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On the night of the eviction. I had left a spokes council to head back to Global Revolution studios. The streets looked wet, and I called a good friend of mine form back home. After 3 months of Occupy Wall Street, most of my personal relationships were frayed, and I had been trying to mend my relationships old friends not in NYC. As I walked I saw lines of NYPD vans stream past me towards the park. It wasn’t unusual, until I noticed that all the vans were full. Each van had cops pressed shoulder to shoulder in them.
I told my friend I had to go and called back to the park to advise members of the media team what I had seen. They told me everything seemed fine back at the park, but I decided not to go to the studio and jumped a train to Liberty…just in case. When I arrived at the park it was cool. The air brisk, and the usual wanderings of people milling, people had taken to coming into the park later and later, some not even staying at all as the temperatures dropped. I checked in with the media team I was working with and they reported nothing unusual. I relaxed. Every night was paranoia. Every night was our last night.
Since the end of May 2013, political unrest has swept across Turkey. In Istanbul, a large part of the central Beyoğlu district became a battle zone for three consecutive weeks with conflicts continuing afterward. So far five people have died and thousands have been injured.
The protests were initially aimed at rescuing Istanbul’s Gezi Park from being demolished as part of a large scale urban renewal project. The police used extreme force during a series of police attacks that began on May 28th 2013 and which came to a dramatic head in the early morning hours of Friday May 31st when police attacked protesters sleeping in the park.
Over the course of a few days, the police attacks grew to shocking proportions. As the images of the heavy-handed policing spread across the world, the protests quickly transformed into a popular uprising against the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his style of authoritarian rule.
This short documentary tells the story of the occupation of Gezi Park, the eviction on July 15, 2013, and the protests that have continued in the aftermath. It includes interviews with many participants and footage never before seen.
It’s taken me a long time to start writing about this meeting. I mean it was just a meeting, but it feels more complicated than that. Right? I’m all washed into NYC suddenly trying to organize. I’m wasn’t there alone. But I don’t know exactly how to speak about the other people. How they play out. I’ve decided to try.
It was the same Union hall that New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts met in, but a different room. We filed in, long table, centered, folks scattered around the edges. And we talked. Folks told their tales of what the Debt default really was, what we should do about it. The meeting went on ,twelve or so folks spoke, I listened. Eventually, the idea seemed to start revolving around organizing a rally. Despair. I didn’t want a rally. Already they were making a list of speakers, of which I had little space to add any input. It was like they were playing out a script. I’d died politically because of rallies. I’d felt disempowered because of rallies, and now I was helping organize a rally.
The guy who pushed the rally, was part of a communist group. You know? Workers power, organize the workplace sort of stuff; laced with anti-oppressive frameworks and the minority empowerment line. All the right rhetoric with a touch of know how. The sort of group that has a political organizing manual with an easy flowchart that’ll get you to selling newspapers on the corner. I knew little about them, besides that they knew how to throw a rally.
The guy holding the fire about the rally was balding. His scalp flushed red as he explained that what we needed was to rally, march and to write up this list of “particulars”. You know? The big list of all the things we want. He’d followup with a twelve step liberation document ready to be marched to the steps of liberty hall. I’d planted my face against the table.
As I am about to post this blog piece, I just got a call from a man named Garvard Good Plume at Pine Ridge telling me that Wounded Knee is being auctioned off RIGHT NOW. I feel sick. Meanwhile, here's what I wrote earlier today....
I am sitting in a cafe in Rapid City, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation, early for my interview with Charmaine White Face. I watched the riveting, heartbreaking and informative film "Red Cry" for the second time last night to prepare for this interview. I also studied the very specific and helpful directives about how non-indigenous people can support indigenous people at www.lakotagrandmothers.org.
I've always been a generous tipper. I worked as a waitress a few times, long, long ago, and my daughter worked as a waitress for a living more than once. I am aghast when I see a table of 10 walk out leaving a 10% tip (sometimes less, sometimes nothing)...
Out here on the road, I stop at a lot of places where I might not normally eat. One night, it was getting late and we didn't have a place to stay. I made a call to my friends from South Carolina, Greg and Brady Gavan of Money with a Mission, and they treated us to a night in a motel in West Memphis. It was after 8 p.m. by the time we checked in, and I was starving. There was a Waffle House right next to the motel, so in I went. Wilma and I found a table and made ourselves comfortable. I was just off the Footprints for Peace walk against mountaintop removal in Kentucky. I was tired and maybe a little cranky, so I noticed that it took longer than I felt it should for the waitress to make her way to my table. I was just getting ready to start waving my arms or clinking my glass (not really, but some people DO do that, and I FELT like doing it) when I noticed the waitress, the only one in the joint, shuffling in my direction. She was moving slow, VERY slow, and when I looked down, her ankles were swollen the size of basketballs, too heavy, tired and painful for her to lift even an inch off the floor. When she reached my table, I looked into her passive face and couldn't help staring at the black bags under her eyes. She looked like a prizefighter, only I knew those bags weren't from any one blow. This woman had been dealt a knockdown punch by life itself.
