Posts tagged ows

Posted 1 year ago

On October 15, 2011, hundreds of activists were arrested in Chicago’s Grant Park after attempting to set up an Occupy encampment. Last month, a judge dismissed charges against 90 activists who filed suit that the charges were unconstitutional. On October 15, 2012, members of Occupy Chicago and a coalition of other activist groups, joined by the Overpass Light Brigade, marched through the loop and held a “free speech festival” on the site of the original arrests in order to mark the anniversary as well as highlight an anti-eviction campaign.

Posted 1 year ago

The Increased Criminalization of Dissent

Plenty of people might dismiss connecting these requests and other instances that highlight targeted suppression of dissent as mere paranoia. Such tactics have a chilling effect on legitimate dissent, and the efforts by multiple law enforcement agencies to question, detain and arrest activists of varying stripes points to a much more dangerous world. More than a decade ago, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said that when it came to dissent in troubled times, Americans should “watch what they say and what they do.” Rhetoric like Fleischer’s and quick quips today from politicians like “if you’re not doing anything illegal, you shouldn’t be worried” shows an increasing acceptance of the criminalization of dissent, and points towards a disturbing future.

(Source: diatribemedia.com)

Posted 1 year ago

Camaraderie in the streets; Tenderness in between struggles

Jail solidarity means waiting outside the holding area or prison with hot coffee, cheers, hugs and warm bodies for fellow protesters locked away. Jail support means bandaging our friends who were smashed to the concrete by the state with words and kindness, ministering the sunset-colored bruises, massaging away the aches from unnecessary and excessive uses of force. Jail solidarity means writing letters featuring silly stories and cartoons, sending reading material like science fiction, nonfiction, and art supplies like colored pencils and paper.

(Source: diatribemedia.com)

Posted 1 year ago

Several of the folks in this video are people I’ve met, whom I consider friends, comrades, colleagues, etc. Journalism isn’t simply a job or a career or something to do. At its core, it is an action, one that has the power to move the mountain that is the public consciousness by way of showing exactly what is happening on the ground, in real time, to real people viewing who are no different than the person in the streets. Corporate, mainstream media as an entity is not beholden to the public, but rather to its investors and other financial backers. This makes it our job as citizens, writers, activists, and humans interested in the truth to flood the streets with our cameras, cell phones, zines, pens, papers, and any other method we have of documenting events in order to combat the mainstream narrative that corporate media pushes.

As you can see in this video, it’s becoming a dangerous activity. However, no matter how hard the ubiquitous and seemingly omnipotent “They” try - you can’t stop the signal.

Posted 1 year ago

I took this photo back in October of 2011, at one of the first attempts Occupy Chicago made to create an encampment in Grant Park. That attempt (and another) failed and resulted in hundreds of arrests. This photo though, taken during the march to the park, has always been one of my favorites - simply because the message is so simple, clear, and in stark contrast to the repression activists in Chicago and across the globe have faced in attempting to create a better world.

Posted 1 year ago

It’s time to give the “is occupy dead” or “the movement is losing momentum” business a rest. The reality is, social change doesn’t happen overnight, or in a year, or sometimes in a decade, or longer. Major changes to any system or social order can take lifetimes, because those orders have been in place for generations or longer.

Analysis of tactics or direction, planning, and setting goals should always be a part of movements for social change. But defeatist statements which discount efforts past, present, and future do no good. They’re merely sensationalist banter. Is it time for occupy to evolve? Sure. All movements, tactics, people and ideologies should evolve. But that’s no reason to simply take the wind out of the sails, shrug and go home.

Posted 1 year ago

Don't taze us, we're with the media

"This is no longer just about whether people like me are being treated equally. It’s about the deliberate targeting of independent press.”

Posted 2 years ago

Occupy Chicago #A7 actions

Posted 2 years ago

An Open Letter to St. Louis Mayor, Chief of Police, and media

Natalie W writes at Diatribe Media:

Dear Mayor Slay and Chief Isom,

My name is Natalie and I’m a member of Occupy Chicago. Please know that I only speak for myself and am not claiming to represent the opinions of Occupy Chicago or any other Occupations. I am, however, a sister in the global revolution of citizens united to restore power to the people and remove corporate influence over the state, among other initiatives.

On Thursday, March 15, 2012, I watched a livestream feed of Occupy the Midwest and saw my Occupy family smashed with cold police batons as they attempted to comply with illogical regulations regarding public land, space specifically bought and maintained with taxpayer dollars. Simply, I watched footage of senseless violence wrought against activists as they crossed the street, attempting to obey police orders to disperse from Compton Hill Reservoir Park. I watched my Occupy family brutalized, lead away in handcuffs with blood oozing down their faces.

According to an article by Brandie Piper of KDTV, “Police said the protesters yelled and cursed at police as officers asked them to leave. The protesters walked into the intersection, which police said blocked traffic on Grand.”

By the logic of your actions that night, free speech became a rationalization for pummeling fellow human beings. The actions of your riotous police squad have revealed your fear. If 120 dedicated students, workers, parents, brothers, and sisters are such a threat to your grasp of power, your grip must be sliding out of your hands quicker than we Occupiers realized. It is easy to react in violence and only demonstrates your lack of control and unwillingness to cooperate with us to broker a peace where we can achieve our goals…

Posted 2 years ago

Members of Occupy Chicago rally at the Picasso in Daley Plaza for the February 28th nationwide Occupy solidarity demonstration.