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[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

The ‘Infinite’ Strike Begins TONIGHT: With art education costing upwards to about $80,000 for an MFA and $60,000 for a BFA, a call for a new system of education is in order. Members and working groups from Occupy Wall Street and Strike Everywhere and Edufactory and others have begun the call to slowly erode the industrial-education-complex, aka edu-factory. Starting now, with a focus on stopping enrollment in private for profit institutions in September, VizKult joins the call for an ART STUDENT AND TEACHER STRIKE and the formation of new alternative education models!

 

communique on the building the infinite student strike, May 23, 2012:

 

SOLIDARITY WITH QUEBEC STUDENT STRIKE GOES ON

INFINITE SOLIDARITY WITH A CALL FOR INFINITE GENERAL STRIKE

 

 ACTIONS IN NYC ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012:

6pm:   Night School in Solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike

Washington Square Park, Manhattan

8pm:   March Against Police Oppression

Meet in Washington Square Park, Manhattan

(reconvergence at Union square)

10pm:  Night School at Union sq.

WE MARCH AGAIN!

 

May 22 marked the 100th day of the ongoing Quebec student strike, one of the largest student mobilizations in history. Demonstrations against the massive tuition hikes (which would increase tuition by 60% over five years) occurred daily across Quebec, with over 160,000 students on “infinite strike.”  Last Friday, the Quebec government enacted a draconian emergency law (Bill 78) intended to break the strike. The legislation in effect outlaws public assembly, imposes harsh fines for strike activity and criminalizes protest, just as the struggle is gaining popular support and escalating to unprecedented levels. Many are questioning the law’s constitutionality.

 

Bill 78 summary:

·  Fines of between $1,000 and $5,000 for any individual who prevents someone from entering an educational institution.

·   The fines are higher for student leaders (up to $35,000) and for unions or student federations (up to $125,000). Fines double with repeat offenses.

·   Authorities must be notified at least 8 hours in advance about public demonstrations involving more than 10 people. Organizers must provide the start time and duration of the demonstration, as well as the routes of any marches.

·   No on-campus protests. Protests outside universities must stay at least 15 feet from entrances.

·   Encouraging someone, explicitly or tacitly, to protest at a school is subject to punishment.

 

No More “Good Faith”

The government of Quebec has conceded the power of the students by suspending the current semester, while the education minister has been forced to resign amid the crisis. The Quebec Premier Jean Charest claims that the government has negotiated in “good faith,” but the student unions say that the government has refused to budge on the central issue: TUITION HIKES. Students are fighting to maintain affordable, accessible higher education for all the people of Quebec. The crisis has put into question the political future of the Premiere’s Liberal Party and his own career. Civil liberties in Quebec are being fundamentally undermined. “Good faith” is dwindling between the people and the government.

What Is An Infinite General Strike?

The infinite strike is a voluntary and collective cessation of activities in order to assert claims that would not be addressed otherwise. The word “infinite” points to a confrontational stance with the government. It does not mean that the strike is limitless, but that its length is undetermined in advance. This means that the strike goes on until demands are met or until the body decides to stop the strike. In the case of Quebec’s student mobilization, the students meet every week to decide whether to continue the strike.  The educational system is a crucial part of the economy and it requires human capital in order to function.  Only through a strike is it possible to create the institutional congestion generated by a whole cohort of students that may not graduate. That is why an open-ended general strike is such a powerful weapon.

Why the Quebec Student Strike Matters For NYC

We are all in the red!  In Quebec strikers, demonstrators and sympathizers alike have shown their solidarity through the emblem of a red square, signifying a state of “being in the financial red”—untenable student debt. In the United States, the Federal Reserve recently stated that student debt stood at $870 billion, while the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (a new government agency regulating private student loans) estimated that it had already surpassed $1 trillion. As more and more students stand up and organize against exorbitant escalations in tuition and debt, similar draconian laws have been passed in the US. Unprecedented levels of police brutality have been perpetrated against student uprisings across New York City—at Baruch College, Brooklyn College and the New School, just to name a few. The state seeks to silence these students, many of whom have been arrested on trumped up charges that reek of biased intimidation.

