Breaking News. Banner Drop. #May1TO: A good day to call-in sick
Toronto — As the Austerity budget in Ontario goes to vote, activists from No One Is Illegal – Toronto and Occupy Toronto issued a call for a mass protest and day of action on May Day (May 1), 2012. A 30 feet x 7 feet banner was dropped off a highway crossing early Tuesday morning, cheekily telling early morning motorists to call-in sick on May Day, when immigrant and worker rights groups and Occupy movements across North America will be marching together against the attacks of the 1%. More photos coming.
What to do in the aftermath of the Occupy Wall Street movement, when the protests that started far away – in the Middle East, Greece, Spain, UK – reached the centre, and are now reinforced and rolling out all around the world?
In a San Francisco echo of the OWS movement on 16 October 2011, a guy addressed the crowd with an invitation to participate in it as if it were a happening in the hippy style of the 1960s:
“They are asking us what is our program. We have no program. We are here to have a good time.”
Such statements display one of the great dangers the protesters are facing: the danger that they will fall in love with themselves, with the nice time they are having in the “occupied” places. Carnivals come cheap – the true test of their worth is what remains the day after, how our normal daily life will be changed. The protesters should fall in love with hard and patient work – they are the beginning, not the end. Their basic message is: the taboo is broken, we do not live in the best possible world; we are allowed, obliged even, to think about alternatives.
In a kind of Hegelian triad, the western left has come full circle: after abandoning the so-called “class struggle essentialism” for the plurality of anti-racist, feminist etc struggles, “capitalism” is now clearly re-emerging as the name of the problem.
The first two things one should prohibit are therefore the critique of corruption and the critique of financial capitalism. First, let us not blame people and their attitudes: the problem is not corruption or greed, the problem is the system that pushes you to be corrupt. The solution is neither Main Street nor Wall Street, but to change the system where Main Street cannot function without Wall Street. Public figures from the pope downward bombard us with injunctions to fight the culture of excessive greed and consummation – this disgusting spectacle of cheap moralization is an ideological operation, if there ever was one: the compulsion (to expand) inscribed into the system itself is translated into personal sin, into a private psychological propensity, or, as one of the theologians close to the pope put it:
full article by Slavoj Zizek:
Good Morning from Occupy Boston!
Stories of the Day: Occupy has been organizing something extraordinary: the first truly nationwide General Strike in U.S. history. Building on the international celebration of May Day, past General Strikes in U.S. cities like Seattle and Oakland, the recent May 1st Day Without An Immigrant demonstrations, the national general strikes in Spain this year, and the on-going student strike in Quebec, the Occupy Movement has called for A Day Without the 99% on May 1st, 2012. For Occupy Wall Street’s page of cities where Occupy May Day events are being planned, as well as other resources, click here. Note: This is a living document. Check back for updates! For historical background on May 1 and creative posters Occupy has produced in their effort to agitate for a General Strike on May 1st, with some observations and historical notes, click here. And: An Occupy Wall Street protester has lost his bid to quash a subpoena seeking his Twitter records from last fall, when he was arrested during a mass protest on the Brooklyn Bridge. And the time to fight back against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is now. CISPA effectively allows the federal government and corporations to “spy” on citizens. Information shared under CISPA could be used for almost any purpose. CISPA could put your data in the hands of the military — and out of reach of public oversight. If a company mishandles your data, it is nearly impossible to sue them and win. For more info, click here. And: The Yes Lab claims credit for satirical Bank of America website in collaboration with Rainforest Action Network, New Bottom Line and Occupy Wall Street.
Other Occupies/Protests: April 28-29. The peace group CodePink, the civil liberties organization Center for Constitutional Rights, and Reprieve, the United Kingdom-based legal advocacy organization that represents drone victims, are sponsoring a Washington, D.C., conclave that they are billing as “the first international drone summit.” Speakers and participants will include human rights advocates, robotics technology experts, lawyers, privacy advocates, journalists and activists. Organizers say the purpose of the conference is “to inform the American public about the widespread and rapidly expanding deployment of both lethal and surveillance drones, including drone use in the United States.” The conference was slated to feature the personal stories of Pakistani drone-strike victims, but the State Department refused to grant a visa to prominent Pakistani human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar, whose organization represents families of drone victims. Akbar had previously had no trouble geting a visa until, in 2010, he took on a case for two families of drone victims, according to Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CodePink and Global Exchange. He was subsequently denied a visa to speak at Columbia University’s law school in May 2011 at a human rights symposium. Benjamin and other organizers charge that the Obama administration, which “will not even acknowledge the existence of the covert drone program, much less account for those who are maimed and killed,” is trying to silence Akbar, who has facts and stories to “contradict the convenient narrative that drone strikes only kill ‘militants’.”
