People are not helpless against the storm. While the winds howl, the thunder rages, and the waters rise, people can find shelter when they act together in the face of collapsing economies and ecological crises. Shelter can take the form of robust mutual aid networks and solidarity economies by which people empower and support one another to sustain
themselves outside the constraints of the capitalist system.

Those within the community can share their knowledge and talents, letting people know what they are willing and able to do, and what sorts of non-market goods and services they are willing to accept in exchange. Plumbing and repairs in a home reclaimed from a bank or a building liberated from a landlord; gleaning and sharing unsellable goods cast off stores and markets. Learning to grow and distribute our own food as we traffic between the urban and the rural through community gardens, nieghborhood potlucks, Occupy Farms. Legal and tactical skill-shares among those being hunted down by the debt-collectors and Repo Men. Forming industrial co-ops in which managerial decisions are made by workers in their own collective interest rather than for the profit of a Boss. Medical care provided to those who have put their body on the line in a protest or encampment. Self-generated energy-systems for those who want to opt out of the fossil-fuel economy that is destroying the very basis of life on earth.

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Read more: Mutual Aid in the Face of the Storm

We’ve all been there--in that room, around that table, on that direct action--when some aspect of our differences threatens our ability to work (indeed our very presence) in the movement. The issue of how our processes, strategies and theories impact or are impacted by our differences sets the stage for fear, anger, guilt, confusion and hurt. All too often the work stops. Despite our many commonalities and what’s at stake, activists run into the destructive potential of difference early and often. But, difference should be anticipated, even welcomed. Moments of difference and potential conflict offer possibility to create deeper, more meaningful bonds. The key is to develop and implement strategies of engagement for ourselves and each other to prepare for when such moments of difference arise.

Few would argue that race is not one of the most complex issues that we deal with--constantly and with varying levels of success. When it comes up varies, but the answer to the question, “Will it come up?” remains the same: “Yes”. Our experience now teaches us to expect it. Our experience should also teach us that it is what we make of that moment that will determine whether the gathered bedfellows will become estranged or made stronger. The latter is possible only if the history of race in America. Whether we are bound by gender, sexual expression, disability, income inequality, language,
homelessness or injustice, our work falls victim to our inability to deal effectively with the inevitable race moment. Here are a few suggestions on how we can begin to transform potentially destructive race moments into opportunities to move toward to our political objectives:

(1) Recognize that the race moment is inevitable and it is important to do as much work to prepare for the race moment before it arises. The success of the movement depends on all of us working on our individual gaps and blinders.

(2) Develop a strategy for engaging the trauma of slavery, racism and difference discrimination before the race moment arises.

(3) When the race moment arises remember to have compassion for errors and missteps of those who you trust in other contexts.

(4) The notion that one should be free from error, discomfort or confusion when their approach to difference is at issue is oftentimes a manifestation of privilege.

(5) Recognize that all your work will probably not make the issue of race less uncomfortable. Remember that comfort is rarely, if ever, useful in progressive social change movements.

(6) The race issue cannot be understood, much less transformed/transformative, without meaningful engagement with the history of slavery in America.

(7) Commit to learning more about the relationship between slavery and the modern manifestations of race and difference than you do today. Make the same commitment tomorrow.

(8) Our various identities are an integral part of the movement, but identity politics can be distracting. For example, a common cause of the disutility of identity politics is that ways in which structures of oppression, like capitalism, can exploit and distort identity.

(9) The perception of scarcity of resources available to improve inequities along with our inability to deal successfully with difference has contributed to a sense that there is a pyramid of oppression.

(10) Develop a race moment reading list. A few highlights from my list are: John Hope Franklin, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans; Audrey Lorde, Sister Outsider; James Baldwin, Price of the Ticket; Angela Y. Davis, Race, Women and Class; Edward Said, Orientalism; Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body; Elizabeth Spellman, Inessential Woman; Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, Our Word is Our Weapon; Derrick Jensen, The Culture of Make Believe.