In the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy I watched along with countless others as the Media frenzied Halloween coinciding "Frankenstorm" Sandy appeared to make a beeline for New York and New Jersey. Sandy brought with it an ecological wake up, with a swirling natural example of a Fibonacci sequence contained in an immense storm and delivered to the doorstep of Wall Street in New York. Sandy had more “wake-up” painted on it than the equally sad storm of Honey Boo Boo foisted on the American public during prime time people programing hours. Sandy headed quite literally for ground zero of the Wall Street/Governmental poster child for disparity replete throughout our present system and the heart of Americas Occupy movement. The sweeping northern arm of the storm was in a placement for optimal damage around New York and New Jersey. The BBC had aired the scenario in a 2009 Episode of Hot Planet and it had painted this exact scenario as a probability of Global Warming due to slight temperature rises in the Atlantic. Hot Planet could not have been more uncanny in its prediction or theory. Add to this, the screaming silence of omission in the presidential debates about the environment and global warming. Now a "monster storm" was headed dead on and like it or not debate stopped upon the fact that this was to be massive! Indeed it was massive. Its' wake is equally so on many levels. The storm hit, emergency services scrambled, store shelves vacated, generators flew from the Home Depots stores in my area as if beamed up by Scotty on the Starship Enterprise prior to an ion storm that would deplete the dilithium crystals and render warp drive inoperable. The cacophony of preparation soon met the cacophony of real-time emergency action. It stretched many services to the breaking point as well as many lives. The onslaught of the activity is almost impossible to outline in coherent form, but chaos is a word now familiar to those who bore the brunt of it. The after effects equally so in scale and ramification. In its wake Sandy left emergency response further politicized by Mayor Bloomberg's reluctance to cancel the mass of supplies headed to 40,000 marathon runners while another 40,000 were literally and figuratively left in the dark. Bloomberg is reported to have finally conceded to pleas and threats from senior staff and even the New York Marathon organizers themselves. Mayor Bloombergs marathon priority in the face of so many suffering was demonstrative Hail Mary bonehead play if there ever was one. Clearly it showed the disconnect that exists in the disparity of real lives and the uppity out of touch privileged rich and galactically misinformed and/or uncaring. After affects met with slow or no response by FEMA bureaucracy, along with other large Aid agencies, some neighborhoods completely leveled by fire, a total disaster for great swaths and a near miss for others around New York. Yes, disaster all around was an understatement. continued below---
Occupy Sandy Relief - My House is Your House is Our House
Since Occupy Wall Street took Zuccotti Park in September 2011, there has been a resurgence of social movement activity in the United States. As momentum has increased, age-old questions over tactics, strategy, and goals have returned to the fore.
What is violence? Who gets to define it? Do illegal actions have a place in our movements?
This discussion never takes place in a vacuum or on a level playing field; rather, it occurs within the context of a struggle that is already in progress, where every statement has immediate ramifications for the participants. Differing tactical approaches often reflect fundamental differences in strategy and goals.
People across the nation are outraged after finding out that the Anaheim Police Department killed an unarmed man, Manuel Diaz, on Saturday, July 21st, then randomly began shooting into a crowd of women and children with non-lethal rounds, and unleashing a K-9 dog on a woman and a baby, and then killed another man the following day. On Friday, July 27th, Austin joined with cities across the nation to come together in peaceful protest against the violence of the Anaheim Police Department, and against the violence of police departments across the nation. Back Story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpeyv6-FlzU Other cities holding rallies : Dallas Harlem Oakland Portland San Francisco Riverside Filmed at the downtown police station in Austin, Texas. Produced for Austin Indymedia. Video Produced/Edited by Jeff Zavala. Videography by Meg Seidel. A ZGraphix Production. http://zgraphix.org
Egypt's military rulers and the remnants of the old regime of toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak have made a brazen move against the revolution. The assault took the form of a ruling by Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court that is simultaneously intended to dissolve the country's parliament and allow the military's favored candidate to stay in a presidential runoff election scheduled for the weekend of 6/16-6/17--two steps in the direction of the counter-revolution. People all over the world have been inspired by the struggle of ordinary Egyptians to build a just, democratic society through protest, strike action, and over a year of ongoing organizing. We must continue to demonstrate our solidarity! The Egyptian struggle has helped U.S. social justice activists find our own courage to fight, from the Wisconsin labor rebellion to the Occupy Movement. And the US government continues to provide crucial financial and military support to Egypt's rulers as they have used U.S. tanks and tear gas to repress protesters. That's why all over the United States, we have taken action to show our brothers and sisters in Tahrir Square that we stand with them! Location of solidarity protest: Austin Capitol Building Video produced (Filmed and Edited) by Grace Alfar Directed by Jeff Zavala A Zgraphix Production http://zgraphix.org Austin Indymedia http://austin.indymedia.org
it's my fifth day in the sunshine state, and our third day as the flagship independent media bus for the republican convention.
