Resist. Insist. Stand together. Build. Never Surrender.

On September 17th, 2011 Occupy Wall Street was born. A hundred people occupied Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan and opened a space for imagination. We began to share food, clothing, and shelter. We sought refuge in the shell of a concrete jungle and found community. Inspired by our actions, occupations began throughout the globe. In a matter of months nearly all of them were crushed by the weight of repression and co-optation, but occupy cannot be stopped. It is a collective unleashing of anger and frustration at a dying capitalist system and points toward a new world. Let us create this world together. Read. Share. Distribute. Tidal.

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People talking about 'occupytheory':

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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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 https://occupytheory.org, 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.

 Sincerely,

Team Tidal

 

 

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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

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

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

Capitalism is killing us, killing the planet, and killing itself. We, the living, must work to facilitate the selfinduced death of capitalism while surviving and thriving together. A new commonwealth of life and care is on the horizon; it was glimpsed in Zuccotti park, and in peoples’ movements across the globe.

Our first step is to ask: how do you live? What do you do when the basis of your life is taken away? The water you drink, the soil you farm, the air you breathe, the rivers you fish, the atmosphere you inhabit — imagine it plundered and destroyed by an imperial tyrant operating with impunity. For most people in the world — especially in the Global South — this colonization and decimation of life is not so difficult to imagine. It has been happening in real time for centuries and the deathdealing tyrant has a name: Wall Street.

OWS has been privileged to launch our attacks directly at the doorstep of capitalism, at the heart of the empire. Storming the financial district, confronting its troops in the NYPD, we map sites of injustice with our bodies, voices, our affirmation of the commons. We connect the dots between the crime scene of Wall Street and the melting of glaciers, the rising of seas, the spreading of deserts, the clearing of forests, the poisoning of water, the failing of crops, the displacement of people.

 

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Read more: Beyond Climate, Beyond Capitalism - Politics of the Living

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"On Living" - Nazim Hikmet

FEBRUARY, 1948

I

Living is no laughing matter: 

you must live with great seriousness 

like a squirrel, for example— 

I mean without looking for something beyond and above living, 

I mean living must be your whole occupation. 

Living is no laughing matter: 

you must take it seriously, 

so much so and to such a degree 

that, for example, your hands tied behind your back, 

your back to the wall, 

or else in a laboratory 

in your white coat and safety glasses, 

you can die for people— 

even for people whose faces you’ve never seen, 

even though you know living 

is the most real, the most beautiful thing. 

I mean, you must take living so seriously 

that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees-

and not for your children, either, 

but because although you fear death you don’t believe it, 

because living, I mean, weighs heavier. 

II 

Let’s say you’re seriously ill, need surgery - 

which is to say we might not get 

from the white table. 

Even though it’s impossible not to feel sad 

about going a little too soon, 

we’ll still laugh at the jokes being told, 

we’ll look out the window to see it’s raining, 

or still wait anxiously 

for the latest newscast ... 

Let’s say we’re at the front-

for something worth fighting for, say. 

There, in the first offensive, on that very day, 

we might fall on our face, dead. 

We’ll know this with a curious anger, 

but we’ll still worry ourselves to death 

about the outcome of the war, which could last years. 

Let’s say we’re in prison 

and close to fifty, 

and we have eighteen more years, say, 

before the iron doors will open. 

We’ll still live with the outside, 

with its people and animals, struggle and wind- 

I mean with the outside beyond the walls. 

I mean, however and wherever we are, 

we must live as if we will never die. 

III 

This earth will grow cold, 

a star among stars 

and one of the smallest, 

a gilded mote on blue velvet— 

I mean this, our great earth. 

This earth will grow cold one day, 

not like a block of ice 

or a dead cloud even 

but like an empty walnut it will roll along 

in pitch-black space . . . 

You must grieve for this right now 

-you have to feel this sorrow now-

for the world must be loved this much 

if you’re going to say “I lived” . . .