Issue 1: Occupy Everything

madrid


 

Everybody Talks About the Weather | Asad Haider and Salar Mohandesi

It could very well be that the dura­bil­i­ty and rad­i­cal­iza­tion of this move­ment will rely on its poten­tial as a medi­at­ing ele­ment between the the var­i­ous seg­ments of the class, their par­tic­u­lar inter­ests, and their tra­di­tion­al forms of strug­gle. Achiev­ing this means going beyond a spon­ta­neous reflec­tion of changes in our work­ing lives. It has to start by under­stand­ing the sys­tem under­ly­ing them.


 

Who Threw the Can of Green Paint? The First Two Weeks of Occupy Philadelphia | Ben Webster

On the morn­ing of Octo­ber 14, one week into Occu­py Philadelphia’s encamp­ment beside City Hall, some­one emp­tied the con­tents of a paint can on the building’s south­west­ern entrance. This inci­dent sug­gests the ambi­gu­i­ty and con­tra­dic­tion in the polit­i­cal imag­i­na­tion of Occu­py Philadel­phia. What con­sti­tutes mean­ing­ful action – a spec­tac­u­lar act of van­dal­ism, the peace­ful occu­pa­tion of pub­lic prop­er­ty, or direct action on the hori­zon more con­fronta­tion­al and rad­i­cal? There has been no short­age of activ­i­ty – dai­ly march­es strike out to the usu­al tar­gets – but as of yet no dra­mat­ic con­fronta­tions like those of Occu­py Wall Street have occurred.


 

From Egypt to Wall Street | Wendell Hassan Marsh

For many in the Arab world, the con­nec­tion was not lost for a minute. They saw in the occu­pa­tion of the Wis­con­sin State Capi­tol the same spir­it that was present in Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immo­la­tion: the refusal to accept the finan­cial order’s demand to oblit­er­ate decades of pro­gres­sive strug­gle and nego­ti­a­tion. As many set out today to occu­py every­thing, let us take a moment to remem­ber the real ori­gins of this move­ment and allow it to guide our ongo­ing pol­i­tics.


 

Insurrection, Oakland Style: A History | Matthew Edwards

This is an unfin­ished work – a snap­shot of his­to­ry as it occurred, expe­ri­enced by me, report­ed on social media, or retold by trust­ed com­rades. It will lack the final­i­ty of hind­sight. Con­tained with­in is my account of the Oak­land Insur­rec­tion, as it has unfold­ed over the past days and weeks. Both the insur­rec­tion and this essay are works of hope. I hope that we push for­ward on the streets of Oak­land, the Bay Area, and every­where else, to the lim­it of what is pos­si­ble – beyond occu­pa­tion and the pro­posed gen­er­al strike to “total free­dom” for us all.


 

The Italianization of Puerto Rico: A Reflection on Social Struggles Against University Policies in the World’s Oldest Colony | Andrea Righi

Dis­man­tling a pub­lic edu­ca­tion sys­tem in a coun­try with strong back­ground of polit­i­cal strug­gles requires a mit­i­gat­ed form of neolib­er­al strat­e­gy. Between 2009 and 2010, I observed this oper­a­tion as a new pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Puer­to Rico. In the spring of 2010, stu­dents opt­ed for an indef­i­nite strike. The one-month-long occu­pa­tion of the Mayagüez cam­pus left a per­ma­nent mem­o­ry in those who par­tic­i­pat­ed in it.


 

Turn on the Heat: The Underground History of Occupation | Julie McIntyre

Though some recent media accounts depict rent par­ties as a nov­el prac­tice of the alter­na­tive white twen­ty-some­things who gen­tri­fy black com­mu­ni­ties, they began as a dynam­ic and autonomous response to exploita­tion, and war­rant care­ful study as a tra­di­tion­al prac­tice of occu­pa­tion. Although the con­cept was not wide­ly addressed in main­stream U.S. media pri­or to the seiz­ing of Zuc­cot­ti Park and var­i­ous oth­er pub­lic and pri­vate spaces in Amer­i­can cities, the act of occu­py­ing has a rich and com­plex his­to­ry.


 

Occupy the Workplace: Organized Labor and the Occupations Movement | Samir Sonti

Only through fol­low­ing a long-term orga­niz­ing approach can Occu­py Wall Street begin to har­ness the anger and ener­gy it has made vis­i­ble and trans­late it in into a dynam­ic, class-con­scious move­ment. And only the labor move­ment has the expe­ri­ence and orga­ni­za­tion­al capac­i­ty to take on the chal­lenge.


 

Deviations, Part 1: The Castoriadis-Pannekoek Exchange | Asad Haider and Salar Mohandesi

Span­ning an entire gen­er­a­tion, a lin­guis­tic divide, and a geo­graph­i­cal shift, the epis­to­lary encounter between Anton Pan­nekoek and Cor­nelius Cas­to­ri­adis in many ways marks the inter­nal trans­for­ma­tion of the ultra-left. But the ultra-left, far from a his­tor­i­cal rel­ic, is mak­ing head­lines again.

Letter 1: Pannekoek to Castoriadis | Anton Pannekoek

While you restrict the activ­i­ty of [work­ers’ coun­cils] to the orga­ni­za­tion of labor in fac­to­ries after the tak­ing of social pow­er by the work­ers, we con­sid­er them as also being the organ­isms by means of which the work­ers will con­quer this pow­er. In the con­quest of pow­er we have no inter­est in a “rev­o­lu­tion­ary par­ty” that will take the lead­er­ship of the pro­le­tar­i­an rev­o­lu­tion.

Letter 2: Castoriadis to Pannekoek | Cornelius Castoriadis

Where in con­trast there is, in fact, a real dif­fer­ence of opin­ion between us, is on the ques­tion of know­ing if, dur­ing this rev­o­lu­tion­ary peri­od, these coun­cils will be the sole organ­ism which plays an effec­tive role in con­duct­ing the rev­o­lu­tion, and, to a less­er extent, what the role and task is of the rev­o­lu­tion­ary mil­i­tants in the mean­time. That is, the “ques­tion of the par­ty.”

Letter 3: Pannekoek to Castoriadis | Anton Pannekoek

Nat­u­ral­ly, I do not claim that the rev­o­lu­tion­ary actions of the work­ing class will all unfold in an atmos­phere of peace­ful dis­cus­sion. What I claim is that the result of the strug­gle, often vio­lent, is not deter­mined by acci­den­tal cir­cum­stances, but by what is alive in the thoughts of the work­ers, as the basis of a sol­id con­scious­ness acquired by expe­ri­ence, study, or their dis­cus­sions. If the per­son­nel of a fac­to­ry must decide whether or not to go on strike, the deci­sion is not tak­en by smash­ing fists on the table, but nor­mal­ly by dis­cus­sions.