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Note: The opinions expressed by the moderators and members of this discussion board do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Occupy Together or Occupy Wall St. In the spirit of free information, open discussion, and the freedom of expression, members are able to speak about issues relating and directly pertaining to the Occupy movement. You will be banned for hate speech or intentional misinformation and please refrain from any violent rhetoric; this is a peaceful movement. Thank you.
Demand Sustainability!
  • marchelomarchelo October 2011 +1 -1 (+5 / -0 )
    The concerns/problems/issues/corruption that is spoken out against all has one common thread that I think would make a solid and broad sound-bite, while also encompassing every major issue mentioned here and on the other Occupy_ sites:

    We demand the end of that which is unsustainable.

    The inequitable influence of money upon our democracy is unsustainable.
    The concentration of our nation's wealth to fewer and fewer individuals is unsustainable.
    The unchecked and under-regulated greed of Wall Street is unsustainable.
    The subsidies given to Big Agro, Big Oil, and Big Pharma are unsustainable.
    The rising cost of healthcare for average Americans is unsustainable.
    The abuse of our natural resources in unsustainable.
    The complexity of our tax code breeds loopholes and sweetheart deals which are unsustainable.
    The application of human rights to corporations is unsustainable.
    The dependance on debt to fund our country is unsustainable.

    The list goes on and on. We do so much that is unsustainable, is it any wonder we are facing a crash?

    We demand the end of that which is unsustainable.
    This demand is self explanatory and impossible to refute. Something that is unsustainable must by its very definition come to an end. Why not end it now, before it gets any worse?
    We have perpetuated this fantasy that our actions carry no consequences, and now that they are all coming to a head we can choose to end them on our terms, or wait for the whole mess to crash down upon us. Taking a stand of meeting these blatantly unsustainable practices head on will have broad support.

    Looking ahead, the notion and execution of sustainability could be crucial to the movement's success. If the Occupy movement continues to grow as it has, the possibility of a general strike becomes more and more apparent. As more unions and individuals opt out of the current system, the desire to grind that system to a halt will be overwhelming and may well be inevitable. What will a general strike look like? Well, if its revolution scale, it will be a complete shut down of the basic functions the 99% of society provides. This means food production, power generation, server maintenance, and transportation systems may will be rendered inoperable.
    Its a simple but profound idea: Stop everything and see who we are.

    What if the 1% is counting on it? How might they profit from such chaos? The same way anyone in power benefits from a strike or a boycott- they count on people caving in once their standard of living has been sufficiently lowered; they wait the strike out.
    I promise you, the 1% we protest is betting with all their money that the 99% will cave once society falls into chaos. If you think about it, its not a bad bet. If you can indefinitely provide for yourself from the fortune you have amassed, why bother with any of the movement's demands? Let the 99% crash the system. The 1% can provide all the basic necessities of their chosen lifestyle for themselves, they don't need our utilities and will not miss them when they are gone.
    The best way for those in power to profit from such a collapse is quite simply to wait it out- let the protestors bring chaos unto themselves. In their eyes, they hold all the power and we only have demands. Should a protracted general strike become a reality, people may soon long for the former comforts of their middle-class indebted servitude once their quality of life reaches the breaking point. They will gladly except whatever terms necessary to restore the unsustainable life they once enjoyed. Just look at the terms being forced upon the people of Greece:
    We can not let this happen.

    The answer is beautifully simple, but profound in its effect: We must create a sustainable occupation.
    A sustainable occupation does not rely on the current system whatsoever. If they cut power or if a strike shuts it off, we must be able to generate our own sustainable electricity. Even if it comes down to taking shifts riding a modified stationary bike to generate pedal power (and warmth come winter), we must be ready and creative with our solutions.
    A sustainable occupation has a network in place to provide an uninterrupted source of food and water. We can start gardens, and connect with local farmers or urban homesteaders to build a working relationship (send volunteers to work the farm- they send food). Plan on grocery stores and pizza shops no longer being available.
    A sustainable occupation can provide its own internet connectivity. Set up a network of mobile servers, expand non-electronic communications and create a reliable chain of information between each movement to provide assistance should they need it.

