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Occupy Wall Street NY

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.

[ originally published at OccupyWallStreet.net ]

Day_14_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_30_2011_Shankbone-800px
(photo: Friday, Day 14 of Occupy Wall Street – photos from the camp in Zuccotti Park and the march against police brutality, walking to One Police Plaza, headquarters of the NYPD. CC BY 3.0 David Shankbone )

There has been a flurry of discussion around process in OWS of late. This can only be a good thing. Atrophy and complacency are the death of movements. Any viable experiment in freedom is pretty much going to have to constantly re-examine itself, see what’s working and what isn’t—partly because situations keep changing, partly because we’re trying to invent a culture of democracy in a society where almost no one really has any experience in democratic decision-making, and most have been told for most of their lives that it would be impossible, and partly just because it’s all an experiment, and it’s in the nature of experiments that sometimes they don’t work.

A lot of this debate has centered around the role of consensus. This is healthy too, because there seem to be a lot of misconceptions floating around about what consensus is and is supposed to be about. Some of these misconceptions are so basic, though, I must admit I find them a bit startling.

Just one telling example. Justine Tunney recently wrote a piece called “Occupiers: Stop Using Consensus!” that begins by describing it as “the idea that a group must strictly adhere to a protocol where all decisions are unanimous”—and then goes on to claim that OWS used such a process, with disastrous results. This is bizarre. OWS never used absolute consensus. On the very first meeting on August 2, 2011 we established we’d use a form of modified consensus with a fallback to a two-thirds vote. Anyway, the description is wrong even if we had been using absolute consensus (an approach nowadays rarely used in groups of over 20 or 30 people), since consensus is not a system of unanimous voting, it’s a system where any participant has the right to veto a proposal which they consider either to violate some fundamental principle, or which they object to so fundamentally that proceeding would cause them to quit the group. If we can have people who have been involved with OWS from the very beginning who still don’t know that much, but think consensus is some kind of “strict” unanimous voting system, we’ve got a major problem. How could anyone have worked with OWS that long and still remained apparently completely unaware of the basic principles under which we were supposed to be operating?

Continue reading…

Occupy Wall Street Journal - January, 2013  Hurricane Sandy (Front)

A limited edition of The Occupy Wall Street Journal by vizKult is one of many zines being donated to The Way the Lights Went Out: A Hurricane Sandy Zine Benefit for The Ali Forney Center, a New York based organization which provides housing to homeless LGBT youth. Some of  Ali Forney Center’s facilities were damaged when Hurricane Sandy touched down in the New York City area on October 29th, 2012. More info about the benefit below.

The Occupy Wall Street Journal - (back) Arts & Kulture section with Alternative Economies

The back-page of new edition of The Occupy Wall Street Journal is a call to invigorate Alternative Economies in the face of rebuilding of communities affected by Sandy. The issue also puts a shout out to all the art related groups doing alternative economies work, including Arts & Labor’s Alternative Economies  subgroup and their new guide What Do We Do Now? to be distributed in 2013.

The Way the Lights Went Out: A Hurricane Sandy Zine Benefit (Facebook Invite)
Zine Reading and Sale Benefit
Wednesday January 9, 7pm
Blue Stockings Bookstore
172 Allen Street, NYC

READERS:
Kate Angell (My Feminist Friends, A Thousand Times Yes)
Jamie Varriale Vélez (Sinvergüenza)
Jenna Freedman (Lower East Side Librarian, Barnard Zine Library)
James Aviaz (Everything is Fucked, Everything is OK)

ZINE DONORS:
Stranger Danger Zine Distro, Kathleen McIntyre (The Worst), Lauren Denitzio (Get it Together), Kate Wadkins (International Girl Gang Underground), For the Birds Collective, Kate Angell, Amber Dearest (Fight Boredom Distro, The Triumph of our Tired Eyes), Maranda Elizabeth (Telegram), PonyBoy Press, Aimee Lusty (Booklyn, Pen15 Press), Amanda Stefanski, Jami Sailor (Your Secretary), Jordan Alam (The Cowation), Alycia Sellie (Brooklyn College Zine Library), Cindy Crabb (Doris), Natty Koper & Sivan Sabach (Bangarang This), Chella Quint (Adventures in Menstruating), Shawn Smith (Black Lesbians in the 70s Zine), Elvis Bakaitis (Homos in Herstory), Sarah Rose (Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric, Once Upon a Distro), Maud Pryor (Marmalade Umlaut), vizKult.

Facebook Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/138515892968167

PS. Another group devastated by Hurricane Sandy was the immigrant community of New York, who in some cases did not qualify for aid despite being valuable members of our communities. Sandy Relief for Immigrants, a online donation page has be made by La Union, OWS Making Worlds and others, please spread the word and donate here.

[from Art & the Commons]

Time for Alternative Economies? artandthecommons.org

“A solidarity economy does not arise from thinkers or ideas; it is the outcome of the concrete historical struggle of the human being to live and to develop as an individual and a collective.”

Marco Arruda
Brazilian Solidarity Economy Network
World Social Forum in 2004 (via solidaritynyc.org)

Is OWS ready for alternative economies? Coupled with solidarity networks, alternative economies is a way of seeing capitalism not as a totalizing external force but something that we are all enmeshed, something that we continue to give strength via our daily existence within this city. These alternatives, plural, are what provides us with the tools to dismantling the web that holds us hostage.