Additionally, beware of the following myths which frequently underlie and surface during a race moment:

(1) Antiracism work is the work of people of color.

(2) Imposing, evoking or experiencing white guilt is a necessary component of anti-racism work.

(3) People of color, LGBTQA, feminists etc., have sufficiently addressed issues of intra-group difference and oppression such as colorism, class, disability, gender inequities and homophobia.

(4) Regardless of the work at hand or the urgency of the work, processing our difference always takes priority.

(5) Race is at the top of the pyramid of oppression because slavery was only about race and racism.

On a final note, when the race moment arises expect the fear because of the unattended trauma that remains, but also have compassion for yourself and others who--despite the potential race-based angst in those moments--continue to come to the table, the rooms, the front line, the direct action in solidarity, commonality and difference to fight for transformative justice. Our commitment to thriving in those moments help us to move closer to realizing the potential of a diverse movement.

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I recently traveled with a team of radical reporters to Greece. There, longstanding illusions of Europe as a “progressive and democratic” force in the world are being dashed as the neo-liberal and imperialist projects that are European Union and the International Monetary Fund bare their fangs.

Thousands upon thousands of public sector jobs have disappeared. Half of Greece’s hospitals are slated to close. We met doctors who had not received their pay in over 6 months. Free access to healthcare is being replaced by free market chaos in which people must rely on bribes and brokers in order to even secure basic services. The old social contract of the European welfare state has come to an end.

Factories are closing shop and moving to other countries where production is more profitable. Uncounted numbers of immigrants from Eastern Europe, South Asia, and North Africa who came to Greece seeking papers to enter the European Union now find themselves stuck in a society where the jobs have disappeared – and where swaggering neo-Nazis are mobilized to attack them on the street.

Public agricultural lands that once provided for the people are being privatized. With those privatizations, agriculture is being replaced with whatever industries are profitable to foreign imperialist powers. Greece is entering a process of neo-liberal specialization, in which its economy is to be warped and disfigured to produce whatever is profitable for global capitalism.

These measures have been met with wave after wave of rebellion. Millions are saying no to this trajectory. Institutions, arrangements and assumptions that once appeared permanent and unquestionable have been thrown into the air. The country is in such profound crises that many sense revolutionary potential. Communism is re-emerging as a name of an emancipatory possibility and road that people can take. Perhaps instead of breakdown, the people will breakthrough.Today, an electoral crisis and the emergence of the radical left have come to characterize Greece in the minds of many people. This is actually the most recent of four moments of intense radicalization in Greek society.

December of 2008 was a winter that forever changed Greece, setting it on fire. The global financial crisis was the kindling, but the match was actually the murder of a young boy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, by the police. What started as demonstrations and riots in the small sub-cultural community of Exarcheia quickly spread to become a national rebellion. The legitimacy of Greece’s ruling parties was called into question for the first time in decades. The left was polarized, with the anarchists and the more creative sections of the communist movement playing a very important role. Meanwhile, forces that claimed to be on the side of the people, such as the old Communist Party of Greece (KKE), found themselves exposed and isolated. This KKE declared that (in their minds) any “genuine popular revolt will not smash even a single pane of glass.”

The rebellion among Greek people reverberated and grew. In response to loan and austerity programs being imposed on Greece by the European Union, 2010 became a year of mass protests and general strikes with crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands. General strikes occurred in industries where labor unions had historically been dominated by the PASOK, a mainstream party that postures as social-democratic as it carries out austerity, and that has played a role of co-option for decades in Greece. The political forces of Greek society were realigning.