    We must create a sustainable occupation, not only to outlast the 1% when basic services fail, but to create an example for the world that can serve as a model for the society to come. A society of individuals who have chosen sustainability over linear growth. A society of people who recognize that unsustainable practices must, by their very definition, come to an end.
  • adminadmin October 2011 +1 -1
  • adminadmin October 2011 +1 -1 (+3 / -0 )
    Right now would probably be a good time to get back to the basics just for the security of an uncertain future. Start raising your own vermicompost, use the fresh soil to plant your very own victory garden, reduce dependency on the system you know, buy a bike, meet your neighbors for they will be your closest allies when the shit hits the fan.
  • marchelomarchelo October 2011 +1 -1 (+2 / -0 )
    Hear, hear!
    "...good time to get back to the basics" funny you should put it that way- this is the bible around my homestead:

    Other then the obvious need to survive a possible shut-down, consider the cumulative effect that many individuals choosing a sustainable lifestyle would have on the power structures: the less we need from them, the less power they have over us.

    Agrees: slave, darcova

  • BradB October 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    I like it ;)
  • marrand October 2011 +1 -1 (+6 / -0 )
    marchelo: "the less we need from them, the less power they have over us". The ultimate truth!!
  • BradB October 2011 +1 -1
    "socialism without capitalistic freedom & incentives" is UNSUSTAINABE

    "capitalism without regulation" is UNSUSTAINABE
  • whitefeather October 2011 +1 -1 (+4 / -0 )
    I am so happy to finally see these thoughts and words on paper. I have been gardening for the last ten years because of the commerce control of the people. It has become a way of life in our home. I can even produce enough to last me until my next harvest. I figured the only way to take back control was one person at a time through selfsustainability. One thing I should mention here is the necessity of the two-way radio. If this movement gets this far and we have a general strike the first thing they will do is cut off our communication with each other. They can do this with the phones, both land and cell, and with the internet. We must keep our communicatons open. They can't take two way from us..... Just a thought.
  • BradB October 2011 +1 -1
    We can put together a wifi mesh... I know I could do it in 6 mos hehe... I'm sure it's already built... worth exploring
  • johniewaddelljohniewaddell October 2011 +1 -1
    I know it is taboo but we need to begin pooling resources and centrally mobilizing in a peaceful and well documented manner. There needs to actually be a headquarters for the movement. Unfortunately we must use their system (which we created all the assets for) to get set up. Systems such as solar power and battery systems and other items would serve us well. Also have a centralized point to stock/provide food and other supplies is needed. This will be a long fight and the one thing that can defeat us is the lack of preparation. I am doing what I can to make some deals for supplies and fund....but im just one lower class guy. We need to figure this out as a comittee and find common ground
  • johniewaddelljohniewaddell October 2011 +1 -1
    sorry for the grammar this is like the 1 millionth post today around the web lol
  • whitefeather October 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    I think our centralized post needs sub posts positioned around the country to reach all peoples. This process is going to have to be available to everyone on such a level to aid all until we are completely through the transition of taking our government back.

    Agrees: darcova

  • whitefeather October 2011 +1 -1
    Also I like the Wifi mesh idea. Let us know what you find out. I still think we should have the two way as back up. We could keep them in the sub posts. I know there are so many ways greed can seep in and destroy that until we are beyond this point we should keep as much to the basics as we can.
  • whitefeather October 2011 +1 -1
    johniewaddell we don't care about grammer or spelling. We care about you as part of the 99%.
  • Richmondsteve October 2011 +1 -1
    Constructive thoughts; although I think y'all are getting a little ahead of the curve. A lot of stuff would have to happen leading up to an EFFECTIVE general strike. Here is the tactical structure I think we should consider:

    - Flesh out our "Promises" to make it clear that we can never be bought, that we will be democratic, and that we will be transparent.
    - Coalesce our "Grievances" to a short, but screamingly obvious list. [I like the word "sustainable" here.]
    - Demand a Constitutional Convention [or "Continental Congress"] on july 4th, 2012 (as discussed throughout this site) to address our grievances.

    If the government refuses to sanction the Convention (after months of sustained, focused demonstrations), then go ahead and hold a Convention for the 99%, and come out of it with a document. Try one more time to get the government to adopt the document. If the government refuses, then we start thinking about ways to steamroll the establishment, and take on the mantle of a dissident revolution (which is what you are already talking about here).
  • marchelomarchelo October 2011 +1 -1
    Richmondsteve: I completely agree. I posted this before the Declaration of the 99% began circulation, and absent the brilliance of calling for a 3rd Continental Congress, I only saw the occupation building to critical mass. I see a different future available now and it is absolutely worth pursuing.
    That said: Sustaining the occupation until July 4th will still require a concerned effort. Solving supply chain issues before they can be used to undermine the movement will make life easier moving forward.

