November 13, 2011
Too Pre-Occupied to Occupy?
The Resistance to the Resistance
Blaming the 1% for the vast disparity of wealth distribution is like blaming Hitler for the Nazi regime: if millions hadn’t backed his views he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.
The 1% are comfortable with their wealth and feel they have earned at least most of it, through hard work, or cunning smarts, or being a trophy wife.
What we need to examine now are those among us who, even when the cage doors have been flung open, choose to stay in their cages.
Why are those of us in the most desperate economic situations siding against the Occupy movement?
In an organic nutshell, they are afraid and confused. So let’s break down what anarchy is and isn’t:
1) Anarchy is chaos
Many picture society after anarchy as somewhat like Biff’s futuristic gun-toting casino world in Back the Future II. No laws, everyone is a vigilante, you could get shot at any time.
Anarchism is not about everyone running wild and nothing getting done. It is about decentralizing the power and distributing it equally among the people so that we are living the lives we choose, not the lives others tells us we must just to survive.
There are still systems.
There are still responsibilities.
There are still manners.
We will always be units of a collective and there will always be compromises to make. The question is what type of collective that will be.
2) Anarchy is communism
Many people, including myself, fear that an anarchic takeover would include a loss of personal rights and freedoms for the greater good.
But how much power do you have now over your country’s decisions? The only power you have is to vote for someone else to represent you, so that you can perpetually cross your fingers that this person might maybe have some shred of influence over a government that doesn’t really have power anyway because it’s funded by private institutions.
Once these private institutions (big banks) are taken down, then the discussion can begin anew.
There is no need to fear sharing if there is always enough to go around.
There is no need to fear equality in decision making if we are an intelligent nation.
There is no need to fear a loss of individuality if we collectively value individuality.
3) Anarchy is gonna mess up my life
Many people enjoy their lives. Good news! We look at our loved ones and favourite sports and activities and shows and music and clothes and art and places and homes and pets, etc. and we think: calm down, shit disturbers – life is not so bad. “Sure, the government may be plummeting towards collapse, but I have a lot in my life to be appreciative of – can’t I just focus on that?”
Yes. Keep doing that.
But also pay attention to this movement and what role it is calling you to play.
You can still live your lives as this transformation takes place. Keep playing the violin as the Titanic goes down. But don’t deny that shit IS going down. The more people pay attention to the Occupy movement NOW, the faster all the drama will be over.
If you are above the Occupy movement, it’s precisely your attention that Occupy is trying to capture.
*Now – imagine all those small pleasures possible within a world that is not in debt to itself with 1/6 of its inhabitants starving to death and the rest of them eating away at the Earth’s resources like a cancer. You can live your lives on or off of a sinking ship: which do you choose?
4) Anarchy is dangerous
Many have seen the black block and mistaken them for ninjas, or seen ‘A’s spraypainted onto the places they get their favourite mocha frappuccinos, and felt that this behaviour is too extreme for them to relate to. Fair enough. We have been taught that vandalism is a crime and it took a while for me to understand that destruction of property is not violence (unless it hurts someone in the process).
But while some choose these methods to relay their concerns, others practice other types of resistance. Anything from standing their ground in the face of police presence to documenting the movement, or donating to it.
You don’t have to stand beside those whose tactics you don’t agree with to put forth the same message: the corporate oppression of our governments needs to end.
Show dissent in a way that feels comfortable to you, but do not use the extreme methods of others as an excuse not to act.
5) Anarchy doesn’t solve anything
My grandmother recently told me that Calgary has ‘squatters’ now. When I explained the economic situation that inspired their presence, her reaction was: that’s not the way to solve things, you should just go through government. This is a popular sentiment among those who pride themselves on being law-abiding citizens.
When has standing in the street ever solved anything? Well there was that small historic moment when women got the vote. And pretty much every other radical social change in the history of the planet.
The laws and law enforcement currently in place are there to protect decisions that have already been made by the faulty government, so it makes no sense to go through them to cause economic and social change. Makes more sense to go around them.
To those who look down on the Occupy protesters who take to the streets as wasting their time, acknowledge that at the very least we are talking about their presence.
6) Anarchy is for the young
Many people look at those participating in the Occupy movement and feel that it’s the flower children of the 70s revisited, kids going through their rebellious phase before they realize that it’s better to simmer down and make the best of the ‘real world’.
