Archive for December, 2011

THE #NDAA GOES INTO AFFECT TONIGHT

Be careful fellow Occupiers. The NDAA for 2012 will go into affect at midnight tonight. If you don’t know what this means than I would like to rent some space underneath that cozy rock you’ve been under. But either way here. I’ve been hearing anonymous reports of the NYPD planning on closing down Manhattan at midnight and proceeding to arrest every protester. If you consider yourself to be non-arrest-able you must make a serious decision as to whether or not you would like to continue in the Occupy Movement. As the new NDAA states, a protester is a low form of terrorist. Don’t let this scare you. They have no right to try and make you shut up. The more they tell us to be silent the more we must refuse.

The NDAA, SOPA, and WW3 are all fear tactics being employed by the terrorist organization known as the U.S. Government. We do not negotiate with terrorists. When they try to silence one voice, we must rise up with a thousand more voices.

Happy New Years everyone, this has been a spectacular year of revolution and global transcendence, let’s ensure that 2012 is even more amazing!

TO OCCUPY PORTLAND

I started Occupying in my home town of Portland and left to NYC in early December. It was such a beautiful experience seeing the town I had lived in for so long be awakened in such a phenomenal way. I had never felt more connected and more proud of a group of people than I felt with my fellow Occupiers. It was a sincere honor to stand in solidarity with the beautiful people of Occupy Portland.

Occupy Portland has done a lot of things right. And we certainly didn’t try to do some of these things.

Firstly, I never really realized how brilliant this was, but eliminating blocks from our process was a perfect way to ensure that an infiltrator couldn’t simply come in and screw everything up. Here in OWS there is a group known as the Blocking Committee who come into every single GA and Spokes Council and will most likely block every damn proposal that gets brought to the table. A block is simply to much power for random people who are uneducated in the GA process. The 90% consensus model is perfect for figuring in all factors if all participants are, well, participatory.

Secondly, the financial scandal that happened early on in our Occupation where upwards of $20,000 went missing from our paypal account went missing was one of the most brilliant things that could have happened to us. The healthy distrust of finance that came with this “travesty” was such a blessing. This allowed our movement to stray away from the use of money and rely completely on in-kind donations. It may have presented a lot of hardships for us, but it forced us to rely on ingenuity and strenuous outreach all day everyday.

When I tell people in OWS that OPDX doesn’t use any money they get wide eyed and begin sparkling radically. There is so much money here… so much. It is horrifying. The very first day I got here I was handed $2000 and told to go buy Metro Cards. Everything that happens here is dictated by finance, it is a tremendous block to the progress of this movement. The juxtaposition of the GA here and the GA back home is almost laughable. The GA in Portland is a place where we make decisions that will further the safety, security and success of our Movement. On a personal level its a place to get your actions endorsed with the Occupy Portland name and to do a bit of advertisement. Here, the only reason to go to a GA is to get money, and money, and more money. There are no progressive conversations, it is simply an ATM.

I don’t mean to bash OWS in any way, this is my personal observation of just one aspect of this Occupation (albeit a very large aspect). The experiences I have had here have been nothing short of absolutely spectacular. The modesty and clarity of these revolutionary people is truly inspiring. The very first action I participated in (#D12) was the most alive and free I had ever felt in my life. We simply need to find sustainability.

So, fellow Occupiers and non-Occupiers alike, how do we move away from the use of money within this movement? How can we buy out of the system that we are all so displeased with? There are ways to do it, people do it every day. But, to have an entire sub culture do it is a completely new undertaking. Let’s group think some business folks!

LET US START THE RECALL PROCESS

We the People shall not be silenced through fear tactics!

The Un-American Terrorists that voted to pass the NDAA for 2012 need to pay for their crimes against the American people. We cannot stand for the unnecessary scare tactics of this terrorist organization anymore. Every U.S. citizen must take on the task of protecting their homeland and begin ostracizing these un-Patriotic criminals from our society. We have a hope for gaining our country back from tyrannical regimes, all that needs to happen is for the People to wake up to these crimes.

Here is a list of all the Senators that have been working to eliminate your freedoms as an American citizen and have constantly disregarded the law of the land to further their selfish gain. They need to be reminded that they are servants of the People and of the Constitution.