    As for the issue of foreign agents infiltrating the movement, they no doubt have already. Revolutionaries from all over the globe are gathering in NYC and I have faith the Occupiers will welcome them with open arms while also maintaining the integrity of the movement. It wouldn't be hard to notice a provision that unjustly favors a foreign power, just as it's not hard to spot the undercovers in the crowd (they all ask, "So who's the leader?" respond, "I am, you are and no one is.")
  • GetEducated1992 October 2011 +1 -1
    Demand the truth by marching to the 9/11 memorial site. That will be HUGE!!!!
  • marchelomarchelo October 2011 +1 -1 (+2 / -0 )
    That will be HUGELY divisive and perfect "Anti-American" fodder for the corporate media machine. Pass.
  • johniewaddelljohniewaddell October 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    I agree with Marchelo. It was a horrible occurence but, the terrorist leaders are dead...and now we just wage war in the name of that day.... having killed more innocents many times over rthan the event itself not to mention our soldiers.

    Its ok to say we went to far, it was a mistake, the real value in any situation resulting from terrorism is how we rebound and succeed afterwards. It is liberation from ego that wins any argument.
  • MundusVultDecipiMundusVultDecipi November 2011 +1 -1
    @GetEducated1992 I agree with the sentiment but dwelling on the past only keeps it alive. They pulled the wool over our eyes on that one but when the time is right I believe that truth will be set free as well. It's out there bubbling under the surface. I found this awesome website from this photo of Occupy Oakland.
  • MiddleGround November 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    I am from Central-Western PA and we have something called 'the Amish'. Every heard of them? The first ime you see them you will think you are witnessing a 'pioneer re-enactment'....really!

    --please Google them before you read on as what I post after this might not be believed, OK?--

    The first posts refer to the 'back to basics' and... farming, crops, etc, but if you are like me, (I planted tomatos and zuchini in a backyard garden once and my tomatos sucked but I had more zuchini than I knew what to do with)... you understand what I mean....

    There is difference between 'gardening' and 'crop life'. I had a friend who lived in NY and planted 4 hybrid tomato plants on his window sill and told me 'when the sh*t hits the fan I'll be a survivalist'... are you kidding me?!?!... what are you gonna do with a that?!?! I'll give him credit for the attitude, but then there is... REALITY!....LOL

    there is a difference between the '2011 survivalist-minded-gardeners... vs... the Amish' for example. I am not ripping on anyone for 'effort', but you need an 'Amish' lifestyle to make word.... sustainable. Me, and I bet you, don't have that. get real!
    And the 1% elite in their 'ivory towers' are in worse shape than anyone on this blog, and my fellow Occupy-supporteres, reading this, They are F-ed without their double-carmel-latte served to them by 10 AM.

    When I read Whitefeather's post of "I have been gardening for the last ten years because of the commerce control of the people. It has become a way of life in our home. I can even produce enough to last me until my next harvest." it says something about some experience/life, but for those that just stopped at Subway for your fresh veggies, don't fool yourself!

    It looks so good in the movies and sounds so 'noble' but you have no idea, until you see a class of people, like the Amish put it to everyday life, and you'll gain a respect you never had.

    Change is going to happen... I believe in the OCCUPY movement as long as it doesn't 'Timothy McVeigh'....

    As for me...and honestly?...myself?... I have a survivalist mentality, training, and gear to support my effort. Don't waste your time with the window garden, c'mon now!

  • catholicworkerCWJ November 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    I think you are right on, if I understand you well. While we must be "survivalists" in the presence of the failure of the "unsustainable" 1%, there will be a transition to a community lifestyle which is sustainable, exemplified by the Amish.
  • catholicworkerCWJ November 2011 +1 -1 (+2 / -0 )
    ....and I couldn't have said it better than you, " I believe in the OCCUPY movement as long as it doesn't 'Timothy McVeigh", Just like with the Amish....peace is the only sustainable community lifestyle.
  • marchelomarchelo November 2011 +1 -1 (+2 / -0 )
    @MiddleGround "I am not ripping on anyone for 'effort', but you need an 'Amish' lifestyle to make word.... sustainable. Me, and I bet you, don't have that. get real!"

