FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What the Occupy Movement Demands of Each of Us

by JOSEPH G. RAMSEY

That we work to defeat and to overthrow the rule of the 1% (and the 0.1%) over our lives, our society, and our world;

That we devote our lives to ending the oppression, domination, and exploitation of people both near and far;

That we defend what remains of public space and the public sector against neoliberal attempts to privatize or destroy it;

That we stand up for the freedom of speech and assembly, of dissent and public protest, as rights which no law-maker can revoke;

That we work for social equality: the radical redistribution of wealth, the transformation and/or abolition of oppressive institutions, the dismantling of unaccountable hierarchies, and the thorough democratization of society;

That we aspire towards egalitarianism in our own movement and in our own lives, seeking to build others up as equals, not to subordinate them as tools or inferiors;

That we seek to unite the many against the few, behind an inspiring vision of global human emancipation;

That we work to expose, to challenge, and to shut down wars abroad and militarism at home, along with the imperial and fascistic apparatus that makes them possible;

That we devote ourselves to exposing, and to resisting the ravages of a toxic ecocidal  capitalism before it poisons the climate to the point of rendering wide swaths of our planet unlivable;

That we work to expose, oppose, and defeat racism, homophobia, sexism and other reactionary and oppressive ideologies and practices wherever they rear their ugly heads;

That we seek to give voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless across our world;

That we help to inspire courage, trust, and solidarity amongst those who have been beaten down by the current system, to turn our collective weakness into strength;

That we work to expose the farcical nature of our 1%-dominated, so-called “democracy,” even as we may utilize what is left of this state apparatus to tactically leverage the needs of our movement;

That we hold accountable those individuals and institutions that have produced and profited from the current crisis, at the expense of the people.

That we reject all 1%-er attempts to scapegoat the vulnerable and to blame the victims for their oppression;

That we approach with suspicion and skepticism those representatives of existing 1% power structures that seek to co-opt our movement, even as we are constantly on the lookout for friends and allies in unexpected places;

That we put the greater good of the people and the movement ahead of our personal interests, even as we recognize that only through such a movement can our individual talents be fully realized, and vice versa;

That we keep our commitments and promises to one another;

That we are honest and accountable in our interactions whenever we are representing the movement;

That we work each day to help raise consciousness (inside and outside the movement) about the world situation–for this is a global struggle;

That we inform ourselves about the current dangers and crises facing our society and our planet, and that we seek to understand not only the news and the facts, but the fundamental forces driving the situation forward, and the future trajectories these forces imply;

That we seek to cultivate a tactical flexibility and creativity that can adapt to the shifting situation;

That we develop a long-term, nationally coordinated strategy for actually building the movement that we want to create, for actually achieving the changes we want to see;

That we cultivate an honest and humble self-critical attitude in evaluating the successes and failures, the strengths and weaknesses of our movement, its theories and its practices; that we are willing to alter our theories and practices in light of evidence and reflections we gather;

That we seek to become citizens of the world, not just of any single city or nation;

That we sink roots in our local communities, in our workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, families, and other institutions, becoming attentive students of others’ lives, as well as supportive allies, and where appropriate, leaders of local struggles;

That we are kind and patient with one another in the movement, working to understand deeply even those with whom we disagree, knowing that those who may be wrong on nine issues may teach us something valuable concerning the tenth;

That we demonstrate courage as well as wisdom in the face of threats we face;

That we seek to cultivate the fullest humanity in ourselves and in others alike;

That we work creatively and tirelessly to bring into being a society that is worthy of human beings;

That we commit to the long haul, as the fight ahead is sure to be as extended as its outcome remains uncertain.

That we sustain one another in this great collective endeavor, cherishing each thinking, fighting spirit in these dark times.

Joseph G. Ramsey is an writer, educator, and activist involved in the Occupy movement, and residing in the Boston area.  He writes for The Boston Occupier,  and editsCultural Logic  a journal of marxist theory and practice.  He can be reached at jgramsey@gmail.com .

More articles by:

Joseph G. Ramsey is an activist and writer living in Boston. He is a contributing editor at Red Wedge, a co-editor at Cultural Logic: an electronic journal of Marxist theory and practice, and a contributing board member at Socialism and Democracy.

February 22, 2018
Jeffrey Sommers
Bond Villain in the World Economy: Latvia’s Offshore Banking Sector
Mark Schuller
Haiti’s Latest Indignity at the Hands of Dogooders, Oxfam’s Sex Scandal
T.J. Coles
How the US Bullies North Korea, 1945-Present
Ipek S. Burnett
Rethinking Freedom in the Era of Mass Shootings
Manuel E. Yepe
Fire and Fury: More Than a Publishing Hit
Patrick Bobilin
Caught in a Trap: Being a Latino Democrat is Being in an Abusive Relationship
Laurel Krause
From Kent State to Parkland High: Will America Ever Learn?
Terry Simons
Congress and the AR-15: One NRA Stooge Too Many
George Wuerthner
Border Wall Delusions
Manuel García, Jr.
The Anthropocene’s Birthday, or the Birth-Year of Human-Accelerated Climate Change
Thomas Knapp
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Russiagate
February 21, 2018
Cecil Bothwell
Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail