Occupy worked very hard to get people out for May 1, trying to establish connections with immigrant groups and community advocacy organizations.
What is not often mentioned is the effort that they have been making to reach into high schools to influence students.
A major person behind this effort in NYC is Justin Wedes, a former high school teacher. Wedes abruptly quit his job as a city public school teacher after getting caught red-handed falsifying time sheets, according to the New York Post. Former South Brooklyn Community HS science teacher Justin Wedes, who often rails against corporate greed and corruption, “cut and pasted’’ the signature of a supervisor onto his time sheets while applying for a national education grant, Special Schools Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon found.
In this first video, you see the results of months of Wedes and others cultivating students at Paul Robeson High School in NYC. Occupy members have had meetings at the school to talk with the kids and influence them. It’s also a bit ironic that it is “Paul Robeson High School”. Robeson, a remarkably multi-faceted man, was an amazing singer, incredibly bright, lawyer and civil rights activist. He was also an infamous supporter of Soviet Communism.
Notice the effort to demonize “privatization”. Why would the kids have an issue with it? Because the union has a problem with it. Charter schools in NY have been largely successful and provide a viable option for children from poorer communities. Kids and parents line up to get into those schools. It’s called competition and it improves education. That’s just a bit frightening to the unions, who want to have a monopoly to be continue to provide that sterling education they have been providing-not. Think of it this way, kids, if you were forced to only eat in the cafeteria, and chose from the lousy food provided, wouldn’t you want to have the option of food outside those restrictions?
Beyond the very specific approach to reach out to certain schools in NYC, was the general effort to gets kids out for May 1 by making it “cool”. Organizer Marisa “I’m not for reform, I’m for revolution” Holmes actually made a video, noting that you could leave school, and “do whatever you want to do”.
Who wouldn’t want to go to what appears to be a holiday party? In this second video, the kids have heard the pitch, but have no idea even why they are there, apart from the fact it seems fun. The girl with the anarchy symbol on her face could as well been at a St Patrick’s Day Parade and it have been a shamrock. Notice the requisite event tee shirt-souvenir-looks like capitalism to me.
See video here
If you wonder how we get the Justin Wedes and Marisa Holmes types, the effort to recruit has been going on for a very long time.
Occupiers veer off in a clearly organized May Day attack. Notice not only the organized destruction but the organized camera making sure the “attack” on the evil bank is properly recorded. Also the one brave employee lady who tells them to “get out”:
In NY, the majority of the Occupy May Day actions were calm and orderly, including marching on banks and businesses that they felt were somehow offensive. These ranged from protests around Bank of America and Chipotle, to people marching behind Tom Morello with guitars as a “guitar army”. According to CNBC Net Net:
Whereas the OWS crowd proclaimed “we are the 99 Percent” and “banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” a band of construction workers delivered chants of their own.
“Get-a-job! Get-a-job!” several workers atop a work site repeatedly hollered.
“Get a job! Stop wasting the cops’ time!” yelled another, referring to the large detail of officers clad in riot gear that accompanied the Occupy procession.
“Occupy my b—-!” another offered.
The march grew to perhaps several thousand at its height, when the May 1 immigrants coalition and unions with people getting out of work joined later in the day. But as Net Net noted: “had trouble living up to advanced billing”.
The idea was to shut down the city and have people stay home from work and school, not shop or bank, “a shutdown the likes of which NYC has never seen”. But NYC, with all its typical ability to deal with the odd and strange, continued on in its normal fashion. All bridges and tunnels remained open. Most people went on as before, and somehow, capitalism survived.
While most of the protest was fairly orderly, and no where near as crazed as its brethren on the West Coast, there was one action titled a “wildcat march” for the “adventurous”. Some of occupiers were “bloc-ed up” in all black and raced down the streets, throwing down garbage cans, pulling things into the streets, and causing random damage. Perhaps the most interesting tweet on the violence came from the people who often have to defend those accused of such actions, an NYCLU tweet stream, which noted that “trash cans were thrown, barricades were flung, arrests were made”
But the NYCLU tweeter was concerned, stating the march “was manic and violent, admittedly it was scary, taru[police video unit] was right to film”
Video of the action can be found here
Some pictures of the day:
Use of children:
Trying to “de-arrest” someone:
May 1st Coalition marchers:
Occupy Schedule in NYC here:
Likely trouble spots – the 99 Pickets against various businesses, which are organized as small group actions and may be uncontrolled.
Also actions that are not yet formally announced that will happen later in the day.
