EndPars-Occupy City Hall

ICE down 1 Remains of medical station after cop raid at ICE, 8th and Cherry.

the 2011 Occupy camps were an open mass movement, a premature revolutionary experiment that wasn’t able to deal with how unprepared so many were who came into the camps. They had collapsed and outlived their service weeks before they were taken down by cops. But failures are how we learn.
When I first heard that there was going to be an attempt to ‘occupy’ the ICE facility, I was skeptical. Heraclitus had a pretty good rule of thumb for radical action: can’t step into the same river twice “Don’t Try to Repeat the Same Thing”

But from the beginning, it was clear that what’s become the end Pars occupy city hall camp (a single action in a larger coalition) learned some valuable lessons, whether from 2011 or from wiser young heads) — It only superficially resembles the 2011 Occupies. Contributing to this, is the deep, organizing that preceded it–diverse groups many that had been working independently, but were prepared for cooperative, intersectional action when the right occasion appeared.

Micro-organizing is the essential prerequisite for the success of any mass movement. Never despair because you are few! You are NOT FEW!

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Our Corporate Police State at Work

The coordinated shutdown of dissent.

Naomi Wolf: New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent
WWW.THEGUARDIAN.COM|BY NAOMI WOLF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revolution: organizing for the long haul

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An interesting question: when all our ideas about how to maintain long term stability are modeled on capitalist institutions (the symbiotic relationship between non-profit and profit being the most obvious), how do we organize for the long term in ways that will break that mold? Put another way: how does a revolutionary movement remain revolutionary when the struggle is going to be multi-generational?

Do we assume they will be temporary but reoccurring, splintering off into more conventional affinity groups (like Occupy),

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or can we create forms of self-renewing continuity that are not dependent on existing institutions, but exist in the interstitial spaces abandoned or not yet occupied by the machinery of capitalism–and having the power to resist assimilation and occupation?

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55 Days of Occupy Philly: 54, 55… The beginning is near

11/29/11 Day 54
Rain. CoCo, Friend’s Center

I’ve posted these for the 55 days of Occupy Philly on Dilworth Plaza, from the first day of OWS, the days of planning for OP, to the first day of our camp on October 6, 2011 to November 30, the night of our eviction.

To view all posts to date, click:  55 Days of Occupy Philly.

Still on Dilworth. Two more days before Social Security.

Sunday—four rows of 25, — people sitting on steps

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from 5 PM (time named in eviction order)… somewhere around 11:00, people disassembled. Crowd went from 500 or so (?) to about 100—OWS people from New York arrived—electric energizers! Plastic Pail drumbs—danced for hours. Straw vote to ignore Gwen-of-Labor’s warning that cops wanted drums to stop—unanimous. Congo line to Northwest corner, across to Thomas Paine—back down JFK & 15th –danced in the street past the cops.

About damn time we stoped letting the cops tell us what to do. Not to bed till after 3:00 AM. The damn orientation at 8:30 next morning—turned out to be about conditions of bail. Call in twice a week, don’t get arrested before trial or risk revoking bail and contempt of court.

Friday
12/2/2011
Day 55
The end came Wednesday. November 30. Up all night Sunday. Again eviction day. Bowled over by a horse. Last night—GA at the Friends Center… so, it goes on.

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…not with a bang, but a whimper

Soon they will come, the police. The city workers with their trucks. Our city of tents, our fights–all of it will disappear. Scrub away our presence, uproot the trees. Pile up the marble slabs we slept on.

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My mind drifts back in time. I am fishing on Lake Michigan with my father in his boat. This is shortly before he will die. My parents had bought a retirement cottage not far from Grand Rapids. The light on the water, that silvered turquoise water, the peaks of the waves glisten in the sun–even the Voice is lulled to somnambulant slumber. I think of my mother–of that last summer, the summer before her final illness, while she is still herself–sitting on the porch–martini hour–watching the sunset over the lake, the jet skiers droning and whining like gigantic mechanized insects, a moment I want to go on forever. A tableaux receding into the distance, like the light of stars that no longer exist.

I will always remember…

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55 Days of Occupy Philly: days 51, 53 the end is near…

11/25/11
Friday Day 51

I will be posting these for each of the 55 days of Occupy Philly on Dilworth Plaza, from October 6, 2011 to November 30, the night of our eviction.

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To view all posts to date, click:  55 Days of Occupy Philly.

