS, perception is what matters. If they actually found some skinny, hardened, pretty brunette like the one in that famous photo from the depression, someone that bigot white America could identify with, they might get more mileage. But the media doesn't want more mileage. They are on the other side.

In other words, like the sixties, middle white American needs to start seeing THEIR sons and daughters and wives and mothers and fathers and troops out there in OWS. Not a bunch of your typical poster boys for liberal causes. Bag the homeless vet look and force the media to see America out there.

Conservatives always get liberal when they see themselves: Nancy Regan and Stem Cells, Jim Brady and Gun Control, Newt/Dick and pie divers, James Baker and swimming pool regulation, etc. Otherwise it looks like the tip of the spear for OWS are the same folks we see panhandling by Wal-Mart ever day. Shrug shoulders.
+5 # Doubter 2012-01-30 19:02
It's now or (probably)never !
+3 # dsweet 2012-01-31 10:19
To the Occupy movement's supporters, including the doubtful, disgusted, hopeful and scared...we need to bring out the great reservoir of the 99% who are inspired by the occupations. Please sign the Call to Mass Action Against the Suppression here We do need, in our many thousands, to stand up to the repression.
+1 # Tippitc 2012-01-31 23:15
My husband calls this time "the winter of our discontent" and wonders what will happen on the "Ides of March". Occupy is quietly growing and becoming stronger. I just wish we had a mainstream media that wasn't owned by the 1% - thank god for the internet that hasn't been corrupted YET!

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