Don't Let Occupy Be Occupied: 6 Ways to Fight the Creep to Institutionalize Photo Credit: David Shankbone January 25, 2012 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. It's worth a long night’s conversation over your beverage of choice to explore the history of how becoming institutionalized affected the course of the civil rights and women’s movements, among others. Radicals became captive to a mindset dominated by the imperatives of competitive fundraising and institutions, rather than movement building. The beauty of Occupy is that it is popular, wild, free. Paolo Freire said that all strategies are either domesticating or liberating. Assuming that we don't want to see any diminution of the spirit of Occupy, here are six thoughts about what could neutralize the impact of Occupy; consider them for that long comradely conversation about the tensions between movement- and institution-building. 1. Bad outcomes are often born of good intentions -- consider the social change-oriented non-profit.
Theory & Event - Semantic, Pragmatic, and Affective Enactment at OWS In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: The Occupy movement shows us how the semantic, pragmatic, and affective - meaning, action, and feeling - are intertwined in all collective practices. The intertwining of the semantic and the pragmatic - what we say and what we accomplish in that saying - has been a topic of interest in the humanities and the critical social sciences for almost 50 years, since its thematization by Austin and its codification in Speech Act Theory; widespread interest in affect has been more recent, but the interplay of its twin roots in Tompkins and Deleuze - producing a sort of evo-neuro-Spinozism - has been usefully explored in The Affect Theory Reader (Gregg and Seigworth, 2010). It's now time to bring speech act theory and affect theory together in understanding the role of political affect (Protevi 2009) in the Occupy movement. To do that, we'll need some housecleaning. The first thing that needs to go is the concept of ideology.
Quick guide on group dynamics in people’s assemblies This text has been prepared by the Commission for Group Dynamics in Assemblies of the Puerta del Sol Protest Camp (Madrid). It is based on different texts and summaries which reached consensus in the internal Assemblies of this Commission (and which will be made available on the official webs of the 15th May Movement) and from the experiences gained in the General Assemblies held in this Protest Camp up until 31st May 2011. pdf-it, pdf-fr, pdf-es, pdf-en The purpose of this Quick Guide is to facilitate and encourage the development of the different Popular Assemblies which have been created since the beginning of the 15th May Movement. What is a People’s Assembly? It is vital to remember to control our gestures and body language so that our own emotions do not confuse matters, and to remember also that a smile is hugely effective in moments of tension or in an apparent dead-end.
New Rules for Radicals: 10 Ways To Spark Change in a Post-Occupy World February 1, 2012 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Editor's note: AlterNet is excited to announce the launch of a full-fledged, future-oriented "Visions" section. Click here to sign up for the new Visions newsletter. The first rule is this: The world is different now. Since Occupy, we all understand this. What’s going on is that we are (finally!) The reasons for this shift are complex and wonky, and are the stuff of other articles. As a Silicon Valley brat-turned-futurist, I’ve spent a lot of my life in a culture that churned constantly with this kind of upending, unending change. So, with that, we are already on to Rule Two, which is really the most important one: 2. Anger is useful. So: let’s drop that cool, cynical, I’ve-seen-it-all, let’s-not-get-too-excited-here stance. 3. Because I have no idea what will work now, what we can ask for or expect, or where the boundaries of this new landscape lie.
Three Complaints About OWS | Technology Operations Group What can we say about a movement whose first public action was successfully hijacked by the Workers World Party? A lot of things to be sure. But we can’t accuse ourselves of being well organized. And this lack of organization, championed by so many as a key ingredient of Occupy Wall Street’s success, continues to trip us up. In this (overly long and badly in need of more editing) article, three key problems are identified: The rate at which interested people (veteran activists and newcomers alike) interact with OWS but walk away without finding a place is too high and higher than it should be.Newcomers and participants in a movement need to find their place. A number of colleagues at Occupy Wall Street from the Tech Ops and Outreach Working Groups read a draft of this and encouraged me to post it. The Bounce Rate Is Too Damn High On September 17th after a hard day’s marching around, I stood on Broadway and looked down into Zuccotti Park. Systems did emerge to engage newcomers.
Occupy Time | In the Moment Jason Adams Williams College “Time and I, against any two” – Baltasar Gracián [Author’s Note: this piece was composed while Occupy Oakland, Portland, Denver, and other cities were under attack, prior to the eviction of the epicenter, NYC’s Zuccotti Park. The events of the past weekend, it would seem, render the already developing shift from space to time necessary, as well as inevitable.] Until recently, a casual observer might have thought that Occupy had developed a time management problem, that it was increasingly managed by a static image of space. Rather than maintaining this spatial strategy at all costs, what is most interesting about Occupy now is that it is increasingly complicating static images of space: it is, in short, occupying time. For instance, when one occupation was evicted by police, more often than not, several more have simply appeared elsewhere. While speed is often mobilized from above though, this is not the only form it takes. But that of course, did not happen.
Theory & Event - Claiming Division, Naming a Wrong In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: The movement opened up by Occupy Wall Street is the most exciting event on the US political left since 1968. As in '68, the current movement extends globally, encompasses multiple grievances, and is being met by violent police responses. Also as in '68, an economic wrong, the wrong of capitalism, is at the core of the political rupture. In May 1968, a general strike shut down the French economy. Students occupied the Sorbonne and workers occupied factories. The movement's early slogan, "We are the 99 Percent," quickly went viral. "We are the 99%" highlights a division and a gap, the gap between the wealth of the top 1% and the rest of us. The assertion of a numerical difference as a political difference, that is to say, the politicization of a statistic, expresses capitalism's reliance on fundamental inequality—"we" can never...
Change.org - Start, Join, and Win Campaigns for Change Participation and communication pt. two: the stages of community building | The main reason for communities to break apart is conflict; conflict mostly caused through a lack of communication. When people get together and discover their freedom, they feel like there is new meaning in their collective but also individual lives. They mostly experience some kind of deep harmony. Scott Peck in his book ‘A different drum’ names this the first stage of community building, where we discover and live our similarities and common interests and goals. He calls this stage however ‘pseudo-harmony’ because during the phase of discovering new individual and collective meaning we tend to oversee each other’s vices. Therefore the stage of ‘pseudo-harmony’ is mostly followed by the second stage, the stage of chaos and conflict. So what is it that makes communities succeed when others fail? The ideal of equality and the potential of collective wisdom are both lost through a lack of communication. Like this: Like Loading...
6 People You Need to Start a Revolution April 12, 2012 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. With the 99% Spring up and rolling and set to bring 100,000 new activists to the party this weekend, there's some increased friction between various progressive groups who are working to expand the movement this year. It's a good time to remember that mass movements are — by design and necessity — big and diverse, encompassing lots of different kinds of people who bring all kinds of skills, resources, interests and priorities to the table. There's not enough that can be said about the genius of Occupy at raising America's awareness of the corporatization of our culture, and defining and framing the predations of the 1 percent against the 99 percent as the defining conflict of our age. For the revolution to spread, the Occupy protestors need to be joined by other people — very specific kinds of other people, in fact. Activists Intellectuals
Are Americans a Broken People? Why We've Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression | News & Politics December 11, 2009 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them? Has such a demoralization happened in the United States? Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further? What forces have created a demoralized, passive, dis-couraged U.S. population? Can anything be done to turn this around? Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them? Yes. Does knowing the truth of their abuse set people free when they are deep in these abuse syndromes? No. Has such a demoralization happened in the U.S.? Remember the 2000 U.S. presidential election? When people become broken, they cannot act on truths of injustice.