It would appear that we too are in the red, both financially and politically. This is untenable. It is time that we stand in solidarity with students in Quebec and across the world to fight for our right to free education. On May 23rd we in New York City continue our solidarity and stand with the infinite strike. Our demonstration in solidarity with Quebec students is also in defense of our right to assemble and protest. An increase in the powers of the police and the state anywhere is an attack on us everywhere. State repression exists globally and it is unjustifiable. We will not stand by and watch our already limited voices be silenced even more. The warnings and fear mongering of new protest laws being enacted in Frankfurt, Chicago and Montreal will not deter us. The new laws only prove that our mass mobilizations are a threat to the powers that be. We will be heard. We will take part in our own lives and not be pawns for the workings of capitalism. Our rights are not given to us by governments but established by us. OUR LIVES ARE NOT NEGOTIABLE!

Call to Students, Workers and Debtors of New York

With call on students, workers and debtors from all walks of life to stand with us in our right to assemble and dissent in our commons, against police brutality and intimidation. There is nothing to fear or be ashamed of in this. There is only strength and solidarity for us to find each other. As we stand with the students of Quebec, we acknowledge their grievances, and join their chorus with our own. As Quebec does not stand down, neither will New York. We are not afraid, and see no limit on the horizon.  All we see is red!

 

WE ARE ALL IN THE RED!

 

Zaac Chaves

“Turns out the parks are better stocked than the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Chaves’s favorite park bounty includes stinging nettles (he cooks these iron-rich leaves up like spinach), dandelion greens, mulberries, morel and maitake mushrooms (he once found 30 pounds of maitakes around a tree in Prospect Park), crabapples (he substitutes them for pectin when making jam), and hickory and hazelnuts.” – A Prospect Park forager eats better than most New Yorkers, Well And Good NYC April 7, 2010

Zaac Chaves will be speaking about about foraging this weekend at the Brooklyn Food Conference in NY. The description to his workshop specifically mentions that he will focus on evasive and disruptive plants in order to show how humans (not chemicals) can aid in the balance of the earth’s ecology. Speaking of nettles, I had my first nettle soup a couple of weeks ago prepared by a good friend.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Brooklyn Food Conference*
Brooklyn Tech High School
29 Fort Greene Place Brooklyn
New York 11217

Workshop #2
12:30PM-1:45PM

Foraging for Empathy (Room 5E4)
w/ Zaac Chavis
ALSO NOTE…

Sunday May 13th,
A second day of programming
is being organized by the NYCGA/Occupy Wall Street Animal Issues Working Group , a schedule of the sunday programming can be found on their website: http://animalissues.nycga.net/brooklyn-food-conference-proposed-workshops/

NYCGA Animal Issue Working group page:
http://www.nycga.net/groups/animal-issues/

People who occupy - a video by Kristyan Geyr, October 2011

Back in October 2011, about 20 days into the the occupation down on Wall Street, The Arts & Culture working group and Loft in The Red Zone of the NYC General Assembly held a pop-up exhibition called “No Comment” in the heart of Wall Street. This is a video shot by Kristyan Geyr, an artist who flew over from Berlin to capture the moment. I link to this video because it gives more emotional space to the interviewees, a space where different emotions can surface without having to compete with the noise and visuals around them. People start to be real again, breaking the cartoon-like distortion that tv news clips have on the occupiers.

PostScript:
I found this link to the still images of occupiers taken by Kristyan Geyr during this period.. See anyone familiar?

Geographies of Anarchy, video recording

Geographies of Anarchy, panelist:Stephanie Wakefield, Steven Duncombe, Alberto Toscano

I keep thinking back on the summer leading up to Occupy Wall Street events. First, A Line In Nature, the foraging reading group that was meeting up to discuss, lastly, rituals in nature, with the idea that we would possibly do some camping in urban parks  not necessarily as a direct way of confront capitalism in the manner in which OWS has attempted, but to rediscover life in an urban environment, maybe as an alternative to the architecture of capitalism. It would be an action to call upon a history that has been forgotten, or a future that is begging to become a reality.

Secondly, I keep thinking back to “The Anarchist Turn“, a forum held at the New School that spring. More specifically I kept thinking about one particular panel called “The Geographies of Anarchy”. On this panel, moderated by Chiara Bottici was the views of Stephanie Wakefield, Steven Duncombe, Alberto Toscano. I have notes that I can dig up later, but for now I found the video archive for that forum online at the website for Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies. I was mostly interested in the attempt to define the space of Anarchy in relation to the occupation; how does it exist symbolically/politically, or otherwise?  How does this affect or is affected by the literal anarchistic gesture in physical space, in terms of the space of direct action, and other physical forms in which it may exist? and finally how does the space of anarchy exist within ourselves, in our own imagination and interpretations, and dreams?

In any case there are other videos from The Anarchist Turn if “Geographies of Anarchy” is not your thing.