Thursday, September 12, 2013

Upcoming Events for the 2 Year Anniversary of Occupy

I am inspired by this email from OWS - and am reposting it here on my blog. I am inspired by the recent film on Occupy that I posted about earlier. I am just generally inspired today, loving life, had a great workout, can't wait for the show tonight.....

Featured S17 Actions

Join the People’s Puppets for a morning bell procession around Wall Street!

Starting at 8am we will have a song teach-in for anyone that would like to participate in our musical, color-filled visual procession. This includes bringing to life the Declaration of the Occupation of NYC flowchart, which you can help build in our studio this Thursday, September 12th from 7:30 - and again on Monday the 16th.

Join Occupy and allies for an action in support of the Robin Hood Tax, a transactional tax that will bill Wall Street for what they owe the American public, at 5 pm at the UN.

The Robin Hood Tax is a financial transaction tax that takes .05% of all financial transactions and puts that money towards essential social services like health care, student debt, global health, AIDS prevention and more

The action is assembling at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at the United Nations as the UN General Assembly Opens to protest the global connections to local austerity, before marching to JP Morgan Chase and various other poignant locations to demand that Wall Street pay back the money they stole from us.

Occupiers and community groups are heading to Pace University at 6pm to speak out against the influence of Wall Street cash on our democracy.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption has begun its statewide sweep of campaign finance abuses, with the the first hearing fortuitously being held on September 17 in the financial district.

The decision makers will be right there, and you will be heard. Join us.

Occupy these S17 actions and events

Friday, September 15th:

Join Ballet at the Barricades at the Wall Street Bull for a free ballet class at 5 pm. Raise awareness for the upcoming S17 events and get some exercise. No experience necessary, either in ballet or rabble-rousing.

Participate in a walking tour and cartography party, starting from Bowling Green Park at 4 pm, that honors your own memories of the Occupy movement. Take time to remember your own experiences, hear those of others, and plan for the future.

Tuesday, September 17th:

On the morning of S17, the OWS Alternative Banking working group is releasing a new book entitled Occupy Finance.

The OWS Labor Outreach working group is also holding a solidarity action in Support of Fast Food Workers.

Then there is a protest of the Trans Pacific Pipeline, as well as a TPP Puppet Theater Spectacle. Want to help? Check out the performer call at

You can further join the People's exchange, and keep tabs on on-going plans for actiona citywide assembly, and a people's assembly to end the day.

For more on S17

Go to to learn about ongoing plans.

Find additional S17 actions and information at InterOccupyNYCGA.netOccuEvolve, and on the OWS S17 2013 Facebook event page.

Occupy in the News

99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film was released this week, screening in LA and NYC until tomorrow. This documentary, made up of footage from amateur and professional cameras, is said to capture the spirit of that moment in 2011.

Fast Company took lessons from the extreme collaboration inherent to how the 107 filmmakers were able to put this together. The New York Times further depicted how “Such pluralism is a metaphor for its subject, as the variety of physical perspectives lends a vivid you-are-there aspect to this record of the Zuccotti Park protest in New York in 2011.”

“The film is not unlike Occupy itself--fascinating, intensely photogenic, frenzied and occasionally maddening”, remarked the The Daily Beast.  

Occupy Network team member Kristian Nammack reviews it by reporting that: “It is an amazing document, especially for those of us who were not in The Park. Lots of familiar faces, and it really ties back well to the original OWS focus on the personal and social destruction inherent in gross income inequality.”

Lastly: “Almost two years to the day that the Occupy Wall Street movement started, a report confirms that the rich are getting even richer.

Indeed, the top one percent took record 19.3% of US income last year - the LARGEST share of pre-tax income since 1927. We clearly have much more work to do.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Movie Review: 99% Occupy Wall Street

My life feels just a bit brighter and richer because I went in and saw this new film, "99% Occupy Wall Street." It's a colorful, well-made, moving piece of documentary film-making. It's not perfect, but it manages to help make sense of the importance and the persistent promise of Occupy.

The film does a good job of telling and building the story: Occupy's birth at Zucoti Park, thanks to Adbusters and Anonymous, its rapid spread planet wide thanks to the masses, and the ratcheting up of a brutal, insensitive police response thanks to the system. Meanwhile, the crimes of Wall Street go unprosecuted. The junk mortgages, the scams, the yawning class divide. The corporate media don't quite get any of the story.

"99%" delivers compelling doses of good information using social critic expert like Matt Taibi and Naomi Wolfe. Juxtaposed of course with real life stories of a struggling African-american mother getting foreclosed in North Minneapolis, the evolution of NY Occupy activist Hero Vincent, and plenty of up-close and personal footage of mass arrests. Did you know that the Week 2 mass arrest of over 740 people corralled into Brooklyn Bridge was one of the biggest mass arrests in history? That's a good sign. We need more good signs.

One interesting thing to note is the film was billed to have been made "collaboratively" among "100 different film-makers" but that process is never explained. At the end, we learn there were four main directors. I think that that's OK, personally. But how was this film new? Part of the packaging of the film was that it was a new mode of collaborative creation.

And because of that, I was a little worried.  I wasn't sure how the film could cover the polyphonous sprawling critique of society and capitalism that Occupy sought to articulate, without leaders, programs, or doctrine. Like Occupy, the film tends to present the problems of class inequality, economic imbalance as a problem that naturally leans toward its own resolution: we need some sort of major deep economic reform, and no one is quite sure how.

No one, that is, except Naomi Wolf. Author of The End of America, The Beauty Myth, etc. she comes off as a dissenter among dissenters. She breaks with the anarchistic flat-hierarchy philosophy of the "general assembly" and the "leaderless/leaderful" model. She claims that all effective social movements had hierarchies, and that a consensus-based, flat-hierarchy model is a recipe for dissolution. She isn't challenged by any other voices on this point in the film, so it seems that the film-makers are backing her view. Perhaps this is a kind of favor to the movement: doing a kind of autopsy on why Occupy rose quickly, but fell or faded. I mean, hell, I should stop saying "this thing outside myself Occupy" the way I think it, and make it personal. I was there right after the Brooklyn Bridge mass arrests, my friend Yana was arrested there among the historic 742. Occupy was a magical feeling of family. I felt a little bit of it tonight in the movie theatre, sitting down and sharing some of my vegan pizza with the strangers who were sitting next to me. Because they cared about Occupy too, we were automatically family. I don't know why it all went away. Maybe it didn't. Maybe it's still in our hearts, and will come back out, in a better, more fluid, more focussed way. It's OK to reflect on what we did wrong, and what went very right. It's OK to want to get better. This film fired me up to look back on the last two years, and then look forward to the next forty.

Trailer and info here.

Film Review by Sander Hicks.
Come see Sander sing with working-class heroes White Collar Crime, this Thursday, 9/12, at Pyramid Club. NYC. With Nomadic Collective and Kaleidoscope Community Yoga. Info.