YEAs —86
Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gillibrand (D-NY) Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Rubio (R-FL)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)

Furthermore, here is a link to the personal information of a number of these Terrorists. I declare a troll tactic of spamming their personal lives to constantly remind them of the crimes they have committed against us.

Here is also a comprehensive document on how to recall a senator. And, thank you to the brave Patriots of Montana whom have already started this process.

For the protection of your civil liberties and the freedoms that this country was founded on we must stand up and disallow the greed of the few defeat the freedoms of all.

Mornin’

Woke up this morning feeling bleary. Put on this song and felt so much better. Focused, excited, and caffeinated!!

The Farm

The Woodstock Farm is such a phenomenal place. When the stress of OWS is just to much to handle it’s the perfect place to alleviate that. The farm is owned by a wonderful family who have lived there for twenty-seven years. They are now opening up the farm to the Occupy Movement in the hopes that we will create something beautiful and sustainable with this gift. I believe that is incredibly likely.

I spent two days at the farm, and within that time we dug a latrine and built a set of stairs for the house. It’s a wonderful juxtaposition from city life. Where everything you do is so digitized. I’m a much more physical person, if I cannot see my end result or have something tangible in front of me it’s very difficult to feel any form of accomplishment for my work.

The reward is much different. As apposed to plugging away on the internet and hoping that you have gained the attention from the masses, you are able to physically manifest your goals and desires on the farm. When a plan is laid out for the farm you know the exact process through which you will achieve that goal.

Our plans for the farm in the future are ambitious and beautiful. We hope that in the spring it will be a place where Occupiers who have been working way to hard in the city to come and relax away from all of the stress and drama of OWS. The Occupy Movement is a wonderful thing, but I fear that we all have mild cases of PTSD. We also hope that come spring time we will have the infrastructure of the farm established enough that we will be able to start growing our own food on the property and eventually move away from the system that we seek to change.

This is not the only farm that has been offered to OWS, (in fact thee are 9 farms that have reached out to OWS to help us in our sustainability) but it is where we will learn to create the future in which we wish to live in. It will also be the blueprint for the way in which we will handle all the other farms we have acquired. There is a lot of work at the farm that needs to be done, and even now it is questionable to even call it a farm since there are no crops being sewn there. But, it is a place where people of all different expertise will come and contribute to the vision of a new society that no longer relies on greed as a reward-able trait and hard work and love are the conquering values.

Day 1
We left the city at 2:55pm after much corralling and mis-communication. Luckily I had been able to acquire a camera from my friend Atiq from the media coalition so that we could document the farm trip and hopefully get a kick starter going for the farm. We drove up there with my friends Eric, Jeff, and Toby and every crevice of the small sedan was filled with snow gear and sleeping bags from SIS.

The ride up there was such a shock for me, I had yet to truly realize the vast industrialization of this area until we drove through New Jersey, where everything is a freeway and wherever you look is a viscous smoke stack billowing toxic fumes into the air. I found much relief in knowing that we would soon escape this oppression. Upon leaving the city I was struck with the vastness of human ingenuity as we tried to escape the megalopolis I could almost feel the tendrils of the consumerist society dragging upon us. 10 miles, 20 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles. We were still in city, industrial sprawl refusing any logic, bashing any advisory, taking and taking more than it could sustain. It was the system we had created, but now that we see what we have made how can we unmake it.

Finally, the buildings started giving way to trees, the smoke stacks replaced with mountains, the fast food chains were co-opted for streams. The windows went down and we could smell the air. The sun went down and we could see the stars. Oh! The stars! What a beautifully ancient thing they are. Even after all these years of “sophistication” no light show of man could compare to the majesty of those monoliths in the sky.

We arrived at the farm at around 9:00pm and were greeted warmly by dogs, Occupiers and above all, the family. Dawn and Mark are the heads of the household along with their sons Cole and Jessi. Dawn is the sweetest lady you will ever meet and bakes the greatest cakes and cookies you will ever taste, a truly honest and strong human being. Mark is one of those mountain men that are as sweet as a dove on the inside. He will chop wood all day long with his gorilla hands, and then come inside and talk with you about the failures of our government and the greed of corporate America. Although Occupy is a horizontal Democracy, it must be respected that we are all guests of there household. The night was a festival of food and alcohol, with cheery spirits and joyful songs. We had escaped the digital monopoly of city life and were transcendent into true human interaction.

