Top 15 Ideas For The Occupy Movement Right Now

From Fri, 2011-10-14.


Written for you, all of you, from some friends in Portland, Oregon.

#15. Share What You Know. How often do we get a chance to really speak out? Now is the time to ask other people what they feel is really important. Learn to teach, teach to learn – how to co-create by co-creating, etc.! Speak out about local struggles in your area, watch movies together, and create networks of solidarity all around you. Make your own Top-12 lists of what is important to you. Share your list and ask your friends to do the same. These are not for the politicians. These are for you. Type and tag the info as #infoshares and you can also twitter these as #infoshares and see what other infoshares have been shared.

#14. Jungle Hammocks. Ever wonder how we keep from going under? Yeah we wonder that too! In the rainy jungles of Seattle occupiers were denied their umbrellas and their tents. It’s cold there and people are wet. Perhaps we can start making fires inside the big barrels like they do in the apocalypse movies. An IVAW member also recommended jungle hammocks with waterproof roofs. These can be found for somewhere between $free and $50 – a military surplus store would definitely have them. A jungle hammock will keep you off of the wet ground and keep the rain out. When paired with heavy wool blankets you can stay warm and dry all throughout the year. It also keeps bugs away, which, they say are the most likely things to kill you in a survival situation – that doesn’t involve capitalism or greedy corporations that is!

#13. Glitter. Don’t underestimate the power of glitter. If you want the element of surprise: go with glitter – we surprise even ourselves. You can make glitter water balloons. You can paint glittery warlike faces. Study ancient warfare… in terms of glitter! (or anything in terms of anything else, we highly recommend that too!) The Romans reported that the indigenous Pix people (in present-day Britain) painted themselves blue like demons and screamed like banshees. To the soldiers who were trained to colonize them, the screaming blue demons were far too outside of their reality (or too close?) that they scattered and ran away in fear. Sometimes the simplest acts can seem like comets from outer space! Other things that are glitter-like: watch what happens when you throw a fistful of flour into a fire – SHHAPOW!!! Magic. Or toss a huge stash of quarter-page zines from a skyscraper and let the people down below watch as they glitter-drift down from the sky. Create a ticker-tape glitter parade. Think about parades. Celebrate the end of Wall Street altogether, flip their shit upside down. Bring back Sesame Street! Demand everything that’s impossible (without glitter!) and everything that they (the ones who are supposed satisfy your demands) cannot give you, but everything that you can give to yourself. Glittered experiences are ones that have not been experienced. The universe celebrates them with glitter. It’s kind of like occupying all this free space! Congratulations on that. You are covered in glitter already. Glitter invites everyone to talk and exchange ideas. It it is spell-breaking and barrier-breaking because it is so out-of-the-ordinary. That is why people talk more at costume parties on Halloween. And when glitter is ordinary find the new glitter to satisfy your post-glitter sensibilities.

#12. Culture Jamming. We brought this one to the attention of our occupation in Portland, Oregon. We heard that Adbusters has been culture jamming Wall Street’s head off and creating lots of images and designs for the occupations. It’s about time! So do people want to know what has made Adbusters so good at this culture jamming thing? You too can have so much fun twisting capitalistic messages around and exposing their falseness in a playful, and revolutionarily revealing way. Kalle Lasn who wrote the book “Culture Jammers” started Adbusters and had studied a lot from a European revolutionary artist group which started around the mid-1950s. They called it the Situationist International and wrote a magazine and newsletter of the same name. The realm of situationist using-up is very much occupied by anarchists and radicals who like to mess around with the media these days. We think of their pranks as more like koans, riddles, and nuts that, once you crack them open and get to the gooey chocolatey center, they shift your consciousness altogether – even just for a second. It might be difficult to think of yourself as a culture jammer and wrap your mind around “situationist uses” of media, slogans, art, film, and music unless you are coming from a perspective of heightened awareness such as the original writers of the SI were. Luckily for us, almost all their writings are available in English on websites like the Bureau of Public Secrets. Need a place to start? Go with their definition of “detournement” and also their analysis of “recuperation.” Pay attention to how they contextualize everything to the situationist advantage. Recuperators will never be able to fully jam media the way we can, and recognizing their lies is something everyone should be able to do. For example, corporate “green washing” or anti-community organizations calling themselves “community organizations.” Or the Tea Party! – a “grassroots movement”! These are all reasons why you should know this material. The Situationist International always also subverted its own authority too, and for example, even by referring to an American’s website which is called the Bureau of Public Secrets. What “bureau”? It is written by one guy. haha. Learn how to be your own subversions and you will be un-subvertable.