Look more closely at those involved. It is not just the young (or the mentally ill and drug addicted – although I don’t see why their opinions are not just as valid, lucid or not), it is people from all walks of life – the educated, the uneducated, those who have been to war and those who haven’t. Young/old, male/female/other, gay/straight, all races.
The only ones missing are the rich. And they are participating, too, from a distance.
They are the audience.
November 27, 2010
What is the Alternative to Protesting..?
I’ve been noticing that in my dreams I’m often on some mission that deters me from having fun. Usually, there’s a main event, but I can’t go because I have a cause to attend to – whether it’s an insignificant loose end to tie up, or a world to stop from ending, And of course, some of you may be aware of the affinity this blog has for protesting as a method to save the world. But, when you fight against something you give it power. Like quicksand. He who angers you conquers you.
So if protesting is not the most energy efficient way to change things, then what is the alternative..?
No really, I have no idea, I’m asking you. It’s taken a while, but I present you with
dawnofanewera’s 1st poll:
March 18, 2009
Bush says he wants to write a book asking people what they would have done as the president of the United States – shame he didn’t ask anyone at the time…
Originally from Calgary, I would like to thank Bush for reminding me where I come from.
CALGARY, Alberta – Former President George W. Bush said on Tuesday that he won’t criticize Barack Obama because the new U.S. president “deserves my silence,” and said he plans to write a book about the 12 toughest decisions he made in office. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has said that Obama’s decisions threatened America’s safety. “I’m not going to spend my time criticizing him. There are plenty of critics in the arena,” Bush said. “He deserves my silence.” Bush said he wants Obama to succeed and said it’s important that he has that support. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has said he hoped Obama would fail. “I love my country a lot more than I love politics,” Bush said. “I think it is essential that he be helped in office.”
The invitation-only event titled a “Conversation with George W. Bush” attracted close to 2,000 guests who paid $3,100 per table. Bush received two standing ovations from the predominantly business crowd. About 200 protested outside the event.
Four of the 200 protesters were arrested for things like ‘breaching the peace’ and violating ‘public behaviour bylaw.’ One man was arrested for tossing a flip-flop that hit a building, which may or not proceed with pain and suffering charges. 79 taxpayer funded officers protected the event.
Bush is unpopular in Canada but less so in oil-rich Alberta, the country’s most conservative province and one sometimes called the Texas of the north. “This is my maiden voyage. My first speech since I was the president of the United States and I couldn’t think of a better place to give it than Calgary, Canada,” Bush said. The event’s organizers declined to say how much Bush was paid to speak at the gathering.
Bush said that he doesn’t know what he will do in the long term but that he will write a book that will ask people to consider what they would do if they had to protect the United States as president. He said it will be fun to write ghostwrite and that “it’s going to be about the 12 toughest decisions I had to make.” “I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened,” Bush said. “I want people to understand what it was like to sit in the Oval Office and have them come in and say: okay we’re going to bomb the fuck out of our own people – you in?” “It’s hard,” Bush says. “So hard that sometimes all you can do is read a children’s book upside down.”
Bush was also full of jokes during his appearance. He joked that he would do more speeches to pay for his new house in Dallas. “I actually paid for a house last fall. I think I’m the only American to have bought a house in the fall of 2008,” he quipped.
Bush seemed to enjoy himself even though the event started a half later than expected because of tight security. “I’ll sit here all day,” Bush said during a question-and-answer session. “I’m flattered shocked people even want to hear me in the first place.” (taken in part from theshittymsn.com)
Only one question remains: how long does it take to write a book with Crayolas?
March 10, 2009
A four part video produced by Irish Indymedia:
“The Protests against the G8 in July 2001 in Genoa Italy were the biggest and most significant protests in Western Europe since the Poll Tax riots in the UK. Italian Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi, wanting to impress his new best mate George W. Bush, orchestrated a brutal Media/Police preemptive strike on the Anti-Capitalist Movements’ biggest First World mobilisation to date. When the weekend of protests ended Carlo Guiliani was dead and a school full of sleeping activists had been attacked in what is popularly referred to as the ‘Chilean Night’.
The film traces the events of the three days of protests in detail and poses the question – Was it all a setup? If Seattle was ‘Star Wars’ then this is ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. It is made from a combination of footage of the Genoa protests against the G8 shot by 10 members of IMC Ireland, material from the Italy IMC Archives and material from various other sources. This compelling footage combined with on the spot interviews and reenacted voiceover commentary and analysis from various websites which were active during the protests provides a in-depth blow by blow retelling of the story of the three days of the Genoa protests against the G8.”