occupy - what now?

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tmcd2011 tmcd2011's picture
occupy - what now?


Many people are asking how is occupy going to move forward? What now?

These are extremely important questions because occupy is on a precipice of a major decision. Phase two some are calling it. Take the right step; they're on strong ground, able to redefine their approach and perhaps, success itself. If it takes the wrong path - they might not recover from the fall in support or relevance.

A remarkable percentage of Canadians agree (up to 80%) with fundamental occupy messages - rich/poor gap is too great, corporations have too much influence with the government and public policy, people have no real voice in the political and economic arenas. They agree that we need change, but not necessarily how to create that change.

          This message came from a friend. She makes some insightful points that are worthy of consideration and perhaps implementation. 

·         Pack up and walk peacefully past the police - a powerful image for the media.

·         Sidestep the dichotomizing and refuse to play by their rules.

·         Make the issue change instead of tents.

·         Then come back at it in other ways. Return, re-state

·         Resistance and change come in many forms, the more varied, the better. There are those who do not protest but who support and crave change just as fiercely.

Strong points showing that change isn’t one road that we can’t diverge from. The tent cities, around the time they came down, had reached their peak in awareness. People and the media that are anti-occupy were snickering and would probably have liked to see the tents stay up during the coldest months to come. We've seen so many protests, we're immune.

Indeed tents and protests had become story, the ideals of occupy were getting lost in the threats of eviction, which provoked the tent dwellers and, ultimately, led to the police dissembling the tent ‘cities.’

The issues of equality and justice were buried in this rabble or rubble.

My friend is calling for a paradigm shift, a change in us before we can change the world. That's difficult for those in occupy who have a very fixed idea of what a protest is.

Different ways to make issues known are viable, avoid the us vs. them, someone will win context. This is not the 60s when everything that was change, polarized people: hippies vs. the pigs, students vs. the system, generation vs. generation.

Equally, protests come in many different forms. When possible, buy food at farmers' market. Use your wallet to make a statement. Take your money to a local credit union. Buy from local businesses. Avoid mega-stores like Wal-Mart that suck up jobs and small businesses. Do a bit of research. For example, the Bay (HBC), which played a fundamental role in creating this country, is owned by an equities company in the U.S. (who knows who owns that company). HBC in turn owns Target and Zellers, which they have been shutting down one store at a time. Consider where an item was made before you purchase it,

These are a smattering of ways to begin change. You don't need occupy to do something. Granted these are small steps. But, cliché time, every journey begins with a single step. For every grandiose plan to grab media attention, thousands of small steps should be taken in communities around the world.

The vast majority agrees this system is broken beyond repair. Occupy can and must be a force of change, a force beyond and above the them/us, win-at-cost, irrelevant mentality. If it's truly committed to idea of representing the 99%, they must understand that the police officers on the other side are humans and part of the 99% as much as a drug addict or the jobless. They will have to be innovative and creative, reach out to different groups like the arts community to bring their support and talents to the table. They're going to have to work hard in communities and at the national and international levels for many years.

Where to begin the next phase? How about replacing the lengthy list of 'isms' they are against to something they support, who they welcome.

'All of us' might work.

                                                revised from terrymcdermottwriting.weebly.com


Issues Pages: 

tmcd2011 wrote:

A remarkable percentage of Canadians agree (up to 80%) with fundamental occupy messages - rich/poor gap is too great, corporations have too much influence with the government and public policy, people have no real voice in the political and economic arenas. They agree that we need change, but not necessarily how to create that change.


Thanks for this, because I really wasn't sure what the message was. This clarifies it. But I would argue that many of the Occupys in Canada were not successful in getting this message out in a simple, clear way. Too many other issues were thrown into the mix, and in the case of Occupy Winnipeg, it just seemed like they were jumping on every bandwagon -- which is fine if that's what they want to do, but it muddies the specific message.

I think the specific and important message that you clarify above can continue to be reinforced, but it doesn't need occupations to do that anymore. Or at least not right now. It needs organization and coordination and communicating in terms that corporate and consumer culture understand. In other words, keep the message simple, but slick up the medium a bit.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

XII Squares Meeting on Friday 9 – Peacefull Revolutions & Global Strike


We opened the debate in the IX Squares Meeting where we spoke about our local situations (problems/forces) and shared our first ideas about concept, content, duration, date, logistic etc.
We concluded that general strikes should play a pivotal role in the transition to a new way of living, if we want to reform the institutions or build our own ones. We need the skilled qualified people to work on it. So we have to meet them in their institutions (schools, hospitals, factories…) within common actions, debates and flier-posting. Inviting them to join our working groups and alternative projects....


RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

It sounds too confusing for most people I know. They're down with the idea but aren't resonating with the message yet.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

RevolutionPlease wrote:
It sounds too confusing for most people I know. They're down with the idea but aren't resonating with the message yet.

..a speaker at the occupy vancouver said that the occupies will be defined by what they do rather than in the creation of spin. this makes a lot of sense. we are not a political party. we are not looking for votes. we are looking to make change today..right now.


Arundhati Roy: 'The People Who Created the Crisis WIll Not Be the Ones That Come Up With A Solution'


"...Democracy no longer means what it was meant to. It has been taken back into the workshop. Each of its institutions has been hollowed out, and it has just been returned to us as a vehicle for the free market, of the corporations. For the corporations, by the corporations.

Even if we do vote we should spend less time and intellectual energy on our choices and keep our eye on the ball. It's just an artificial theatre designed to subsume the anger and to make you feel that this is all that you're supposed to think about and talk about when in fact you're trapped between kinds of washing powder that are owned by the same company.."


"By Imbeciles Who Really Mean It": Lost Verities and Dirty Hippies  - by Phil Rockstroh


"...At this point, the situation comes down to this: pradigm shift or perish"

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

How to Start Participatory Budgeting in Your City

Have you noticed all the cuts being made to your city budget? To schools and libraries, fire fighters and social services, and other public spending? Think you could do a better job managing the budget? Soon, you may have that chance.

Through a process called “participatory budgeting”, residents of over 1,000 cities around the world are deciding how to spend taxpayer dollars. In October, four districts in New York City launched the second such process in the US. This article offers some initial tips for how you could start participatory budgeting in your city....




Michael Moore has an amazing article about what to occupy next. It really speaks to me, and I think these suggestions are well-focused and a clear way forward.


So -- there are my ideas for the five places we can Occupy this winter. Help the foreclosed-upon to Occupy their homes. Occupy your college campus, especially the student loan office and the regents meetings. Occupy your job by getting everyone to sign a union card -- or by refusing to let the CEO ship your job overseas. Occupy your Chase or Citi or Bank of America branch by closing your account and moving it to a credit union. And Occupy the insurance company offices, the pharmaceutical companies' headquarters and the for-profit hospitals until the White House and Congress pass the true single-payer universal health care bill they failed to pass in 2010.


'US Feds Attacking Local Occupy Groups' (and vid)


"A political activist says that the United States federal government is illegally limiting the constitutional rights of local groups and protesters making up the Occupy movement - interview with Sara Flounders, Occupy Wall Street..."


Port Hold: Occupy Disrupts US Shipping (and vid)


"Massive 'Occupy' protests have again erupted across America, paralyzing its West Coast. From the blocked port of Oakland to the shipping hub of Seattle, thousands of disenchanted activists have taken to the streets in defiance of a police crackdown..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Occupy is Not Just About Occupying: The Goal is Not to Occupy it is to End Corporate Rule

With encampments being closed across the country it is important to remember the end goal is not to occupy public space, it is to end corporate rule. We seek to replace the rule of money with the rule of people. Occupying is a tactic but the grand strategy of the Occupy Movement is to weaken the pillars that hold the corporate-government in place by educating, organizing and mobilizing people into an independent political force...



Maybe not, but in the case of my local Occupy, Occupy TO, the end of the Occupation appears - in the public media at least - to have meant the virtual disappearance of the movement.

tmcd2011 tmcd2011's picture

epaulo – think you’re right, or at least i agree with you.
the first phase of occupy is coming to an end. and i have to say that closing
ports and businesses makes great media but how many people lose wages because
they don’t work that day. i hope occupy can stay away from the idea of
collateral damage. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


now it’s time for the hard work – getting into
communities, holding town hall type educational, giving people some ideas and
support. i believe there is still a lot of support for the ideals behind occupy
and to let that slip away would mean we’re stuck with this system for too long.


ndpp – i agree that without the tents and the
protests the mainstream media won’t cover occupy to the same degree. they also
won’t cover it in the same way, in whatever coverage that appears. the tent
cities had become this story and not the reasons why the tents were there. this
will be a long process and there will have to a be a strong, admired
spokesperson, i believe, who can continue to put these issues on CBC or CTV
(let’s all agree to forget fox forever)


as the father of 2 children, i believe that
this society is part of the legacy i will leave for them. i would certainly
like it to be much different than today, even if it means dedicating a part of
the rest of my life to the efforts.


thanks for your comments.


