Tag Archives: occupy

Manhattan District Attorney Subpoenas Occupy Protester’s Twitter Account | The Nation

16 Feb

The Manhattan District Attorney subpoenaed the Twitter account of Malcolm Harris, who’d been arrested on a disorderly conduct charge in an Occupy event on 1 October (crossing the  bridge with 700 others). They were seeking “any and all user information including e-mail address, as well as any and all tweets for the period 9/15/11-12/31/11” for his account, which has almost no bearing on the offense:

Why the prosecutor would bother to conduct an investigation into the most minor of offenses, one that even upon conviction does not result in a criminal record is unclear. But whatever it is that is under investigation—perhaps the entire Occupy movement—it is not Harris’s alleged disorderly conduct. New York criminal defense attorney, Earl Ward, who is familiar with the case, but not involved in it, calls it a “fishing expedition meant to have a chilling effect on protest” and says it is “prosecutorial abuse, an effort by the DA’s office to get into personal communications of these protesters, for the purpose of chilling their First Amendment rights.”

via Manhattan District Attorney Subpoenas Occupy Protester’s Twitter Account | The Nation.

We Need a Politics of Jubilee

15 Feb

What I’m thinking is that the Occupy movement is the beginnings of a politics of Jubilee. But I’m getting ahead of myself. What is Jubilee?

Writing in Leviticus as Literature, the late Mary Douglas observes (p. 243): “Release of slaves and cancellation of debts incurred under the preceding regime were common practice for victorious conquerors, a magnanimity that cost them nothing while their rule was new and their power to enforce it recently demonstrated.” Continue reading

Occupy Wall Street and a New Politics for a Disorderly World | The Nation

10 Feb

An experience diplomat, who knows top-downism from the inside, says Occupy is the best thing going.

A new politics is needed, and in the early weeks of Occupy Wall Street, I saw signs of its emergence. Some would see the Occupy protests as yet more evidence of disorder, not its solution. But to my jaded eye, the beacons pointing to a better method were bright indeed. At the UN Security Council and other diplomatic forums, I had taken part in high-stakes negotiations on everything from Iraqi WMDs to Palestine to the future of the Balkans. But the experience of hundreds of people listening to the voice of one—anyone!—through the “people’s mic” moved me more than any of those worldly negotiations. This was a politics of the many, included at last, at least in the small square of Zuccotti Park, if not in our distant capitals. Here I saw true respect, not the pretend respect of diplomacy. Here I saw involving and passionate debate, not the childish antagonism of Internet debate or the partisan rancor of Washington. The crowd was gripped by an unfamiliar emotion, a shared sentiment that others were listening and that their decisions truly mattered.

This is the start of a new politics, but obviously mere meetings and protest marches are not enough. There is nothing certain about the future, save that it is our actions that will create it and that others are already exploiting our inaction. It is no longer sufficient to appeal to government to put things right; a corrupted system will not reform itself. We must create new systems, new modes of decision-making and interaction, and new forms of economic behavior to replace the old.

via Occupy Wall Street and a New Politics for a Disorderly World | The Nation.

Will Occupy Embrace Nonviolence? | The Nation

10 Feb

The Occupy movement will be be tested, we will be tested.

Then, in house occupations and anti-foreclosure actions, the movement began to deliver palpable results—putting real families in real homes, preventing evictions. And despite ample provocation by paramilitarized police, the movement occupied the moral high ground by staying almost wholly nonviolent. Now, ready or not, here comes the election cycle of 2012, putting pressure on the movement to keep up a vital tension between self-maintenance and growth, between challenging the whole plutocratic political economy and upping the odds of reforms that can arrest and reverse it.

And, right on cue, here come the city governments of Chicago, Tampa and Charlotte, readying noxious rules and massive armament to corral the likely thousands of demonstrators who will gather, in the Occupy spirit—though not necessarily with any official imprimatur—to greet the G-8 and NATO in May, the Republicans in August and the Democrats in September, respectively.

via Will Occupy Embrace Nonviolence? | The Nation.

From Ron Paul, to the Reform Party, to Occupy, to a New America

2 Feb

With your support, I secured a strong top-tier finish in Iowa and an historic 2nd place in New Hampshire. In Iowa, we more than doubled our vote total from 2008. We more than tripled our 2008 total in New Hampshire, and we quadrupled it in South Carolina.

—Ron Paul

People are catching on to Ron Paul’s honest, consistent, principled. and carefully planned program for combating fascism, racism, militarism and imperialism by returning to Constitutionally required and economically necessary LIMITED GOVERNMENT.

But Republicans are not catching on fast enough.

I registered as a Republican just recently, to be able to say I voted for Ron Paul in the Connecticut primary in April, but I can’t find, so far, any House or Senate candidates in this state who want to rein in the Fed and bring all the troops home, support the key Ron Paul fiscal & foreign policy proposals. Too many “military industrial complex” submarines and helicopters made in this state, I guess.

To mobilize that huge majority of Americans, mostly Independents and the 100 million alienated on the sidelines, who want honest politicians and real solutions, we’ll need to revive the Reform Party, test the Americans Elect processes, bring the genuine tax refusers from the ‘tea party’ over to the Occupy Mainstreet movement, and green the grass of the grassroots relentlessly before November 2012.

Let’s get it done this American spring, so we can hear the volume of the loud majority in the streets this summer.

Charlie Keil

Thank You, Anarchists | The Nation

20 Dec

The anarchists’ way of operating was changing our very idea of what politics could be in the first place. This was exhilarating. Some occupiers told me they wanted to take it home with them, to organize assemblies in their own communities. It’s no accident, therefore, that when occupations spread around the country, the horizontal assemblies spread too.

At its core, anarchism isn’t simply a negative political philosophy, or an excuse for window-breaking, as most people tend to assume it is. Even while calling for an end to the rule of coercive states backed by military bases, prison industries and subjugation, anarchists and other autonomists try to build a culture in which people can take care of themselves and each other through healthy, sustainable communities. Many are resolutely nonviolent. Drawing on modes of organizing as radical as they are ancient, they insist on using forms of participatory direct democracy that naturally resist corruption by money, status and privilege. Everyone’s basic needs should take precedence over anyone’s greed.

Through the Occupy movement, these assemblies have helped open tremendous space in American political discourse. They’ve started new conversations about what people really want for their communities, conversations that amazingly still haven’t been hijacked, as they might otherwise might be, by charismatic celebrities or special interests.

via Thank You, Anarchists | The Nation.