Notice CWA the New York Writer’s Guild as being supportive of protests.
Also New York Communities for Change and Working Families Party-both rebranded ACORN
Various Socialist and Communist organizations
Pro Palestinian organizations
Occupy DC schedule here with a march to the White House.
The broad coalition sees their differing backgrounds as a strength. The “celebration of the diversity of cultures of resistance” will, in the words of Occupy DC Labor Committee coordinator Mike Golash, show “solidarity in the fight against capitalism.” Nancy Munoz, an organizer from the Anarchist Alliance DC Network, said: “We believe through our participation in the May Day actions we will raise the level of awareness by educating people and showing solidarity with other organizations.” She added: “[we will] empower society and help them understand that they can organize themselves in the fight against the establishment.
Don’t miss the Radical Cheerleaders!
The May 2012 Insurrection:
Tactical briefing #30
Hey you dreamers, strikers and new left redeemers out there,
For thirty-one magical days beginning this Tuesday, May 1, we take the plunge and Strike! We block the Golden Gate Bridge; occupy a Manhattan-bound tunnel; seize the ports. In 115 cities, we march into banks, erect tents and refuse to leave. We disrupt financial institutions forcing thousands to preemptively close. Five thousand of us pray, dance, sleep on Wall Street and in front of the Fed and if the Bloombergs of the world bring out paramilitary police to intimidate us, we use our social media fire to call out 50,000 more occupiers.
In the week before the G8 and NATO summits, we light the spark globally. We occupy hundreds of squares in cities on every continent – from Paris to Berlin, Toronto, to Athens, Sao Paulo, Bucharest and beyond – we up the ante with direct actions that paralyze capitalism. For a few days, maybe for a full month, we act as if we already live in a world run by people, not corporations.
Our movement goes geopolitical later in May. We swarm Chicago and confront NATO. We tell the military elites there to stop their saber rattling against Iran, halt the global arms race and get behind what the majority of the people on Earth want: a nuclear-free world starting with a nuclear-free Middle East that includes both Iran and Israel.
And then when the G8 leaders meet in Camp David, we create a global spectacle the likes of which the world has never seen before … millions of us … individually, in flash groups and en masse, we burst out laughing at the lunacy of the eight most powerful political leaders on the planet thinking they can dictate the people’s business from behind closed doors and barbed wire fences. For one day, we take over the global mindspace with a whirlwind of #LAUGHRIOT jokes. (Like: Why did the G8 chickens cross to Camp David? / Cuz they’re on the other side. haha!) We laugh our heads off on every news broadcast in the world.
May 1968 was the first wildcat general strike in history … it lasted two weeks and was a grand gesture of refusal still remembered, but then it fizzled … maybe this May we won’t?
for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ
Where was Kalle Lasn and Adbusters with that 50, 000 on Nov 15 when Occupy was evicted from Zuccotti? Or when Occupy broke into the Trinity Church lot and tried to “occupy” it? For that matter, why since his announcement of the “Laughriot” hashtag in March has it been a dead hashtag?
This was posted on OccupyWallSt.org and with only a couple of responses including ”take your ads elsewhere”, another sign of the unhappiness of being dictated to, even by those claim to have started this.
OWS may have some thousands out in the streets on May 1, mostly due to unions and advocacy groups. But it wouldn’t be because of Adbusters.
But while we can chide Adbusters for its hyperbole and posturing, again see clearly what is desired here-an attempt, as they state very clearly, to “paralyze capitalism”.
Earlier today, the OWS Arts and Labor working group sent out a press release claiming the Whitney Museum was closing in support of OWS efforts to have a general strike on “May Day”, May 1.
The release claimed the Whitney was a ”wholly changed institution”, and that they had decided to break with their main corporate sponsors, Sotheby’s and Deutsche Bank. It also stated that the Whitney was going to “begin vetting each of its sponsors as part of an ongoing restructuring to respond to the needs of the public it serves instead of the private interests of a small minority who possess a vast majority of the nation’s wealth.”
See a full copy of the fake press release here:
The fake release didn’t fool many, as the Whitney is closed on Tuesdays, so it could not be open on May 1, in any event.
This is not the first ‘fake press release” or fake action precipitated by OWS. They have previously set up a fake Bank of America website, and also claimed that they had successfully lobbied a company to quit ALEC “the American Legislative Executive Council” (when it turned out the company had never belonged to ALEC).
