Help Occupy Lincoln Win Equipment For the New Park Garden

Occupy Lincoln will be starting a community garden in Neighbor’s Park in the spring of 2013. This community garden will be the first community garden in a Lincoln Public Park. The garden will be free for participants and a percentage … Continue reading

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Occupy Education – Summer Break Is Over

Occupy Lincoln’s education committee returns from summer break to offer an interesting series based on the Dutch “Repair Café” model.  Join us for free classes and learn some things!  All classes will take place at 7pm on Sundays at the Meadowlark Cafe, 1624 South Street, unless otherwise noted.

CURRENT SCHEDULE:

September 9, 2012
Introduction to the Repair Café/Mending Clothes/Planning Session for September 23
Barb van den Berg

September 16, 2012
Repairing Small Appliances
Justin Orem

September 23, 2012
Mending Clothes II/Crowd-sourced Project from September 9
Barb van den Berg

September 30, 2012
Basic Bicycle Maintenance
**This teach-in will meet at the Antelope Park bandshell – bring your bicycles**
Nick Svoboda

October 7, 2012
Winterizing Your Home
Justin Orem

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Up.

Today, at about 2:45pm local time, the first of our species to walk on another world died.  There have only been a dozen of us who’ve left footprints on unearthly soil – who’ve been able to go outside at night, point squarely at the pale mysticism of the moon, and say, “I’m going there” – but brave Neil Armstrong was the first.  And now he’s gone.

Humankind has always looked up.  In early times, we looked to the sun and moon and constellations as deities who took interest in our existence.  Our early explorers used star patterns to get around then-unknown parts of Earth.  We created fantastical myths about mortals soaring on wings crafted of wax and feather (and were uncharacteristically wise enough to include in them a warning about overambition), then in 1903 a pair of brothers in America managed to soar a few hundred yards on wings crafted of wood, metal, and cloth.

The language of “up” is everywhere.  Keep your head up.  Chin up.  Stand up for yourself.  Movin’ on up.  Uprising.  Fall seven times, stand up eight.  Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight.  It is hard to imagine another word in the English language able to encapsulate so much optimism and so much hope in so few letters.  But up is deeper than that – even as a lotus plant must struggle through layers of mud before it can reach the surface and bloom forth unstained, human existence must struggle upward through obstacles to be free and unfettered.  Some of these obstacles occur naturally – gravity, in Mr. Armstrong’s case – while others are put in our way by those who think that their “up” must come at the cost of ours.

There was a time when we did great things.  When entire nations could come together and work hard toward a single goal.  When there were priorities other than war and profit.  When we could set our sights on doing something just because it should be done.  “Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?” a journalist reportedly asked George Mallory, an Englishman who in 1924 may have been the first to successfully do so.  “Because it’s there,” he replied.  Explorers like Mallory and Armstrong, as well as scientists like Pasteur and Tesla, were not motivated by wealth or glory, but by the knowledge that it was within their ability to lift up the species.

So what happened?  Gone is the wild spirit in which we strapped our bravest cowboys to the tip of a 3100-ton 350-foot missile, took our best aim at the moon, and lit the fuse.  Gone is the spirit in which we came together and built the Interstate highway system from the ground up, or stood up and said no, everyone should have civil rights.  And what has replaced this spirit?  Anger?  Hatred?  Yes, and worse: apathy.  Moral governance has become twisted into a sideshow industry concerned with little more than manufacturing wedge issues with which to divide the people and distract them from abject corporate thievery, destruction of the only world every human outside of a dozen have ever known, a growing police state, disastrous austerity measures, and endless warmongering.  And that’s just the half of us who actually vote (a number which drops to nearly a third for midterm elections).  The other half?  Too ignorant to care or too cynical and jaded to think it matters anymore.

Today, a national hero passed from the earth again – this time, never to return.  Yet how many of the flowery eulogies currently being tapped out on keyboards around the world will mention that for years, Armstrong’s achievement has simply been impossible?  In 1966, NASA’s cut of the overall federal budget was 4.41%; estimates for 2012 place NASA’s slice of the pie put it at 0.48%.  We’ve stopped looking up.

