Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty -Henry David Thoreau
What is capitalism? Where is capitalism? Who and what sustains it? How can we starve its roots, which feed off our relations to one another to the detriment of humanity? What alternatives can we create together? These are a few of the questions we will explore in OWS Summer Disobedience School (OWSDS), a twelve-week training program that will empower us to map, target, and disrupt sites of capitalist injustice across the city with a wide range of creative tactics accessible to people will all levels of experience.
OWSDS is informed by the following pedagogical principles:
-We learn by questioning, sharing, and doing
-We learn from and with each other
-We learn with our hearts, minds, and bodies
-Our education will create space for action, empowerment, and imagination
-Our growth will allow us to shed layer after layer of fear and complacency
Our experience together will enable us to occupy Wall Street and reclaim our power as people.
OWSDS will be divided into four three-week quarters, each of which will take a city park as a staging-ground for actions against nearby corporate targets: Bryant Park, Central Park, Washington Square Park, and Liberty Plaza. Each week, we will develop the group affinities, technical skill-sets and operational roles necessary for successful actions, such as target-scouting, march-pacing, research & messaging, mic-checking, banner-deployment, communications coordination, media documentation, and police liaison. We will also hone and expand the tactical vocabulary used during #SpringTraining. Emphasis will be placed on infiltrations, interruptions, slowdowns, and blockades undertaken by small action-teams rather than unified mass demonstrations.
A key priority in the OWSDS curriculum is the empowerment of new people to step up in planning and executing actions; to this end, OWSDS will involve a mentoring system in which those with more experience can "buddy up" with less experienced individuals to lend moral support and technical guidance. This "training of trainers" process can in turn be replicated and innovated by increasing numbers of people across time and space. Students will be encouraged to develop personal escalation calendars to track their own progress over the course of Summer School in advance of Graduation Day: September 17th, the one-year anniversary of OWS.
As the reign of the 1% collapses, it desperately deploys the police, the law, and the media to silence us and keep us in our places. In solidarity with students from Chile to Greece to Montreal to the Bronx, the school motto of OWSDS proclaims:
Educate to liberate! The crisis is our classroom! Now is the teachable moment!