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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Protect the occupations: what the rest of the 99 percent can do
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Monday, November 07, 2011

Protect the occupations: what the rest of the 99 percent can do

as a close observer of the occupy movement and seeing the need for evolution beyond merely "occupying," i think it's critical to find ways to effectively communicate with and potentially bring in the vast numbers of other people who share the concerns of the those who have chosen to be active in the effort...

jeremy brecher in the nation...

According to the Albany Times-Union, Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, under pressure from the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo, thereupon directed city police to arrest several hundred Occupy Albany protesters. The police refused. The Times-Union reported that “State Police supported the defiant posture of Albany police leaders to hold off making arrests for the low-level offense of trespassing, in part because of concern it could incite a riot or draw thousands of protesters in a backlash that could endanger police and the public.” According to the official, “The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor.” Meanwhile, Albany County District Attorney David Soares informed the mayor and police officials that, “Unless there is property damage or injuries to law enforcement we don’t prosecute people for protesting.”


Here are some ways 99 percenters might want to think about organizing with their own real and virtual communities:

  • Bring a speaker from your local Occupy group to a meeting in your living room or to whatever organizations you belong to.
  • Organize a General Assembly in your neighborhood to discuss the issues of the 99 percent. Discuss what is upsetting people and decide on some concrete action to address it.
  • If your PTA supports teachers’ jobs and programs for low-income students, get them to visit their political representatives and also do a joint action with your local Occupy group.
  • If your church’s food pantry or homeless shelter needs money, hold an action at your local bank offices demanding that they feed the homeless in “their” community. If they won’t, ask your elected officials to take a look at the benefits they receive from “their” community. (Remember, according to Mayor Bloomberg it was the threat of city council officials to look into benefits received by the owners of Zuccotti Park that led them to back off their efforts to shut down OWS.)
  • Create a Facebook page for your own equivalent of “Knitters for the 99 Percent.”
  • Create a group to monitor local media and to protest when they favor the concerns of the 1 percent over those of the 99 percent.
  • Organize public hearings in your town about what’s really happening to the 99 percent and how the 1 percent’s power is affecting them.
  • Create your own temporary occupations in your own milieu addressing concerns about housing, jobs, media or whatever else concerns you and your fellow 99 percenters.

The occupations have been incredibly successful. But nothing can fail like success. Z magazine founder Michael Albert, just returned from conversations with protest veterans in Greece, Turkey, London, Dublin and Spain, reports he was told that their massive assemblies and occupations at first were invigorating and uplifting. “We were creating a new community. We were making new friends. We were hearing from new people.” But as days and weeks passed, “it got too familiar. And it wasn’t obvious what more they could do.”

there's a threshold to be crossed and a higher plateau to be achieved... how we do that is going to be a significant challenge...

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