11:50 Am A week till Social Security. Fasted for Thanksgiving. Played chess. Chilled. Went to City Hall for a stroll, conversations. People had brought quantities of food for occupiers.

Camp is in sad shape. Number of tents dwindling by the day—but still more than 200 or near that.

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Walked to the ACME. Ready to sit down and read, write, do an on-line interview about my facilitation experience.

______ hi-jacked the GA—and threw a tantrum at CoCo—with his core of body guards threatening anyone who tried to approach or speak to him. He had a 3 page single spaced proposal he demanded be presented to the GA as a unit—with no amendments permitted. This when we’ve been given a 48 hour eviction notice—cops went around sticking notices in every tent.

… a break at Fergies

Sunday Day 53
11/27/11
10:30 AM
Preparing to go to City Hall for what may be last day of the encampment.

________ tried to hi-jack the GA again last night. He’s glittery-eyed obsessed—never stops. Managed to contain him by surrounding him with bodies and then retreated to Arch St. Methodist, blocking the door, creating a double line of bodies for people to pass through, and keep him out.

Meetings
and more meeting…
from 1:30 past 10—more than 9 hours. Facilitated CoCo (happily–____didn’t show up), & one proposal at the GA.

We plan to gather at Rittenhouse Square at 4:00 PM day after eviction—march to the Round House if there are arrests, as there almost surely will be.

I’m holding up pretty well.

May not be till Monday afternoon. If not arrested, have an “orientation” court ordered—for the Wells Fargo action, Monday morning. Will let Legal know

Peace and Solidarity!

55 Days of Occupy Philly: Days 47-49.

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I will be posting these for each of the 55 days of Occupy Philly on Dilworth Plaza, from October 6, 2011 to November 30, the night of our eviction.

To view all posts to date, click:  55 Days of Occupy Philly.

Sunday 11/20/11
Day 47
Independence Mall
Committee of Correspondence… 62 degrees. ¬¬Gray clouds. Sitting on the grass.
Finance tomorrow at 4:00/ meet at Friend’s Center.
InterOcc—Com of Correspondence. PhilOccTogether.
Occupy Philly Media for posting info, Facebook, for Dec. cross occupy gathering.

Al Jazeera has on Occupy index

Occupy think tank—problems/ideas

Conference call 3:00 on preparing for Dec. 10.

GA report

Agenda-Iwanka and I will make a working group report to GA tonight.

Food Group—ask about lunch on 10th. Welcome—I’ll do that.

Café—fruit coffee

Political Theater—do what we did in Wells Fargo.

Tomorrow: PRESS CONFERENCE
Video

11/22/11
Day 49
17 in waiting room across hall from the court room. 14 defendants, an attorney, 2 supporters. I’m a defendant, but not for today. Here to support my fellow perps. AMP date for me the 28th (if I choose to do community service—I won’t), my arraignment set for 12/6, but trial will be consolidated.

________ sits next to our lawyer—never stops talking, endless loop.

Reading Terminal. Home—long nap. Thought I’d left Spirit Stick at Reading Terminal… bummed me out. Grumpy all GA—which was poorly facilitated.

A proposal for a list of demands that should have easily passed was tabled for a 3rd night. _______was so obsessed with pleasing everyone—drags the process on forever.

I’d left Spirit Stick outside when I went for mail… there it was when I got home…soaked. Heavy. Soggy… poor thing.

City ready to move on us—but not till Thanksgiving or after. But who knows?

We had a press conference
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—Wells Fargo 14 report livestreamed at GA. I didn’t see it.

The sand is running out…

but we’re still here!
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55 Days of Occupy Philly: Days 45, 46. Action at Wells Fargo

November 19
Day 45
Weather 54 – 30

I will be posting these for each of the 55 days of Occupy Philly on Dilworth Plaza, from October 6, 2011 to November 30, the night of our eviction.

To view all posts to date, click:  55 Days of Occupy Philly.

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Time out for jail time. Direct action at Wells Fargo. 15 hours overnight jail time, a few winks of sleep.

Hours of meditation to pass the time

and singing

…went to the rich man’s house

Saturday Day 46
11/19/11
Weather 55 – 40
Marchers went to another location as diversion. Fourteen of us entered the bank at 4:00–as customers. Did a Mic-check, started our teach-in.

Held up our Foreclosure Notice!

