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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.
Attention Illinois ! 5-15 years in prison for recording arrest
  • gavemehope November 2011 +1 -1

    Alright, these people have officially lost their minds. In a country where our Government is taking every bribe they can to harbor criminals of a at least 30 year, and who knows how many trillions of dollars of PREMEDITATED FRAUD. Where the people who are protesting against the incomprehensible damage this causes to their lives and futures, end up with 4000 arrest, extremely unnecessary excessive force, and national coordinated raids, most likely at the hands of our government( which needs to be addressed by our media and government). While the same people who committed the fraud are allowed to drop economy destroying, bailout causing, debt bombs wherever they want, no matter if the laws were broken. Running around like John Dillinger who has paid off all the authorities so that they are not even given harsh words by the authorities for blowing up the whole world with an ego driven, short term gains, crack head addicted gambling problem.

    You would think they might consider they have overplayed their hand for whatever insane reason they are allowing these contradictions of justice and freedom to continue. Furthermore pretending and propagating they are not in an attempt to mitigate the sheer criminal, unfair, unjust actions. To begin to consider the motives behind doing all this, to apply critical thinking and question why is of absolute importance, and trying to avoid the explanation for these motives shows no good intentions as far as I can see.

    Then you see something like this. Everyone just forgets to mention laws that can land a person 15 years in jail for recording police business like unwarranted, unlawful, excessive pepper spraying, and night stick beating force, against peaceful protesters practicing their right to assemble against the things in their Government that have allowed, and are allowing Fraud, and corruption on this insane scale to continue unhindered.

    We do not pay taxes, pay these people's salaries to protect the criminal, wealthy, perpetrators of things that cause so much damage to our lives, and the security of this country, by way of collapse from fraud. Nor for a secret, all powerful police force of any kind to continue this absurd notion that the people do not have any privacy, or rights to the first amendment, while the the authorities, federal or state can practice whatever is deemed necessary in a insanely broad spectrum of a definition of "security" in a blanket of secrecy with absolutely no transparency. That is the opposite of what we pay taxes for, and is the opposite of a true free constitutional state. It is pure insanity.

    Maybe it's time to start a sanity party. Maybe even the Tea Party can get behind this one, and join us in a SaniTEA party. Because once you stop working for us, and start working for bribes from the crooks on Wall Street. It's time for the people to quit paying you for it. They have forgotten who they work for, and have forgotten our tax dollars are not some kind of license to do anything against the interest of this country, and the people of this country. Which all things described above are, and especially totalitarian laws like getting 15 years in prison for recording our public servants for any reason. They should have nothing to hide if they are serving us, and when compared to the lack of any attempts to even address the amount of fraud that has, and is occurring. That is the biggest threat to the security of this country as we speak, and trying to hide it. Well you should all be fired, and charged with a number of things. You have failed. This is not what we pay you for.

  • Sifujosh December 2011 +1 -1 (+2 / -0 )
    I believe we need an unarmed but trained Occupiers Security Force to intervene when the government has turned on the people. The constitution allows us to form a people's militia in just such an instance, but to prevent a full scale war, I propose we start a group that will stand by, willing and capable of disarming police officers if/when they assault unarmed innocent patriots. I am a close quarter combat instructor and USMC veteran, I am pushing hard for this on every message board I can find.

    If the government knows it can dissolve any real movement by arresting, harassing and abusing citizens because we stand on some absurd "non-violent" pretense; they will ALWAYS use violence to silence any dissent.

    that aside, i believe our government is broken. it either needs to be recreated entirely, or (at the very least) purged of EVERY career and repeat politician. The same dirty bastards moving against a government sponsored heath care system that THEY ALREADY ENJOY THE PLEASURE OF... FOR THEIR and THEIR FAMILIES ENTIRE LIVES AFTER ONE TERM IN OFFICE.
  • DurandusDurandus December 2011 +1 -1
  • slave December 2011 +1 -1
    @Sifujosh, I agree with your sentiments, though I believe the problem is even bigger than what you suggest; it is the economic system that breeds greed and corruption and the government representing it, no matter how much reform you try to impose on it even starting from scratch.

    "Non-violence" is a tactic, and every tactic has a time and place. At its present stage it exposes the violence of the state and its fascist nature behind the shallow facade of "democracy" or "representative republic". If the movement grows watch for the state repression and terrorism become more naked and desperate and "non-discriminate". After a period like that all bets are off as people will do whatever necessary to defend themselves against the state terrorists. Most recent case and point, Syria.