we've not seen a lot of action here yet on the front ... it rains ... and then it rains some more... and then more. there's been meetings and trainings for the protestors. i've watched golf carts being piggy-backed in on flat bed trucks by the dozen ... and there are hundreds, nay thousands of sections of barricades being erected to provide a "free speech" zone where citizens and protestors are to be corralled and controlled for their own "protection." there was the transfer of an entire population of inmates from a local jail, to make room for potential arrestees ... and the newest mainstream media hub bub: the suspicious discovery on a rooftop in the event zone, that ominously points to the threat of "anarchist violence," coupled with the circulation of a video by "anonymous," promising more of the same, which smacks of forgery to those who know the hallmarks of true anon representation.
Robert Jensen gives a teach-in on Talking Radical in a Mainstream World for Occupy Austin's Independence Day gathering. Occupy Austin (7/4/12) describes the goal of the gathering: “We are coming together to write a new declaration. A Declaration that reminds us of the uncertain road that those who founded our country followed. A Declaration that reminds us why we still believe in this great nation. A Declaration that reminds us what we still have left to achieve. A Declaration that reminds us that this country does now, has always and will always be of the people.” There were also teach-ins on topics including trade agreements, the Citizens United ruling, education, and the tar sands. Produced for Austin Indymedia by Jeff Zavala. A ZGraphix Production. http://zgraphix.org
By Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh
From May 12-May 15th, protesters throughout Spain marked the first anniversary of the 15M movement by re-taking the streets and squares of over 80 cities. The 15M movement inspired people all over the world to occupy their local squares, to self-organize general assemblies and to build networks of solidarity in the face of severe economic policy. This short documentary documents the 15M anniversary protests in Barcelona.
Jim Hightower speaks at the Million Musicians March for Peace. Peace and harmony was the message during a march from the Capitol to 6th street on Saturday. It was part of the annual Million Musicians March for Peace. Occupy Austin protesters and musicians teamed up to spread the word about peace. The Million Musician March for Peace started 7 years ago after the War in Iraq. Protesters want to stop the war and bring all the soldiers back home because of the thousands of lives lost and financial cost. With SXSW in town, protesters are taking the opportunity to spread their message to visitors from around the world. Protesters rallied at the Capitol and listened to music. Then they marched to city hall for a concert that wraps up around 6:30 Saturday night. Filmed for Austin Indymedia by Grace Alfar. Produced by Grace Alfar. A ZGraphix production. http://zgraphix.org
Yo, scholars; tactical media has been in effect in one incarnation or another for a long time. Now technology is making it much easier for us. So these kind brains from Amsterdam put together a little history to date of the Media that Uses "Any Means Necessary". Click the Expand Button to read the full pamphlet on line.
The General Strike in Oakland had many marches throughout the day including this march against Capitalism, which to many means a march against the private ownership of property. Unfortunately some members of our community (as well as undercover police) felt that it was acceptable to assault our fellow comrades because they felt damage to property was much more of an important issue than solidarity and/or non-violence.
For the first time since demonstrators began the occupation of City Hall eight days ago, some participants have now found themselves behind bars. Four people of the Occupy Austin movement were arrested early Thursday morning after refusing to leave the grounds of City Hall while workers power washed the area. However, it’s nothing but business in the executive boardroom of Occupy Austin. Co-Creators are busy developing an intranet system to reach other like-minded demonstrators across the country. "We kind of just come up here and draw out, 'Where do you think this should go? How can we unite this movement?'" Occupy Austin co-creator Cesar Fuentez said. Thursday’s early morning arrests prompt questions about the future of the movement: How can civil disobedience lead to real democratic change? "Instead of just riding along the side of a battle ship, throwing rocks on the side of the hull and asking the battle ship to change, we're going to build our own battle ship," co-creator Chris Nielson said The group is still working out the specifics and “drafting blue prints,” according to Nielson. "We're currently refining it and it’s taking a little while to do it. But at the end of the day we have to change our socio, political and economic system and that is going to encompass deep reforms," he said. Those deep changes include campaign reform, banking and corporate accountability and closing corporate tax loopholes. Until those goals are reached, creators of Occupy Austin say they won’t be budging an inch. Produced for Austin Indymedia by Jeff Zavala. A ZGraphix Production. http://zgraphix.org