Networks of resistance is key to these alternative systems, but for the most part 2012 has felt as if we were floating in the city, un-rooted in the reality of daily life. Sandy changed that, for many the pain was tangible, visceral, touching all senses -and so maybe this disaster marks a turning point for the movement of marches, signs, and spectacles, a movement that passed in our streets in 2011-2012 but never entered our homes until now.

Any dialogue regarding alternative economies should be open to everyone, inside and outside of the OWS, so that we can collectively create these alternatives, re-affirm our commitments to them, and to begin to build the networks that will sustain them. Until that happens, it will be activism as usual, atomized and fleeting -a benefit to you know who… Then and now the question is, can we work openly to make this dialog happen?

 

-artandthecommons.org

 

- – - – - -

of interest…   in relation to this alternative economies dialogue , a meeting has been called tonight at 16 Beaver that might be of interest to some of you:

Friday — 12.14.12 — Occupying Life in New York — On Radical Meshworks
of Mutual Aid in Apo-capitalist Times

Continue reading…

[FROM OCCUPY GUITARMY TUMBLER SEPT 9, 2012]

Occupy Guitarmy May Day 2012 -Youtube Video

The Occupy Guitarmy, a subset of the OWS Music Working group, offers a response to Jay-Z, who today said in the Daily News that OWS’s actions are “un-American.”

“I think all those things need to really declare themselves a bit more clearly because when you just say that ‘the 1 percent is that,’ that’s not true,” he said.

“Yeah, the 1 percent that’s robbing people, and deceiving people, these fixed mortgages and all these things, and then taking their home away from them, that’s criminal, that’s bad.

“Not being an entrepreneur. This is free enterprise. This is what America is built on.”

Jay-Z “supported” Occupy earlier in its first, highly media-friendly moments through his entrepreneurial selling of “Occupy All Streets” t-shirts, although he refused to donate any of the profits of his sales to support the activists and received wide-spread negative publicity for his crass appropriation of the movement’s language.

Now Jay is rolling with even more powerful and popular friends, namely the LIBOR-scandal leading bankers at Barclays, who put their name on the controversial Brooklyn arena where Jay’s basketball team will play and where he will play eight nights to inaugurate the venue.

Jay asked in the article: ““I don’t know what the fight is about. What do we want? Do you know?”

We have spent one year on the streets organizing for exactly the things Jay rapped about in his early days, ending urban poverty, ending Stop & Frisk and police use of lethal force, of returning dignity and hope to the everyday people of New York City. These are simple civil rights issues we know Jay-Z must support, and we would love to help open his heart and mind to the work Occupy has helped do in his own former communities.

On SEPTEMBER 28th we will arrive at his sold-out Barclays concert to lovingly show Jay-Z what we want and how he can help: by encouraging his fans to take action for social justice in their communities, schools, workplaces, and homes.

Join us September 28 at Barclays at 6pm for an Occupy Wall Street teach-in and musical performance. Let’s be a sincere answer to Jay’s question. In turn we will ask on of him, one Florence Reece wrote in the 1930s and still matters now, “Which Side Are You On?”

If your community organization / musical group / education group would like to join us, please email music at nycga dot net.

UPDATE: Here’s a tweet response from OWS supporter Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons (verified) @UncleRUSH:

J. @occupywallstreet is not a blanket indictment of the rich its an indictment of a system that let’s the rich bribe R government, luv u

 

[The following is a Arts & Labor Alternative Economies report back on the NYC Community Garden Coalition Occupy The Land! Unconference 2012. Expanded here with more photos and reviewed in "Gardening Art Grows into Activism In The Age of Occupy" by Martha Schwendener, Village Voice, Jun 13 2012]

596 Acres workshop at Southside Community Garden

596 Acres workshop at Southside Community Garden

596 Acres workshop at Southside Community Garden

This year the NYC Community Garden Coalition invited the working groups of Occupy Wall Street to help organize their first city-wde Community Garden Unconference. A member of Arts & Labor Alternative EconomiesMaking Worlds Commons Coalition  stepped up to organize a schedule of events for the Occupy the Land! Unconference, June 1-3.

Continue reading…

Pay Your Interns - Happy Hour June 28thOccupy Wall Street’s  Arts & Labor  subgroup on intern rights is hosting a happy hour event for interns, this Thursday June 28, 6-8pm… More info on their announcement, and you can find more info on how they are pushing back on the free labor that capitalism enjoys:

Thu, Jun 28, 2012, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Double Down Saloon
14 Avenue A, at Houston
NYC [Google Map]

FACEBOOK INVITE: http://tiny.cc/happyinterns

Current, former, and future interns and sympathizers – JOIN US FOR A DRINK!
$2 beers? 2-for-1 well drinks? Yes please!

On Thursday, June 28, 6-8PM we will meet at Double Down Saloon (14 Avenue A, at Houston) to chat about unpaid internships over appropriately affordable drinks.

Come swap stories about past and present internships, learn about intern rights in the workplace, and what we can each do to make the internship a better (and legal) experience in the long run.

Drop by if any of the following applies to you: Are you an intern now? Were you ever an intern? Do you work with interns? Would you like to learn more about the rights of interns? Do you want to meet people who have come together to learn about legal internships? …in other words, you’re all invited!

We’ll see you there! (Look for us in the back patio, weather permitting)

Related Websites:
Intern Labor Rights
OWS Arts & Labor