Power to the Subvertisers!

#11. Synaesthetic Identities. We’re going off the theory deep-end for a minute. Keep reading. The dualisms we have now lack something. They lack a view of our identities as self-realizing, or come up with a better word for what this is: self-realizing. We have much more to learn about identity and potentiality (becoming ourselves constantly) and this can be aided through synaesthesia. We are just now beginning to learn about ourselves! Think about that. Always, the beginning of learning about ourselves is also the end! It is a never-ending ending and a never-ending beginning. You can jump in at any point but the trick is to, really, begin! So what is synaesthesia? It’s combining and recombining and crossing over to-and-from all the other things we already know and think about. It’s integration. We cannot get enough of this, really. It’s the same as segregation. But what the fuck? How many infinite identities can we become and is that not a trick question? So how unlimited are we, limitless? We’re not saying you don’t exist. (We saw you on TV, the ultimate proof of your existence!) A concrete example of synaesthesia – as it relates to identities – is this. An understanding of femininity (and feminism as it stands opposed to patriarchy) is incomplete without the understanding of masculinity (against patriarchy too) and all the other things identities tend to dichotomize themselves over. Dichotomy = either/or concept. We want to explore how dichotomies complement each other too, as they do in nature and how they befuddle their own boundaries with co-creative evolution. Masculine and feminine can get more sophisticated because we recreate them with our new synaesthesia. Sophisticated upgrades create space for new identity realms: gender-queer, trans-identities, and for example, androgyny. When you know about all of these identities and more things which don’t relate at first glance, masculine and feminine are more interesting, not less so, than before. Everyone is a singularity. So let’s recombine! (whatever that means, it sounded good to us.)

#10. Brouhaha. Do you know about the brouhaha? We’ve heard this in bars after soccer victory once or twice. Quite possibly though – it is the secret to all chaotic victories. It’s what happens, for example, when you chuckle after having turned negative phrases, “These are not the criminals you are looking for…” into positive phrases, “This is the revolution you are looking for…” Take some time practicing and swirling your tongue around like a snake. Change positive into negative, and, negative into positive change. Jumping around like a sunder monkey will help. Charging like wild horses with ferocious hostilities adds courage. Dancing like a twirly grouse and disappearing with the fox at twilight… does wonders. Record the effects in your alchem-animal journal and also, just make shit up! That’s what we do! We weren’t sure, but wanted to know so, are you Shpongled? It’s funny, often we are right.

