It’s the End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine: 12.09.11

1. Pepper pig
2. UK Gang Truce
3. Puckupy Vancouver
4. Toxic Poop Soup Stoppers
5. No Tar Sands Oil through BC
6. Egypt’s Pipeline Saboteurs
7. Canadian Resistance Court Wrap Ups
8. Many Chao
9. You are going to Jail, a security culture primer

Stimulator’s fuckin site


Filed under: activism, movements, occupy, , , , , , ,

The Costs of Education

The Occupy Movement has influenced the mainstream media to discuss neoliberalism in terms of its production of greater economic inequality. However, for most people this discussion continues to be framed inside the question of raising taxes on the 1%. Rather than merely raising our voices in advocacy of a slap on the wrist, we can also push the discussion further and escape mere economism by registering the costs of inequality that are beyond cost.

Environmentalist and anti-war groups have been doing this for decades. For example, we know that the true cost of a gallon of gas isn’t the number on the pump, that climate change and imperialism pose existential threats that outweigh even U. S. military spending.

Below are two excerpts that discuss various challenges facing students and educators, challenges which also face the Occupy Movement in various ways, and compel us to register the unmeasurable costs of daily life today. The first, from an essay by Harry Cleaver, describes how grading transforms the education system into a manufacturer of workers for the 1%. The cost of tougher grading, he writes, is no less than our freedom and our humanity. On the other hand, “The easier the grading, the more time and energy are liberated for each student (or for groups of students collectively) to think independently, to read on their own, to explore aspects of life they may have just discovered, or to delve into whatever issues their intellectual and sensual curiosities may have raised for them.”

Like Cleaver, the second excerpt, from R. D. Laing, also argues that we should kick the 1% out of the classroom as part of a larger project of creating freedom.

Since 9/11, reactionaries have mobilized masses by redefining “freedom.” The arguments below are just two ways we can take it back, restore its original meaning, and build the movement.

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David Graeber: Major Direct Actions (1994-2003)

The following timeline appears in David Graeber – Direct Action: An Ethnography, AK Press (2009).

January 1, 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect. Uprising by the EZLN (or Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, or Zapatistas) in Chiapas begins with a surprise military offensive that leads, briefly, to the seizure of Chiapas’ capital, San Christobal de las Casas.  The Zapatistas, however, quickly transform from an offensive force to a defensive one, creating a series of self-governing autonomous communities, seeking international allies, and promulgating a politics of direct action, democratic experimentation, and a new approach to revolution that converges with the anarchist tradition in its refusal of traditional attempts to transform through the seizure of state power.

August, 1997 Second Zapatista “International Encuentro For Humanity and Against Neoliberalism” in Spain ends with a call to create an international network, that ultimately comes to be known (in English) as Peoples’ Global Action. Aside from the Zapatistas themselves, the core of PGA, at first, consists of the Brazilian Landless Farmers’ Movement (MST), the Indian Karnataka State Farmers’ Association (KRRS, a mass-based Gandhian direct action movement), anarchist or anarchist-inspired groups including Ya Basta! in Italy and Reclaim the Streets in the UK, and various indigenous and agrarian movements and radical labor unions.
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OWS, Month 3

The accelerating Occupy Movement is freely developing of its own momentum. Not only have occupations proliferated around the globe, but as the occupations gain mass they’re increasingly throwing off satellites.

One such satellite is The New School Free Press’s occupation of a building owned by Wells Fargo, an action which continues Occupy Wall Street’s novel focus on private institutions:

“As we are continually and violently pushed out of public spaces, the people of this city must find new spaces in which to foster dialogue, learn and engage politically. Private spaces must be liberated; the movement must expand. We students, educators and members of the broader public have come together to occupy this space, seeking to transform it into a place of public education, safe and open to all.

“Much of the repression of this movement has been conducted under the pretense of public health and safety. We, the occupiers, declare that our primary concern lies in the safety and well-being of this occupation and its participants. New School President David Van Zandt and the New School Administration have expressed concerns that we observe the building?s fire code. We share these concerns. Licensed fire guards are included among the occupiers and we will continue to take the necessary steps to prevent harm from coming to anyone.

“We reiterate that this occupation is not a New School action; this building actually belongs to Wells Fargo, whose role in the current economic crisis is well-known. We are occupying a building: and we, as occupiers, are not solely students ? we are workers, teachers, students, unemployed, under-employed, indebted and exploited. We are creating a common space that will eventually be open to all. In addition to the people?s university, the CUNY adjunct project, and the all-city student assembly, we are in the process of planning a series of open teach-ins and events. Schedule forthcoming.”

Viewpoint Magazine continued their excellent coverage of the movement this week with an article that examines and welcomes the shift toward deeper decentralization. Is there a limit to this reduction in scale?

Filed under: activism, education, movements, , ,


via OccupyTVNY
more at AnonOps1337

Activist Mark Reed of the alter-globalization movement teamed up with fellow Occupiers, including a nearby resident, to pull off this historic spectacle of positive slogans and street chants.

The Verizon Building was previously projection bombed in 2008 in protest of the company’s unconstitutional practice of warrantless wiretapping.

Verizon is the 16th largest company in the U.S. with $2.5 billion in profits last year, yet it continues to threaten its workers with pension and benefit cuts.

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November 17th, 2011

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number –
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you –
Ye are many – they are few.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley (1819)

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This Week on Against the Grain

Mon 11.07.11 | Anarchism in Thought, and in the Streets
Anarchist principles inform much of what is happening at Occupy Wall Street and beyond. So what does anarchism, a rich tradition of political thought, mean? Martha Ackelsberg, Cindy Milstein, Tomas Moniz and Roger White discuss anarchist ideas and dynamics. Milstein also describes “anarchism in action” at Occupy Philly.

Tues 11.08.11 | Wall Street, Populism, and the Left
Moving your money out of the big banks that have helped create the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression may seem like an excellent idea. But leftwing journalist Doug Henwood believes such actions — along with community currencies and attempts to abolish corporate personhood — are misguided. Henwod discusses the long, and problematic, history of American populism, and what a radical approach to finance might look like.

Wed 11.09.11 | “Free Trade” & Corporate Power
Martin Hart-Landsberg points out that free trade agreements, such as the one the US is poised to conclude with South Korea, are about much more than trade — they expand the power of big corporations, strip governments of their ability to regulate them, and fuel capitalism’s destructive tendencies. According to Hart-Landsberg, the Korea-US trade deal would also fuel the already-disastrous financialization of the US economy.

via Against the Grain

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It’s the End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine: 11.09.11

1. No cops allowed in Occupy Vancouver
2. W.T.F.W.J.D.
3. Ninjas?
4. Bahrain battles SUVs
5. Justice, Syria style
6. #Jan25
7. Is this a revolution?

Stimulator’s fuckin site

Filed under: activism, movements, occupy, , , , , , , ,

Solidarity: Oakland General Strike

A Photo Essay:

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Behind the News: 10.28.11

update: just posted an essay by Alex Vitale titled Rule of Law vs. the Forces of Order

• sociologist Alex Vitale on cops and protest

• journalist Sarah Jaffe on OWS

Vitale offers a valuable overview of different policing tactics from 1960s-present.


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