Day 2
We all awoke around 8am on our own accord. The excitement of a new day could not be co-opted for more sleep. We arose and ate breakfast, drank massive amounts of coffee, and began the chain of smoke that would last the entire day (this was especially awful, but I certainly never complained). One of the Occupiers (Hunter) who had been staying at the barn for well on three weeks gave me and Toby a tour of the property. Hunter is one of those young men that you suspect are fooling you when they tell you their age. A true Earth Child who has immense value for all good things. A person of zero apathy and is empathetic towards all forms of life. He was raised in Alabama and came up to New York as so many other young people (including myself) have done.

The property held so much life and vividness. Horses, dogs, people, an abundance of flora and fauna. All things were alive, all things held such potential. Everywhere you looked you could imagine what would be there in the future. We toured where the GA’s would be held, the potential artist camp, the Tee Pee that had been built, the places where crops would be sewn. And, everywhere you stepped you could feel the energy of Zuccotti park running through the ground 300 miles away and permeating upwards into your feet and through your hands and before you knew it you would have a shovel in your hands digging a latrine and chanting “Whose farm?” This was our farm.

Day 3
I know I’m moving fast, but I prefer to capture the feel of something rather than tell a linear story. My mind just doesn’t work in a linear fashion.
Most of the unnamed Occupiers left the night before to head back to town for god knows what, so we were left with Hunter, Toby, Jeff and I to get some shit done. And we did indeed get shit done. We built a beautiful set of stairs up to the sleeping area in the house, complete with horse collars for railing.

After sunset it was time for myself, Toby and Jeff to head back to the city. After wishing the family a merry Christmas and taking one last look at the majestic stars we got back into the car to return to the leech that is New York City. I’m not sad though. I’ll be back there.

#OccupyXmas

Although this is a holiday surrounded by immense greed, I still can’t escape the truly good nature of this holiday. Especially within the Occupy Movement it is a time where you give everything that you can without fear of getting it in return, because we all know that we will get ours in time. It does perpetuate consumerism and the purchasing of useless crap, but I think there’s hope for Christmas.

Christmas deffinetly snuck up on me this year. I remember back in mid-November when we were having a candle light vigil outside of City Hall for all of the Occupations that had been raided. I felt so whole and comforted by the beautiful nature of all of my fellow Occupiers, I felt at that moment the elusive emotion we call “the Christmas Spirit”. But, I guess I lost that feeling somewhere in between Portland and New York.

Occupy has certainly given me a tremendous amount of hope for the kindness of human beings. I feel like we are all breaking out of the preconceived notion that humans are naturally mean and individualistic. But, as I’ve come to learn, nothing affects a humans behavior more than the actions of their peers around them. When we start seeing people give and give until they literally have nothing left it is impossible for us not to follow suit.

It certainly doesn’t feel like Christmas without my family here. I kept expecting that I would start developing those bonds with Occupiers here, but I think I’m giving myself some sort of block against any truly deep and meaningful relationships here. I just miss my friends back in Portland so much.

Merry Christmas Interwebs!

How I got Here

I have been involved in this Movement since last September and it has sincerely changed my life in every sense of the word. I started Occupying in Portland, Oregon, but ever since I started I knew exactly where I needed to be, New York City.

At the begining of November I recieved a phone call from my friend Shiva whom I had been working on Union Outreach with. He was in an absurdly excited mood even for him. He began telling me about how his Union wanted to send him to Washington D.C. for an SEIU action called Take Back the Capital (you might have heard a bit about it, it was an attempted co-option from the SEIU to use this movement for their own partisanal goals) and he was allowed to bring one friend and… drumroll… I was that one friend! I soon decided that it wouldn’t make any sense to return to Portland when I was being placed so close to the epicenter of this fantastic revolution. So, long story short, I hitched a car ride from DC toNYC after I had done my work attempting to infiltrate the SEIUprotest and have been Occupying wall Street since December 11th.