    Meanwhile, we must all try to stay fit and defend ourselves and each other because we need each other for the long haul. Our only true defense is our numbers and the quality of our relationships. We must all adopt security measures individually and as a movement defending the platform that lets us voice our concerns.

    I value your proposal and the service you may offer; I know that most veterans and many lower ranks of the military and even police will play an important role in the movement as they all come from the working class and most chose those careers out of necessity. However, I do not see how a group like you mentioned would be effective as it may just provoke the police to more brutal tactics. Once again the "non-violent" disobedience is meant to expose state oppression and brutality. At this time the best thing is to document the brutality as severe as it is and will be and use that sacrifice to expose the true violent nature of the state for the greater public. However, the usefulness of this tactic is based on the assumption that most don't know about the true violent nature of the state. Many especially among the working class are already aware of this. So I mean to imply that this tactic is eventually of limited use. The state will eventually lift its veil if necessary and pull out the guns. But we will keep feeding this state as long as we buy/sell, pay taxes, are employed (even "self-employed") as the state through the banks, businesses and corporations it represents siphons off our life energy in form of profit / capital to fund its repressive apparatus. So strategically, we need to be working on the economic front experimenting with an alternative to capitalism, a society / way of life / economic system that does not breed thieves / hypocrites / sociopaths / terrorists that suck our life energy dry and dead, even in name of "democracy" and "progress". Only that will ultimately ensure our victory.
  • DurandusDurandus December 2011 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )

    Agrees: Durandus

  • Sifujosh December 2011 +1 -1

    there is no getting around the importance of addressing the economic/monetary system that currently indoctrinates us at birth. As long as we are willing to allow a private bank to print money for the government, and as long as we (as a people) continue to fill ourselves via compulsive consumption....nothing will truly change.

    However, so long as the mainstream media is owned, controlled and censored by the same corporations buying out government and stealing from the is the average american to be made aware of these abuses by police and government agencies? As long as the media is able to present an edited news piece that manipulates the truth to its own agenda this enlightenment will never be.

    People are conditioned, as members of society, to respect and trust government officials and agencies almost without question. This is especially true with older and newly immigrated citizens...but it leaves very little room for discussion. A HUGE percentage of the population literally believes what they hear on their local news station as PURE TRUTH. Many believe that you are ALWAYS wrong when confronting a man with a badge, a judge, a politician, the president.

    Additionally, if we aren't preparing to defend ourselves and create some sort of unarmed security force, how will we ever be ready when this does change gears and the peaceful way has served its purpose in full?

    I believe that having a security force will only further allow us to live outside the mainstream of society. We can't establish barter systems, community gardens, local/community power sources etc. if the government knows it can send in armed Police to fragment and dissolve the movement with force.

    Also, when the people in government are collaborating and brainstorming on HOW to use police to keep the truth quiet, we have to stand poised against the said government. The people in power, on all levels of government, are more focussed on self-preservation than overhauling a "broken system." In their eyes, the system works just fine. They get to vote on bills/laws that directly benefit their bonuses and financial contributions from lobbyists. They get to use the working class public servants (police, military, national guard) AGAINST the people they "serve," whenever their corruption is identified and at risk of being exposed. They get to control air space to prevent proper media coverage of their actions. They get to extend medical and retirement benefits to themselves, that they prohibit the average American from receiving.

    Until there is a cohesive force, peaceful in nature but not complacent, willing to live OUTSIDE of the economic standards of our society AND stand up to physical violence (being used systematically to prevent a nationwide movement in any real number), we have no hope for true change.
  • slave December 2011 +1 -1
    @Sifujosh, I appreciate your thoughts and sentiments. Non-violence should not be viewed as a goal rather a temporary tactic (i.e., based on the current atmosphere you just described where the average conformist indoctrinated sheeple does not have any social consciousness and is easily intimidated). The value of it is to expose the brutality of the state confronted by reasonable demands and citizen action demonstrating the hypocrisy of its political assertions (e.g., "democracy", "republic", "constitutions", "bill of rights", "equality before the law", etc. etc.) and its illegitimacy. However, this does not mean not defending ourselves. I am just implying that they will have the bigger weapons that we could not match literally. But as we are at the right side of the fight, we have to be prepared to lose many battles if we want to win the war that most of us are just becoming conscious of (i.e., the class war to establish a new economic system devoid of exploitation).

