Dear Occupy Diary

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Dear Occupy Diary

Post by ravenpaige on Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:45 pm

Ok, it occurred to me that I am missing a great opportunity to journal my experiences with a local Occupy and to get some feedback (maybe) in the process, so I'm setting up this thread to record, and if anyone else has experiences to share on the same subject, please chime in.

For the record, I'm working with the Occupy Elkhart group in Elkhart, IN, USA. Elkhart is a pretty small city, population of 51,000 in 2010. Heretofore, its claim to fame was as the "RV capital of the world" (no joke). That pretty much changed with the meltdown which resulted in many RV manufacturing plants locally closing, and the city and county with an unemployment rate that, at one point, was nearing 17%.

Ahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elkhart,_IndianaI

Around Jan 1, 2009, MSNBC announced that they would follow the city of Elkhart for a year to see how it weathered through the financial crisis. You can read about MSNBC's "Elkhart Project" here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31369315/ns/us_news-the_elkhart_project/

Ok, I won't go into right now how I got involved in the local Occupy Elkhart, or try to catch up to explain all of the personalities involved. I hope this will come out in the course of the journal. I will say that, when Occupy Elkhart started here, I tweeted MSNBC and told them that "Elkhart has a new project" and asked if they were interested. We haven't heard from MSNBC directly, but Rachael Maddow did mention (just barely, but still) Occupy Elkhart on one of her broadcasts. So yea, I guess we're famous :-)

I'm going to try and be disciplined and write a bit every day, but no promises. I'm pretty busy. Or, if enough people say "shut up," I likely will.

Tomorrow I will put down more, but for now, I'm dead tired. I spent 3 hours earlier tonight dancing with a sign at the plaza. And had the time of my life.
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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by ravenpaige on Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:23 am

11-17-11

Things are finally quiet. It's almost 10 at night, but the house has quieted down, so a note or two.

My house is always busy now. I have so many opinions, so many voices. It's fun, but a bit overwhelming.

Today, we had a rally sponsored by Move On, targeted to the 99%. I'm the only one from Occupy Elkhart that showed up. That was fine, and they were nice people (all 5 of them that showed up), but we're not about to be co-opted by them, at least in my city.

They have no idea of how to "do it rite."

Then there's Adam. He came to Occupy Elkhart a day or two after we started and keeps coming around. He's a wirey, young, 20-30ish guy who wears a Guy Fawkes mask on the back of his head and hugged everyone at our first GA. He works the crowd (of the cars passing by) by holding his sign upside down. When people gesture that he should "turn it around," he says, "yeah, that's what we're saying. We need to turn it around."

So, I talked with Adam a few days ago about Occupy, plans, and the fear that was holding us back.

I'll just leave this Dox here. I have tried to pull this into a coherent post, but I just can't summarize. So here is what is: Fuck Fear; I will live and never stop.

Adam: He had this idea. It was kind of a virologist idea. He believed

that you could cure racism and hate... literally cure it, by

injecting music and love into people's lives. When he was

scheduled to perform at a peace rally, a gunman came to his

house and shot him down. Two days later he walked out on that

stage and sang. When they asked him why - He said, "The people,

who were trying to make this world worse... are not taking a

day off. How can I? Light up the darkness."
Bob Marley

Me: I only have a tiny, little light. But I am trying.

Troll: Alt + F4 is how you fix the problem.

Adam: how small are the stars in the sky? but their power is the same

as the sun

Me; k, actually the stars are HUGE But I get the analogy.

Adam: thank ya LoL I tend to be theatrical
but from a distant eye they are small
mass complilation of thoughts of physics and relativity

NMe: Here's a chat I had with a friend who is very against the

Occupys. Would love some feedback/suggestions on the best

response:
John: Maybe some of them. The few I have talked to were frankly

not people I enjoy.
I would always be open to others.
I have met a few lately who remind me of my days as a 'hippy'.

Me: Well, I don't know who you've talked to, but I do know

you've talked to me. Others...are amazing...and some not

so...how could it be otherwise?

John: Fond memories, but not proud ones.
I have outgrown such crap.
The world is much better and beautiful and amazing than they

see.
(the few I have talked to)
The workings even of our current society richer than they

imagine.
They have fallen into whining and acting out instead of

learning, understanding and making things work.
On the other hand, I have been dealing and watch people who are

really making a difference.
By working with and shaping what we have to work with.
You "occupy" movement reminds me of Jerry Rubin.
Destroy it all because it sucks and then reconstruct something

better from the ashes.
I don't believe history teaches us that that works.

a small spark is exponantially expanded as it is met with the

proper fuels into a mass explosion and breaks time space and

the world

Adam: I have alot to say in response but unfortunately I am tired. I

can say, we are not pestulant nihilist who want to burn the

world, we ask the people responsible to accept the blame for

their crimes and demand a reform to a broken system that is

based on capitalism as opposed to democracy that is for and by

the people.... not the dollar
Me: I understand. I did respond to these allegations, I hope well.

And I know you are tired (and justified). Thank you so much for

your energy. That means a lot. I hope we can talk sometime.

Adam: I'll be out there as much as I can. As per my views on greed, I

will give as much back as I can but not more than it will take

to keep myself. I'm usually there around 515pm weekdays,

weekends are sparatic. I am on vacation from work next week but

I have family stuff planned so no schedule LoL guess it will be

pure anarchy when I am there
*on when I am there
LoL

Me: Thank you

thank you, i have cried myself to sleep many nights over this.

