American (U.S.A) Elections: to vote or not to vote?

images

The U.S. is a world power. Our politics is not just about those within our gated borders. Presidential elections insulated from the consequences of our global exploitation and the MILLIONS who suffer and die because of U.S. policies and actions, are exercises in a kind of mass psychosis, a manufactured, hallucinate dream. We give all the candidates a free pass on this… “maybe we can pressure Bernie to do a little better on Israel” “So what if Hillary fucks war criminal Henry, she’s a woman!”
You want your vote to matter, make it matter for everyone! Until we do–it really doesn’t matter. Better not to vote, cause for the planet and most of the humans and animals, a collapse of the U.S. political system would be the real “lesser evil.”

This election reminds of those big protests in Israel a couple years ago. Israel’s occupation and brutality … like it didn’t exist. It was all bout jobs, economic inequality… la la la. Peas in pod.

Americans (U.S.A) don’t get it. The economy–all the good stuff Bernie stands for, bull shit, without including the rest of the picture, the rest of the world. It’s all one thing. A spectacle! The U.S. military occupations, the endless wars, the support of murderous regimes like the Saudis, Israel… all part of the same system that’s given so much power to so few, that’s fueled income inequality. If all of that isn’t tackled and dealt with, neither Horrible Hillary’s pitchy patchy incremental shit, or Bernies fake socialism are gonna be nothing but window dressing.
A great, tragi-comic farce.

Firefly Action Medical

Source

ABOUT:

We are a group of people in and around the Philadelphia area. We are trained street medics, nurses, EMT’s, wilderness first responders, artists, herbalists, trauma counselors and generally people interested in the health and well being of our communities. Members of this collective have been involved with providing medical support at direct action, activist camps, street protests, and disaster relief situations. Please take a look at our Points of Unity to learn more about our values and the ways in which we organize.More resources for taking care of yourself and others coming soon!

POINTS OF UNITY:

+ We affirm that demystifying and democratizing health care skills and reducing our dependence on profit-driven medicine and police-involved emergency response is vital to building long lasting movements for Liberation in our lifetime.

+ We acknowledge that the idea of “safety” is relative and complicated

+ We believe in building interdependent ways of being with one another that do not replicate the oppression that isolates us in the first place. We see our work as acknowledging and resisting intersecting systems of oppression — both in the world and in our relations with one another.

We believe in the principles of harm reduction and practice and support diverse forms of healing that are consistent with each individuals understanding of their own needs and values.

We believe our liberation is tied to that of others and we take on this work in solidarity with collective resistance.

In all these above points we stand in solidarity with the evolving international traditions of street medics.

CODE OF CONDUCT:

1. We do no harm. We make every reasonable effort to give treatment that will not negatively affect the health or well­being of our patients. If no such treatment is available, no treatment whatsoever is given.

2. We work only within our own individual scope of practice, while trusting and respecting the abilities of the other medics in their work. We explicitly inform patients of our own qualifications and limitations.

3. We obtain clear and explicit consent from our patients and anyone affected by our care for every action we take as medics, including any physical contact or while performing any procedure. If a patient in an emergency situation is unable to offer consent for treatment, as through a lack of consciousness, we strive to take whatever action we believe is most essential to their well­being. We respect patients’ right to refuse any treatment, advice or transport to any medical facility.

4. We maintain our work areas as Safer Spaces, and actively challenge the perpetuation of any form of social domination or oppression. This includes, but is not at all limited to sexism, racism, transphobia, ableism, classism, ageism, and other forms of oppression. We cultivate an awareness of our own privilege and work to create a welcoming, safe and comfortable space for all, while directly calling attention to any actions of other medics that perpetuate oppression.

5. We respect and actively protect the privacy of our patients’ and the confidentiality of their treatment to the greatest extent possible. Without our patients’ consent, we do not allow photography, videography, audio recording, or any other non ­private record of our patients’ care.

6. We practice exceptional sanitation and hygiene in our work as medics and in our working areas. This includes using appropriate protocols of Standard Precautions and Body Substance Isolation (BSI) in caring for patients through gloves and other means, as well as thoroughly washing and/or sanitizing hands, surfaces, supplies and containers when they may be contaminated. If a medic suspects that they may currently host any readily transmissible disease, they do not act as a medic until the risk of transmission is abated.

7. We maintain a continuity of care for all of our patients. We do not leave or cease caring for any patient until a treatment is completed, except to transfer the patient’s care to another medic of equal or greater qualification – or to prioritize the immediate and urgent care of a different patient in emergent need, when no other assistance is available.

8. We organize ourselves horizontally, without institutional hierarchies of command, experience, credentials, ability or level of involvement. Every medic has equal power in all decisions affecting them.

9. When acting as medics, we remain neutral. The primary role of a marked medic is to provide care for the injured or ill. We do not attempt to direct the actions or personal choices of anyone else for any tactical or political purpose. We do not participate in any ideological or political action while marked as a medic..

