22 November 2011

Transitioning the Occupy Movement: From Protest to Action (Addendum)

As stated in the earlier blog entries, it is now time to transition the Occupy Movement to be part of the everyday life of citizens, to take down the structure that the plutocracy has created from within. While, I still think that a working convention/conference would be the best vehicle to galvanize the Movement, there are other ways to start making change in small ways in your neighborhood, workplace, university, local city councils, online connections etc.  On the other hand, the Movement still needs to keep up demonstrations, but probably relinquish the idea (at least for the winter time) of occupying public spaces to concentrate on broadening support. This occupying of public spaces has become  somewhat of an obsession with some in the Movement and is distracting from the overall message. 

In an article by Luis Moreno-Caballud and Marina Sitrin (both participants in Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Madrid) titled “Occupy Wall Street beyond the encampments”in the online magazine Yes! on 21 November 2011 (http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/occupy-wall-street-beyond-encampments ) they state that the Occupy Movement in Madrid has transitioned from occupying public spaces to organizing cooperatives in neighborhoods and other activities.
In the article they state:
The evictions and threats to the physical occupations in the United States have again raised the question of the future of the movement. The question isn’t whether the movement has a future, but what sort of future it will be. For example, should our energy be focused on finding new spaces to occupy and create encampments? Should we be focused more in our local neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces? Is there a way to occupy public space with horizontal assemblies, yet also focus locally and concretely?
Further on in the article, the authors state:
Rather than reproducing the logic of the traditional “sit-in,” these occupations (in Madrid and New York) quickly turned to the construction of miniature models of the society that the movement wanted to create—prefiguring the world while simultaneously creating it. The territory occupied was geographic, but only so as to open other ways of doing and being together. It is not the specific place that is the issue, but what happens in it. This is what we could call the first phase of the movement. Solutions began to be implemented for the urgent problems, like the absence of truly representative politics and the lack of access to basic necessities, such as housing, education, food, and health care. In Spain and in the United States, this first phase saw the creation of two problem-solving institutions: the general assemblies and the working groups.

It is quite clear from my perspective, that Madrid is showing the path to the next phase in the Occupy Movement. The Movement should broaden, still concentrating on demonstrations and the agenda that is still being pushed by the plutocrats (including the organization of a conference in New York), and begin to focus more on the local by helping the unemployed, the homeless, confronting the plutocracy on a local scale, implementing assemblies for decision-making, advocate local direct democracy, encourage democracy in the work place and other actions still yet to be conceived.  These ideas will be expanded in other blog entries that I intend to post.


WiseFather said...

You might like this direct action protest I took on my own. I called my credit card's customer service line to do some negotiating. Having a bit of leverage, I thought it presented a great opportunity to mess with them a little and make a few points about the unfairness of the credit card lending system. I made video of the call and posted it on my blog and Youtube. It is quite funny even if you are pro-megabank. Since it's a protest at home, I called it my kitchen counterstrike against Bank of America. http://www.ragingwisdom.com/?p=508

Michael A. McAdams said...

Thank you for sharing this. The video is very clever and funny. I have also included your blog on my blog list.