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Arrested at 6:00, taken to the Round House by 6:30 PM. Released at 9:30 this morning—so 17 hours, 15 in the cell. 36 hours virtually no sleep. Facilitated CoCo, got a SKYPE capapable mobile phone on long term loan. GA voted to ask legal to send the permit (application sent by Cigy) with amendment that they permit tents, food warmers, & no end date. Not a change they’ll accept. The pizza smells good. No money after paying for a pint of beer.
_________ got out in one piece. Held separate from the rest. We were worried.

     Friday November 25, 2011 -- Arrest at Wells Fargo
     He loves you ...  
                ...Kate
     tents moving in the night
     camp ashambles by morning

     assisted into the white van      watch
     your head, the tile floors, concrete, pink painted
     bars -- world beyond our reach

     graffiti

     coin-scratched on cell walls
     twice            I love you Kate

     sit on the floor chanting
     knowing
     their sins 

     are ours -- unstoppable

     a new world awaits us, Kate!

     black coats, orange arm bands

            …  the writing's on the wall

Later, there were sleep-ins outside the bank
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We made street theater

…and after a being found guilty the first trial, a jury found us not guilty the second… on grounds of exposing an evil greater than the harm done by the sit-in/teach in.

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55 Days of Occupy Philly: day 43, Thomas Paine fiasco, rumors of eviction

11/16/11 Day 43
Weather -54 – 39 Rain
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I will be posting these for each of the 55 days of Occupy Philly on Dilworth Plaza, from October 6, 2011 to November 30, the night of our eviction.

To view all posts to date, click:  55 Days of Occupy Philly.

5:15 Friend’s Center.
CoCo, It would take days lying on a beach in the sun to bake the weariness out of my bones.

Larry just came in—an announcement from the city that start of construction was “imminent,” that people would be coming tomorrow morning to relocate the homeless.
There won’t be much construction—mid-winter. Read “removal” is imminent.

Move – 24 to 48 hours—
anytime between tomorrow afternoon and Friday afternoon—if it happens at night, will be tomorrow (Thursday) night. Speculation: a daylight move perhaps possible—Ramsey putting a good face on his assault — to distinguish Philadelphia from other cop actions?
I will facilitate the interfaith proposal.

Fantasize – a council, planning for an invasion from outer space.

Legal Collective: no raid tonight.
Pat Gilespia –Phila Building Trades—expressed solidarity with us.
AFL-CIO, same, but if we impede construction, will have to step back.

     Pink banner folds 
     billows gently wind-blown  -- unreadable
     There is no Way to Peace
     multi-colored tents row on row
     multi-colored green 
     tarps
     circle below the spiral stair spattered
     with pigeon shit—all of this must go
     the tall man lurching as he walks bends
     stops bellows & moves on –
     MEDIC red cross – INFORMATION
     table empty now—daily schedule blank – wheel chair – WATER
     Please Sanitize Hands – rain soaked
     slabs of cardboard, plastic forks, spoons
     orange plastic buckets
           IMMINENT 
               … left undefined, the end game
     has always been in progress –
     playing out from before it all began
     Boycott Everything	 -- Shut the City Down
     -- the city – whose city – whose city
     bikes chained to railing—flag, U.S Marines
     ARMY –shirts – wave their arms LABOR
     & FACILITATION side 
     by side –hula hoops lean on SAFETY

GA in the Friend Center after Occupy Together meeting
–after a 2:00 afternoon discussion about what to do—given the notice to vacate fliers posted around the camp—at 9:00 we had to leave the Friend’s Center, continued the GA in the usual place in front of city hall—but no lights no mic— -back to people’s mic… past 10:00 before we came to a decision—to move across JFK, with a call for help from unions—whose support was tied to not blocking the fucking construction scheduled for the plaza… caught the police off guard—-hadn’t expected us to move after the Nov 11 decision—but no go. Told to go back—after dismantling the food station, carrying some of the tents across the street.
Carry them back.

Total clusterfuck.

Another discussion

——
I’m writing this blind—the poor light (Lucky 13) & left my reading glasses at home.
A fiasco—but leaves us with all the chips. The city blew its moral advantage—all ours now. We showed solidarity with the unions, we complied (or tried) with the city’s request to move–

& they chased us back

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55 Days of Occupy Philly, Day 41

I will be posting these for each of the 55 days of Occupy Philly on Dilworth Plaza, from October 6, 2011 to November 30, the night of our eviction.

