Great email, Katie. In it, you point to a lot of important features of our budding movement that require further development. There are a lot of things that are well under way.
Liberating minds as a means of tapping into student and labor power? Many inroads into universities, and beginning soon, in high schools as well. Here's a brief run-down, by no means exhaustive.
- Occupy CUNY, Nomadic University held down New School all day last Saturday, LiveStream of Open Forum events, General Assemblies held at Hunter College and Brooklyn College, these are a start...
The Education and Empowerment WG, which hosts the Open Forum, as well as co-ordinates the Nomadic University, is developing other projects which also aim to Occupy Your Mind. We have begun to hold Teach-In and Open Forum events at Washington Sq Park, and are looking for other venues to hold these forums to make them accessible to more and diverse people. Also, many of us (I'm in the Edu and Empower WG) are learning to record and broadcast LiveStream so that we can be assured the skilled resources required awill be available (which isn't usually the case.) We should probably figure out ways to notify specific communities of our scheduled events that would appeal to them (i.e. how to inform those nurses about the upcoming teach-in concerning radicalizing health care?)
Let me know if you want to get on our mailing list, where you can learn about all of the various WG sub-committees taking on different approaches to educating the people. Better yet, make a proposal to our WG for the assembly of a sub-committee which specifically organizes Teach-In and LiveStream scheduled events at a specific location. There's a cat from the Brecht Forum in the Open Forum sub-committee that has assured ous of access to their space, but a regular schedule would be difficult to squeeze, I think. Also, we have tremendous support from New School, but I'm a bit wary of their enthusiasm. In any case, what you have proposed is entirely possible, and just might be the fire that makes all of these other elements fuse together. Again, come to our meeting this Friday and pitch it!
On a more philosophic tack, what I see as uniting a lot of our politics and tactics is a fundamental idea of reclaiming the commons. What the idea of space means - private/public? Commercial/free? Owned/shared? Privileged/prejudiced? Not just in tangible everyday nature and property space, but in cyber space, in media space, in individual and social space. How our ideas about how these aspects of our culture and society affect the conditions of our lives, and how we must change these to create a more equitable common space to be shared by all. A society of the Commons. How this translates into a further development of our tactical maneuverings I do not know, but I think we are already on a trajectory that addresses these issues on these terms...
Are there other Working Groups discussing some of these issues?
Anyway, this is a good discussion to have.
With joy and fury!
On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 5:07 PM, Katie Davison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hey Everyone -
I haven't been able to make meetings recently. Sincere apologies. Didn't mean to fall off the map in such a dramatic fashion.
Definitely feeling the ache of not being on the ground as much any more, but following the videos and email threads - you all are doing an amazing job.
I'm on a job for the next 4 weeks and will be devoting the majority of my free time to movement building strategies - would love to discuss those strategies with the media team in person, but in the meantime, outlined some thoughts below.
I'll be at the 11a tomorrow morning discuss further.
Sorry in advance for the long email, but please take a minute to look over when you have a chance. Sending some pertinent information from other working groups etc in an email to follow.
Some thoughts on movement building strategies:
I've been thinking recently about our theoretical foundation, or the lack there of.
We are NOT a movement - yet... But there is great potential to be.
I think the next phase requires a marriage of theory and practice. We need to beef up our level of political and philosophical discourse across the board, in all the occupied cities, nationally and internationally.
We need to begin to BUILD this movement.
I think our intellectual space matters just as much, if not more than our physical space at this point. We need action to continuously remind people that we are here, but it must be underpinned with something tangible. Something real.
Many of us are asking ourselves - how do we further tap into and mobilize the traditional base - students/labor - in a meaningful/radical way?
I think one way is to work on liberating minds.
In that vein, I want to work with live stream and education/empowerment to begin a weekly series of teach ins - everything from the history of action based DA to power politics. Education and empowerment have been doing teach ins since the beginning, I would like us to step it up a notch and work with Live Stream to build this as a weekly, produced "show."
I'm already working to find the weekly space (possibly CUNY, the Brecht Forum or the Arclight - but hoping to find a space closer to Liberty that has the capacity to hold 2 to 300 people with a solid internet connection).
I did this back in April and May prior to the Uncut actions streaming from Judson Memorial to a network of 80 universities across the country. It was a complete technical failure, but we didn't have a badass live stream team working on it. ;)?
The idea would be to make this like a "school of revolt." ?Begin streaming weekly to campuses, then branch out to workplaces etc.
Imagine a bunch of cooks or nurses huddled around a computer screen in the break room listening to a discussion about power imbalance - and then they "liberate" the hospital.?
This is a crucial moment - technology is what makes us different than any movement that has come before. Why not use it to educate and inspire critical thought. Liberate more than space - liberate minds. Enlist left intellectuals to start educating and radicalizing students, workers etc.??
Education is a necessary part of the next phase of mobilization and we have the tools to make it accessible.?
So let's start discussing how -
I could work to get this off the ground, organize and produce this but I can't do it alone.
Think it would be ideal to have 2 to 3 cameras and technically treat it like a live show.?
So what does that entail?
If we decided to move forward, how quickly could we be up and running?
??Do you have access to any translation software so we can broadcast in spanish, french etc.? Does that kind of thing exist or would it all have to be subtitled? ?
Furthermore - wanted to challenge all of us to start thinking about what the idea of space means. Where do we go from here? Physically and theoretically.
I'm sure most of you already are, but we need to actively start discussing this - we are reaching a critical turning point. The weather is saying snow tomorrow. What happens over the next couple weeks will define how this budding movement continues to grow.
I don't think organization preempts radical action.
Also want to continue discussing the narrative. How do we become pro-active in a meaningful way? How do we reach Americans at large, in plain language that they can understand? How do we use the tools at our disposal to take the narrative back from the mainstream?
Anyway - if you've read this far.
Hoping to see you all tomorrow.
-- revolution - transformation - love