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Zona Autonoma Milano communique

ZAM communique April 5, 2013 (before the eviction May 22, 2013)

2 gyms, 3 stages, 2 concert venues, 2 bars, 2 offices, 1 newsroom, dozens of sport activities for hundreds of people, 160 m2 of climbing wall, more than 200 gigs, more than 100 cultural events, one cinema and documentary festival, 1 theatre workshop, 1 hip hop workshop, thousands of people inside and through, more than 2 years of occupation and self-management.

Since January 2009 that has been Zam and it will still be there thanks to the everyday commitment and enthusiasm of thousands of people who are delivering to the site their desire of change.

The evacuation threatening has arrived strong and clear: the property is leading towards the usual grim procedure for property speculation.

The Police station is following the rules, the town hall falls silent otherwise it should talk about its inability to establish a concrete politics about spaces and self-managements which was flaunted during the political campaign and actually neglected in the end.

The guilty silent of the mayor and the city council has been paid with an higher number of evacuations in the city during the last 2 years compare to Moratti’s council: already 6.

This is who we are and here we are: Collettivo Politico (the political collective), Rete Studenti Milano (the Students Network Milano), Polisportiva Milano (the Multi Sports) Council with the gym, the martial arts and combat disciplines, dance classes, yoga classes, climbing classes; the hip hop Lab, the theatre for everybody, Zam Film festival; these are all projects at the Zam, that you can find here in Olgiati Street 12, Milan, Barona neighbourhood. For the past two years dealing with the crisis, fighting the crisis. Two years of self management and culture, two years of action in the City. Starting today, 4th April 2013, everyday from 5pm we are open: come visit, gather information, come join. For the evacuation day we already set an appointment for everyone in front of Palazzo Marino at 6pm.

We fear No evacuation. Zam is a dream tattooed on the living skin of the City: you can try to hide it underneath the maquillage of the City, window-shop of the Mafia and the eyesore of the Expo, but it’s trace is not erasable and it’s permanent. Here we are and here we will always be!

Stay Zam!

Stay Zam: the direct and the eviction from the parade at Palazzo Marino.
May 22, 2013
Updates from Palazzo Marino-parade #stayzam
zam-milano.org

19:10: the situation is now calm, the event is melting. No response from Palazzo Marino to the demands of the demonstrators. Zam Stay, Stay tuned …

18:34: The square is surrounded by tanks of the police. The protesters called for an open meeting with the mayor, which for now is not responding.

18:32: 4 injured among the demonstrators in 4 offices: wounds in the head and limbs. Have flown torches, now you face the two cordons of police and protesters.

18:29. the protesters continue to apply to enter, some guys injured in the face. tense situation and threats of new offices, and jostling melee with the police.

18:23: third charge, voltage square

18:22: two charges of violent police to prevent the access of protesters at Palazzo Marino.

18:20 people try to enter but are prevented, jerks and clubbing

18:07 A procession of about 100 people arrived at Palazzo Marino, “welcomed” by a vast array of police. The intention is to make an assembly there, seen that the area of ??ZAM was taken away from students, temporary workers and activists this morning, and saw that the city of Milan has not objected to this operation. # Stayzam
Appointments today:

16:00: all at Porta Genova.

18:00: at Palazzo Marino!

12.20 – The compagi fell on the roof! We will bring our demands unheard directly in the heart of the city, Palazzo Marino today at 18!

11.45 – The van, music, and all present were moved to the front gate of Zam, manned by the Police, in solidarity with two companions on the roof!

11.00 – Telephone connections from the roof.

10.25 am – The police entered within Zam. From the roof we are told that the Digos tried to rise, but could not. It ‘started a negotiation. The conditions of the two boys on the roof to fall are: talk to the lawyer Zam, be made aware of the project that will involve the area occupied until now, have the boys and girls in sight in order to communicate with their , be able to return in the coming days to return the material that is still in Zam.

10.00 – The bulldozer is trying to break down the last parts of the fence. The cordons of police and carabinieri prevent the passage of the corner of Via Olgiati and via Cottolengo.

9.53 – Two people were on the roof of Zam. From the roof drops the banner “Stay Zam, the dreams continue.”

9.40 am – I am the fire department arrived to extinguish the fire in front of Zam.

9.37 – A barricade on fire. The flames rise up a column of smoke over the surrounding buildings.

9.33 am – The bulldozer moves towards the barricades in defense of Zam followed by dozens dozens of men. From behind the barricades raining objects, books, videotapes. The bulldozer stops.
9:32 – From Via Cottolengo police officers and police continue to arrive. There are at least another 30.

9.31 – The bulldozer is ready to overwhelm the objects that symbolize the two years of culture, social, sports Autonomous Zone of Milan.

