We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, September 26, 2011

Solid Ground at Occupy Wall Street

Click here to access article Conor Tomás Reed from The Indypendent.

It's clear that the activists are drawing on the experiences of recent history from places all over the world to inform their strategies and tactics. 
Egypt’s lessons acutely demonstrate that liberated squares must become liberated workplaces, neighborhoods, and eventually cities. This is exactly Liberty Plaza’s aim—not to be a self-contained, pre-figurative mini-society, but a decisive tipping point in the belly of the economic beast that can collaborate with this widening network to transform global society altogether.
Nathan Schneider's report from the same source describes the escalation of police violence on Saturday against the demonstrators and the typical coverage in mainstream media.
Around 3 p.m., near Fifth Avenue and 12th Street, the police attacked. Unrolling plastic orange barriers, they isolated a crowd of marchers, along with the reporters following them, and began mass arrests for blocking traffic. This was a brutal process. Caught on cameras were scenes of one protester being dragged by her hair, others being slammed into the pavement, and a group of women, netted and helpless, being downed by pepper spray. In total, police say they arrested 80 people. With not enough room for them in vans, many were taken away in regular city buses.
While the above report focused on the dramatic events on Saturday, Chaz Valenza from OpEd News reports on a more benign day Sunday when participants were doing house keeping chores, reviewing past events, and discussing more legal hassles.