27 Oct 2011

Deep Green Resistance 'Occupy the Machine – Stop the 1%, Literally'


Deep Green Resistance is not my way of thinking however the letter is worth a read!


Occupy the Machine – Stop the 1%, Literally


Our Bodies Will Be Our Demand


Open Letter to the Occupy Movement


The Occupy Movement is beautiful. We support it and though we are
small, we are participating all over the country. We invite all
occupiers to read, give feedback, and if you feel moved to do so to
present this at a General Assembly or committee meeting near you.


We invite you to imagine, as many of you already probably have, if
thousands of people occupied local refineries, roads, ports, oil and
mining extraction sites, etc. – in other words, imagine if people
occupied the locations where the 1% destroy the land and exploit
humans, all for profit.


Imagine their stock prices falling, their cash flow being interrupted,
their ability to get loans and/or expand “production” – a euphemism
for converting living beings into dead products – finished.


Imagine if we were able to stop them, stop the 1%. Literally. Not
symbolically.
We think it can be done if we all do it together. We
think it can be done if we all figure out how to do it and if we are
willing to make the necessary sacrifices, together.


Here’s one way we could start:


Though we are all part of the 99%, not all of us are impacted the same way.


First and foremost we recognize that nonindigenous people in the US
are occupying stolen land in an ongoing genocide that has lasted for
centuries.


We affirm our responsibility to stand with indigenous communities who
want support, to risk our lives, and give everything we can to protect
the land without which none of us have anything.


We also recognize and stand in solidarity with communities of people
of color who are also disproportionately impacted by environmental
racism, capitalism, and a system of white supremacy.


Our focus will be to stand in solidarity with local indigenous
communities and people of color communities in struggle – ask if they
would like support and what that support would look like, and share
some version of this overall strategy.


Then, based on this information and in collaboration with local
communities if all agree, each Occupy General Assembly would decide
what they want to target. Or they would call on people to form local
affinity groups and those groups would decide the local targets on
which they would focus.


Many local affinity groups could conceivably attempt to occupy
multiple targets. Strategically, however, it will likely be more
successful if occupiers focus on one or two major targets – such as
Tar Sands refineries, fracking, coal plants etc. The idea is that if
we can successfully shut down a few major targets all over the
country, one or two targets per region, people more broadly will see
the power they all have and then more targets can be taken on.


To be clear, what we’re envisioning here would mean a massive
escalation. It would mean hundreds of thousands of people all over the
country leaving behind school, jobs, family, and comfort, to really go
for it. To not settle for less than victory. To leave behind symbolic
action for good.


One obstacle to making this happen, however, is that as soon as we
announce where we would occupy, they would come and would likely
remove us immediately, especially if we don’t have enough people
there. They won’t want the 1% to lose a damn penny. So, we don’t tell
them where we’re going ahead of time. But if we don’t say where we’re
going ahead of time, then we can’t get people out by the thousands –
and we’re gonna need thousands of people to make this work.


So, here’s an idea: We announce, big time, that some of us are
planning on occupying the sites of direct exploitation and
destruction. And we say that we’ll need as many of the people who love
the Occupy Movement and who are sick and tired of being sick and
tired, to come out decisively and to not plan on going home for as
long as it takes.


We’d ask all those people to start preparing right away, have their
stuff packed, tents, food, money, and a plan for how they can
participate and be able to stay for as long as it takes (we’d
encourage people to ask their community to support them so they could
go for as long it takes) so that as soon as the local Occupy groups
would announce targets, perhaps through text messages and other means,
those people would be ready to go to the targets at a moment’s notice.
This kind of tactic has been used successfully in the past to get lots
of people to a location for a blockade while keeping the cops on the
run and always one step behind. If we can get enough people to the
different locations before the state gets there, we have a chance at
holding it until even more people can come.


If there are enough of us who are willing to make the necessary
commitment and sacrifice, we believe we need nothing more than our
bodies, community support, and the will to keep going to:


Occupy the Machine – Stop the 1%, Literally


Here are some other points that could be helpful:


1) Start Together – The key as we see it would be to start on the same
day so that they’re overwhelmed with people going to different
locations. They may seem all-powerful sometimes, but they can’t be
everywhere at once.


