Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
Among the latest of the Occupations to be given a deadline by which they had to leave, or law enforcement would evict the Occupants are Occupy Philly and Occupy Los Angeles. As of a short time ago, via OWS, “Occupy Philly Still Standing Strong.”
And at Occupy LA, last night’s 12 AM deadline to disperse was not enforced. As the sun came up, the livestream at OWS included shots of LAPD officers leaving in vans, as well as a friendly conversation with someone identified as “Capt. Smith,” who smiled and talked about the “peaceful” way most Occupiers acted – as an Occupier walked by and asked the officer, “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?”. Capt. Smith added that there were a few people (among the Occupiers) who “didn’t get it,” and threw a few things at his officers; there were “three or four” people arrested. But according to what he, and Occupiers, said, it was a basically peaceful evening. He was asked, “What do you think will happen tonight, at midnight?” in terms of what the city officials would instruct the PD to do, and he said, “I don’t know,” but went on to focus on keeping things as peaceful as possible.
I’ll bet most Occupiers, and most law enforcement officers, agree with that. According to Occupiers in the livestream feed, the people who, as Capt. Smith described them, “didn’t get it,” were not individuals the Occupiers recognized. This, of course, is nothing new. But what’s also nothing new is that it’s the non-peaceful moments and actions by law enforcement and by those among (though not necessarily of) the Occupiers that inevitably get media attention. Maybe that’s why they miss so much of the many things that are going on. A few examples, as I’ve seen them at various Occupy web sites: the NYC People’s Library is now “on wheels”; Zuccotti, and other sites of “evictions,” are still spaces where Occupiers gather during the day for meetings and simply to have a presence, and where some will remain overnight, though not in tents or any other “structure”; Occupy the Board Room; Boycott Black Friday; #OCCUPYXMAS; General Strikes, marches and sit-ins. And these:
Via Occupy Boston:
At Dewey Square today, Monday, November 28, you will see six barber stools representing the six biggest banks: JPMorganChase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. From 3pm to 6pm, skilled barbers will operate at each of these stations, providing free haircuts to occupiers and supporters. …
In banking, a ‘haircut’ is when a bank or other lender adjusts the terms of a loan to decrease the debt on the borrower. While banks routinely take ‘haircuts’ when dealing with large corporations and wealthy clients, they rarely do the same when dealing with members of the 99% who are paying back mortgage loans, student loans, credit card loans and other debts.
You can keep up with what’s going on through a relatively recent addition to online sites: Occupy TV “aggregate(s) videos from Occupy protests worldwide.”
Another online tool, Occupy Map,
is intended to serve as a central point for movement-wide reporting of a variety of incidents and situations:
Locations of active Occupations/General Assemblies
Actions: events, protests, etc.
Further categories, and refinement of existing ones, will be going on for a while … .
Occupations across the world have recently adopted the tactic of taking over unoccupied buildings. In New York, students and allies occupied New School buildings and dropped leaflets and banners from inside during the N17 Day of Action. In North Carolina and Oakland, protesters occupied vacant downtown buildings.
At Occupy Denver:
This Saturday (Nov. 26) Occupy Denver is proud to announce its first ever Children’s March … . From our first march, we have been blessed to have so many young people marching with us. …
Last Monday Occupy Denver was blessed with a fieldtrip of 50 or more 7-8th graders from the Logan School. We were blown away by the questions they asked, their understanding of the issues, and their enthusiasm.
has been a voice for veterans and their grievances since our founding in 2004. We understand that change comes about when people speak up, organize, and demand justice. Veterans and active-duty service members have a history of organizing, from the Bonus March to the Vietnam War. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have an important contribution to make to this movement.
As veterans and members of the 99% we stand in solidarity with the Occupy Movement.
Most of these are actions unlikely to get much media attention, but then, the Occupy Movement isn’t so much a “protest” as a “process.” That presents problems and challenges for everyone accustomed to the controlled gatherings that have become the standard: city officials, law enforcement, media, analysts (Left, Right, Center) academics … everyone has to adjust, or resist adjusting. Occupy certainly draws on historical activism, but just as occurred in those earlier moments, evolving and new ideas are essential. One last illustration of what’s happening and being said, via a few announcements, ideas and thoughts from the Twitter feed at OWS:
Big_Red_Star #occupyyourself #Ows PROTEST ALERT-Occupy the CUNY Board of Trustees, TODAY, 4-8pm, Baruch College, 24th and Lexington Ave.
DEADHEAD1776 RT @occupybot: RT @studentactivism If the #Occupy movement is ‘camping’ then the lunch-counter sit-ins of 1960 were ‘hanging out at the malt shop.’
Jeff_Raines A question of focus is always divisive. RT @PolicyMic Occupy the hood: Should #OWS focus on the bottom half of the 99%? bit.ly/s2wmVS
ATRACZZ RT @blogdiva: RT @an0nyc: @MichaelSkolnik <– 100% Right. The #Occupy movement is not about standoffs with police, this is an #IntentionalDistraction
MichaelWeschler RT @Occupy_Provo: RT @LOLGOP: I’ll remind you that a crowd smaller than #OccupyLA owns more than the bottom 150,000,000 Americans combined.
Of course there is always some continuity in activism. In this morning’s livestream from Occupy LA, I heard one. A woman, off camera, said of an Occupier’s call to “keep it peaceful”: “Right on.” Sometimes eras sort of blend together.