#9. Uncommon Alignments.As anarchists we know that most other anarchists have earned and learned their respect and study right communication. Something we do not discuss however is the synthesis of anarchist leadership. That is, how do we value the self, the other selves, and how do we constructively depose local authorities whom we don’t want to simply offend carelessly and destroy with our words and brouhaha. That they can be shown their own conclusions, invited to our functions, and inspired to respect themselves fully because we do. At this moment plenty of people are curious about the occupations. In our capacities as kids-on-the-street we have no problem speaking to curious people who want to know Hey, What Was That Sound? We tell them everybody’s looking at what’s going down. A politician wanted to know what the kids are thinking these days and how it is different from when he was a kid. We told him that we are anarchists and that these days are numbered. Haha, actually we told him all about authoritarianism, permaculture, capitalism and his prison society too. We talked for almost an hour, and he walked away feeling like all he’s ever worked for quite possibly is just totally fucked. But at least he knows that we, and everyone else too, are just people with ideas like him. We can imagine that if the Tea Party people join up with Occupy, how that could be bad. As a proto-fascist synthesis of the Far Left and Far Right. But more importantly we can imagine how, instead of “joining up” but rather, coming together, would be good. If we stop focusing on the humanity of other people, thinking that the other weird people just suck even more than our current frustrations, then we are not experiencing any sort of higher consciousness with them. Uncommon alignments can show us people are able to talk to each other about things that matter to them, and how to explode open their disagreements peacefully and be open to the possibility that other people are going through essentially the same SHIT as everyone else. Someone who follows the Mao Man is actually only one International away from the Situationist International… brouhahaha. Of course that it is not a linear progression at all, and everyone’s ideas are in many ways extremely different, but chances are you would have a similar tag cloud if someone were to count the number of times you both say “Stalin” in a day. (Fuck you too Eye In The Sky! we’ll cloud your tags!) So anyway, doesn’t that mean other people probably share at least some of the same values as you? – we’re just not exactly sure what though! But hey, you’re both occupying. And most Maoists and Trotskyists have never heard of the things we anarchists read and why we’re always the banes of their political existences. You can always try asking them to subvert their own authority with you and then volunteer, out of love, to go first! Even though all these different groups supposedly are their own antitheses, we say go for it. Everyone has something to learn here, and we don’t want to stand in the way of other people learning how to live free. Obviously don’t compromise your own values.

#8. Permaculture Designs. Let’s take permaculture to the city. It has been happening already, but we’ve only now begun. It’s useful not just for the purposes of permaculture itself… to be familiar with the so-called “principles” of permaculture. These are not platforms, but it’d be kinda funny if they were though. The principles are not even technically or philosophically anarchist. Nevertheless, anarchy is not an actual ideology and is not political. We align ourselves with the ideas and goals of permaculture because these are creative and “productive” solutions. And this is a time for solutions. All options on the table. And we like these options very much. Also, produce your own sustainable levels! Permaculture can be its own synaesthesia. You can take ideas from anarchy and permaculture and combine them into a kind of “social permaculture” or “human ecology” and this is a really interesting way to think. An occupier in Portland, Oregon said that anarchy is only just an economic idea, to which we replied that anarchy is economic only insofar as “economic decisions” are fundamentally about resources. We think about social and material resources, and a whole lot more too. He thought anarchy is flawed in much the same way that eurocommunism is flawed. But actually, anarchy is flawed in much the same way that communication is flawed. With the knowledge that talking, communicating, information sharing, and learning that other people are more or less like yourself is what anarchy needs to – how do they say? – work. But that’s true anyway! People need to communicate in order to live together and co-exist. These truths are just more true than only for anarchy. We think of anarchy, and everything else too, as merely tools for us to practice and get good at. So we are adding permaculture’s tools to our tool boxes and you can too. If the political activist saw their strategies and ideologies as tools and started to think more in terms of multiplying the paradigms that are available to them, that’s how we can have a popular and inclusive movement, which is what everyone wants it to be right now. We are excited that millions of people have had enough – of something! fuck – and are occupying their streets now without any deadlines or intentions to leave, indefinitely. If you’re an entry-level activist looking for something to do, or an experienced natural builder and permaculturist – one thing is this. We can start designing permaculture projects at the occupations. The future is unwritten.