10. While working as a medic, we recognize our responsibility to maintain a positive and calm atmosphere.While on duty, our interactions with patients’, other medics, and passers­by are guided by trust, respect and solidarity, in the same way that those qualities are essential to our own standing in the community. Rather than telling others to do something, we ask them. We request rather than command. Patients in our care are treated respectfully and are spoken to or with. We do not gossip about or judge any patients in our care.

11. We all benefit from an orderly, clean working space, and we all contribute to keeping it in that condition. If we re­organize any materials in a medical space, we make every reasonable effort to inform the other medics of those changes.

12. We do not use intoxicating substances while on duty and we do not tolerate the use of intoxicants or smoked tobacco in any medical space.

13. We are all capable of learning and improving our skills, and recognize that we all make mistakes. Each of us remains accountable to any guidance or correction, and we receive the input or critique of other medics respectfully, with good faith that our common goal is to provide the best possible care.

14. We understand that when anyone is marked as a medic, they are considered to be on active duty, and their behavior is accountable to this code of conduct. Should we wish to act outside of the principles in this code, we remove all markings or other indications of our role as a medic beforehand. If any medic acts outside of this code, they may be held accountable to the other members of this group, local medical  protocols, and to the respective community.

Art and Revolution

imgres

In a better world, there would be no need for artists to sign their work. Material support would not be tied to a competitive system, and confirmation would come from performing and making and doing, without the destructive, enervating conflict that comes from confusing satisfaction with one’s work with social approval and economic status. On that level, the distinction between craft and art would vanish—as the satisfaction that comes from work well done would fall equally to all who contribute to the benefit of the community. Art would not be a specialty of a few—but a gift nurtured and shared by everyone. Those more dedicated and gifted would serve to teach and empower others.

The capitalist systems of exclusion that corrupt the arts and those who are called to them—the gatekeeping function of galleries, critics, investors, and yes—schools of art, which combine to work from earliest childhood to destroy the seed of the imaginative impulse before it can germinate—which works to marginalize, impoverish or reduce to servitude all but the smallest number of those who survive the culling—having lost its economic and political purpose, would crumble and disappear.

Aroused from the drug of the Capitalist nightmare, every artist, poet, dancer, actor, musician… would be a revolutionary

Harman on Latour’s Politics

This article made me think, how the material reality of the house where I live (I’m remembering the Ox, the communal warehouse where I lived) shapes our lives in ways that are beyond what we intend or choose. The material reality we make or choose, makes us. This made me think of our kitchen. My increasing dissatisfaction with how we use it. Our shared and progressively less shared and more individually fragmented kitchen–how the physical kitchen, by it’s small size, its limited storage, shapes this fragmentation into a less and less communal space. In the Ox, a dozen people could work, sit around and schmooze, clean up and cook, all in the same room. The huge work table and ample space not only made this possible, but it invited it, and the space of the Ox itself–a space with its many rooms and open areas, good for music and hanging out, needed to be filled–and that in turn, required a degree of cooperative action for cleaning and care–which when resisted, made us (FORCED us!) to be aware (to different degrees) of our mutual dependence (and how unready we were for this, having come from the dominant culture) in ways that living in an apartment, didn’t. Living in a house divided like this–like most middle and working class housing– people can comfortably settle into their habitual, individuated lives; can see in this how a shared house, arranged for isolated non-extended ‘family’ units–needs a high degree awareness–and experience with more communal living–to resist being re-formed into something closer to the cultural norm–the divided and alienated consciousness suitable for capitalist exploitation.

Larval Subjects .

My way to Speculative Realism was through Harman’s was through Harman’s Prince of Networks:  Bruno Latour and Metaphysics.  It’s difficult, after all these years, to convey the sense of excitement I felt when reading this book.  I had felt it before, my first year of graduate school when reading Zizek’s Sublime Object of Ideology (I actually dreamed about that book).  There I felt as if an entire opaque world of theory opened up to me that both allowed me to understand the thought of figures such as Lacan but, more importantly, that allowed me to put that theory to work and comprehend the world around me.  Harman, of course, is a consummate stylist.  There is a certain charm and style to his writing that is difficult to put your finger on.  Often it occurs in the margins, when the reader comes across offhand asides that he makes such as…

View original post 1,379 more words

Revolution: organizing for the long haul

images

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),

images

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?

————

images

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

28occupy3-articleLargeimages

images

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.

imagesimages

…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.

imagesimages

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…

occupy_02images imagesimages

images

 

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.

images
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.

images
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.

images

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
images

—Wells Fargo 14 report livestreamed at GA. I didn’t see it.

The sand is running out…

but we’re still here!
images

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

11/16/11 Day 43
Weather -54 – 39 Rain
images

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

images

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

images

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 

images

     a thousand City Halls!