Occupy Wall Street?!

5 Sep

On the 17th of September, they want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices and they say they will not leave until that demand has been met….

Find out more or learn how to get involved with the on-the-ground organizing here.

An excerpt of the recent update from the folks at Adbusters, who first sounded the call, follows:

“Hey you rebels, radicals and utopian dreamers out there,

We are living through a rare crisis and moment of opportunity. Western industrialized nations are now being masticated by the financial monster they themselves created. This is triggering a mood that alternates between angry denial and sudden panic. It looks like something is about to break, opening the space for a necessary transformation and a total rethink of global economic affairs. Events are playing perfectly into our September 17 occupation of Wall Street…. See you on Wall St. Sept 17. Bring Tent.

for the wild, Culture Jammers HQ” 

[EF! Newswire Ed. Note: For the wild… we love it! Hats off to our friends at Adbusters. Perhaps we should take a break from laying out the next Earth First! Journal and head for Wall Street too.]

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20 Responses to “Occupy Wall Street?!”

  1. A September 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Are you really applauding this recuperation of “for the wild?” That’s pathetic. There’s nothing about this event at all that critiques or poses any challenge to techno-industrial civilization.

    • dialectic September 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

      Truthfully, there is nothing in your post that presents a real challenge either. You are using a computer and eating food not grown by your own two hands… am I right? Let them have this, it can only help to open more minds.

      • farnishk September 13, 2011 at 6:32 am #

        Ah, the old “You can’t use the master’s tools against the master” fallacy. So if someone comes to your house threatening you with a gun are you not allowed to turn that gun against the assailant because it’s not “pure” enough?

        And by the same argument, clearly the acts of Anonymous against corporations via their computer systems was hypocritical because they took down computers using computers…

      • dialectic September 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

        Farnishk… no, that’s not what I’m trying to get at. That was a nice straw man argument though. My point was that the “I’m too punk” one-upmanship and the divisive critiquing aren’t helping anyone. How about some real solidarity for a change. So this Occupy Wall Street event isn’t a Rendezvous, does that mean it’s useless then?

        (BTW look at how ridiculous this whole discussion was. Doesn’t it make you cringe to always be pointing out people’s flaws and not coming to their aid? Isn’t that “each against all” type of thinking that all of our posts exhibit what we are trying to fight against?)

      • farnishk September 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

        @dialectic, please see comment by “Keith” below. I always offer solutions where appropriate – although I don’t always spell my name the same :-[

  2. Keith September 6, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    What has happened to Earth First!? Whoever is posting on this list clearly has no idea of the Earth First! ethos, instead is playing into the hands of the light-green “activists” and more importantly, the political and corporate system, by promoting a host of symbolic activities such as the Keystone XL sit-in and this particular “action” on Wall Street. Feel free to have a party, but don’t expect it to change anything.

    If you want to make a difference to the Dow Jones Index – isn’t what you want for it to go down to zero? – then start hitting consumer confidence in the system and investor confidence in the traders, and watch it tumble.

    • efjcollective September 14, 2011 at 10:19 am #

      Were glad you are out their Keith. It sounds like you must be doing good non-symbolic things.

  3. snitch hater September 20, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    all of you “more radical than thou” motherfuckers need to put up or shut up.

    all y’all run your mouths whining about EF! and others not being hardcore enough for you, but meanwhile, the assholes who snitched out the real militants are still out there.

    you couch potato whiny shits have done NOTHING about that situation, yet you have the nerve to whine about what other ACTIVISTS are doing or not doing.

    well, i guess we see where all that empty bravado and tough talk has gotten us.

    • efjcollective September 20, 2011 at 10:16 am #

      Snitch Hater, while I agree that people complaining via the internet about others (and especially in insulting ways) in the movement is not helpful, you seem to be joining the e-banter too.
      Lets support those doing good work without machismo and boastful rhetoric.

  4. Keith September 20, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    @snitch hater

    How do you know what people are and aren’t doing? And more to the point, why would you want to, given how much you hate snitches?

    The last place anyone is going to broadcast their actions is on a public forum that the “authorities” scan on a regular basis. On the other hand there is nothing wrong with having a pop and something that is clearly retrogressive (i.e. symbolic action), nor suggesting good things that are constructive.

