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Civil Unrest

To Recapture The Dream by Julius Lester 1969

“We Must not mistake an organization, a gun, or even an ideology for a revolution. They are only a means towards it. Revolution is first and foremost a question of morality, a question of values, a question of the inner life of people.” - Julius Lester, “To Recapture The Dream,”.Liberation AugSep1969, pp26-30

Letter from OWS Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies Group posted on Embros website along with others like Raoul Vaneigem and Jenny Marketou. It goes without saying that any government that seeks to criminalize and arrest artist along with members from the supporting community is a government that should be declared illegal and it’s acts of repression should be condemned. For culture is the one thing in life that requires nothing and gives everything. And perhaps this is one of the most threatening aspect of art which governments seek to crush within its citizen.  Furthermore it is through cultural platforms like Embros that the people and culture will persist in this transitional anti-capitalist period of Athenian history as well as in other parts of the world…

 

Letter in Support of Embros  from Arts & Labor Alternative Economies
November 12, 2013, New York

We stand in solidarity with the Embros Theater community and condemn the persecution of the two performers arrested for rehearsing in the theater on October 31, 2013.  All charges brought against these individuals should be dropped and their court cases should be dismissed. [1]

Artists Against The Police State

The work that is currently being done at Embros embodies some of the most fundamental aspects of fostering a creative and responsive cultural space in which alternatives to the current system can be explored [2]. In this time of urgency and economic crisis around the world, Embros is forging new directions that should be enthusiastically supported and celebrated by the local and national government rather than aggressively repressed and threatened.

Culture is a basic sign of being alive, a space of reflection and growth, and most importantly it is the place where the processes that define democracy such as freedom of speech,  expression, and criticality, is apparent in more ways than a set of law books can ever describe. Governments from Russia to China, United States and Europe [3] seek to crush within its citizens the freedom of cultural expression. It has become apparent that the democratic, life-expressing aspects of art are being systematically repressed and commodified into pure spectacle and entertainment by these governments, institutional bureaucrats, and their capitalist cohorts. We will not stand-by as they reduce culture to an admission fee, VIP bonus, or something you can buy at the gift shop. We wish to dance, to perform, to visualize, to speak, all without being restricted by the amount of money we have or the so-called credentials and permits that these institutions have invented. Because for us, this is true freedom, this is true a democracy that no currency can equate.

Embros helps to provide much needed free and open community space that brings people from all walks of life together to learn, engage, and create. Therefore, we ask artists and communities around the world to look closely and continue to follow these events as you would a canary in a coal mine, so that we may provide support for artists and cultural spaces when similar events that arise. Furthermore, these instances should provide a lens to reflect on the situation in our cities and to better understand the mechanisms of cultural control, repression, cooptation, and exploitation so that we can continue, through this solidarity network, to expose and ultimately overcome this political, economic, and cultural crises that has become the marker of our times.

Arts and Labor Alternative Economies
Maria Juliana Byck, Emily Baierl, Antonio Serna and Laurel Ptak
www.whatdowedonow.info
www.artsandlabor.org/alternative-economies

[ photo above: Arts & Labor March in Solidarity with Quebec Students (March Against Anti-Protest Laws) and Protesting the Arrest of Takeshi Miyakawa (‘I (heart) NY’ light artist) May 22, 2012. Photo by: Stacy Lanyon]

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[1] Communique from Embros on the Arrest of 2 performers. October 30, 2013
www.embrostheater.blogspot.gr/2013/10/blog-post_31.html

[2] On October 19, 2013, as part of ‘What Do We Do Now?’ the first annual Alternatives Fair in New York City, we invited members of Embros Theater to participate in an international panel on autonomous spaces along with members from other autonomous spaces in Mexico. Through this panel we hoped to learn how autonomously run cultural spaces function to provide a more horizontal way to operate while remaining inclusive to all members in the community. From this exchange we learned how Embros’ organizing by way of a weekly general assembly has become a dynamic and invaluable community-run space in which creativity and innovation is encouraged to thrive.