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Elie Wiesel
- Media Meeting: To try to help us explore how the entire community can be empowered to create its own media, we invite /urge you, the community, to participate in a conversation about the future of media work at Occupy Boston next Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 7pm at Encuentro 5 (5th floor, 33 Harrison Ave, Boston). We will discuss the best way to reallocate existing resources in a way that is equitable and consistent with OB’s values. People who want to help copy/edit, write stories, make videos, etc. should come. I’ll be there, hope to see you too!
- April 25, 5:30pm-7:30pm, Cohen Auditorium, Tufts Campus, Medford. Karl Rove Un-Welcoming Committee: Karl Rove, war criminal and torture apologist, will be speaking at Tufts campus. See event page: http://www.facebook.com/
events/336321973087555/Let’s make it clear that Rove is not welcomed here! And that Tufts students, the Somerville/Medford community, and the Boston community finds it unacceptable that Tufts University spends university money to promote “dialogue” with someone who has normalized and promoted state-sanctioned torture. Un-Welcoming Committee event page is http://www.facebook.com/events/329629033769092/
- What is Occupy Wall Street? A film screening. Occupy HCC (Holyoke Community College) is hosting a film screening of short films produced by Occupy Wall Street in the Forum at HCC, April 27, 3pm-5pm. Come and find out about the Occupy Movement that started on Wall St. and has spread across the globe! There will be a Q&A session following the films with activists from different Occupy groups across the Northeast. This event is sponsored by the Holyoke Community College Student Senate.
- On April 28, 2012 from 5pm to 10pm, artists from Occupy Boston will host a gathering with artist and cultural provocateur Steve Lambert. Taking place at Samsøn (450 Harrison Avenue), this event will be an opportunity for Lambert and the greater Occupy community to connect over questions of messaging, humor, culture jamming, and creative activism as the movement heads into the coming seasons. Following the discussion, we will screen the film The Yes Men Fix the World.
- MA Unite Against the War on Women Rally, April 28, 10am-2pm, at City Hall Plaza. Help defend women’s rights and pursuit of equality. Join Americans all across the United States as we come together as one to tell members of Congress in Washington DC and legislators in all 50 states, “Enough is enough!” All Americans have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, including contraception, without interference from government, business or religious institutions. Please join us as we gather together and show both state and federal legislative bodies that we won’t stand silently by as they propose and pass laws that will impact women’s choices, health, and wellbeing. We need everyone’s voice! These decisions affect all genders, races, and socio-economic statuses!
- May 1st Training with Occupy Boston: Sunday, April 29, 12pm-3pm, location TBA (see Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/396045130426024/). Gearing up for May 1st? Want to feel more prepared? Join Occupy Boston as we get ready for the General Strike! Direct Action and the Medics will be providing basic training this Sunday in preparation for Tuesday’s General Strike! There will be plenty of fun activities as well as training in basic safety procedures. Join us!
- Boston New Sanctuary Movement Presents A Return to A Faithful Understanding, An Interfaith Conference: Toward a More Compassionate National Debate on Immigration, Sunday, April 29, 2012, 12:30 – 5 p.m. (12-1, lunch provided by Brazilian Immigrant Center), Church of the Covenant, 67 Newbury St., Boston, MAWorship leader: Rev. Rob Mark, Pastor, Church of the Covenant, Boston, Presbyterian/UCCSpeakers, Reflection leaders: Members of the Boston New Sanctuary Movement. Schedule: 12:30 Registration; 1:00 Welcome, opening reflection; 1:15 Current Immigration issues in Boston, and the Boston New Sanctuary Movement; 1:40 Workshops, period I; 3:10 Workshops, period II; 4:40 Closing reflection; 5:00 Networking.