    As for the issue at hand – whether Occupy Wall Street is a laudable campaign – well, have a look at the confusing mess going on: https://occupywallst.org/article/third-communique/#comments. No one seems to know what the hell this is about. At worst it should have convinced people that economic growth is ecological death; at best – and I’m being generous here – it could have affected confidence in the market system causing a drop in share prices.

    As it is…well, you be the judge.

    • snitch hater September 26, 2011 at 4:46 am #

      i don’t want to know about illegal shit, but my long involvement in this movement leads me to believe the more chatter there is about militancy, the less actually happens. further, mr straw man argument, i never said i wanted to know about illegal shit, so fuck you very much for the cop inference. i’ve just been to too many campfires where there was all this talk about so and so not being hardcore enough, but those doing the criticizing never did a damn thing.

      and i will be the judge, thank you. given the pathetic state of any and all resistance movements in this country, i’m all for whatever actions people can and will organize against the empire.

      i think viewing that stuff through an ideological prism or a lense of “its not radical enough for me” is fucking stupid. and i think people posting on the internet criticizing the tar sands protests, occupy wall street, food not bombs, mountain justice or any other campaign that is not militant enough for the loud mouth set are assholes.

      and to the Journal staff, thanks for keeping the journal going, but extra special thanks for being kick ass English Professors and pointing the blatant, obvious and very pointed, point, to my previous post.

    • dialectic September 27, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      “As it is…well, you be the judge.”

      The way you conveyed this message is the problem right there… there is all this judging and not enough mutual aid going on. It’s funny in a cognitive dissonance sort of way; the left has historically been a divisive lot. Though I think Snitch Hater is crass in her/his (?) approach, there are valid points made that just get tossed aside.

      As for the divisions within Occupy Wall Street, that seems to be a reality in any movement. If one were to go back and read about LID, SLID, AFL, CIO, SDS, etc. one will see that there were deep divisions within these groups, but they could at least come together around a basic common cause. To me, that seems to be what is being accomplished by those participating in the occupation. People with differing grievances coming together to fight for a common good.

      • dialectic September 27, 2011 at 10:42 am #

        “As it is…well, you be the judge.”

        The way you conveyed this message is the problem right there… there is all this judging and not enough mutual aid going on. It’s funny in a cognitive dissonance sort of way; the left has historically been a divisive lot. Though I think Snitch Hater is crass in her/his (?) approach, there are valid points made that just get tossed aside.

        As for the divisions within Occupy Wall Street, that seems to be a reality in any movement. If one were to go back and read about LID, SLID, AFL, CIO, SDS, etc. one will see that there were deep divisions within these groups, but they could at least come together around a basic common cause. To me, that seems to be what is being accomplished by those participating in the occupation… people with differing grievances coming together to fight for a common good.

    • dialectic October 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      “As it is…well, you be the judge.”

      The way you conveyed this message is the problem right there… there is all this judging and not enough mutual aid going on. It’s funny in a cognitive dissonance sort of way; the left has historically been a divisive lot. Though I think Snitch Hater is crass in her/his (?) approach, there are valid points made that just get tossed aside.

      As for the divisions within Occupy Wall Street, that seems to be a reality in any movement. If one were to go back and read about LID, SLID, AFL, CIO, SDS, etc. one will see that there were deep divisions within these groups, but they could at least come together around a basic common cause. To me, that seems to be what is being accomplished by those participating in the occupation… people with differing grievances coming together to fight for a common good.

  5. farnishk September 26, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    Which is why I’m not saying what might be going on…

    And who criticised Food Not Bombs?

  6. Ross Wolfe October 8, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    One of the most glaring problems with the supporters of Occupy Wall Street and its copycat successors is that they suffer from a woefully inadequate understanding of the capitalist social formation — its dynamics, its (spatial) globality, its (temporal) modernity. They equate anti-capitalism with simple anti-Americanism, and ignore the international basis of the capitalist world economy. To some extent, they have even reified its spatial metonym in the NYSE on Wall Street. Capitalism is an inherently global phenomenon; it does not admit of localization to any single nation, city, or financial district.