9.30 – The police and the police are deployed between the students and the objects placed in the street. There comes a bulldozer police.

9:25 am – Police and the police continue to drag force with people. Are dragging students and prevent those who are already out of the way to get closer.

9:20 am – Thirty men between police and riot police are close to the people on the street. The first guys who oppose passive resistance is moved with force by the police. The chairs and tables placed in the street are dragged away. Many children are taken away weight. Behind them, the students remain seated.

9.10 am – A score of men are in the process of Digos Olgiati

9.00 – The first trucks are approaching in via Olgiati to clear Zam. We invite everyone to come and bring their solidarity!
The entire street Olgiati is invaded by a representation of the activities in these two years of self-management have animated the Autonomous Zone Milan.

Zam is sports, love is Zam Zam is socializing, culture is Zam Zam is students.

To welcome the police an unusual scene, which opens with a curtain. Behind this the audience and the stage that since January 2011, they hosted hundreds of concerts, theater performances, film screenings, cultural events and debates.

Between the auditorium and the police dozens of people line the street recreating spaces for social interaction: from popular gym for an assembly of students, from the presentation of books for the preparation of MilanoInMovimento!

 

 

PREVIOUS COMMUNIQUES (Comming soon)

vizKult May Day 2013 - Three People Walking...

In solidarity with all the students, faculty and staff who believe that knowledge is a commons.

MAY DAY – GENERAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

10am – 3pm: Cooper Union Free University @ Cooper Square

3:00pm: NYC EDU BLOC Convergence + SPEAK OUT!!! @ Cooper Square

4:00pm: March to Union Square to join the May 1 Coalition rally & March to City Hall

9:00pm: Dance Party to Free Education @ Washington Square Park fountain

 

FREE UNIVERSITY CLASSES AT COOPER UNION
Schedule of NYC May Day events organized by Free Cooper Union and the Free University of NYC - check for updates!

Open Arts & Crafts Session
10am-3pm
Book Shields! Banners! Placards! Sidewalk Chalking!

“Space, Design, and the Everyday”
Matthew Bissen
10am-12pm

This course explores fundamental concepts of space and design with particular attention focused on how as designers and citizens we participate in the everyday design, reproduction, and production of our current and future realities. This course session will focus on architecture and counterculture and support the continuing development of semester long student projects.

“Organizing a NYC Student Movement”
Discussion with folks from Free University-NYC and All in the Red
11am-12pm

Join students from around NYC to explore concrete ideas on how to organize a city-wide student movement that can build on lessons from mass mobilizations in Quebec, Chile, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere, while also envisioning our own locally specific forms of student power.

“Understanding Basic Economics and Finance”
Ron Rubin
11am-12pm

There is a clear distinction between Economics (Main Street) and Finance (Wall Street). In order to understand how and why more and more of the value created by Main Street is flowing into the hands of Wall Street it is absolutely necessary to understand the distinction between these two related but different institutions and how they function in today’s world. Otherwise no real change will be possible.

“Watch the Gap: How Income Inequality and Poverty are Hurting America’s Kids”
Anthony Zenkus
11am-12pm

Poverty and Low Socioeconomic Status can cause significant challenges to the cognitive, emotional and physical development of children. They increase the risk factors for everything from child abuse to school failure. With one of the highest gaps in income equality in the world, and one of the highest child poverty rates in decades, the United States is creating a lost generation that will grow up with less opportunity and more risk- unless we act. Income inequality must be addressed as a public health problem with repercussions that effect the entire community.

Tidal: Occupy Theory Occupy Strategy Conversation”
12pm-1pm

TIDAL has held significant conversations with Free University. The discussions in Washington Square Park led to Strike Debt. The S17 event expanded our horizons. Now, as TIDAL seeks to internationalize and nationalize its project, we want to re-open the conversation. How do we learn from Detroit? From Athens? From Tunis? From Cairo? What are the means of that learning? How do we ensure that this conversation is mutual and beneficial to all? An open workshop for all hosted by Team TIDAL.

“Writing for Home, School, and Everyday Life”
Susan Naomi Bernstein
12pm-1pm

For new and experienced writers: This course presents the processes of writing for anyone who struggles to write. Together we will develop our own practices of writing for audiences and purposes that connect to our visions of social transformation for home, school, and everyday life.

“Imagining a Student/Worker-Run University”
Various Participants
12pm-2pm

This will be an open discussion that is meant to encourage the development of a vision of a Free Cooper Union run by students and workers. We will talk about precedents in the form of student-run coops, cooperatively run schools, worker takeovers, the tenets behind the wages for schoolwork movement, and the legal and ideological strands that can link Cooper’s past to this future.

