A Call To Kindred Spirits, To Those Wanting Out
<table><tr><td><em>The following text was made for the Occupy the Midwest conference held in St. Louis, Missouri. While some are coming to town this weekend to recreate the same tired, methods of struggle, this text hopes to speak to those who are wanting something more.</em>
MAGIC IN THE AIR
There was a lot of bullshit this past fall, but at its core, the occupied autumn was magical. The sadness and frustration and abuses I've carried around with me for years came bubbling out. Things I only felt brave enough to share with friends or the occasional trusted acquaintance were coming from the mouths of strangers. My little neurotic tendencies and all the self-medicating I do - that's only killing me slower - eased for a moment.
Whether we intended to or not, we tore a hole in the straightjacket of society. Now: How do we rip it off, completely?</td><td><img title="stop touching me!" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/dogfence.jpg"></td></tr></t...
OCCUPY IS A SPIRIT, NOT A BRAND
General Assemblies, consensus, and organization are important, but they should be treated as a means, not an end. These structures only make sense in terms of how well they help us coordinate activity, not how well we can experience direct bureaucracy. The more time and energy we spend trying to appear official and respectable or on internal policies about behavior and language, the more rigid and sterile our movement becomes. This isn't a call for the more authoritarian structures that activism has used in the past (also critical of decentralized structures like consensus).
We want experimentation in trust and learning through a dialogue of words and deeds.
The more Occupy is about who can sit through meetings the longest or best draft policies that decide what's allowed or what's not, the more our spirit fades. The response to disagreements over strategies and tactics should be in dialogue, and lead to each of us doing more of what we want, not helping to bind each other's hands.
This is a call for de-centralization, for dissemination, for contagious dreams and activity.
BEWARE OF THOSE WHO WANT TO CONTROL US
Those in power–those running the government, business, the media, our lives–want to stop us. Any interest they show in us is a mark of the power we've created. Business and the state spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to adapt and use our own tactics and language against us, reinforcing their power over our own. No better are the professional revolutionaries and activists, the experts (read managers) in revolt.
Beware of anyone who wants our revolt to be neat and tidy: something that can be packaged, made two dimensional and fed back to us, “better” and completely inaccessible. Something, like everything else, that they get to control and we don't.
0n this note, there's a lot to be learned from moments of resistance in the past, but repeating the same tactics and strategies ad nauseum for decades is getting us nowhere, especially when such tactics work hand in hand with or reinforce the very power structures we're trying to dismantle.
OCCUPY IS ABOUT RECLAIMING, NOT DELEGATING AWAY
We need to adapt, to stay in motion, to keep taking back "public" space, buildings that aren't being used or ones that are being used against us, striking, blockading, stopping the flow of capital. We need to spread this spirit into every aspect of our lives–workplaces, the streets, our homes, our bodies–and turn all these sites of revolt completely on their heads.
THE IDEA ISN'T TO RECAPTURE THE SPIRIT OF THE FALL, BUT TO SET IT FREE
If you're frustrated with Occupy, push it further or make something better, but please don't let yourself be clubbed back into the misery.
Occupy belongs to the disillusioned and frustrated!
For an uncontrollable spring, for a year to end all years!