Milk Street Cafe, a popular downtown Manhattan eatery patronized by hungry Wall Streeters, will be shutting its doors for good Thursday after business slowed down due to the recent "Occupy Wall Street" protests.

Epstein has said that the cafe's business fell by 30 percent after the protests began, The Post reported last month.
Even after the protesters were kicked out of the park in November, police barricades remained up around the restaurant, preventing customers from entering easily.

Epstein couldn't confirm the number of employees he expects to lose their jobs because of the closing, but the cuts could number as many as 70. The cafe already let 21 employees go in October.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/manhattan_cafe_hurt_by_occu...



Mr.Tea wrote:

Milk Street Cafe, a popular downtown Manhattan eatery patronized by hungry Wall Streeters, will be shutting its doors for good Thursday after business slowed down due to the recent "Occupy Wall Street" protests...

Fortunately their Boston location is still going strong - since '81, I believe.

Strange, though, that a new location of an established independent chain that had only been in business since June of 2011, and saw a 30% dip in business for two of the six months they were in operation, would nevertheless have to close their doors. They couldn't accommodate a two-month, 30% decline in business in their first year of operation? That is unfortunate.

wage zombie

Mr.Tea wrote:

Milk Street Cafe, a popular downtown Manhattan eatery patronized by hungry Wall Streeters, will be shutting its doors for good Thursday after business slowed down due to the recent "Occupy Wall Street" protests.

Epstein has said that the cafe's business fell by 30 percent after the protests began, The Post reported last month.
Even after the protesters were kicked out of the park in November, police barricades remained up around the restaurant, preventing customers from entering easily.

They should sue the city and the police.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the world cannot sustain the current financial and environmental systems..they will collapse, at least i believe so. to force change will not be painless but the earlier we the people get some kind of control the better we will be able to influence how the collapse occurs. and in what direction we move in afterwards. this is where our hope lies. you want to see pain simply allow business as usual to continue.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Unions and Immigrants Join Occupy Movements

Oakland, California - When Occupy Seattle called its tent camp "Planton Seattle," camp organizers were laying a local claim to a set of tactics used for decades by social movements in Mexico, Central America and the Philippines. And when immigrant janitors marched down to the detention center in San Diego and called their effort Occupy ICE (the initials of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency responsible for mass deportations), people from countries with that planton encampment tradition were connecting it to the Occupy movement here.

This shared culture and history offer new possibilities to the Occupy movement for survival and growth at a time when the federal law enforcement establishment, in cooperation with local police departments and municipal governments, has uprooted many tent encampments. Different Occupy groups from Wall Street to San Francisco have begun to explore their relationship with immigrant social movements in the US, and to look more closely at the actions of the 1 percent beyond our borders that produces much of the pressure for migration...


M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Michelle wrote:

Michael Moore has an amazing article about what to occupy next.

Even more impressive was his [url=http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/where-does-occupy-wa... list of goals and demands for the Occupy movement[/url].


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Occupy Wall Street Meets Winter


But the season has changed. Autumn has ended and winter is upon us. We’ve lost Liberty Square, and each day brings news from across the country that another occupation has been evicted. Winter is here, and with it the cold; but it’s more than that. Winter brings the sober understanding that we won’t be in the headlines every day, that we need to be more than a string of events or actions or press releases, more than an endless meeting. Winter is the nagging truth that the next decade of organizing must be more sustainable than the first months we spent in the sun; that this is a struggle for the long-haul, that burn-out and martyrdom are no good for anyone and no good for the cause. Winter tells us to see our families and take a day off when we are sick, because the movement has to be healthy if it’s going to last. Winter is here to remind us that revolution is not an event but a process, and that social transformation means not only harnessing a moment, but building a movement.

 Winter is here. But winter is not sad, and it’s not tragic; it’s just real. We do not fear the cold, and we will not hibernate. We will use the winter to become the movement we know is necessary.


