From:   Carwil Bjork-James <carwil@falseignorance.info>
Sent time:   Tuesday, October 11, 2011 6:02:27 AM
To:   september17@googlegroups.com
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] the next phase
 

A couple thoughts on next steps:

 

1. A twin space, soon. Zuccotti Park is just plain crowded, and

doesn't have a ton of room for new campers. A second, stable-ish,

perhaps POPS, location in Lower Manhattan could provide additional

room for people to be near Wall Street. This would facilitate mass

actions in the financial district while growing the movement.

 

2. Mass actions in the financial district. Use your own imagination.

 

3. Holding a space that is more a place of gathering than a launchpad

for confrontation. Weekly (for now) use of Washington Square could

build to that. So could some kind of plaza occupation across Brooklyn,

Harlem, Washington Heights, and the rest of the outer boroughs. It's

yet to be seen how intense the police response will be in such places.

In all cases, an easy flow between regular events, continuous

presence, and full-on occupation and transformation can be played

with.

 

3a. At some point, one location will be the first public park (as

opposed to POPS) to be held. We should focus as much OWS energy as

possible on maintaining it and setting the kind of "new normal" Beka

is talking about. My guess is the first possibility will take the form

of #3, not the form of #1, but I'd love to be surprised at Battery

Park or Foley Square.

 

4. The constant circulation of people through Zuccotti is accumulating

projects (greywater, printing, a spiritual gathering place). I'd love

to see this also happening in a permanently held place: a warehouse,

public space of a park, a student center, a union hall, etc. As winter

comes, the need for physically warm spaces shouldn't mean a retreat to

less space transformation, but to the hive-for-occupation conversion

of friendly or occupied buildings.

 

4a. For those of us with access to buildings, but not control over

them (I'm thinking universities for the moment), we can start by

turning these places into hives of activity for occupiers and only

later initiate formal occupations. I'm thinking about numerous ongoing

"conferences" that actually have "workshops" that do work for the

movement: printing, designing, building, training, and by-the-by

keeping people warm. As always, a critical mass at such a place could

hope to hold the building. But the priority (from my perspective) is

not to make demands with a closed occupation, but to do collective

work with an open one.

 

5. Assuming a critical mass and a regional convergence on NYC,

occupying symbolically powerful public spaces. Do people know that

1,000+ artists occupied the Met during the 1970 "student" strike

against the invasion of Cambodia? Federal Hall, the site of the first

US Congress is on Wall Street. Wall Street itself. Downtown. Midtown.

 

Just some thoughts,

Carwil

 

On Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 7:38 PM, beka economopoulos

<beka@notanalternative.net> wrote:

> Today Bloomberg announced that we could stay in Zuccotti Park

> indefinitely: http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2011/10/10/bloomberg-occupy-wall-street-can-stay-indefinitely/

> And so we went from being an occupation to becoming a picnic.

> Just yesterday Zizek warned “The only thing I’m afraid of is that we will

> someday just go home and then we will meet once a year drinking beer and

> nostalgically remembering what a nice time we had here. Promise ourselves

> that this will not be the case.”

> Of course, it's nice to have some breathing room, but we're in this for the

> long haul.  There are no "solutions" that can be presented quickly to make

> us go away. And so there will be moments where our presence is no longer an

> uncomfortable and unknown variable, but rather is normalized and

> integrated.

> It's in those moments that we have to push the envelop, pry open the space

> of possibility even farther. We go as far as we can to destabalize but

> maintain support and momentum. And when that's the new "normal" then we do

> it again, we push further.

> That's how change happens, how we shift the terrain and the terms of the

> game.  I hope that we can get information out as soon as possible about ways

> to plug into the international day of action, this Saturday October 15.  And

> that we continue to expand and take new space and spread and lead the way.

> xob

>

> --

> New: http://blog.art21.org/2011/05/19/5-questions-for-contemporary-practice-with-not-an-alternative/

> Not An Alternative

> http://notanalternative.com

>

 

 

 

--

Carwil Bjork-James

 

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Anthropology

CUNY Graduate Center

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