“People Power and Politics”
Dominique Nisperos
12:50pm-2pm

Introduction to the Gay Liberation Movement, discussing Carl Wittman’s A Gay Manifesto.
Reading materials and outlines will be provided.

“NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium”
Ben Katchor
1pm-2:30pm

Discuss and share new models for the distribution of text/image work.

“Climate Debt/Climate Justice”
Andrew Ross
1pm-1:45pm

Climate debt is not yet part of the political architecture in the U.S. Where does it come from? What kind of justice does it involve? And why is it so important?

“Towards an Alternative School of Art”
Collaborative workshop with folks from vizKult, OWS Arts & Labor, and Making Worlds
1pm-2:45pm

The economic and structural realities of art schools as they exists today can often be a source of anxiety and frustration for artists, teachers, and staff alike, but what might an alternative model look like? In this workshop we’ll discuss the things we like and don’t like about the current art school system. Then we’ll learn about various alternative models and discuss amongst ourselves how they can be applied to or replace that system.

“Love Spam”
Barbara Browning
1:30pm-2:30pm

About a year and a half ago, I initiated an experiment in creating a surplus of sentimental value. I began by spamming random individuals with personally targeted, hand-crafted ukulele covers I made of sentimental songs. Victims ranged from an obesity doctor in Winnetka, Illinois to the anarchist anthropologist David Graeber. In this workshop, I’ll give an update on the results (thus far) of the project, and I’ll give participants some ideas for possible similar projects of their own.

“Presenting the New Edition of the Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual”
members of Strike Debt
1:30pm-2:30pm

“Art, Design, Architecture, and Activism”
Benjamin Young
1:30pm-2:50pm

What do art, design, and architecture have to do with activism? How can artists, designers, architects, and other cultural workers contribute to a radically egalitarian and democratic public sphere? How can we imagine other forms of communication and design outside that of advertising? What forms of public discussion, critical thinking, and social and political activism can take shape against or through mass culture, and how can art and design disciplines contribute to them?
Participants are asked to come prepared to discuss the following readings: Mira Schor, “Lowering the Bar on Activism,” Huffington Post; Mira Schor, “Books are Like People,” A Year of Positive Thinking; Reinhold Martin, “Occupy: What Architecture Can Do,” Design Observer; Reinhold Martin, “Occupy: The Day After,” Design Observer.

“Building the Commons in NYC”
Making Worlds
1:30pm-2:30pm

Join an open conversation about the commons and education.

“Why We Need to Break Up the Megabanks”
Cathy O’Neil, OWS Alternative Banking Group
2pm-2:30pm

“Song Share”
Everybody Now!
2:30pm-3pm

Want to learn the May Day song? Want to sing but feel afraid to? Want to have a rockin’ good half hour? Then this is the class for you!
Throughout the day many will be singing the May Day song “We Stand for Justice.” This class is to help everybody feel comfortable, confident, and excited about singing during the rally and throughout the day. No singing or music skills needed, for we all are singers. We welcome and invite you to join us. Let your voice be heard!

“Sociology of Race and Ethnicity”
Dominique Nisperos
2:15pm-3:30PM

Introduction to Colorblind racism, using excerpts from Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s Racism Without Racists, Ch 3 and Conclusion; Brown et. al’s White-Washing Race: The Myth of a Colorblind Society, Ch 6. Reading materials and outlines will be provided.

Move your class / teach your own class at the Free University! Sign up here.

CooperUnion-dis

A little game of Hide-and-Seek ensued yesterday morning at Cooper Union by it’s Board members. Just like the last minute plans by Obama to move G-8 talks to Camp David last year fearing confrontation with the people it is supposed to be serving, the Cooper Union Board decided to change location of their meeting to an off-site undisclosed location, avoiding the presence of students, faculty, and community members.

Why hide? In yesterdays meeting the board was to decide the fate of free education at Cooper Union. News is now coming out from undisclosed “sources”  that the Board decided to put the onus on the faculty of Art, Engineering, and  Architecture, forcing them to find sustainable ways of funding the program. But some like the Cooper Union Student Action Group are suggesting the faculty was threatened by holding back fall admissions.  Ironically the current ideas for keeping education free at Cooper Union is to charge others for education – like charging for a pre-college program, undergrad summer program, and MA program.  Let’s see what else they come up with, until then back to the drawing board.

follow: @freecooperUnion
facebook: Free Cooper Union

Students Rally in Unity as Board Meets in Secret
by Cooper Union Student Action to Save Our School
March 6, 2013

Cooper Union Art School Agrees to Explore Revenue Options
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 – 09:01 AM
By Beth Fertig

Why is Cooper Union Being Occupied?
December 4, 2012
by group affect

Obama Moves G-8 Summit from Chicago to Secluded Camp David
Monday, March 5, 2012
by Common Dreams staff

[ 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…