But it’s not too late.  We The Species need your voice, we need heroes, and we need dreamers who will keep looking up, no matter what.  You can get involved, you can lift up others, you can even fly – but the first small step for man is that you have to get up.  Then, by stepping, leap.  When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

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The Revolution Will Not Be Polite: The Issue of Nice vs Good

Though it is already a few months old, this post by Rachael on socialjusticeleague.net offers brilliant commentary on yet another way the privileged silence and disarm the marginalized in American society – the demand for civility.

From the article:

Social justice is about destroying systematic marginalisation and privilege. Wishing to live in a more just, more equal world is simply not the same thing as wishing to live in a “nicer” world. I am not suggesting niceness is bad or that we should not behave in a nice way towards others if we want to! I also do not equate niceness with cooperation or collaboration with others. Here’s all I am saying: the conflation of ethical or just conduct (goodness), and polite conduct (niceness) is a big problem.

Plenty of oppressive bullshit goes down under the guise of nice. Every day, nice, caring, friendly people try to take our bodily autonomy away from us (women, queers, trans people, nonbinaries, fat people, POC…you name it, they just don’t think we know what’s good for us!). These people would hold a door for us if they saw us coming. Our enemies are not only the people holding “Fags Die God Laughs” signs, they are the nice people who just feel like marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense, it’s just how they feel!

It is vitally important to any form of social justice movement that a sharp distinction is drawn between polite conduct and ethical conduct.  This is because the key ingredient of any protest movement is passion – which, as we all know, is not always (or even often) accompanied by politeness.  What we as agents of social justice need to realize and internalize, however, is that this is okay.  One cannot effectively speak truth to power and challenge an unjust system while walking on eggshells.

In this writer’s opinion, the Occupy movement (as well as progressives in general) are widely misunderstood in this regard.  Yes, some of our signs are blunt.  Yes, some of our chants are laced with “profane” language.  And yes, we’ve all spoken with someone who agrees with our message but takes issue with how we’re choosing to say it.  But here’s the thing.  We’ve tried saying it nicely.  Some of us have been trying for decades.  It hasn’t worked.

That’s reason enough to change tactics, but the article linked above gives us an even better reason to forget about minding our manners: because they are almost always defined by the ruling class.  By communicating on their terms, we’ve already given them yet another advantage.

olm36

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American Autumn: an Occudoc

Click this link to view the movie. (Songs by FUGAZI and more!)

Shot on the front lines and meeting spaces of the Occupy movement in NYC, Boston, and Washington, DC from the earliest days through the end of January 2012, American Autumn: an Occudoc is an inside looking out view of the occupy movement.

With interviews and insight from key organizers, thinkers and activists including Medea Benjamin, David Degraw, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Lee Camp, Naomi Klein, Nathan Schneider, Ashley Sanders, Vlad Teichberg, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, Dr. Cornel West, Kevin Zeese and many more, writer/ director Dennis Trainor Jr weaves commentary and a fearless style that often puts the viewer right between police and protesters.

The film includes an original score by Goldi, a member of the OWS music Rebel group and Guitarmy, with additional original music created by Mike Lawrence-Yanicelli.

The legendary punk band FUGAZI supplied additional songs.

AJ Russo served as the Associate producer, co-editor, and created all of the graphics; James Russo served as the audio designer.

more at http://www.occudoc.org/

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Occupy Santa Rosa: A Statement Of Solidarity With Students

Crowd of Mexican protesters, many wearing Yo Soy 132 shirts. One sign reads: A mi, no me reprimen revolucion

 

 

The following statement was approved by Occupy Santa Rosa General Assembly on Thursday, June 28.

We are inspired by your student-led rebellion against the burden of student debt and the massive popularity that you have galvanized. Your movement is the spark that created a groundswell for new possibilities of economic and social equality. Occupy Santa Rosa stands with # Yo Soy 132, Occupy Canada and Montreal, all people with debt, and all of Occupy as we work together to create a truly just and democratic society!

