Sorry for the down time today. The tech team has been working non stop to get the site back up and running. Glad its back. We will be posting more stuff soon like in 10 hrs.
Thank you for the time and effort you have put forth thus far.
It is greatly appreciated!
My current worry is in regards to the authoritarianism of this movement. From what I have been reading the Occupy LA is have this problem (http://unpermittedla.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/the-general-assembly-and-grassroots-democracy/), as is the Occupy Louisville (KY)movement because the self-proclaimed organizer has organized this even alongside the LMPD. She, Sandy Knauer Morgan, claims to have reported two individuals to the LMPD for commenting on the event page and sharing their distaste with her tactics. Please be aware this event has at least one snitch present, and she’ll probably be the one acting like she’s in charge. It is these sorts of concerns that I would like to bring to the table to be discussed and to further “our” cause. Thank you for your time.
The following link redirects you to the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City, a sure place to start and use as a guide to “our” direction and action: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/10/02-1
Also, the following redirects you to an article in Dissent Magazine on the perspective of the anarcho-liberal, which I would suggest can be pernicious to Occupy Nashville presence: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/atw.php?id=560
On starting your own assembly: A Quick guide on group dynamics in people’s assemblies.
Also, if anyone on this site can gather information in regards to knowing my rights esp. in light of protesting, as many of us have done nothing like this before, that would be great. Perhaps a quick assembly to inform us of our rights before the occupation would be a good idea.
As some friends have asked me to explain the occupation of Wall St and my support for the occupation, I thought I’d take a few moments and write a note. I hope it helps to frame the protests. Feel free to share it as you please and, of course, your comments are welcome.
The occupation was initially called by the magazine Adbusters and endorsed by the activist hacker organization Anonymous. It is important to emphasize, however, that neither group has played a significant role in the organizing on the ground. Reports from those involved indicate that the initial organizing was done by veteran activists in NYC (with a few newcomers, of course). Generally speaking, these activists are Leftist radicals of one sort or another. There are, however, many involved who do not have a well articulated politics.
To understand the nature of the protest, then, it is important to understand Left radicalism. To be on the Left is to think of social inequality as the most important political issue. The primary purpose of a social institution or organization from this perspective is to address or end social inequality. To be a radical is to have a root cause theory. A root cause theory identifies an underlying source which produces the phenomenon in question. For Left radicals, the root cause of social inequality is an underlying oppressive social system: capitalism. Capitalism as it is understood by radicals refers neither to such personal characteristics as greed or competitiveness nor to the exchange of money for goods and services. It refers, rather, to a social system in which a very small percentage of the people own the tools, land, etc. necessary for reproducing life and everyone else is forced to work these tools – primarily to the benefit of the owners. Differences in health, wealth, and power are, thus, taken to be rooted in this system of ownership.
The occupation of Wall St is intended as an opening salvo in what will hopefully be a long revolutionary struggle. Although occupiers may call for reforms, it is important to see that their ultimate demand is revolutionary. They seek to seize power from the ruling capitalist class. Occupiers tend to avoid state and party mechanisms for this struggle. Some avoid these means on principle: as they see it, these institutions are themselves part of the problem. For others, these mechanisms have lost any claim to legitimacy since they are now fully co-opted by corporate lobbyists. In either case, the belief is that this struggle must draw from sources outside the established political system. For all these reasons, electoral politics, petitions, and letter writing campaigns are not significant parts of the overall strategy.
Wall St was chosen both for its symbolic resonance (it is the hub of world finance) and for the material effects such an occupation could have (the disruption of the smooth flow of finance capital). Occupation was chosen over other forms of protest for a number of reasons. Encampments and occupations of public squares have been successful recently across the globe. They provide an exciting example of the power of people to organize daily life and resist their exploitation and oppression. And, they break with the theatrical nature of other forms of protest. While they remain symbolic to a great degree, the occupations express and carry out a commitment to change. 400,000 marchers may shout “Stop the War.” But the wars continue on because everyone puts their signs away and goes home at the end of the day. There is no reason to heed their demands. The occupation, by contrast, exemplifies the slogan: “We won’t stop until they do!”
Some have expressed frustration at the occupiers because they are leaderless and lack specific demands. One of the most important aspects of the occupation, however, is that it seeks to empower all the participants to lead and to prefigure a new form of democratic society. In protests worldwide this is expressed by the demand for dignity. Dignity means not only that participants seek jobs and material security, but also that they seek to have a genuine say in how their society is organized. Whereas the system currently invests that power in authorities, experts, and managers, the occupiers call for it to be returned to average people in the form of face-to-face, direct democracy. It is precisely the insistence on face-to-face, direct democracy that has made it difficult for the occupiers to make specific demands. In order for any decisions to be made on behalf of the occupiers, literally everyone must agree. To some this will seem inefficient or unworkable. Of course, those of us who support such experiments in democracy will ask: “How’s that other thing working out for you?”
Many reformist commentators have argued that the occupiers will only alienate the majority of people in the US. They have pointed to the way the occupiers dress and accused them of being lazy and whiny, likening them to hippies. Ultimately, they suggest, the occupiers are idealistic counter-cultural fools and naïve children. On the whole, the appropriate response to this line of argumentation is that the standards of dress and behavior cited by these commentators as belonging to the “majority” actually belong to a small, but vocal minority: the petite bourgeois (or “upper middle class”). If you visit any factory or office in America, you’ll find plenty of people who dress and think just like the people occupying Wall St. That’s not to say that the average American is a slob or a hippie. The point is that beards, tattoos, or piercings are not uncommon among working people. And, of course, the witticism that they should “Get a job” is laughable – as jobs are just what they are demanding.
I hope this sheds some light on my support for the occupation. I do not pretend to speak on anyone else’s behalf, so please do not think that my ideas or arguments are shared by all or even most of the occupiers around the country.
I’ll be there Thursday.
Wanted to let you know that I build and maintain WP sites. If you guys need any help on that end of it I’ll be of what ever help you need.
Democracy is NOT a spectator sport.
Not sure we know enough details to join in the protest or not but as it stands there will be four of us 50 somethings joining in because our voices need to be heard. Tennessee sits quietly while not only our federal representatives but our state representatives are turning their backs on the people of this state. Marsha Blackburn is being bankrolled by the Koch Brothers, voting to cut environmental protections so the Koch Bros can spread their poison chemicals while the Smokey Mtns are being suffocated. State Legislators introduced legislation they didn’t even read that was presented by a GOP organization ALAC. Money influenced politicians sold us out, voter ID law perfect example. See everyone Thursday.
What a bunch of losers! Go and get a job. You people have to much time on your hands. I bett all of you losers voted for Dear Leader, Obuma. Thanks a lot.
Geary did you even graduate from high school? You perpetuate the typical southern sterotype on television.
Geary you are like a chicken that supports Colonel Sanders yes eventually they will get your Pension and Social Security as well
Has a kitchen been set up yet that I can donate food to?