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Read more: Greece: Where occupations speak, and governments fall

The struggle over education has recently become one of the most significant fulcrums for our social movements’ futures. This was evident at the recent National Student Power Convergence, which welcomed over three hundred people from around the United States, as well as organizers from Quebec, Mexico, and Puerto Rico for five days in Columbus, Ohio to envision, educate, eat, entertain, and enact steps towards a better coordinated (inter!)national student movement. In a time when both pundits and activists have perversely mourned the death of a young Occupy movement, its radical education roots were content to busily blossom here. And no student power gathering would have been complete without a street march and protest outside President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters in Columbus to decry the political system’s lack of concern for our collective futures, future which face the ugly specters of unemployment, student debt, ecological crisis, mass incarceration, and more.

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Read more: Radical Education Nation

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With Year 2 of Occupy Wall Street approaching, we are pleased to announce the imminent release of the third issue of the magazine.Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy.


Tidal is a crucial self-organized intellectual platform for OWS, which is founded on the principle that there can be no radical thought without radical action--and vice versa.  Since the appearance of the first issue in December 2011, Tidal has helped to shape the major directions and conversations of the movement. Distinct from either a journalistic outlet or an academic journal, Tidal  is groundbreaking in the way in combines timely, specially commissioned articles by widely recognized scholarly voices such as Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Judith Butler with a rich variety of theoretical and artistic materials from younger, on-the-ground OWS participants.

While  the first two issues of Tidal are available in PDF form at, a major distinguishing quality ofTidal as a strategic platform has been the fact that it has been freely distributed en masse as a visually appealing hardcopy magazine both at OWS-specific actions and assemblies as well as throughout public space more generally. In advance of OWS' historic reclaiming of May Day, for instance, 50,000 copies of Tidal were distributed throughout New York City and beyond. Indeed, the process of distributing Tidal has been a form of tactical direct action in its own right, as described in this article and video produced by Team Tidal. In both its intellectual rigor and its large-scale distribution, Tidal has been recognized as a force to be reckoned with not only by allies on the Left, but also by outlets of the powerful Right-Wing media establishment such as Andrew Breitbart's talk show The Blaze.

Tidal #3 will contain original contributions by well known writers including Spivak, anarchist theorist David Graeber, and labor historian Jeremy Brecher; these materials will be accompanied by a range of shorter pieces addressing urgent topics in the movement including climate change, stop-and-frisk, and mass incarceration. A connective thread throughout the issue will be the politics of indebtedness, and the emergence of a 99% debtors' resistance movement. As articulated by the Strike Debt campaign--a project initiated by Occupy Theory and its allies-- the politics of debt goes to the heart of the capitalist system itself. The work of Strike Debt will feature prominently in the three-day anniversary convergence that has been called for by OWS for the weekend of September 15, 16, and 17th.

Tidal 3 will be crucial to the build up to S17, which is conceived less a one off day of action that a strategic kickoff for a new phase of the movement. In order to ensure that Tidal can play this role in pushing the movement forward, we would like to ask for your financial assistance for printing costs.

In advance of our launch towards the end of August, we aim to raise $10,000 dollars, which will enable the production of 50,000 copies by TriStar Printers, the trusted unionized shop that we have worked with in the past. A small portion of these funds will also be used for the purchase of simple magazine dispensers to be installed at several prominent bookstores around New York.

 We thank you in advance for your generosity, and hope you can join us for the Tidal 3 Release Party at 16 Beaver Space in Lower Manhattan, scheduled for the evening of Friday September 7th. This will be a festive opportunity to meet with Tidal contributors, view OWS film projects, and generally to get acquainted with the movement as S17 approaches.


Team Tidal




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My interpretation of Occupy as a paradigm shift is that things are fundamentally different now that the movement has arrived. Occupy is indeed a paradigm shift beyond this however, If we act as if a fundamentally new era is upon us our actions will contribute to this being a new paradigm, thought and action are intertwined. Occupy has been good at looking beyond what is to a new kind of world that could be.

When it comes to labor however there is a split between the redefinitions and the acknowledgement of what these redefinitions could mean. I hope to clear up the potential that has been unleashed in order to end the problematic idea that something called “labor” somehow by its essence is less radical and less world redefining.

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Read more: Labor in a New Paradigm

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