OWS previous actions against museums and art institutions have included a violent confrontation with guards at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC and a protest of Sotheby’s in support of a workers’ union lobbying against the company. The protest against Sotheby’s even extended to actually invading a Danny Meyer restaurant in NYC, because Meyer was on the Board of Sotheby’s. According to OWS, Occupy Museums is “an ongoing protest that calls out corruption and injustice in institutions of art and culture” They claim that museums and art institutions are a ‘weapon of the 1%” and they reject using ‘art as a “financial instrument”. They plan on holding their own art fair outside the Frieze Art Fair in May, where “we will not use money but rather search for a value system that empowers everyone”.
It is rather ironic that OWS chastises the Whitney for having Deutsche Bank as a sponsor. Since their removal from Zuccotti Park in November of last year, OWS has held the majority of its meetings in the atrium lobby at 60 Wall Street-the Deutsche Bank building. So, in a very real sense, they indeed are “sponsored” by the Deutsche Bank.
Thought you might like to see some of the “New Propaganda for M1GS” that Occupy the Bay Area is putting out. ”M1GS” is an abbreviation for May 1 General Strike. If you think it was a play on “MIGS”, that was not unintentional, or without purpose. They want to do away with capitalism. And bosses. And work. In fact, they revolt for “a life worth living”. If you will not give them what they want, they are telling you that they will take it.
OWS has been casting around, trying to bring in more people. In so doing, they have tried to pull from anywhere they might collect people with a cause, from “Justice for Trayvon” to the “de-colonization” movement.
One indictment of OWS, which has had the sting of truth, is the overwhelming lack of diversity(translation-no appreciable number of POC) in what is a principally white young male driven effort, at least in so far as the boots on the ground.
As part of the May Day effort to get people out, OWS has been promoting the statement and efforts of the “May 1st Coalition”, which is basically an immigrants’ rights endeavor. OWS makes clear their rationale for doing so in this first paragraph:
This May Day, Occupy Wall Street is rising up in solidarity with the immigrant rights movement. Years before #OWS, May Day was revitalized in the U.S. as a day of mass mobilization against the unjust, racist U.S. immigration system. On May Day 2006, the May 1st Coalition helped organize the largest protest in NYC history, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the streets in a march stretching over 26 city blocks. This year, as we gather as a unified front for economic justice in a Day Without the 99%, they are leading the struggle to UNIONIZE, LEGALIZE, and ORGANIZE.
OWS then promotes the following statement from the May 1st Coalition:
Dear Brothers and Sisters
We bring you excellent news and a message from the May 1st Coalition.
On this May 1st 2012, there will a unified celebration. We immigrants have united with the most important unions of New York, the working class along with Occupy Wall Street. This has come about after long and intense debates, at which point we concluded an agreement to realize a single act on May 1st in historic Unión Square.
This agreement and example of unity was proposed to all the delegates at the National Conference and to the peoples, States and Counties of this country.
Also, given the incapacity of Congress and its two chambers, the White House and the corrupt political system of the United States, we propose on May 1st to transform our multifaceted forms of organization and struggle into one center of PEOPLE’S POWER, consisting of union power, of social power, including those from the countryside, in the sweatshop factories, and throughout the poor neighborhoods, all as an alternative to capitalist and imperialist power.
We demand LEGALIZATION for the 12 and perhaps 20 million undocumented immigrants which will in turn allow the youth to pursue higher education. Furthermore, no youth should be obliged to enter the Armed Forces and sent to fight imperial wars.
In calling for legalization for all NOW, we are demanding an end to:
deportations immigration raids the fracturing of families We demand debt forgiveness on houses lost and the return of those houses and property of the 15 million families affected by the mortgage crisis brought on by the avarice of the Banks.
We demand immediate employment for the 40 million chronically unemployed, whose ranks are swelling by the prolonged crisis and recession of the capitalist system on an international level. We Occupy to Create People’s Power.
We demand immediate freedom to the thousands of immigrants currently being held prisoner in the jails and concentration camps. We want immediate closure to the Center of Torture and extermination in Guantanamo. MR. OBAMA, ENOUGH OF YOUR LIES AND DEMAGOGUERY. Stop the torture!
We demand a halt to all war preparations against Iran. No to the utilization of nuclear arms against civilian populations. The United States is not the COP of the world. Troops out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and an end to all imperialist military bases around the world.
As always, we will fight for civil rights and the human rights for education, health and employment without discrimination of any type.
To our friends the people of Iran, we are always with you.
