A Call For Mass Action Against The Suppression of The Occupy Movement

The following call has been announced by an independent group sympathetic to the Occupy movement and has not been sponsored or approved by Occupy Seattle General Assembly at this time:

A Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement

These past several months have witnessed something very different in the U.S. People from many different walks of life came together to occupy public space in nearly 1,000 cities in the U.S. They stood up to vicious police violence, they broke through the confines of “protest as usual,” and in the middle of all that, they built community. Even in the face of media attempts to ridicule, distort, and demonize these protests, their basic message began to get through. People throughout the U.S.—and even the world—took notice of and took heart from these brave and creative protesters.

The political terms of discourse began to shift; the iced-over thinking of people in the U.S. began to thaw. Standing up to the unjust brutality and arrests became a badge of honor. People began to listen to and read the stories of some of the victims of this economic crisis, and to share their own. And most of all, as the protests spread to city after city, the fact of people occupying public space forced open debate and raised big questions among millions as to what kind of society this is, and what it should be. Why does such poverty and need exist in the face of a relative handful of people amassing obscene amounts of wealth? Why do the political institutions of society seem only to serve that handful? Why do so many youth feel they face such a bleak future? Why does the insane destruction of the environment continue to accelerate? And what is needed to overcome all this?

Those who actually wield power in this country regarded these protests, and these questions, as dangerous, and reacted accordingly. Time and again those who wield power violated their own laws and ordered police to pepper spray, beat with clubs, and shoot tear gas canisters at the heads of people who were doing nothing more than non-violently expressing their dissent and seeking community. This reached a peak in the recent coordinated and systematic attacks of the past few weeks against all the major occupations. In fact, the mayor of Oakland admitted on BBC to being part of conference calls that coordinated national strategy against the occupiers. On top of all that, and in another blatant show of illegitimate force and power, they attempted to prevent journalists and photographers from covering these acts of repression—unless they were “embedded” with the police.

To put the matter bluntly, but truly: the state planned and unleashed naked and systematic violence and repression against people attempting to exercise rights that are supposed to be legally guaranteed. This response by those who wield power in this society is utterly shameful from a moral standpoint, and thoroughly illegitimate from a legal and political one.

Now this movement faces a true crossroads. Will it be dispersed, driven into the margins, or co-opted? Or will it come back stronger? This question now poses itself, extremely sharply.

One thing is clear already: if this illegitimate wave of repression is allowed to stand… if the powers-that-be succeed in suppressing or marginalizing this new movement… if people are once again “penned in”—both literally and symbolically—things will be much worse. THIS SUPPRESSION MUST BE MASSIVELY OPPOSED, AND DEFEATED.

On the other hand, this too is true: movements grow, and can only grow, by answering repression with even greater and more powerful mobilization.

The need to act is urgent.

As a first step in the necessary response, there must be a massive political mobilization on a day, or days, very soon to say NO! to this attempt to suppress thought and expression with brutality and violence. This mobilization should most of all be in New York, where this movement started… but it should at the same time be powerfully echoed all around the country and yes, around the world. This is a call for massive demonstrations—soon—carried out in public spaces where they can have maximum impact and exposure and where the authorities cannot pen in, suppress, and otherwise attempt to marginalize these demonstrations.

These demonstrations must be large enough to show clearly that people will not tolerate that which is intolerable… that people will not adjust to that which is so manifestly unjust. Such demonstrations, along with the efforts to reach out and build them, can draw many more people from passive sympathy into active support and can awaken and inspire even millions more who have not yet been reached. Such demonstrations can powerfully answer the attempt by “the 1%” to crush and/or derail this broad movement. Thousands and thousands in the streets, acting together, can seize new initiative and change the whole political equation. The urgent questions raised by Occupy—and other urgent questions that have yet to be raised in this movement—can once more reverberate, and more powerfully than before.

The repression of the Occupy movement must not stand. Act.

http://revcom.us/a/254/254crossroads-flier-en.pdf

11 Responses to A Call For Mass Action Against The Suppression of The Occupy Movement

  • John Drabble says:

    Quotes from the above article:

    “They stood up to vicious police violence, they broke through the confines of “protest as usual,” and in the middle of all that, they built community. Even in the face of media attempts to ridicule, distort, and demonize these protests, their basic message began to get through. People throughout the U.S.—and even the world—took notice of and took heart from these brave and creative protesters.”

    “Time and again those who wield power violated their own laws and ordered police to pepper spray, beat with clubs, and shoot tear gas canisters at the heads of people who were doing nothing more than non-violently expressing their dissent and seeking community.”

    This movement has been effective and found attractive by so many because of it’s reliance on non-violent action. Yet, today in Seattle, we have a calendar item titled “opposing non-violence.”