    Oh, but I do have that! I find it odd that, even with a name like MiddleGround, you can see no room between modern consumer culture and Amish living, but I promise you it does exist (my wife is from NJ, so yeah, I know about the Amish [huge Steelers fan btw] :).
    I have honestly made sustainability my life's work. I left my apartment life in LA and mortgaged 1.3 acres of land in northern California (for the same monthly cost) to create a sustainable life. I left all my friends and family, sold my car, emptied my life savings, and scrapped together every last dime I had to pull it off, but here I am- a modern homesteader. I get water from my well, veggies from my garden, compost all my waste, will have chickens in the spring, and will soon have solar power thanks to these guys: .

    I realized that the life I was living was not sustainable, and that continuing to live it would be a detriment to any "green" effort I made. At first it was making smart consumer choices (organic, free-range, etc), but that wasn't enough. I chose to change everything and live the solution I imagined would help, just by being different- by being sustainable. Get real indeed :)

    I had lived in a city my whole life until last year and knew nothing about gardening, but a little research (and a lot of back-breaking effort) and now I have my own permaculture garden. It is my first attempt, but it came together well:

    "Don't waste your time with the window garden, c'mon now!"

    Any seed which grows to harvest is effort well spent. Though I agree that gardening for gardening's sake (ornamental) is not what is needed, and a window garden will only serve to top your salad. A roof-top garden on the other hand...

    Or if there are lawns available for farming...

    There are also community gardens. I remember a few in LA (though it was nigh impossible to get a plot). If the plot owners worked cooperatively they could provide for the neighborhood. Or, if you want to think bigger, there is this option:

    Look, I get your sentiment, and had you accused any other random web goer of sustainable hypocrisy, chances are you'd be right... just not with THIS particular sustainability advocate. :)

    It is hard. It is more work then I thought it would be, and I have gained a respect I never had for what it takes to be self-sufficient, but it wasn't so hard that it was unattainable. Nor was it neccessary to swear off technology, far from it! The internet has made it all possible. Everything from what kind of apple tree I have and how to make applesauce, to how to make a free-range coop and raise chickens: its all online, and usually in video form!
    Technology made it possible for me to get "back to basics". Funny thing that.

  • MiddleGround November 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    marchelo... I'll give you credit then... after reading your last post and the links, you have thought it out and more importantly, made the effort, because talk is cheap and you're not just talk apparently.

    There is sooo much right now that is 'unsustainable', and the politicians just keep putting bandaids on everything to bide time and keep their jobs and pass the buck to the next guy if they are gone. I think the USA is about 10 years away from being a 'Greece'... unsustainable economy based on too much reliance on the government and political corruption. Another example of the Amish in that they rely on 'themselves' and 'their neighbors'. The amazing part is they flourish! It's amazing when you sell an Amish couple a 200 acre farm and they pay in cash. Cash that they and their family have saved years and worked so hard for, instead of $0 down because they had to have the new BMW series and $25000 wedding. Tell which is unsustainable?

    People think twice sometimes about lending a friend or family a large chunk of money, BUT you'll put your financial dependency in a corrupt, irresponsible, bankrupt, cheating, lying, manipulating, anti-environment, failing Government?... C'mon now! Think about it how rediculous that is!...

    I think the first thing to invest in regarding 'sustainability' is YOURSELF, not the Government, and their slavery social programs and brainwashing dependencies.

    Marchelo, It is funny when you think of it as 'using technology to get back to the basics'...

    Agrees: marchelo

  • marchelomarchelo November 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    An interesting question:
    "With agriculture came surplus and with surplus came new social arrangements. Eventually, we built cities and far-ranging empires to support them. Human beings began building civilization. In doing so we set ourselves and the entire planet onto a new trajectory.

    But did anyone ever stop to ask if it was a good idea?"
  • MundusVultDecipiMundusVultDecipi November 2011 +1 -1
    This question reminds me of a wonderful book from the author of Ishmael; it's called 'Beyond Civilization'
  • slave November 2011 +1 -1
    @marchelo, I appreciate your sentiments but I do not think you are going far enough with your analysis. Being an informed consumer and living more responsibly at best delays the inevitable (notice I even qualified the word as it is impossible to live responsibly under an economic system that relies on people's ignorance among other things to sell and profit). In a competitive system that relies on ignorance (no information) and advertising / propaganda (i.e., misinformation) you as a middle class individual with some means can hardly get the information necessary to live responsibly (forget about the dirt poor). Even if you tried to minimize waste / pollution and increase recycling within this system it frees up the potential of the capitalists to do even more harm (i.e., to wast and pollute, etc.) as such activities ultimately are motivated by the profit motive. Similarly, if you do volunteering work to help the refuses of capitalists (e.g., the poor and downtrodden) you free them up even more of their responsibility to do harm and add to their refuses - like giving them another tax break. So it is like the saying - the way to hell is paved with good intentions.