#7 More Music Festivals. Because this is the way life should be. Full of music and festivities. When you wake up at a festival you might want to make breakfast for everyone … then to find out that everyone has already made breakfast for you! “Aw shucks, bro! We love you too. Here have a cupcake!” It’s the togetherness and gratitude that make it what it is. The people you don’t yet know are potential friends and nobody’s really a stranger… (but they may be unknown and cute!) There is an underground economy. “You want French Fries? I’ve got French Fries. You have French Fries? I want French Fries.” Did you know though that you’re a beautiful festival all the time? Fragments of our desired realities live in the festivals but are unattainable in the world we want to leave behind. We see this clearly when we’re co-creating art and being a creature that lives in a festival. We don’t see that when we’re stuck in traffic looking darkly through our rear-view mirrors. We want art! We want music! We don’t want politics (unless by politics you mean music.) We don’t want Wall Street (unless, is it art?) Our music and arts festivals show us what is lacking in the world where Wall Street and politics are from. Festivals we really like are de-commodifying experiences. And we’ll pay good money to get there! Once we’re inside we don’t need the money. Not at the very least to mediate what we went there to actually give away. We don’t need it to store our values, or to measure ourselves against, either. The money could now also be art? Well you should know because you’re the artist! So we’ve got ourselves into a really, really big festival now, and everybody’s an artist – and somehow this power, realized, de-commodifies the everyday relationships we had with money, people, and technologies are even there to assist us in having the blast. Back in the traffic jam we just left behind, people felt like they were only there to help the commodities have fun… talking and blasting their horns to each other. The people inside who couldn’t talk to one another, or dance, became very very enraged… at Life. And so at a festival is where we’d rather be! They taught us how to really live. The Dalai Llama recently got asked, “What does the world need now?” to which he responded, “more music festivals.” So he said the world is your music festival.

#6 Respect. You have great things to say. That makes you “authoritative” — as opposed to “authoritarian” or being an “authority” figure. The key to learning the difference is making friends. Only friends make friends – they are equal. Authoritarians don’t make friends, and authorities are not your friends. Authorities have fewer friends than you have. The only friends they have are equal in authority to themselves, plus, they’re forced to compete for their authority! The more authority they gain the fewer friends they have. So that’s why – we don’t want their pity for anything they pity us for. We like our friends much better than we like the pities. Authority, manager, bureaucrat, etc. those modalities are disrespectful even to themselves! They are also divisions of labor – and we can expect them to cause more divisions and social rifts because – only friends make friends. These divisions cascade down into every relationship “the system” has to offer, dividing everyone into rule-driven and hierarchical roles. And they’ve been setting themselves up like a big Domino Effect that is about ready to crash! But not like a stock market crash. Well, that too! But these dominoes are people. And if the people market crashes that’s seriously good news. The People Market Crash of 2011. People are not commodities, ya know. But they have been conquered as if they are commodities. Their price fluctuates on a labor market just like anything else. Borders between currencies make it easy to internationally exploit people at all levels of hierarchy, and legal systems are not there to promote peoples’ communities or mediate their life-rages and lash-outs at each other, as much as they are for things like keeping their prices high in one place, and lower in another, all at the expense of the people! their homes! their communities! their lives! It’s scary to even think about adding illegal immigrant prison labor to the mix, but they are. Slavery is nothing new. But it’s all we’ve ever known… until we talk to each other and discover that we’ve all had quite enough of it now and we’re ready to respect ourselves. Respect!

#5 Learning How To Learn From People. A college professor we heard once say that students often learn more from their peers than from professors. That their peers re-teach them what the professor was already teaching, but in their own language. We generally expect other people to be more authoritative than ourselves on whatever they are more authoritative about. Do you know what other people are more authoritative about? Find out! Don’t consider them to be “in charge” of you in their capacities as authoritative people. Instead we think of it as surrounding ourselves with a counsel of very wise and good friends who like to dance to the same music we do. It would be too curious for us to remain separate, accepting their authoritative abilities only when presented in the form of social hierarchy and authoritarianism. New dynamics are just around the river bend, waiting to be explored! Homeless people can teach you how to survive without a home, in case you were wondering the obvious. Students can teach you all the crazy shit they’re learning in schools these days. Spiritual people can teach you their view of the universe. Trolls can teach you what they don’t know and what they distrust. The news media can teach you very little (in the factual medium it’s presented in.) As much as everything is presented factually, the news media ends up simply revealing how much they are lying to you. Politicians’ alignments can teach you how much you are winning, but not if you align yourselves with them – and artists can show you how they read between the lines. Anarchists can’t teach you anything you don’t already know, but can tell you where it is. If you are like us, you want to be informed. You want to have a good time. And you want to enjoy your time with friends you love and trust and be able to wish them the same.