With love and solidarity, Occupy Santa Rosa Santa Rosa, California


Occupy Santa Rosa Stands in Solidarity with Occupy Montreal, Occupy Canada and Mexico’s #Yo Soy 132 Movement – Student Struggles Everywhere are United!

On Sunday, July 1st, Occupy Santa Rosa is sending a written statement and visual message of solidarity to the masses of peaceful protestors taking to the streets in Mexico City, Montreal, and across Canada. July 1 is Canada Day, as well the day of the Mexican presidential election. Our messages of solidarity are attached, and can be found on www.occupysantarosa.org.

This latest North American tide of peaceful, democratic protest began in Montreal, Quebec in February, when students went on strike to protest a 75% tuition hike. The protests spread and swelled when the government attempted to limit the students’ right to assemble, and on the 100th day – May 22 – 500,000 people took to the streets across Canada. The protests continue daily, and have been amplified by events unfolding in Mexico.

The #Yo Soy 132 protests were sparked on May 11, when an influential supporter of conservative Mexican presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto accused students protesting Nieto’s proposals of being “not real students, but part of a mob hired by one of Peña Nieto’s political opponents,” according to Latin American News Dispatch. (http://latindispatch.com/2012/06/22/mexico-yo-soy-132-movement-seeks-to-influence-presidential-elections/) The students responded by videotaping their student IDs and posting them on YouTube. There were 131 students, and Mexicans across the country rose up in solidarity by proclaiming, “I am number 132″ – “Yo Soy 132.”

The protest movements in Montreal and Mexico City have supported each other with public statements and solidarity actions. Occupy Santa Rosa is inspired by these movements and stands in solidarity with them.

Since its inception, Occupy Santa Rosa has organized local peaceful protests around student issues – specifically the failure of Exchange Bank to reinstate the Santa Rosa Junior College Doyle Scholarship fund, and radical austerity cuts to the Santa Rosa City Schools budget. We will continue to proclaim education as a human right, and support the just struggles of students and youth everywhere!

“In a just society everyone is encouraged and supported equally. Not just the wealthy but everyone,” says Occupy Santa Rosa supporter Jean Redus. ”If we wish as a people to advance our culture, to move forward into our greatest possibilities, solid public education must be a choice that is available to everyone, and should definitely not leave young people saddled with debt that grows over their lifetime like a devouring beast.”

Occupy Santa Rosa calls upon the U.S. media to cover the beautiful, important protests in Canada and Mexico as they unfold, so that the 99% across North America can know that they are united in their feelings of anguish and outrage, and can be inspired by the dignity and power of nonviolent protest.

Occupy Santa Rosa supports North American democratic solidarity, not North American “free trade” and austerity programs that reward the global 1% and punish already-suffering and precarious populations. We know that we can combine our strengths and numbers and work towards a world that honors and cherishes our youth – as an investment in the future of humanity, and the advancement of us all.

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Oakland: Lakeview Elementary Occupation Raided; Rally at 5pm!

Since June 15, parents, teachers, students, and allies from Oakland have occupied Lakeview school in response to the closure of five public elementary schools. Officials want to convert the buildings into private charter schools and offices, forcing students into different schools ten miles away without offering transportation. On the last day of class, community members began an on-going sit-in. They set up a community space complete with a library, free classes for children, social justice training, and more. Members of Occupy Oakland and other local Occupations have offered support and security patrols for the brave community members inside.

Around 25 people were inside this morning when Oakland police issued an evacuation order at 4 a.m. while most of the city and potential supporters slept. Just before 6 a.m., police raided the site and issued a dispersal order. Most of those inside complied with the order voluntarily, while a few remained inside in nonviolent protest. A parent and a former Lakeview student were arrested. According to witnesses, police threatened to use chemical weapons despite the presence of children and would not allow legal observers or media inside. Also according to witnesses, sanitation crews rushed in and the city immediately began building a fence after the arrests were made.

The community has vowed to stay and not give up the struggle to defend public education. A convergence of occupiers and all supporters has been called for 5pm Pacific today in front of Lakeview.

More information: SaveOaklandSchools.org
For updates: @LakeviewSitIn

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#OCHI Members Occupy State Attorney’s Office In Solidarity With #NATO5

(In solidarity, via OWS)


Earlier today, three of the five people who were arrested on trumped-up charges of terrorism during the NATO summit in Chicago last May pleaded not guilty during their arraignment. The National Lawyers Guild has called the case a clear example of entrapment, as the supposed terrorist plot was coordinated by police informants themselves, who had infiltrated the Occupy movement disguised as protesters. Occupy Chicago marched to the office of State Attorney Anita Alvarez to demand freedom for the #NATO5, other Occupy supporters who were arrested surrounding the anti-NATO mobilization, and all those held by the flawed U.S. (in)justice system. The trial for the three arraigned today has been set for summer 2013.

Supporters of the #NATO5 flooded the courtroom and raised their fists in protest and others have demonstrated in front of the Federal Prison at Van Buren & Dearborn in Chicago throughout the day. Three Occupiers entered the State Attorney office and refused to leave until all charges against the #NATO5 are dropped, while others rallied in support outside chanting “Brick by brick, wall by wall, our prison system has got to fall!” and “Hey Anita what do you say? Let the #NATO5 go today!”

The sit-in did not last long before police moved in to arrest. The 3 people who occupied the State Attorney’s office have been taken to the jail at 18th and State. Several dozen Occupiers have made their way there for jail support, and others are encouraged to join them!

For more info and updates check: Free The NATO5 | @OccupyChicago

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July 2-10, San Diego: Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Visit StopTPP.org for more information!

We are waking up. The fog is lifting. We are sweeping away the lies and secrecy.

From July 2 to July 10, the political leaders of the Pacific Rim nations are meeting in San Diego to turn the Pacific Ocean and its peoples into a giant privatized corporate lake characterized by non-union workers, Wal-Mart supply chain feeders, poisoned, landless agricultural laborers, a dying biodiversity, and rising, drowning sea levels. We cannot and will not let this happen.

The TPP meeting is officially referred to as the 13th Round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Talks. The nations involved are the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile, and Peru. Japan, Mexico and Canada have indicated a desire to join. The economic power of this group is more than 40% larger than the 27-nation European Union. The claimed purpose of TPP is to promote development and create jobs. However, this meeting is in fact one of the final conclaves to secretly negotiate the economic structural adjustments necessary to appease the world’s largest multinational banks and multi-unit corporations. Make no mistake, these talks have nothing to do with free trade between equal nations. Rather, they are negotiations being conducted on behalf of these corporations and banks by their willing and highly-paid governments (supported by their militaries and police departments) to systematize the exploitation of the Pacific Rim peoples and increase the capital acquisition rates of the 1%.

(In solidarity, via OWS)

The essence of these talks is to privatize natural resources (despite the wishes of the world’s indigenous peoples;) restructure each country’s trade, labor, environmental, and finance laws; and reduce or eradicate social services to the people. These policies are known the world over as neoliberalism. Historically, they have been instituted around the world ever since the brutal taking of power in Chile, on September 11, 1973, by the fascist regime of General Augusto Pinochet. These policies, thus experimented with, spread to countries as widespread as the U.K., the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia, Russia, Poland, Sri Lanka, and now Greece. They have been implemented by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, a plethora of “Free Trade” treaties (such as NAFTA), and various militaries. Enough is enough! ¡Ya basta!

The General Assemblies of Occupy San Diego and Occupy City Heights hereby invites our communities, our regional neighbors, and our co-inhabitants of Earth, in general, to join us in both protesting the TPP and also in creating a new world. We will march with pots and pans, and drums. (Can you hear me now?) We will sponsor an international weeklong conference and roundtables on what is wrong with the TPP Pact and what are the people’s alternatives.

Something Is Cooking In San Diego. Get Out Your Pots and Pans and March. Come Exchange Knowledge at Our OSD Conference and Roundtables.

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Two Months Away! Make Plans to March on Wall Street South!

(In solidarity, via OWS)

In just two short months, thousands will fill the streets of Charlotte for the March on Wall Street South. There are many different struggles and issues that will bring people to this demonstration, but we will all march together united. We are tired of the injustices being committed against our communities, fed up with the two parties representing the big banks and the corporations and not the people, we want an economy that meets human needs, and we know that we need to build independent people’s power from below to build the world that we deserve!

