Occupy updates and loose ends

31 12 2011

LA TimesOccupy’s Rose Parade float: 70-foot octopus of corporate greed

LA Times: Occupy's Rose Parade float: 70-foot octopus of corporate greed

Portland PhoenixNoam Chomsky’s advice to the Occupy movement

Noam Chomsky has advice for the Occupy movement, whose encampments all over the country are being swept away by police. The occupations were a “brilliant” idea, he says, but now it’s time to “move on to the next stage” in tactics. He suggests political organizing in the neighborhoods. . .

Chomsky’s speech was entitled “Arab Spring, American Winter.” In it, he presented the Occupy movement as the first popular reaction to a “vicious class war” waged against working people for over 30 years in the United States, just as the Arab Spring uprisings this year in the Middle East and North Africa were reactions to decades or centuries of repression by wealthy elites supported by the United States and other Western powers.
Since so many culturally resonant ideas of late can be traced to anarchism, this rings true:  “Thank you, Anarchists” by Nathan Schneider in The Nation
At its core, anarchism isn’t simply a negative political philosophy, or an excuse for window-breaking, as most people tend to assume it is. Even while calling for an end to the rule of coercive states backed by military bases, prison industries and subjugation, anarchists and other autonomists try to build a culture in which people can take care of themselves and each other through healthy, sustainable communities. Many are resolutely nonviolent. Drawing on modes of organizing as radical as they are ancient, they insist on using forms of participatory direct democracy that naturally resist corruption by money, status and privilege. Everyone’s basic needs should take precedence over anyone’s greed.
An Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers on Occupy the PortsIn recent conversations about the December 12 West Coast Port Shutdown, the Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers on Occupy the Ports has repeatedly come up as a counter to MSM’s spin of the truckers as hapless victims of radical extremist entitlement.
Today’s demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?

Note that Occupy Oakland, the group at the center of the Port Shutdown, was raided by OPD yesterday, on ever more ridiculous charges (“having possessions in the plaza?”).

#Occupy Bat Signal for the 99%
Finally, looking back on what OWS brought us in 2011, one of our favorite cultural productions was the unparalleled awesomeness of inspirational video projected on the side of the Verizon building, while LED candles were passed out to the crowd of ten thousand or more passing by as they made their way on to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Xeni Jardin’s Interview with Bat Signal creator Mark Read (boingboing.net)

#Occupy Bat Signal for the 99% (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

#Occupy Bat Signal for the 99% (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

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