    The rock throwers and window breakers have been at it for years. And the only thing they ever accomplish is destroying the credibility of the movement they attach themselves to. Occupy Seattle does itself a disservice putting talk of violence on it’s agenda. The use of violence will destroy this movement from within.

    • passionateactivist says:

      The damage has already been done by those that advocate opposing non-violence. OS has lost and will continue to lose valued support and participants because of it’s inability to commit to non-violence as a method. To do any less is to adopt the ways of the very systems we seek to change. Violence begets violence, not utopia.

  • John Drabble says:

    The Occupy Movement is a non-violent movement. The use of non-violence to compel change is at it’s very core. I just learned that a commitment to non-violence was voted down at a GA. Therefore Occupy Seattle is not a part of the Occupy movement. It should stop using the name. It’s willingness to allow violence at it’s actions is detrimental to the credibility of the entire movement.

    The Occupy Movement is the most effective vehicle for real change we have had in years. I will not be part of it’s destruction by participating any longer in occupy Seattle.

  • msmikestew35 says:

    The State exists to support the dominant class in society. We must build our own party that serves our – working class – interests. The Socialist Equality Party that publishes WSWS.org is committed to this task. We feel that under conditions of deepening inequality, mass struggles will break open and the Occupy Movement is only a start.

    Please take a moment to read our program, and if you agree, make a decision to help build the party:

    http://wsws.org/articles/2010/sep2010/prog-s06.shtml

    • REPUBLIC says:

      Yes, let us make the government bigger and more powerful law enforcement. I can’t wait to depend on the government I will quit my job.

      • REPUBLIC says:

        There is an old saying “if you can’t beat them join them”. Who is in with me to get free stuff from the wealthy 1% and the government? I will be in line first to depend on the government. I will quit my job as a slave and be free by depending on big daddy government. I can’t wait I can almost taste the liberty and freedom from working for the master. Hail Amerika!!

  • Todd says:

    “…the outcome I envision for the Occupy Movement is not the destruction of the 1%, but to make them irrelevant. I believe it’s true that there is nothing they offer that we cannot provide for ourselves. But we have been trained by them to view each other with suspicion – especially those who cannot (we have been conditioned to think “will not”) carry their own weight. The biggest obstacle we face lies is in changing our own thinking; in recognizing how we have been taught to despise each other and making the conscious choice to overcome that conditioning.”

    http://mtpacim.blogspot.com/2011/12/responding-to-call.html

    • REPUBLIC says:

      The 1% did not train me to think that other cannot hold their weight I always thought it was the government’s fault for not giving them more money. I do not view others with suspicion I was thought to trust everybody and when someone breaks that trust than I would view that individual with suspicion.

      When I lived in the east coast I landed $500 because he was short for his rent, and he promised to pay back the following month. This individual moved out in the middle the night a few days later. I came to find out that he asked 10 people in the neighborhood for money. Well the rest of the people filed a police report, but I did not because I did not suspect the individual and he promised to pay me back, and I have not seen him for the last 23 years. Did I treat him with suspicion then and now the answer is no, but if he came to me today I would not lend him anything else because he broke that trust.

    • REPUBLIC says:

      The 1% did not train me to think that other cannot hold their weight I always thought it was the government’s fault for not giving them more money. I do not view others with suspicion I was thought to trust everybody and when someone breaks that trust than I would view that individual with suspicion.

      When I lived in the east coast I landed $500 because he was short for his rent, and he promised to pay back the following month. This individual moved out in the middle the night a few days later. I came to find out that he asked 10 people in the neighborhood for money. Well the rest of the people filed a police report, but I did not because I did not suspect the individual and he promised to pay me back, and I have not seen him for the last 23 years. Did I treat him with suspicion then and now the answer is no, but if he came to me today I would not lend him anything else because he broke that trust.

    • zeke says:

      Todd, if I understand right, you’re saying that you support a mass action and like the statement, but feel it’s at least as important to meet the needs of people whom the system has dispossessed, and that this can be done within the current system such that the 1% are made irrelevant. But I think the conditions that put people in these circumstances are inherent in this system. And all of what is now happening in the US and the world derives from the workings of the capitalist system. Occupy has been attacked and suppressed because it’s brought forward significant political resistance from a whole new force that is outside the bounds of what this system considers acceptable. So I think there are big things at stake here. If our efforts are expended too much at this point on things other than defeating this suppression, the movement will be dispersed, demobilized, and co-opted. As said in the statement: “…movements grow, and can only grow, by answering repression with even greater and more powerful mobilization. The need to act is urgent.”

  • REPUBLIC says:

    No, get rid of the 1% they are evil. Strip away their wealth and redistribute it to us. I can’t wait until my rights to housing, food, health insurance, welfare, and transportation are given to me by the government I will quit my job in a heart bit. Let that day come and I too will enjoy free stuff from the big government. Hail Amerika socialism.