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Occupy the Food System


From seed to plate, our food system is now even more concentrated than our banking system. Most economic sectors have concentration ratios hovering around 40 percent, meaning that the top four firms in the industry control 40 percent of the market. Anything beyond this level is considered "highly concentrated," where experts believe competition is severely threatened and market abuses are likely to occur.

Many key agricultural markets like soybeans and beef exceed the 40 percent threshold, meaning the seeds and inputs that farmers need to grow our crops come from just a handful of companies. Ninety-three percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn grown in the United States are under the control of just one company. Four companies control up to 90 percent of the global trade in grain. Today, three companies process more than 70 percent of beef in the U.S.; four companies dominate close to 60 percent of the pork and chicken markets.....


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Occupy Des Moines Protesters Take Over Obama HQ, Iowa Democratic Party HQ

A unique pressure campaign has been playing out in Iowa, where the group Occupy Des Moines and other progressive groups briefly took over both the Obama for America and the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters, just as the media spotlight descends on the city two weeks before the caucuses.

Occupy Des Moines, in conjunction with Veterans for Peace and the community organization Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI), blockaded the entrance to OFA headquarters in Des Moines on Saturday, forcing a closure of its office. They set up tents in front of the front door, and vowed not to move, calling it “the annex” to the main Occupy Des Moines camp a few blocks away at Stewart Square. Megan Felt, an organizer with Occupy Des Moines, declared victory on Saturday. “Our goal is to disrupt business as usual until the campaigns address our concerns, and the fact that Obama’s Iowa staff chose not to open up today is a victory for our movement because we prevented them from going about their normal Saturday routine.” At the height, the action involved around 120 protesters....


Boom Boom wrote:


Is it wrong to want to send them all there? :)

6.5x55 6.5x55's picture


357.5 what? We need units. How do we know how much space you will occupy?


Shit, I almost missed Skyrim ™'s poster! Being Elder™, I just Scrolled™ right past it!!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Don't feed the troll.


They never let us keep a pet troll. You have play with them while they are here. Friendly like...

6.5x55 6.5x55's picture



There's nothing more vomit-inducing than a scrawny troll. Feed 'em, say I.

Or was that a Tawny™ Scroll™?


I presume Oldgoat will be along in due course.


The place teams with enough incivility as it is between leftist people and the NDP/Liberal factions.  Just how are we supposed to fit the Harperite crowd in amongst all of that.


I'm really not sure what you guys have for a goal, but that appears to be your problem.  Lack of a tangible goal.

Hear me out for a minute:  When this first started, I thought, here we go, viva la revelution!  In the US I saw an opportunity for supporters of Ron Paul to push common sense to the forefront and save their country from impending insolvency and a massive shift in worldwide policy.

Here in Canada I thought this could be something that in the long run would truly unite our country.

Unfortunately from where I sit all I saw was a bunch of people hanging around doing nothing.  Anyone can bitch.  You want people to pay attention, you come up with a solution.

If you do?  People will listen.  ALL people.

By the way, I remember seeing on the news how when it was time to clean up, the, "occupiers" were nowhere to be found.  Only the big bad corporations  were around to clean up the mess.  You missed your chance to earn respect there as well.

Sorry people, you don't want to be treated like useless punks?  Don't act like useless punks.


Albertaborn wrote:
Sorry people, you don't want to be treated like useless punks?  Don't act like useless punks.

I don't really care for anything you said; except could I use this as part a motivational screed over at NDP Leadership number whatever.


yup, did it again.


The 3 key concepts for any successful movement are unity, communication, and non-violence. The only thing that ows had completely was communication.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Where's the non-unity and violence, chowder? Oh, you mean the cops. Right. Got it.



There were assaults and sexual assaults that were committed by some OWS protesters. It doesn't matter if the majority were non-violent, the few will be picked out by the media and spotlighted. There was a huge lack of unity. There were numerous messages people wanted known and they weren't the same from protest to protest. They started to drown each other out. That is why I said OWS only had communication COMPLETELY

wage zombie

Albertaborn wrote:

By the way, I remember seeing on the news how when it was time to clean up, the, "occupiers" were nowhere to be found.  Only the big bad corporations  were around to clean up the mess.  You missed your chance to earn respect there as well.