- May 1 General Strike! A Day Without the 99%. NO WORK – NO SCHOOL – NO SHOPPING – NO BANKING – NO TRADING. GENERAL STRIKE AND BOYCOTT CALLED! 7am-11am: Financial District Block Party! (corner of Federal and Franklin Streets). Bring a friend and let’s party! Bring whistles, drums, noise makers. Bring street theater ! 12:00pm: Boston City Hall Rally. Can’t make it to Boston City Hall at Noon? Well how about: The Chelsea City Hall? – Gather at Noon – March at 2pm (For More information please contact La Colaborativa (617) 889-6097). 2pm: LoPresti Park Rally/March (Blue Line: Maverick Square) (For more information contact Dominic at City life/Vida Urbana (617) 710-7176). 4pm: Everett – Glendale Park (For more information please contact La Comunidad (617) 387-9996). 7pm: Death of Capitalism Boston Funeral March (Copley Square). We invite people to participate in this piece of street theater which includes puppets, a marching band, and other creative surprises. People will begin gathering at 7pm at Copley Square Park (by the steps of Trinity Church) to put on costumes, puppets and face-paint and get info on their respective role in the funeral procession. We ask that people participate as: mourners (dressed in black), celebrators (wearing neon/bright colors/glow stuff), skeleton block (bring your own skeleton costume). The funeral procession will leave Copley Square Park at 8pm and will travel through areas of wealth and commerce.
- Keep Immigrant Families Together! Stop the Raids and Deportations! Prayer Vigil for Immigrant Detainees, Sunday, May 6th, 2 p.m.Suffolk County House of Correction, 20 Bradston St., BostonFor more information about the vigil, contact our Facebook page, or email SocialAction@ascboston.
org. www.bostonnewsanctuary. org.
- Immigration through Faith: Faith through Immigration – Personal experiences of immigration as a moral and religious issue.
A facilitated panel discussion exploring personal experiences of faith and immigration. This session is designed to help participants articulate and claim religious language and relevancy in a conversation dominated by secular and political messages. The panel discussion will be followed by an open period for questions and reflections.
- U.S. Immigration History and Your Faith: We will look at who came and why? What laws were enacted as barriers? What role have people of faith played in this history? We will also ask where we find ourselves in the story, and who belongs here?
- Immigrant Stories in the Struggle for Workers Rights
- Immigration through Faith: Faith through Immigration – Personal experiences of immigration as a moral and religious issue.
- Occupy New England – M12 Day of Action and Regional Gathering. 9am-5:30pm, May 12: Come join Occupy groups from all around New England as we converge in Worcester for a day of action and networking! The day will have four core key components to it: getting as many Occupy groups and participants in one centralized location at the same time for a day of networking and planning, direct actions and public visibility, continued actions against corporations backing ALEC, and finally the flared up “War on Women” – discussion on women’s issues (rights, health care, etc…) Preliminary timeline of events:
(Please note the following is a rough draft discussed by Occupy Worcester and the M12 working group. More details will be released later on, and times/actions are subject to change.)
9 am: Begin gathering at Worcester Common
10 am: Second New England Solidarity March
Late morning: Direct Action (w/ CD potential)
Midday: Occupy New England gathering. Have lunch and talk a lot to each other.
Mid afternoon: Occupy Worcester’s Women’s Caucus event, details TBA
- May 17 – nationally recognized transgender activist and member of Occupy Boston Gunner Scott will be honored with The Theater Offensive’s Out on the Edge award. As Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Scott led the battle for passage of the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Bill in November. The Transgender Equal Rights Bill, also known as An Act Relative to Gender Identity, makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, public education and credit & lending.Who: Transgender activist Gunner ScottWhat: The Theater Offensive honors Scott with Out on the Edge award. When: Thursday, May 17 @ 6:30 pm. Where: Hibernian Hall (184 Dudley St, Roxbury). Open to the Public: Yes (with ticket purchase)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Event Highlight: 10am-8pm, Occupy Brandeis is hosting The Great Teach-In on the Great Lawn. For the schedule of events, click here.
Calendar for Tuesday, April 24, 2012
1pm – 2pm Occupy Harvard Think Tank, Dudley House Cafe (no ID required), Harvard Yard, Cambridge, Cafeteria entrance is at the TOP of the stairs.
Please note! Meetings and their locations are subject to change. We encourage you to check the Occupy Boston Calendar for the most up-to-date information.
1) Issue 7 of the Boston Occupier is out now, and we need your help distributing!!
