Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
Last week I wrote about The Rahm Emanuel way, and the Occupy way, to get ready for the Chicago G8 / NATO Summit. That summit takes place in May, and that month appears to be a very significant part of the future planning of Occupy / 99% and related movements around the world. On the other side of the globe it will be a Fall rather than Spring offensive of course, but international efforts to coordinate are taking place.
It isn’t as if things haven’t and won’t happen between now and then, but a significant part of what will happen is focused on May as a month of global action. For some of the anti-Occupiers who are aware of this, it very quickly became, of course, tied to “communist Russia,” a phrase I’ve seen in several places. The burning of a U.S. flag by one person participating in the Oakland Occupy / PD skirmishes over the weekend resulted in the same arguments made a few decades ago, although most of what I saw on the OWS Twitter feed were of the “this proves all Occupiers hate America” variety. A good number of condemnations along those lines show up on that feed, so that’s nothing new.
Most likely more of the same will appear following the planned “Feb 4th Day of Mass Action to Stop U.S. War on Iran,” as described at Occupy Seattle. According to the post, “over 23 cities” have indicated participation. Given how the anti-war actions all but disappeared with Obama’s election, and given all that’s happened since — including the sad and scary increased use of drones — it will be interesting to see how much attention this Saturday’s efforts will gain. Actually, two other “givens” — 2012 elections and Super Bowl — it’s likely anti-war actions will be lucky to even be noticed. Priorities, you know.
Related to attention given is the consistent and growing use of police to curtail freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders, based on just such actions, significantly lowered the U.S. standing in their Press Freedom Index.
This also seems related, via OWS News:
Another subpoena to Twitter for Occupy related account
Twitter today (January 30) informed user @destructuremal that the State of New York had issued a subpoena for his account information. The account holder, Malcolm Harris of New York City, is an Occupy Wall Street activist who has been involved in movement organizing since at least September 2011.
Some planned actions between now and May are ongoing, such as the “move your money” step. From Adbusters:
When the G8 meet in Chicago in May, it will be a major moment of truth for the global economy.
Already there are all sorts of ideas percolating — Robin Hood tax, banning high frequency flash trading, a true cost economy, bio-economics — that will lead to reform of the global financial system.
But in the meantime there is something we can all do to set the stage for #Occupy Chicago, and that is the personal action to move our money away from the big banks.
Some of the Occupy actions are probably more surprising than others, in terms of the focus. For example, via Common Dreams: “OWS Stands With Farmers, Says Enough! to Monsanto.” The huge corporation controls the genetics of almost 90% of corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets.
… in New York City, the Occupy Wall Street movement is calling for protests to support 60 family farmers, small and family-owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations that are challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seed in federal court.
And among other recent Occupy happenings:
Via the Miami Herald, Cops break up Occupy Miami camp:
Scores of police swept through the downtown location of Occupy Miami Tuesday night, ejecting several dozen demonstrators and arresting a few of them while shutting down the protest camp after three and a half months.
The police, wearing riot gear and banging batons on their plastic shields as they advanced, cleared demonstrators from within half a-dozen blocks of the camp site … .
Several Miami Occupiers indicated they already had plans to move to other Occupied sites.
Directly related to May planning, from Occupy News:
Occupiers from NYC are visiting occupations in 16 northeast cities to help organize for a spring offensive.
About that “offensive,” from a global perspective, via Take the Square:
Spring is coming — US Occupy call for a General Strike on May 1
More from Take the Square:
Global Assembly …
The date and time for our next May 2012 common actions meeting will take place next Saturday, the 4th of February at 19:00 UTC.
A list of participants includes those from the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Western Africa, New Delhi, Beijing and Australia.
And from Indignados/Occupy/Anonymous:
May 2012 #12M12 #15M12 — INDIGNADOS/OCCUPY/ANONYMOUS JOIN THE GLOBAL SWARM
Following discussions in international forums, on-line … as well as face to face, it was decided that 12th May should be the next global action day, and May 15, the day of a new transnational form of mobilization.
On a practical and political (if those two things can actually be considered together) basis: I’m wondering how all of this will influence the 2012 campaigns, including congressional. More importantly to me, I’m wondering how all of this will influence what I think is a desperate need to get out from under the domination of the two parties who routinely pledge allegiance to their Corporate masters, but keep getting elected anyway.