‘What Do We Do Now? Alternative Fair’ was organized by Alternative Economies, a subgroup of OWS Arts and Labor. Alternative Economies working group explores alternative methods of sustaining the livelihood of artists, art-workers, and other communities interested in alternatives to the current system. We view the concept of labor through the lenses of time, choice, and value, and we research the ways that ideas like the commons, solidarity economies, precarious worker centers, and participatory budgeting can nurture more sustainable art worlds. Believing that vibrant creative communities come from the bottom up, we encourage relationships based on mutual aid rather than competition, and we advocate for cultural institutions rooted in a framework of social, economic, and environmental justice.

[3] Links to similar crack down on autonomous cultural spaces and artists:
- ZAM is Culture, Eviction of ZAM by Milan Police, May 2013
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2013/05/zam-e-cultura/
-Footage of Police Eviction of ZAM w/ minute by minute account, May 2013
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2013/05/zona-autonoma-milano-eviction-today
- Missing Pussy Riot Inmate Turns Up at a Tuberculosis Hospital, Nov 14, 2013
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/missing-pussy-riot-inmate-turns-up-at-a-tuberculosis-hospital-20131114
- Extreme show of force by of Swiss police at Basel, May 2013
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2013/06/artists-activists-make-art-come-alive
- “Art Makes Money” Communique from ‘Basel Will Be Occupied’ after the Art Basel raid:
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2013/06/communique-art-makes-money
-NY Police Arrest of artist in Brooklyn for Decorating the Street  “I (heart)nyc” bags, May 2012
http://bureaux.petitemort.org/2012/05/ny-goes-hard-on-street-art/

SoulsBeenSoldAgain-BlackEmergencyCulturalCoalition-1969

 

Flyer produced by The Black Emergency Cultural Coalition 1969. Previously on November 17, 1968,  a protest was initiated as this exhibition was being planned [1]. This flyer appears to be calling for the boycott of the actual preview of the show.

The Black Emergency Cultural Coalition had about 15+ years of art and activism and still not one book (1968-1984). We will be uploading more of this history as we come across it.  Stay turned!   & any information about BECC appreciated, email x(at)vizkult(dot) org .

Continue reading…

The Statement of Autonomy is perhaps the most overlooked statement by the NYC General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street. So many good points in there that we had to put it up and bring it to light again as the 2nd year anniversary approaches. n.b. the video below is a completely autonomous project not brought before the general assembly, at least not to my knowledge ;)

 

Occupy Wall Street Statement of Autonomy (video)

 

STATEMENT OF AUTONOMY

Passed by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street. November 10, 2011
and passed revision by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street, March 3, 2012

Occupy Wall Street is a people’s movement. It is party-less, leaderless, by the people and for the people. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand. It is not for sale.

We welcome all, who, in good faith, petition for a redress of grievances through non-violence. We provide a forum for peaceful assembly of individuals to engage in participatory democracy. We welcome dissent.

Any statement or declaration not released through the General Assembly and made public online at www.nycga.net should be considered independent of Occupy Wall Street.

We wish to clarify that Occupy Wall Street is not and never has been affiliated with any established political party, candidate or organization. Our only affiliation is with the people.

The people who are working together to create this movement are its sole and mutual caretakers. If you have chosen to devote resources to building this movement, especially your time and labor, then it is yours.

Any organization is welcome to support us with the knowledge that doing so will mean questioning your own institutional frameworks of work and hierarchy and integrating our principles into your modes of action.

SPEAK WITH US, NOT FOR US.

Occupy Wall Street values collective resources, dignity, integrity and autonomy above money. We have not made endorsements. All donations are accepted anonymously and are transparently allocated via consensus by the General Assembly or the Operational Spokes Council.

We acknowledge the existence of professional activists who work to make our world a better place. If you are representing, or being compensated by an independent source while participating in our process, please disclose your affiliation at the outset. Those seeking to capitalize on this movement or undermine it by appropriating its message or symbols are not a part of Occupy Wall Street.

15.06.13 from Basel wird besetzt (Basel Will Be Occupied)
original German version below…english translated using Google, sorry for the loss in translation!

Kunst mach geld (Art Makes a Money) Communique from Basel wird besetzt

Art Makes Money
by Basel Will Be Occupied
15th June 2013

Had it not been bold enough to earn anything with millions while others starve, no, the Art Basel went even further. A slum, a “favela” was built on the exhibition space, in which, surrounded by poverty romance may sipping bigwigs glass of champagne.