2) Sustained Blockades – this would mean doing what Occupy does so
well, stay, day after day after day after day… as long as we can go.
For every person they drag away to jail, we must bring ten more to
replace them every day. We will cost them as much money as we can with
our bodies and our determination. Blockaders will blockade both inside
and outside of targets when possible. And they will blockade roads and
ports to stop supply lines.


3) Demonstrators/Community Encampments – for those who cannot
blockade, the role of the community will be crucial. Demonstrators
encamped on the target’s land or nearby will provide support to the
blockaders and will be crucial to success.


4) Building Communities of Nonviolent Resistance – For those involved
in this who lack a strong, unified community, we must very
deliberately build the concrete infrastructure for a community of
resistance to support these struggles. This is already happening in
many ways. But a systematic approach to creating networks of people
who are devoted to supporting occupiers could be the key to success.
This will mean legal defense funds and a network of lawyers who will
work pro bono or for a reduced fee. This will also mean arranging
transition housing – places for people to stay after they are released
if they are jailed for long periods of time. It will mean relentless
fundraising so that those who lose their jobs, take significant time
off from work, or who go to prison for long periods will have funds to
support themselves and provide for their families. It will mean
creating free medical care networks so that people in the movement
will have access to health care. It will mean creating food networks
to provide food for those who are protesting day after day, and for
families of those who are imprisoned or lose their jobs. It will mean
creating networks of childcare. It will mean creating a transportation
network, including carpools, donations of frequent flyer miles,
movement cars and vans, caravans, and buses, to be available for the
kind of sustained civil disobedience actions we will need. And last
and most important it will mean simple companionship – the
incalculable gift of camaraderie and friendship, the healing nature of
laughter and hugs, the deliberate creation of a network of communities
of love spread far and wide – healers, body workers, artists,
musicians, actors, facilitators, counselors, those called by spirit,
nonviolent communicators, restorative justice facilitators – all of us
will be needed – to see us all through the hard times that will come
if we do this kind of sustained direct action.


5) Jail Solidarity – rather than trying to construct civil
disobedience actions so people spend the least amount of time in jail
and cooperate with the police and court system to the full extent, we
will follow the lead of those who have come before us. Instead, those
who can, will use jail solidarity as a tactic. Jail solidarity means
that those who get arrested will not bring identification with them,
won’t give their name, and will not cooperate while in jail. As more
and more people are arrested, the jailers and those they protect will
not know what to do. At first they will threaten, try to divide, offer
deals, or even beat people or put them in solitary confinement to
break their wills. But those who will get arrested will know this
going in and will commit to maintaining their solidarity. They can’t
jail us all and if we don’t cooperate the system will not work, if
there are thousands of us. Their actions will further highlight the
illegitimacy and cruelty of this system that lets the CEO of BP walk
free but will jail and do worse to those who are only trying to
protect life. Jail solidarity combined with more arrests,
demonstrations, encampments, community involvement, and a network of
communities of nonviolent resistance offering material support are
unstoppable.


6) Escalation: A Promise – Too often when we don’t succeed, we don’t
escalate. Too often when they escalate their attacks against the
planet and all living beings, we don’t escalate. (Have you noticed
that all of our victories are temporary and defensive, and all our
losses permanent and offensive?) No more. If our actions do not
succeed, we promise to escalate. We will regroup, reorganize, and go
for more than before, risking more and holding nothing back. We
promise they will lose more money and we will get stronger and fight
harder.


This is our chance. We can use our energy and love to stop the 1% who
are literally killing us, stealing from us, and destroying the only
home we have. Our bodies will be our demands. And with our bodies, we
will stop the 1% together, permanently.


These are just thoughts. Not a plan. But we hope it’s the start of a
conversation about how we can do some version of this. The 1% don’t
really own or control anything. They do what they do because they have
guns and we allow them to. But that can all change.


With love and resistance,


Deep Green Resistance Movement

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