#4. Un-Jam Yourselves. Some of the things people in the Occupy general assemblies are using to speak to one another are disrespectful to others and themselves. So we must point this out, if we want to stop disrespecting. It can really jam you up, and right now there are better things to jam up. What we mean is that solidarities can be and have been discouraged and people-with-ideas shut out if an activist denies their own agency. Well, how is that possible? We’ve seen this happen when an activist appeal to the whole group’s agency as the default nexus of power and decision-making, rather than themselves. And when real human responses are abbreviated or people defer to acronyms and process symbols, it’s like being in a human traffic jam — where it’s easier to honk your horn and be angry at the fact that you aren’t going anywhere. Saying “I couldn’t help you there, but I know someone you can ask,” is much better than saying NYPA simultaneously. So what the eff is NYPA you ask? It means “we are Not Your Personal Army,” and this phrasing is also self-disrepecting to whoever says. It jams your solidarities. Those saying NYPA mean to say that are not aligning themselves on the idea from the idea-suggester, but unfortunately they refer to the whole group as if the whole group could only addressed as a whole group, and not as a group of individuals. That takes away their agency. That takes away the agencies of other people. And it stops any solidarities from finding their way in, between, around, and amongst the group. Solidarities have to go through “THE PROCESS.” (Oh no!!! Not the process!!!) Yes! THE PROCESS! And by the time THE PROCESSER is done with them they’ve mind-numbingly forgotten why they wanted solidarity in the first place. If you want to block an idea even for other people to take on autonomously, you need to approach them and speak your mind, giving specific reasons and justifications from the heart. If you are like us you want to keep your friends, and know that your friends are not copycats or followers. If you direct them back into THE PROCESSOR chances are they will turned-off by it and storm out with a big “Fuck You I Won’t Do What You Tell Me,” leaving the group in an underwhelming state of anti-solidarity shock. (Maybe infiltrators would even try to imitate this, not like it’s a ritual or anything… but if you get shocked by someone it’s best to let them cool off and not give them additional attention.) Realize that other occupier’s autonomous decisions are legitimate, and that the more friends you have the more love you share, the less shock you will probably see. But THE PROCESSOR keeps its one layer of solidarity stretched super thin, because as a whole group they agree on very few points of unity, in fact, even though the General Assembly processors we’ve seen – in our home occupation of Portland, Oregon – spend most of their time discussing these potential points of unity. As a whole group it is weak and not very unified. Better if they split off into autonomous “committees” and use the General Assemblies to simply share info where they do not decide on very much at all even. That would actually more like the Anarchists’ Assemblies – the model from Italy. And in other circumstances it’s better if there are many tiny groups, as many as people wanted, to increase the density of solidarity that can occur within that chaotic network. Tinier groups are also opaque to authority. Big group = tiny goal. Tiny groups = big goals. It’s not actually that simple, but at any rate +1 for not accepting the Borg as your personal army and +2 for sticking to solidarity instead!

#3. Chaotic Solidarity. We are getting to Love soon, but first, what can Love teach us? Love can teach you how to rely on your solidarities instead of the systems which teach you co-dependence and alienate you from other peoples’ solidarity and Love. Solidarity is practicing mutual aid and taking action. Solidarity is Love. We embrace the destructive element of solidarity because – if by really being human we end up destroying the things that make us inhuman, so be it. Destructive solidarities are a synthesis between loving and changing, together. Solidarity is also a cure for fear and distrust. For, ya know, times like this! when people fear change. Fear means to us that people have never experienced any kind of real solidarity. To them they don’t believe it is really possible. They don’t think people could actually be united – not unified politically – and show Love, solidarity or appreciation for each other. This is how fucked up and twisted the long-term exposure to massive surplus-alienation makes people think! They don’t know who they are. They can more easily trust a robot barking orders at them while machines and chemicals encircle the earth and burn them up in their prison societies… than they could simply trust a neighbor. Wow, fuck us harder why don’t you. But instead of spreading fear, like the authorities are supposed to do to us right now, we are spreading Love. We are stronger than them. For people who can’t talk to strangers yet because strangers are probably evil people, fear is a death. But if anything is our death it is Love. (“Death” like it is in your Tarot Decks!) The chaotic solidarity, forever twisting into new shapes bound only by our Love for each other, the earth, and our imaginations… is a “creative destruction,” shedding off the attachments to what was killing us and turning away from what no longer serves us. We see that shifting our consciousness in the direction of Love starts destroying what we wanted to leave behind. +1 for getting metaphysical and co-creating the bring-alive vibe!