FRATERNAL GREETINGS TO ALL WOMEN WHO STRUGGLE. THEY ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE UNIVERSE.
It is only Revolution that will set us free. It is now time to CREATE, CREATE PEOPLE’S POWER IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST OF IMPERIALISM.
We will see you on May 1st in Union Square
Occupy: May 1st Blockade Called For New York Bridges, Tunnels, and Ferries — Commuter Delays Expected
Occupy has been trying to ramp up and throw all efforts into their planned May 1 “general strike”.
We wrote of their desire to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on that date.
They are also trying to blockade transit into and out of New York City on that date, according to a post on their OccupyWallSt.org site:
MAY 1: NEW YORK BLOCKADE ANNOUNCEMENT
NEW YORK – On May 1, 2012, autonomous direct action groups within Occupy Wall Street, as a part of the global mobilizations for general strike and economic non-compliance, will block one or more Manhattan-bound bridges or tunnels to protest the shameful opulence of the 1%. Working and unemployed people across this country have seen no improvement to their lives in spite of all of the chatter about a recovery from the Financial Crisis of 2008. We don’t care what Obama or Romney say because only working people —domestic laborers, rank and file union members, undocumented workers, restaurant, retail and chain-store workers— can solve today’s problems.
Last fall, when Occupy Wall Street blocked the Brooklyn Bridge for several hours, we were acting within a long line of protest in New York City that stretches back to the so-called Fiscal Crisis of 1975, which much like now, was a bank led assault against working people. In the summer of 1975, striking hospital employees, including doctors and nurses, blocked the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge was even blocked by thousands of laid-off police, the very people who act as the guard dogs of the 1%. More recently, both the Brooklyn Bridge and the Holland Tunnel were shut down during protests of the shooting death of Sean Bell. But this May 1, we will create the biggest shut down the city of New York has ever seen.
We are announcing these blockades now as a fair warning to the rest of the working people of New York and New Jersey who are considering joining the strikes and mobilizations of the day: the city will be shut down, so enjoy the day without the 99%!
Let’s do a little translation.
“Be the crisis” – get people into the streets, doesn’t matter how or why, but get them so we can galvanize them for action
“Autnomous direct action groups” – if anything happens we can disavow it as not an “officially approved” OWS action
“economic non compliance” – you haven’t done what we say (whatever that might be).
“protest the shameful opulence of the 1%” – if you’re rich, you’re evil, because it’s not fair.
“only working people —domestic laborers, rank and file union members, undocumented workers, restaurant, retail and chain-store workers— can solve today’s problems”
-the revolution has to proceed from the proletariat.
“guard dogs of the 1%” – watch those evil guard dogs in action brutally enforcing the dictates of the evil 1% against peaceful OWS protesters:
“the rest of the working people” -we really don’t care if we inconvenience you and any of those other people because what we have to say is much more important than anything you might be concerned with on that day.
So expectant moms trying to get to the hospital, stuff the baby back in and have it on another day. This is our day.
Update: Apparently not quite their day, they’ve allegedly called of the Golden Gate Bridge blockade, because the union isn’t behind the idea(translation: then there wouldn’t be enough people to do it).
Over the Palm Sunday weekend, Occupy San Francisco seized a building owned by the Catholic Archdiocese at 888 Turk .
Calling it the “San Francisco Commune”, about 75 people took over the building, causing thousands of dollars of damage, blockading it and forcing police to have to remove them.
More on the story here:
Now, they’re at it again.
They have allegedly seized another Church property, noting on their website:
The SF COMMUNE arose from the ashes on Easter Sunday at an undisclosed Church owned property. Less than one week after the Archdiocese commanded SFPD to violently evict and arrest 75 folks from 888 TURK St., a new Collective Housing Community Center has been established. The SF Commune will not tolerate the systems that force 7,000-10,000 San Franciscan’s to remain homeless while over 30,000 housing units are wasting away vacant.
On MAY DAY, the SFC will open it’s doors and conduct another OPEN OCCUPATION in solidarity with the MAY 1ST GENERAL STRIKE. For the next three weeks, the new site will continue to thrive covertly, engaging in mutual aid and direct democracy, in preparation for May Day. The SFC has been initiated to provide a perpetual, autonomous headquarters for the Occupy SF movement.
They are asking for supplies for their “new commune”, the location of which they will formally announce on May 1.
Occupy SF, unlike some other cells, has no problem referring to their actions as “anti capitalist”, calling for all “radicals and anti capitalists” to come out to blockade Wells Fargo on April 24: