2012: OWS at a Crossroads

January 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm (Uncategorized)

The meeting takes place this Sunday. If you’re in the New York area, consider attending.

As the year is ending, the Occupy movement can look back with pride. A lot was accomplished in just a few months time. Our protest has broken the silence on the pain that the system we live under inflicts on the vast majority of the population. It has shifted the debate. It has spread throughout the country and beyond. It has created a space in which all voices can express themselves, in which people talk to each other about their lives and relate it to what’s happening to society. It has protected and expanded this space with creative direct democracy-methods. It has seen itself in continuation of, and in solidarity with, the protest movements in Egypt, Greece, Spain and everywhere against a global system of injustice. And its essential slogan : “Occupy !” gives a sense of direction to our movement : Let’s occupy our world, make it work for the needs of the 99% !

To occupy our world, we must expropriate its current owners, dubbed the 1% but more appropriately described as “capital.” But not everyone in the Occupy movement agrees with this conclusion. So now that the movement enters a new phase, and everyone is talking about what the next step will be, it finds itself at a crossroads. We are all bound together by our outrage over the injustice this system inflicts but we draw different conclusions. Some think our aim must be to reform the system, to change the laws to protect politicians from the corrupting influence of money. Others like us think that, as long as the capitalist core of the system survives, it won’t matter how democratically politicians are elected, they will always be bound by higher laws, the laws of capital. Congress, the Democratic party and its trade union allies, the cops, the mayors, governors etc, are all integral parts of the soulless machine that structures society in the interests of capital. They can never represent the interests of the 99%.

In 2012, the spectacle of the electoral circus will suck up a lot of media-attention and it threatens to suck up part of the Occupy movement as well. The challenge to those who refuse to be co-opted by the very forces against whose policies the movement has risen, who don’t want to become foot soldiers for progessive Democrats or the unions, is to pose an alternative perspective to the movement.

How to concretize the battle cry “Occupy!” ? How to resist the forces of co-optation ? How to reach out to the ‘99%’ in the workplaces, whose involvement is vital to our movement ? How will the deepening of capitalism’s crisis in the coming year increase the pressure and affect the spread of the Occupy movement ?

These and other questions, the anti-capitalists in the Occupy movement need to discuss. We invite them to do so at an open meeting, on January 8th.

January 8, 2012
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn
(three blocks from the Atlantic Avenue Subway Stop)

Issued by : a group of anti-capitalist activists
For more information, write to : Against Profit NYC

1 Comment

  1. Richard S. said,

    I went to this, having been informed about the meeting by IP’s “Sander” and then by you (thank you, Comrade Fischer 🙂 ). I got there half an hour late after missing the Staten Island Ferry by three minutes, but I caught most of it, and the discussion was good. It was quite refreshing to hear certain perspectives from people regarding the Occupy movement that I had’t heard much of within the movement itself, including valid anti-capitalist critiques about the limitations of the prevailing approaches and strategies (while always keeping in mind that this movement has been a very positive development overall)…

    But, of course, I’ve been in groups that had conversations coming from the same general political perspectives before, and it will be interesting to see if this group can come up with some plans that go beyond the theoretical discussion (much as I appreciated that).

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