    Moreover, many of the more moderate protestors hold on to the erroneous belief that capitalism can be “controlled” or “corrected” through Keynesian-administrative measures: steeper taxes on the rich, more bureaucratic regulation and oversight of business practices, broader government social programs (welfare, Social Security), and projects of rebuilding infrastructure to create jobs. Moderate “progressives” dream of a return to the Clinton boom years, or better yet, a Rooseveltian new “New Deal.” All this amounts to petty reformism, which only serves to perpetuate the global capitalist order rather than to overcome it. They fail to see the same thing that the libertarians in the Tea Party are blind to: laissez-faire economics is not essential to capitalism. State-interventionist capitalism is just as capitalist as free-market capitalism.

    Nevertheless, though Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy [insert location here] in general still contains many problematic aspects, it nevertheless presents an opportunity for the Left to engage with some of the nascent anti-capitalist sentiment taking shape there. So far it has been successful in enlisting the support of a number of leftish celebrities, prominent unions, and young activists, and has received a lot of media coverage. Hopefully, the demonstrations will lead to a general radicalization of the participants’ politics, and a commitment to the longer-term project of social emancipation.

    To this end, I have written up a rather pointed Marxist analysis of the OWS movement so far that you might find interesting:

    “Reflections on Occupy Wall Street: What It Represents, Its Prospects, and Its Deficiencies”

    THE LEFT IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE LEFT!

    • dialectic October 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

      “One of the most glaring problems with the supporters of Occupy Wall Street and its copycat successors is that they suffer from a woefully inadequate understanding of the capitalist social formation…”

      and

      “To this end, I have written up a rather pointed Marxist analysis…”

      First, I must preface this post with an aside about my intellectual backing: I consider myself to be influenced heavily along postmodernist lines.

      What I initially saw from your post above and from your blog is the fact that you should utilize Karl Marx more fully. If you are going to tie your ideas to such a meta-narrative, then you should embrace it or be careful to distance yourself it. Though he – as you state – was highly critical of capitalism for the alienation and exploitation it caused, he also related in his “materialist conception of history” that capitalism could ultimately create massive social “progress.” For instance, in the Communist Manifesto he marveled at how capitalism had “created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.” The early writings of Marx did indeed note that capitalism was inherently flawed, but they also noted the productive capacity that capitalism was capable of. Perhaps you are already aware of this, but I thought it should be said.

      If we are to go down the lines of forcing Marxism down the throats of those who have not yet achieved class consciousness, how are we any better than Lenin? If we are to tell people that our narrative is a grand theory, then are we any better than the ideological totalitarians we proclaim to avoid? I believe the elder Marx would agree.

    • dialectic October 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

      “One of the most glaring problems with the supporters of Occupy Wall Street and its copycat successors is that they suffer from a woefully inadequate understanding of the capitalist social formation…”

      and

      “To this end, I have written up a rather pointed Marxist analysis…”

      First, I must preface this post with an aside about my intellectual backing: I consider myself to be influenced heavily along postmodernist lines.

      What I initially saw from your post above and from your blog is the fact that you should utilize Karl Marx more fully. If you are going to tie your ideas to such a meta-narrative, you should embrace it or be careful to distance yourself from it. Though he – as you state – was highly critical of capitalism for the alienation and exploitation it caused, the young Marx also related in his “materialist conception of history” that capitalism could ultimately create massive social “progress.” For instance, in the Communist Manifesto he marveled at how capitalism had “created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.” The early writings of Marx did indeed note that capitalism was inherently flawed, but they also noted the productive capacity that capitalism was capable of. Perhaps you are already aware of this, but I thought it should be said.

      If we are to go down the lines of forcing Marxism down the throats of those who have not yet achieved class consciousness, how are we any better than Lenin? If we are to tell people that this narrative is a grand theory, then are we any better than the ideological totalitarians we proclaim to avoid? I believe the elder Marx would agree.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Thousands occupying Wall Street, NYC « Earth First! Newswire - September 18, 2011

    […] this month, we posted news of the call to occupy Wall Street, in the spirit of Tahrir Square (and other recent popular uprisings: Spain, Greece, London…) […]

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