We rely exclusively on YOU, the broader Occupy community, to get our papers out there to the 99%. So…
** We would love for you to join one of our planned outreach/distribution efforts on the T.
** ANYTIME you’re going to a progressive or Occupy-related event, try to pass out papers. These are the most effective occasions to connect sympathetic readers to our paper. Copies of the issue are stored in the OB cubicle at E5, so PLEASE remember to grab a stack.
** Get them to readers in your community. We recommend small stacks in small stacks in cafes, libraries, bookshops, laundry mats, community centers, waiting rooms, campuses, etc. Be creative!! But we’ve found that the BEST way to get papers to readers is to hand them out face to face, combining outreach and distribution.
** If you are a part of another local-area Occupy movement, a union, or a community organization that is willing to distribute papers — let’s make it happen! You can just come by E5 (between 9 am and 7 pm most days) and grab a stack, or coordinate with us if you’re not able to do so. Send questions or suggestions about distribution to Julie O (firstname.lastname@example.org).
** We’re also trying to raise funds so that we can continue printing the stories of the 99%! To that end, we’ve started a subscription service. Read about it online here. I hope you’ll encourage those you know to subscribe to the paper as well!!
As always, we welcome questions, suggestions, and distribution ideas — send to email@example.com. We’ve printed a gorgeous May 1st poster on the back of this issue, so we’re hoping to get all 10,000 copies out in the next week and a half, to promote the General Strike. Papers to the people!!
2) Dan Schneider is going on a road trip to deliver Occupiers, let him know if you want some to distribute in your town!
Message from Dan: I’m an editor of the The Boston Occupier, Occupy Boston’s unofficial, independent, volunteer-run newspaper. In order to make sure our paper reaches people not just in Boston, but everywhere in Massachusetts, I’ll be embarking on a little road trip next week to deliver newspapers to anyone who asks, free of charge. All we ask is that if you choose to take copies of the Occupier, that you make a good-faith effort to distribute them in your community. All you need to do is set up a drop-off location with me, which we can do either by email at danieljoshuaschneider3@
3) Occupy Boston seeks RADICAL CLOWNS to participate in the May Day rally at City Hall Plaza at 12:00 noon. Will you be a radical clown? firstname.lastname@example.org. Occupy Boston is looking for the following supplies to be donated or loaned for May Day actions. Please send an email to email@example.com if you are able to provide any of these items in the next week or so.
electrical inverters (for 12V to 110/120VAC) (cigarette lighter plug)
blank T shirts
neon colored fabric
blacklight bulbs (standard light bulb size)
red light bulbs (standard light bulb size)
portable lights with power source/battery pack
Beer coolers (for dry ice)
Brass bell (should ring pretty loud)
4) GA locations:
The following proposal passed the General Assembly of Occupy Boston on April 17, 2012:
Facilitation Working Group proposes the following changes to the current General Assembly schedule:
- Tuesdays: We propose that, effective May 1st, all Tuesday GAs be held outside. We propose the Boston Common as a temporary location with the idea that location may change in the future. We will give Arlington Street Church notice that our last night using ASC space will be April 24, 2012.
- Thursdays: We have ended our relationship with Emmanuel Church and therefore propose that all Thursday GAs be held outside effective April 19, 2012, at the Boston Common as a temporary location with the idea that location may change in the future.
- Saturday: We propose to continue to hold GA at Community Church of Boston on Saturdays in order to ensure that at least one GA per week is held indoors. FWG is in the process of asking CCB whether it would have space available on Tuesdays. If so we would ask the GA to decide whether that one GA indoors should be on Tuesday or Saturday.
- Community Gatherings will remain on Mondays and effective May 14, 2012, will be held at CCB.
This schedule is subject to review by the GA at any time.
- GA will be canceled Tuesday, May 1st.
- FWG will seek access to the web banner and text service to ensure that any change in GA location or time will be widely communicated.
For a partial listing of Working Groups looking for volunteers, please click here! For a list of Working Groups with contact info, click here! For more information on Occupy Boston’s General Assembly, including passed resolutions, click here! And if you’re interested in learning more about Occupy Boston and how you can participate, click here! For contact info for other Occupies in the area, click here!
Contact Us: Want to subscribe to the Daily Digest? Click here to have it sent to your email inbox every morning! All Working Groups or Occupy Boston events that need placement in the Daily Digest, please email AnnaC@OccupyBoston.org. And subscribe to the Occupy Boston Media Rundown, a daily listing of Occupy-related news, by contacting JohnM@OccupyBoston.