    Sustainability efforts within the framework of Capitalism (a competitive system ultimately dependent on short-term and by definition unsustainable measures for its ultimate goal of profit maximization) are counterproductive in the long-term as they at best delay the relentless destruction of habitat / biosphere. Only when such efforts are implemented in an economic system devoid of motives for short term private gain will sustainability become practical. The new economic system will be necessarily based on the principles of sustainability since our entire species and large amount of the bioshpere is under threat of extinction. Accordingly, the economic principles of the new economic system are "sustainable": common ownership (no commodities = no money)/ cooperative production / common shared exchange and distribution based on need, ability to produce, and lastly want.
  • marchelomarchelo November 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    @slave I thank you for your appreciation, but I fear you are misrepresenting my position. I demand the end of that which is unsustainable. In what way does this sentiment not go far enough?

    Beyond this misunderstanding, we seem to be in agreement on what good intentions are worth: Words are wind, but actions shape the world.
    I am curious how you arrive at the conclusion that sustainability efforts within the framework of Capitalism are counterproductive in the long-term. A few posts back I posted a link to Sungevity- here is a corporation working within the framework of Capitalism doing great long-term sustainable benefit. This is just one example of many Eco-conscious companies who have found a way to profit while promoting sustainability.
    So it is like the saying - don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Agrees: skoalbite

  • slave November 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    @marchelo, with all due respect I am not sure how I misunderstood your position. My position is that you may appear to be doing "good" in the smaller context (e.g., shorter time horizon, smaller geographical area) whereas doing "bad" for the larger context (i.e., corresponding longer term horizon, the planet, etc.). So for example you or even the company you mentioned (for profit or not) may be doing things that at first glance appear positive with respect to sustainability given the smaller context but considering that you live and work within the framework of capitalism, a global economic system, your doing "good" enables the rest of the system (and their profiteers) to do more harm at your cost (i.e., your labor and effort giving them more free reign for profit by cutting corners and not cleaning up after themselves). Sustainability as an ecological concept is about the larger perspective and context. So it is a matter of how you choose your reference point - and I argue it should be the largest reference point i.e., planet earth and the future generations and not you or I or this or that company (the "babies in the bathwater" in our little corner of the world). Another example would be if we forced local corporations to pollute and waste less raising the standards feeling successful only to find out that they pack and leave for places like Mexico, China, Africa where they do the same if not worse. Yet another is that if you help an unemployed worker get a job while because of the fixed number of positions and competition that meant denying the job to another equally qualified unemployed person (should we feel good about our "good" intentions?). Another example is all the charity organizations many of which are funded by the capitalists themselves, doing "good" but on balance doing "wickedly bad". etc. etc.

    I hope you understand my position. I am not denying that we should try to do "good" but we should first ask how that "good" is defined - especially our reference points with defining clear parameters of people (individuals and classes), time, place, etc. And if we see limits that are set upon the issue that are unacceptable (e.g., with reference to the limits set by capitalism as to the amount of real "good" that can be done as for example with regards to sustainability) then question if and when and how those limits can be extinguished to achieve a more positive framework to actualize the "good" in its broadest sense.

    By no means I would like to discourage you from your "good" deeds which are admirable. I just want those deeds to be much more effective without giving support to the wrecking machine of capitalism. Imagine living in a world of globally interconnected communes with common (i.e., equal) ownership of global land and resources, where you are confined to a physical space working cooperatively with other commune members with who you share your life / work / goods and resources. In such a setting you have no possibility of sending your waste or pollution elsewhere. You and fellow "communists" or "communalists" would have no choice but to minimize your wast and pollution, and maximize your recycling and waste management (and habitat management and restoration, energy conservation and efficiency, prevention, and other sustainable practices) - you would be living with the direct consequences of your actions. Such practices would become second nature because they would be part of the economic fabric of society (i.e. provide survival advantage for individual members) whereas under capitalism such efforts are mostly labored and require a counterculture consciousness for the same economic reasons.

    P.S. I am all for saving babies, including the many yet unborn.

    Agrees: marchelo