Hey all you wild cats, do-gooders and steadfast rebels out there,
Our movement is living through a painful rebirth… “There has been a
unfortunate consolidation of power in #OWS,” writes one founding
Zuccotti. “This translates into ideological dominance and recurring
lines of thought. We are facing a nauseating poverty of ideas.” Burned
out, out of money, out of ideas… seduced by salaries, comfy offices,
book deals, old lefty cash and minor celebrity status, some of the most
prominent early heroes of our leaderless uprising are losing the edge
that catalyzed last year’s one thousand encampments. Bit by bit,
Occupy’s first generation is succumbing to an insidious
institutionalization and ossification that could be fatal to our young
spiritual insurrection unless we leap over it right now. Putting our
movement back on track will take nothing short of a revolution within
The new tone was set on Earth Day, April 22, in a suburb bordering
Berkeley, California when a dozen occupiers quietly marched a small
crowd to a tract of endangered urban agricultural land, cut through the
locked fence and set up tents, kitchens and a people’s assembly. Acting
autonomously under the banner of Occupy, without waiting for approval
from any preexisting General Assembly, Occupy The Farm
was notable for its sophisticated preplanning and careful execution —
they even brought chickens — that offered a positive vision for the
future and engendered broad community support. While encampments across
the world were unable to re-establish themselves on May Day
, this small cadre of farm occupiers boldly maintained their inspiring occupation for nearly four weeks.
In Minneapolis, a core of occupiers have launched an Occupy Homes
campaign that is unique for its edgy tenacity. “What is unusual, in
fact utterly unprecedented, is the level of aggression and defiance of
the law by these activists,” a spokesperson for Freddie Mac, a U.S.
corporation that trades in mortgages, told
a local paper. “Over the past week … the city has tossed out protesters
and boarded up the house, only to see the demonstrators peel back the
boards and use chains, concrete-filled barrels and other obstacles to
make it more difficult to carry them away,” the article reports
Last Friday, police were so desperate to prevent a re-occupation of the
foreclosed home that they surrounded the house with “30 Minneapolis
police officers with batons” and “over two dozen marked and undercover
squad cars and a paddy wagon.” Occupiers responded
by laughing and signing songs… joyous in their struggle to elevate the
home into an symbol of democratic resistance to the banks.
In its own sweet way, our movement is now moving beyond the Zuccotti
model and developing a tactical imperative of its own: Small groups of
fired up second generation occupiers acting independently, swiftly and
tenaciously pulling off myriad visceral local actions, disrupting
capitalist business-as-usual across the globe.
The next big bang to capture the world’s imagination could come not
from a thousand encampments but from a hundred thousand ephemeral jams… a
global cascade of flash encampments may well be what this hot Summer
will look like.
Meanwhile, tents are up once again in Tahrir Square
and youth from Quebec
are rising up against a future that does not compute.
Stay loose, play jazz, keep the faith … Capitalism is crashing and our movement has just begun.
for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