#2. Chaotic Love. When it comes to chaos we think of the Butterfly Effect or quantum-level physics but on a social level. Funny though, that even for the scientific “authorities” (who are also authoritative, some) … they don’t really understand chaos either! And from the top-down, microscope view-from-nowhere, how can you? You’ve got to be a chaotic being yourself and bounce around other free beings to know what-it’s-like. No easy mathematics are going to describe the chaotic being scene at a social level. That’s why we don’t limit our chaotic consciousness to material destruction and social conflict/upheaval. We admittedly do kind of get a kick out of it whenever the media and police fail to understand how or why our being-here even exists and why it is chaotic and has no leader. Brouhaha! But that was yesterday. Today we want to explain what-it’s-like to be aligned with the rebel forces of Chaotic Love, and to use The Force yourself. So in the midst of colonial spectacles we need to remember who we are. What is your story? What lives inside of you that is always unveiling, becoming, and changing? We, the ones writing this, know ourselves as spiritual creatures – and that this is the material world. And our revolutionary breakthrough? … is toward Love. If you are an atheist you might understand Love in terms of another paradigm, or in terms of human empathy. You can ask what are your motivations and where your understanding of yourself comes from. That is your story which unfolds and it’s the nut for you to crack open. Our story is that Love is exploding, with chaos, into everything! It is not chaos that we think of as destructive. Chaos is aligned more with being uncontrolled or ungovernable by the general laws. It is the free way where things just – Go – and align themselves according to their own laws. Love and hate are what can be destructive. The reason Love is destructive is because the world of Wall Street destroys us and has been for a long time, using us as its accomplices to destroy ourselves. We hate that! But we Love ourselves even more. It seems like everyone can see this, because we are all actually Loving ourselves now. It took a while, but now we are turning away from what was and still is destroying the world, out of Love. Without us doing the dirty work of destroying ourselves, it crumbles and crashes. And also, Love isn’t always on time. So hold the line. Some of us will feel like hating as others realize we feel like loving. It is important to feel how you feel. And we don’t mean at all to frighten with all this Revolution Will Not Be Televised talk. Or come across so enthusiastically destructive about all this, but that is the implication! Like when the Death Star explodes at the very end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and all the little Ewak creatures, who just wanted to be happy in their villages, jump for joy. That’s how we feel too. UTINI!

#1. The Self. The reason Love is not #1 on this list is because Love is so obviously number one! But don’t take our word for it … Take your word for it. That’s why “the self” is #1. Other people are more likely to listen to what you have to say, because it comes from you, not from CNN or FoxNews or AnarchistNews. As anarchists ourselves we have a problem with people crowding around us and asking for our instructions, what to do next, what to say to the media, and can I please have your autograph Mr. Anarchist, sir? etc. If you think we’re joking, we’re actually half-joking this time. Some people come to the occupations looking for a place to be managed. They have great intentions and want to help, as do 99% of the occupiers. But they will stand there until they find a manager, or until there’s a processor that wants to process them, or megaphone speaker that wants to dictate for them the many pastoral reasons “why you’re all gathered here today…” We don’t quite know what to say without sounding offensive to those who fall into this column, other than, we hope it’s not you! Sometimes out of our own dysfunctional inaction and “leaderless direction” on this, we watch as the Loudest Maoist with a Mic comes by to bark orders at the entry-level activists. We certainly don’t want to lead like Mr. Mao, but all of us have much more to learn about leading like the Tao. You know, like, all the rivers going into ocean but the ocean is below all the rivers… We will subvert our own authority before we depose anyone else’s. And there is a place you’re invited to come visit us at, it’s where we are right now.

Cheers to you all, Beautiful Beings!

See you in the streets!

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