    Establishing a new economic system practically implies addressing all our survival needs (among which "security" is definitely prominent) outside of the existing capitalist system and its state institutions. Many of us have found it the hard way that even when we ask for the "police" to help us out in our daily lives we end up feeling sorry / disappointed / and sometimes in bigger trouble. Many more are no stranger to the arbitrary behavior and brutality of state's "security" apparatus including the police's primary mission effectively serving as "security" for the rich man / for capital. The police OWS confrontations directed by the state further verifies such notions among the public. We do need an alternate security system but how we organize and implement it will tell much about where we are going (just as we try to find alternative ways of providing our other survival needs). In other words, it will be another representation of our goal and aspirations.

    If we are after reforms (i.e., leaving private ownership and the profit motive intact) usually a sectarian / "individualistic" approach is adopted, in practice either the issue is not considered (i.e., left to the individual participants) or at best left to a specialized group. This would be in effect a "reactionary" approach - waiting for an incident and then reacting to it (often falling into the trap of over-reaction or inappropriate reaction because the thoughts / ideas / means of reaction are adopted from the existing status-quo paradigm which cannot withstand the superior forces and apparatus of the state). In the worst case scenario this could lead to an armed conflict where at such an early stage of the movement with inadequate broader public participation and organization would be suicidal.

    If we are instead interested in replacing capitalism with an alternative economic system (based on common ownership, cooperative production, and common or shared exchange and production) our approach would be decidedly different. We would adopt a common / shared / cooperative approach to our security needs, effectively encouraging people to share the responsibility and rewards by staying as fit as possible and learning and teaching defensive techniques and maneuvers based on their ability along with tactical instructions as part of the overall systemic approach to the struggle. Such activities should be incorporated into the daily routine of the movement just as debates, GA, food / health / shelter and other measures are being adopted. The details of this plan should be discussed and applied based on local conditions (e.g., skills, abilities, political environment, police tactics, etc.) preferably based on an experimental approach improving the security status and preparing for the future battles.

    As we contemplate means of growing the reach of OWS and defend its occupations ultimately with the aim of unrooting the economic system that perpetuates the gross abuses we must concomitantly build an economic system that would replace the old - one that is represented by our means (as crucible of our aims and aspirations). If we have no fundamentally different means congruent with the goal of equality, we'd be doomed to represent the old system and continue exploitation in a different format even if we "succeed". We should use the recent political setbacks to reflect on the root of OWS's weaknesses. I believe only by a more systemic approach (including the security concerns) we can advance much further. One that is centered on establishing a new economic system based on common ownership, cooperative action / production, shared / common exchange and distribution based on need and ability to produce, with intensive use of socially funded experimental science and technology, implemented in a communal existence, in active network engagement with the broader society and other communes locally to globally, exercising principles of direct action and direct democracy. We have all the elements of this system, all we need is to systemically apply them.

    Thanks for raising this important issue. I welcome your further suggestions.
  • Sifujosh December 2011 +1 -1

    hello, i'm sorry I have not gotten back to you, I can't seem to keep track of all the messages "mentioning me." First and foremost it is vitally important that my proposed security force is highly skilled but UNARMED. If we become a movement of people trained in unarmed hand-to-hand combat the government would be hard pressed to escalate force. I do believe with tactics, numbers and the proper training, we can adequately defend ourselves against riot shields, tear gas, rubber bullets, batons etc.

    A modern revolution, clearly cannot be achieved through an all-out war against a tyrannical and corrupt government. No matter how many guns the citizens have stockpiled, we would never be able to compete with the technology and scope of weaponry the government has available to them.

    To address your concerns over the economic issues facing us, I believe the movement needs to have clear goals and timelines on how we can start independent societies operating within, but outside of the mainstream. If we have our own security force, the other skilled members/participants can begin a barter system that allows our independence. I think a property that can be made communal needs to be identified and targeted for use first. A community garden, solar and wind power and anything else necessary to exist in a self-sustained capacity could be built and utilized here.