That's absolute BULLSHIT.  As some who was there the day of the move cleaning up I can tell you that you have no clue what you're talking about.


Is this an attempt to occupy Babble?


Seems like it.  Anyone get a fix on the rock they poured out from under?


'US Media Pretend OWS No Longer Exists' (and vid)


"The US eviction of Occupy encampments is in coordination with the country's corporate media which just treats the Occupy movement as if it no longer exists..." Interview with Sara Flounders

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Starhawk: Interview with Occupy Vancouver
Starhawk speaks with Occupy Vancouver on the accomplishments of the movement so far, the biggest challenges we face right now, and a potential vision for the future.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..an important part of this interview is her description of the struggle we are facing as our econmic situation deteriates.
Naomi Klein: Interview with Occupy Vancouver

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Occupations in winter

Protesters nationwide link up through large-scale conference calls and plan what's next

Local occupations around the country are linking up through frequent, massive conference calls, tightening what is now an extremely loose national network that operates under the Occupy banner into a more focused force.

The effort, now known as InterOccupy, started out of Occupy Wall Street in New York in mid-October. It has since grown into an elaborate website with multiple weekly phone calls during which occupiers trade ideas, coordinate multistate actions, and plan for the future. Participants at about 150 occupations around the country (and a few internationally) have now participated in the calls, organizers tell me....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Barcelona 28D We have lost the innocence!

This December 28th, the day of the innocent, we no longer believe the lies of politicians. Therefore, under the slogan “We’ve lost the innocence!” We have convened several indignant actions taking place throughout the day: morning, there will be performances and decentralized actions in neighborhoods, and there will be a puppets workshop in Plaza Catalunya at 7pm.

Politicians, bankers and other unsavory people think they can fool us, but …

We have lost the innocence!

Therefore, the 28D, from assemblies to action groups we will performance from the morning  what is obvious, expose their lies.

We will use public transportation to hang puppets and do performances, conveying our loss of  innocence and calling for joint action in the streets....



People have and are fighting and dying in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria because they have had enough of getting squashed by simply ignoring the situation. At some point you realize that you will not get anywhere unless you fight and that includes for a better government. My great-great-great grandmother was one of the few survivors of a famine village in Ireland in the 1840s when the free market policies of English economists, such as Malthus and Senior, and English government, who saw the famine as an "act of providence" that would clear the land of much of the Irish peasantry so that it could be exploited by the new capitalist class, said that the Irish deserved to starve because they had not adapted to the new economic conditions. Oh and by the way Malthus added that that the Irish were "not human". It took more than 700 years and many defeats to win Ireland's freedom. My uncle didn't give up and led the liberation of his village from the Irish. My father, who went through the Depression and fought in the Second World War, did not give up because he did not believe that a Nazi government was the same as a democratic government, even though his own economic system meant he never got a regular job until he was 33 years of age. He fought for better living standards. The lesson of the Irish Tiger and the Canadian economy is that after social conditions have improved you must continue to fight against those forces that would and have stripped away the gains that we have made. There is an Irish saying for this "No surrender".

However, that we need to move beyond occupying things and start proposing and taking actions personally and with respect to government, to improve the situation. If the 1% are always allowed to write the rules of the ballgame by always being allowed to control the government, then they will always win. We need to change that starting now.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99%

“I don’t want to say we’re making our own Facebook. But, we’re making our own Facebook,” said Ed Knutson, a web and mobile app developer who joined a team of activist-geeks redesigning social networking for the era of global protest.

They hope the technology they are developing can go well beyond Occupy Wall Street to help establish more distributed social networks, better online business collaboration and perhaps even add to the long-dreamed-of semantic web — an internet made not of messy text, but one unified by underlying meta-data that computers can easily parse.....


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Occupy Sheffield has Taken Possession of the Former Salvation Army Citadel – 28th December 2011 Statement

Occupy Sheffield has taken possession of the former Salvation Army Citadel (at Cross Burgess Street, Sheffield) on the basis of a so-called ‘Section 6′ notice [1]. The building has lain idle since 1999, and has been open and unsecured for over two months. Occupy Sheffield will make the building safe and secure and will then open it for public use. Occupy Sheffield will be inviting any community groups that have lost the ability to pay for a space due to funding cuts to come and make use of the building. The building has been renamed ‘The Citadel of Hope’.....



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