To view all posts to date, click:  55 Days of Occupy Philly.

11/14/11
Day 41
Weather 67 – 56

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1:35 PM The Occupy press conference responded to the mayor—very strong. How much gets on the news—who knows. This was a skirmish in the battle to control the narrative.

A gorgeous day!

1:46 AM Raiding Zuccotti Park now – on livestream.

Destroyed all personal & community property. Tossed in a dumpster.

3:09 AM … arrests coming soon

23K watching livefeed from all over the world.

Dragging people off one by one… Allegra? How many people are there?
[blank] Allegra? [blank] Allegra….

Monday November 14, 2011
Day 41
We hear them...
     ...the machines

     of power, the Mayors don their armor

     Portland, St. Louis, Oakland, New York… 
     Darth Vaders by the

           score

                    one!

                              for the 1%

     can't they hear ?
     the hour glass -- the sand
     beneath               
                        the pillars

     totter

     to plastic pail drums --

     old Joshua's trumpets
     sound

     the living & the dead parade
     
                           surround 

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     a thousand City Halls!

55 Days of Occupy Philly: Days 39, 40 — 99% chant wears thin…

11/12/11
Day 39
Weather 62-41
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I will be posting these for each of the 55 days of Occupy Philly on Dilworth Plaza, from October 6, 2011 to November 30, the night of our eviction.

To view all posts to date, click:  55 Days of Occupy Philly.
Most of the day fielding email–______ at CoCo, making an effort to behave… sort of. He wants to go to facilitation training. Not capable of keeping opinions to himself or calling out (hand signal) “point of process” when his only point of process is his disagreement with what someone has said. What it amounts to—a desire to make process work to support his opinion & deny those of any who don’t agree. We’re going to have to work through this shit.
This has been… difficult, yes, but a satisfying challenge—a challenge that’s been a test of faculties not much called on for a long time. Twelve years in front of a class room helped. And a more secure sense of myself as a poet, that I’ve won for myself the freedom to shed the last vestige of the need to appear ‘normal.’ … to be what other’s want, or what I might imagine others to want of me.

Sunday Day 40
November 13, 2011
Weather 71 – 54
11:09 AM Dreams of sailfish & sharks in the Outlet at Bass Lake. Occupation. Disorientation. Meeting at 3:00 Reading Terminal. 5:30, Reading at Giovani’s Room. Too dangerous to swim in the ocean. Occupy web correspondence till 1:15. Read –GA –Prepare my story, “Freedom Arms” for submission.

Nate believes it’s possible to work with politicians. Talks too long—shouldn’t facilitate. I hope he finds an opening for his dream of an experimental farm.

Walked from City Hall to 2nd, North to Brown, met the Occupy Wall Street marchers & escorted them back. One who walked the 90 miles barefoot. Escorted by cops there and back. Taunted by hipsters watching us pass. Food ready for the marchers when we arrived… and news of the attack and destruction on the Zuccotti camp.

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The 99% mantra works as an invitation to the Big Tent, but as a facade of unity it is dangerously misleading.

Nutter’s news conference—he “doesn’t want confrontation” but says that the Occupation has changed, the “leaders” have changed… not so veiled threats.

There are many of the 99%, not just the police, who will fight us, who will try to destroy us, many who simply don’t understand how to transition from a hierarchical culture, who use intimidation to grasp for attention & power and work to undermine and betray the movement… sometimes with the best intentions. Others who are too intimidated by the prospect of disapprobation by authority figures whose smiles and vague promises make them forget whose interests they serve, forget that no matter how ‘nice’ a mayor or police chief might be, they are inexorably bound up in an essentially undemocratic power structure that exists primarily for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.

Let’s not be overly distressed that when Authority begins to frown, many will scuttle to what they believe to be safety, many will turn their backs on us, others will seek to push us toward a defensive authoritarian response to the perceived threat.

What we have done is already part of history and they cannot destroy what has begun here–not from above, not from within.

Mayor Nutter said in his news conference that Occupy Philly had changed. That the “leaders” had changed. What he meant was, there is no select few who stand apart from the people and pretend to speak for us in our stead, who can be manipulated, cajoled, used for their own ends.

Let’s not be fooled. His complaint acknowledges that we’re making a difference. That’s why they will eventually try to destroy us–no matter where we move.