  • slave December 2011 +1 -1

    Nice to hear from you. OWS is a rag tag group of people with various levels of economic fortitude and political consciousness. I just visited several of the encampments in 3 different states in the west coast and not surprisingly found that the physical core of the movement is composed of the homeless and very marginalized people. These people are especially weak and vulnerable in every sense of the word and unfortunately outside of the ones already in prison represent our future under the escalating oppressive and repressive self-destructive capitalism. Here we have the lowest of the working class and the strategic core of the movement. Whatever we propose have to sooner than later incorporate them into the plans and every plan has to be assessed its practicality and value based on how it would affect the quality of life for this base - the base of our global movement. As such I look back at such groups as the Black Panthers in the 60's who initially understood the importance of a systemic empowerment focused on economic cohesion / independence and cooperation (e.g., providing various survival services to their members and the base of their group i.e., the black working class) and included a prominent role for a rather special security force (albeit open to armed struggle if necessary).

    I think there are several lessons that can be drawn from their experience. One is that it was very effective in its initial form and that is what caused it to be attacked so viciously including the killing of several of its leaders including Fred Hampton leading to gradual decline of their effectiveness. This exposed a weakness in their organization which was based on their hierarchical structure. The state also took advantage of their openness to armed conflict by trying to paint them as violent and ultimately they used as open license to brutalize them. This also demonstrated the necessity for "peaceful disobedience" using the violence of the state to expose their illegitimacy.

    The purely survival economic measures of the group aimed at alleviating poverty (e.g., the Free Breakfast Program for Children, health services, advocacy for various survival needs, etc.) were not systemic and dependent on charitable donations and increasingly a struggle within capitalism by advocacy for crumbs unable to sever the dependent ties to the system of exploitation - becoming similar to non-profit advocacy community organizations. This exposed the impractical reformist (top-down) approach of the group again a manifestation of its hierarchical roots. The foundation of the exploitation i.e., private ownership (and consequently profit) was left intact at the end further enabling capitalism in exploitation while applying bandages on its vicious wounds by charity work.

    My point is that we have to be careful tending the various needs of the movement. We must take stock of the strategic base of our movement (i.e., the lower working class), understand our affinity with this base (i.e., our economic future if status quo capitalism persists), devise a systematic approach that will address all its survival needs (but including a priority order, tactical and strategic plans, sensitive to local and global issues), and not be co-opted by the system and state providing services that the rich capitalists would further profit from. All this to say that we must first have something worth defending with such rigor as you speak of. Only a systematic change / an alternative to capitalism (encompassing all its economic / political / cultural / spiritual / moral / ideological abuses and manifestations) will make such struggle worthwhile.

    Our tactics (means) will necessarily reflect our goal. If we believe that we need a systemic change (i.e., an alternative to capitalism and all its institutions starting with private ownership and competitive profiteering) we will adopt a systemic approach based on contributions related to our various abilities and resources that then become common property off of which we work cooperatively and communally including in the field of security by a comprehensive approach building up the physical and mental abilities of our members and adopting tactics and strategies based on our make-up / resources / local to global challenges.

    OWS also has a significant number of reformers who I am sure would take a different approach including with regards to security measures based on their expectations that capitalism can be reformed. So I think it is not reasonable to think that a uniform approach could be adopted that would satisfy everyone. I believe it would be left to the motivation and resourcefulness of individual / local OWS groups to lead by example showing what is achievable and motivating the rest to follow. The consensus model can potentially hamper an active minority (or even majority) but has its usefulness creating a broader cohesion and extending its margins to the broader society. We need to think of activity in various levels, including working in affinity groups that could work based on common vision / approach in a social competition with other such groups all under the umbrella of OWS which is effectively a public space for interaction between such groups / approaches.

    I liked the ideas expressed in your last paragraph. However, I believe it requires we learn to share actively. This has to become a "cultural" norm (i.e., economic norm) for us in accessing all our survival needs (e.g., food, water, health, shelter, energy, education, etc.) developing the rudimentary skills and experiences needed to move to larger projects with more risk / rewards as in your suggestions. In the security sector for example developing neighborhood watch group and extending it to fitness and self-defense measures and extending it to the more systemic economic and political issues underlying the security concerns might be productive. Gradually we could start occupying neighborhoods extending people's interrelationships and common ownership. This can then be extended to further occupation of the still few "public institutions" (e.g., parks already started and other public lands, schools, libraries, etc.). Next the bailed out industries (e.g., banks, auto factories, etc.) and related properties (e.g., foreclosed lands and homes) should be targeted for repossession along with land, factories, technology and machinery, real estate already abandoned. This process then can continue until every property is part of the commons and put to public use helping the growing number of the dispossessed as the private model crumbles.
  • Sifujosh December 2011 +1 -1
    @slave @durandus hello gents. I yield to for now. I believe they are leagues ahead of me, but on a similar course to where I was headed.