Intellectuals, Academics, and Artists Call To Support OWS Anniversary Actions
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is holding a three-day convergence of education, celebration and resistance from September 15-17 to mark the one-year anniversary of the movement. The eyes of the world will be on New York City during this period. We, the undersigned, are writing you today as fellow intellectuals, academics, and artists to ask you to show your support for OWS by joining us in the squares and the streets. Whether or not you will be in New York, we ask you to sign and circulate this letter in a spirit of solidarity.
Over the past year, OWS has helped refocused the world’s attention on economic injustice. It has transformed the cultural landscape and expanded the political imagination through ideas of the 99%, the 1%, occupation, general assemblies, direct democracy, and more. Better yet, it has offered hope, a new means of radical critique, and a place from which to advocate for fundamental rather than cosmetic change.
It’s time for those who are privileged enough to think and write and create and teach for a living—particularly those of us with full-time faculty positions or secure careers—to step up and be counted. We have earned academic and cultural capital from espousing radical positions. Now is the time to lend our support in visible ways to the commitment shown by the Occupy movement and to help it grow and evolve.
Already on the agenda for Year Two:
• The continuation of local, community-based Occupy campaigns focusing on everything from pushing our cities to sever ties with Goldman Sachs to fighting for free education and healthcare for the 99%, to supporting workers’ struggles.
• An expansion of Occupy our Homes, which has successfuly prevented foreclosures and evictions across the country.
• Strike Debt: a project to highlight and mobilize around predatory debt practices and build a debt resistance movement. Debt affects us all (even if we are not debtors ourselves), not least of these concerns is $1 trillion in student debt: these are the people we work with every day.
• Continuing to support campaigns against stop-and-frisk police harassment of people of color and the politics of mass incarceration.
• A renewed commitment to connecting the dots between Wall Street and environmental disasters, especially the regime of fossil-fuel capitalism that is destroying the bases of planetary life itself.
If you will be in New York for S17 please participate in the OWS anniversary convergence:
• Saturday the 15th, join a thematic assembly, participate in a direct action training, or do a teach-in/performance as part of the OWS convergence at Washington Square. At 7:30pm, come to Judson Memorial Church for the book launch of the Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual.
• Sunday the 16th, march with the Guitarmy and Tom Morello against the Spectra Energy fracking pipeline to the OWS Anniversary Concert at Foley Square. End the day with Occupy Rosh Hashanah at Zuccotti Park or S17 action orientation.
• Monday the 17th, at 7am, join OWS at a designated assembly point in one of its four zones around the New York Stock Exchange (99% Bloc, Eco Bloc, Edu Bloc & Debt Bloc). In whichever zone you choose, join ACT-UP, Vocal New York and others and participate in a nonviolent civil disobedience (the People’s Wall) in the tradition of the Civil Rights movement. Or form an affinity group with your friends and do creative actions in that zone (99 Revolutions). At 10am, Storm Wall Street with OWS eco-activists at Bowling Green. At 2pm, join the debt assembly at South Ferry. End the 17th at 6pm with the Popular Assembly, a massive report-back from all OWS and allied campaigns focused on moving into Year Two.
• The week following the 17th, offer a class or other event at the Free University from September 18-22.
• Sunday the 23rd, join the Strike Debt Assembly at 12pm in Washington Square Park to explore the possibilities around uniting debtors from around the world.
If you will not be in New York:
• Please sign this letter and let others know that that you support the Occupy movement.
• Donate to the OWS S17 Action Resource Fund.
• Find your local Occupy groups through interoccupy.net and plug in.
Prove the corporate media are wrong when they say Occupy is over. If you don’t like what you see at the moment, get involved. Help shape the national and global conversation from the bottom up.
Join the movement again, or for the first time. Make it known that we not only advocate radical change in theory; we are committed to making change in practice.
(in personal capacity, institutions provided for reference only)