Disgusted yesterday it had a little more genuine “favela” the fat cats “favela” connected and enlivened the place until late in the evening with music, good humor and a critical look at poverty.

The police responded to this blatant threat of poverty romance with a Stosstrupp robo cops, pepper spray and rubber bullets. If poverty is not recyclable, then they should kindly hide well.

We would like to greet all the people quite fond who animates the exhibition site and hope you gehts all good.

There kiss the busy residential ends

 

- – - – - – -  GERMAN VERSION – - – -

 

Kunst Macht Geld
Basel wird besetzt
15. Juni 2013

Wäre es nicht schon frech genug, mit irgendetwas Millionen zu verdienen, während andere hungern, nein, die Art Basel ging noch weiter. Ein Slum, ein „Favela“ wurde auf den Messeplatz gebaut, in welchem, von Armutsromantik umgeben, Bonzen Cüpli schlürfen dürfen.

Angeekelt davon hatte sich gestern ein etwas echteres „Favela“ dem Bonzen-“Favela“ angeschlossen und den Platz bis in die späten Abendstunden mit Musik, guter Laune und einem kritischen Blick auf Armut belebt.

Die Polizei reagierte auf diese eklatante Gefährdung der Armutsromantik mit einem Stosstrupp Robocops, Pfefferspray und Gummigeschossen. Wenn Armut nicht verwertbar ist, dann soll sie sich gefälligst gut verstecken.

Wir möchten all die Menschen ganz lieb grüssen, die den Messeplatz belebt haben und hoffen, euch gehts allen gut.

Es küssen, die Besetztwohnenden

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image above from the police raid on the Art Basel Favela June 14, 2013

June 14, 2013. Artists-activists in Basel came out to enliven and comment on an otherwise stale and poorly thought-out Favela Café installation in ArtBasel. The people shown here partying as an act of protest to the work by Tadashi Kawamata and architect Christophe Scheidegge. Being an unsanctioned gathering, police raid the Favela Café firing rubber bullets and tear gas at the crowd. Here are two views that show the scene:

View from above

This is a street level view

Artleaks perhaps did a better report on the event. Their report also links to the video showing the making of the Favela Café, complete with the preview event serving hor d’oeuvres and sparkling drinks:

Favela Cafe Art Basel preview party

In the media, the occupy activists have been portrayed as art hooligans who have allegedly attacked the police and are now facing serious fines, although the worst property damage they inflicted was drawing with chalk in the exhibition space. -Art Leaks

Read More at Artleaks
http://art-leaks.org/2013/06/17/police-v-s-favela-cafe-occupation-at-art-basel-switzerland

Labor News From Huriyet Daily News…
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/five-turkish-trade-unions-begin-nationwide-demonstrations-with-one-day-strike.aspx?pageID=238&nID=48920&NewsCatID=347

Turkish Unions Strike After Raid June 17, 2013

Five trade unions have launched a nationwide demonstration campaign following the harsh police intervention in Taksim the night of June 15. AA photo

Five trade unions are set to begin today a nationwide demonstration campaign and one-day strike following the harsh police intervention in Taksim the night of June 15, daily Hürriyet has reported.

The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (D?SK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) and the Turkish Dentists Union (TDHB) have called on workers to take to the streets in a joint decision.

“The ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] government has launched an offensive against the nation, who refuse to give up their rights and freedoms by staging an insistent resistance,” the group said in a statement.

The members of the unions will stop working on June 17 except for emergency cases and will march to their cities’ centers.

The group has also asked for tolerance because of the disruption and also demanded the support of the people in the squares for a more “egalitarian, free and democratic Turkey.”

The members of the five syndicates that will begin demonstrations as of today could reach “hundreds of thousands,” according to a KESK official.

“We will take the streets using our power of production,” said the general secretary of D?SK, Kani  Beko.

“KESK members will go to their workplaces tomorrow, they will read a statement, and they will take to the streets,” KESK General Secretary ?smail Hakk? Tombul said.

June/16/2013