We will gather at 11am for an opening rally at Frazier Park in Charlotte, NC and then step off for the march at 1pm. It will all be happening on Sunday, September 2, right before the start of the Democratic National Convention.

Get involved today to help make it a success! Here are a few things you can do today:

  1. Sign up to be a local organizing center — Can you help organize a carpool, a van, or even a bus from your area to help people get to the March on Wall Street South? Let us know today!
  2. Become a volunteer! – Let us know if you can help with the buildup to the March on Wall Street South, would like to get involved in a working group, live in the Charlotte-area or can come early for outreach and trainings, or if you can help with the many tasks on the day of the demonstration.
  3. Make a donation – The two corporate parties have the banks and the 1% to rely on for funding, but all we have is each other. We are still a long way off from reaching our goal of $10,000 to make the march happen. Please consider making a donation today, circulating this appeal through your networks, or holding a fundraiser in your area.
  4. Organize an outreach event — Events are being organized in communities throughout the South and the US to spread the word about the March on Wall Street South and the mobilization around the DNC. Can you organize an event in your area? Coalition organizers can travel to speak at your event and send other materials to help you out!
  5. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter! — Help us spread the word by liking the Coalition on Facebookfollowing us on Twitter, and inviting all your friends to the event!

There are many other initiatives in the works for the week of September 1 – 6 as well, including a youth, student, and immigrant led Festivaliberación/Liberation Festival on September 1, and a Southern Workers Assembly on Labor Day, September 3.

Keep checking the website to download fliers and other resources and for the most up to date information as we get closer to September!

Build the movement! See you in Charlotte!

Coalition to March on Wall Street South
Building People’s Power During the DNC

PRESS RELEASE — July 2, 2012

Coalition Marks Two Months Until the March on Wall Street South, Denounces “Free Speech Lottery” Being Held By City Officials

Charlotte, NC — In just two short months from today, thousands from across the country will be organizing carpools, filling vans, and renting buses to mobilize to Charlotte for the March on Wall Street South. The march is set to begin at 11am on Sunday, September 2, at Frazier Park, with the march stepping off around 1pm.

Coalition organizers report that preparations for the march are steadily progressing. At the end of May, organizers won permits for the march and held their first meeting to begin negotiations with City of Charlotte officials in mid-June. Planning for other initiatives before and during the DNC — including a youth and student “Festivaliberación,” a meeting of Southern workers, Occupy actions, and more — is also moving forward.

“From Georgia to Mississippi, Massachusetts to New York, Illinois to Wisconsin, and as far away as Oregon, plans are being made to mobilize to Charlotte in September,” said Donna Dewitt, President Emertius, South Carolina AFL-CIO, Communication Workers of America. “There are many reasons that folks will come to the March on Wall Street South, but we’re united in our calls for jobs, justice for our communities, and money for human needs, not more wars and jails. Both corporate parties are working on behalf of the banks, not the people, and in order to create the world we deserve, we have to build an independent people’s power movement from below.”

Today is also the day that the City of Charlotte plans to hold a “free speech lottery” to assign times to groups along a predetermined march route and speakers platform for September 4-6 when the DNC will be in session. The Coalition has roundly rejected that lottery as an affront to the basic constitutional rights of freedom of speech and assembly.

“The route that Charlotte has offered ensures that those who use it will be isolated and won’t be seen or heard by any of the convention delegates or bankers uptown,” said Michael Zytkow, a member of the Coalition and Occupy Charlotte. “People should have the right to speak out and assemble at any time, place, and in any manner of their choosing. The lack of applications, 24 for the 60 spots available, sends a clear message that people planning on attending the DNC do not consider the freedoms of speech and assembly subject to governmental lotteries. We categorically reject any attempts by the City of Charlotte or other state agencies to box demonstrators up into “free speech zones” or adopt any policies that will stand in the way of the rights of people to gather, speak and express our legitimate grievances. ”

 
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