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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

 

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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…

99% Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (still)

“I’m not interested in your creative commons bs (which those of us who actually work in media refers to as amateur licensing)” -99 Percent Films/Audrey Ewell

What’s wrong with this picture? 99 Percent Films calling Creative Commons bullshit and amateurish? And then threatening to sue an Occupy Mash-up Artist for using parts of their trailer in a remix video.  (see email exchange here: Occupy Film Threatens Lawsuit [pastbin])

Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. Since being involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement for the past 365+ days  I’ve noticed two camps, those who practice the change they want to see, and those who brand themselves and act otherwise. I’ve even seen commons focused websites enclosed with Copyright…I’ve seen groups raise over $80,000 and set up top-down companies where they expect free labor at the bottom… I’ve seen non-profits supporting workers labor rights but at the same time hiring unpaid interns.. .I’ve seen protest groups take money from the organizations they are protesting… the list goes on…

Around December of 2012, an Arts & Culture initiative that would hope to prevent these type of content copyright issues was started but very few groups participated. It was a program that would encourage content sharing within for Occupy Wall Street groups called Share OWS. Although it went through several rounds of revisions in working group meetings, very few people signed up or even wanted to help with the project. To this day, what would seem like an obvious thing -that the whole Occupy Wall Street movement is a commons to be shared and maintained by all participants – I still don’t know what people where thinking. Did they think occupy was immune to enclosure?  u at the epicenter of capitalism, Wall Street NYC, commoning is a job, it doesn’t just happen.

Anakata Gottfrid Svartholm in "Steal This Film" (2006)

(via Metahaven, via ioerror)

Pirate Bay co-Founder Gottfrid Svartholm was taken from his room in Cambodia and has been held for almost two weeks. Apparently the Cambodian and Swedish governments are not giving straight stories on why he is being held, according to his good friend Niklas Femerstrand inn this article on Torrent Freaks: Sweden Kidnapped My Frienbd, Pirate bay Co-Founder Anakata:

“[...] The door was already open and there were approximately eight officers present and additional ones lurking in the shadows around the hallway. Kenny went in first and I followed. When Gottfrid saw me he immediately looked from officer to officer in what seemed like an attempt to figure out if there was something special related to my presence. I came in muttering “so this is where the terrorists hold the anti-terrorist.”

Some of you may know Gottfrid aka Anakata from his appearance in Steal This Film (2006), where he and the other founders explain how the US movie industry has been knocking at Pirate Bay’s doors for some time now. A point made in the film was that the torrent trackers like Pirate Bay only hold meta-data, so the real data is elsewhere, on the computers of the people who use it. And now with Magnets, PEX, DHT, this info is no longer even the, and had become something like meta-meta-data. Another ominous warning in the film, was the fact that arrest and threats of prison time don’t solve the problem, both in this case and other cases, it only multiplies the amount of followers’supporters. As the case against wikileaks has shown, the amount of corporate info leaked WILL go up. So for the culture industry it is shouldn’t be a question of how to penalize the public, but rather, how to understand this anti-copyright sentiment. Unless of course, they intend to try to capitalize on culture forever.

Advice from vizKult: use Creative Commons license when ever you can, otherwise pirating is simply the direct-action arm of the Commons, use it to liberate culture & knowledge when necessary.

 

[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…

"Get Reay for Changing" German Pirate party. Photo: Clemens Bilan / dapd

"Get Ready for Change" German Pirate Party vote during their party convention in Neumuenster, northern Germany, Saturday, April 28, 2012. Photo: Clemens Bilan / dapd

It’s quite simple, but I never thought of it like that before. The pirate is basically the direct action arm of the Commons. They liberate items in corporate enclosures and share it with the people. They do not profit from it, they just simply ask that you inturn do the same and ‘seed it‘. It is up to the public to manage it and safe guard it from further enclosures. Currently, it should be noted, that in capitalist countries where “intellectual property” is guarded by the law, the pirates practice is still illegal.

So, how to make this legal? How to find a system that will be based on community trust, mutual aid, and reciprocity that would allow the sharing of knowledge and culture within a community? In a recent article Aljazeera’s Michael Bowens suggest the next step is the forming of a new coalition of sorts between commoners, pirates, and others like the green party, citing Germany as the place where this coalition is evolving:

However, a third moment in the evolution of a new social movement and culture is always inevitable. It is the moment when of discovery: in order to ensure their survival and development, political power is vital. It’s not enough to create new institutions on the margins of society; more effective defence mechanisms against the constant attacks of the dominant powers are a vital necessity. - A German Pirate Party could bring a European coalition by Michael Bowens

I guess vying for political power to eventually legalize the releasing of knowledge and cultural commons is one way to get things done, and for a society that sees politics as the center of social organization, this makes sense. But for others it is perhaps the opposite, the withdraw from politics and a move back to the idea of community and individual responsibility. No political proxies. That’s at least the another tactic that isn’t discussed in this article.

Going down the list of organizations that according to Michael Bowen are forming a part of this new ‘coalition of the commons.’ I find it refreshing that he recognizes the thread of the commons within each group: pirates for intellectual & cultural commons, the green party for environmental commons, labor and social justice groups for an freedoms/labor commons. The final and fourth player in this coalition for Bowen is the Social Liberal parties, this again backs up my argument that this politically centric tactic that I’d hope we could do with out, but I guess some people still think we are still dependent on lobbyist,  liberals entrepreneurs, together with a dash of technocrats and bureaucrats to test and check things off.

Read the full article on Aljazeera:
A German Pirate Party could bring a European coalition by Michael Bowens April 19, 2012.
[Last retrieved April 30, 2012]

Image above from:
Pirate party makes a raid on German politics by Juergen Baetz/Associated Press April 28. 2012
[Last retrieved April 30, 2012]