I am HONORED to have people beside me who believe we can change

the world. you are a person and you have a voice, let it be

heard
everyone who occupies in any way shape or form

Me: I've also cried many times. But you, and all of you, give me

hope. Hope cancels fear. That's all I know.

7:58pm
fuck fear, i will live and never stop

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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by Malevolance on Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:11 pm

Awesome. I like this. I've done what I can to be involved in the Occupy here in my home town as well. Just keep in mind there is so much more to do than to be out there involved with the occupants. There is video that must be spread, news reports to spread, news stations to call and harass about spinning the happenings and purposes. There are banks to cripple by withdrawels and by sending them roofing shingles back in their pre postage envelopes that they send in their credit card junk mail adds. There are congressmen, lobyists, representatives etc to pressure through mail, email and telephone. There is research that needs to be done to determine the best candidate who will most aggressively support our issues to vote in and which office holders to vote out. There are political parties to create. And more.
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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by ravenpaige on Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:33 am

Yeah, that's the problem. I keep trying to tell various people that it's not about "place" but about presence. Or, it's about creating a safe space to speak. Or just about F..ing getting things done.

The message is a little muddled at this point. Part of the reason for my diary. I'd really like to know what to change...how to get thru....

Yesterday, I went to sleep and awoke to a shitstorm on the FB group; one member bitchin out another (running for office) member because he worried they were trying to co-opt. Others saying, "shut up," in various forms. I do love the open forum, but I wonder sometimes if we are too open.

Ah, well, we'll move beyond this. I think the important message is to "occupy everywhere, everyway."
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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by ARTnonymous on Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:10 am

for sure. I am living it too, my humble little town's occupy is so severly swamped by our enourmous + (very well fed) hobo contingent, and the poor hippy slant of every person here falls perfectly in line with every "dirty hippy commie" misconception and mis-characterization of the Occupy movement, yet still its so well-meant, so well-intentioned.... even the filthiness, the alcoholism, hobo-fights, the squaler has its place... thus "Occupy sanitation!!" is my little niche... attending (or trying to) meetings of the municipal service workers' union.... trying to get my social services agency I'm interning for to lend help since our homeless popluation is swept up in occupy, obscuring the messAGE BY their anti-political merely "let us tent" agenda, yet it is they who we occupy for, truly "they' ARE us....

much hope... much rage at the injustice...then I practice channeling the rage into the ABSTRACT, and the Book.
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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by ravenpaige on Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:22 pm



Impressionism.
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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by ravenpaige on Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:29 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFulWbrGjAc&feature=share

Message from Anonymous re: pepper-spray cops, etc.

Things are getting rather serious elsewhere. Here, things are really pretty quiet. I guess one reason is we just don't have the numbers to be perceived as any kind of threat. Instead, we mostly get ridiculed. And then there are those who write letters to the editor ridiculing us for NOT doing the ridiculous things that some of the other Occupys are accused of (for which they're ridiculed).

Yeah.

About the only "negatives" we get are the people who, when we're holding up signs, drive by yelling "get a job." Oh, and there's my banner holder, a kind up small fruit-stand onto which I've hung our "Occupy Elkhart" banner. Even though this is pretty heavy, it has been known to get blown over by a strong wind, but I've been noticing lately that pretty much every morning when I get up it's been "blown over" again. Except we haven't had much in the way of wind lately. Ok, so I go out every morning and stand it back up again.

I guess they've decided it's more fun than cow tipping: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow_tipping
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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by ravenpaige on Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:45 am

Ok, if anybody tries to go to the link I posted above, you'll see it's been removed for promoting "hate speech." Here's the funny thing, I certainly don't ever advocate violence in any way and I did just review the video once (and still waking up at the time, so maybe I missed it), but I was kind of surprised that they pulled this. From what I remember of the video, it was essentially a DOX of the pepper-spray cop, similar to this (but in video form): http://99anon.tumblr.com/post/13023061194/d0x-uc-davis-pepper-spraying-officer-lt-john-pike

So, my question is: Did anyone else view this video before it was pulled and can tell me if I just missed the hate-speech part of it? Or are we starting to see the beginning of censoring DOX as "hate speech"?

And I guess I'm also wondering if DOX do fall into the category of hate speech? Where, exactly, is the line? I guess I'm torn on that, and I certainly didn't appreciate all of the not-so-veiled threats of violence that we have seen, for example, during the Casey Anthony trial. But where's the line? Any thoughts?
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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by ravenpaige on Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:41 pm

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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by The Dude on Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:52 pm

Thanks Diary.

Keep posting.
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Anon culture and cointelpro

Post by ravenpaige on Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:49 am

We all know that OWS is worried about getting co-opted by a political party or other group. On my city's Occupy FB group, we have had one political hopeful, in particular, who has joined the group and has been pretty actively campaigning on the group. I've met with this guy a few times and I honestly think he's supportive of the Occupy movement and, in general, what it stands for. But there's also a huge disconnect between what I guess I'll call "normal" politics and the new politics that the Occupys seem to be shaping.

I give Anonymous the credit and/or blame for this.

Last night on the group was the perfect example. Someone on the group had posted something about the politician, something like "I really appreciate Andrew's grasp on the current problems" or something similar. This was just an individual posting an opinion, but it did give Andrew an opening to post something about his ideas or platform, and so he did.

Then another member of the group, Adam, posted something about being concerned that Andrew and/or his party was trying to take over our Occupy. Andrew objected, Adam persisted, others started chiming in, and so it all devolved pretty quickly into a shitstorm. Well anyone from WITP knows how that goes.

So I'm watching this, and putting in my own 2 cents, when suddenly I get a PM from Andrew the politician saying "Hey, I think this Adam is working for my opponent. I've got a lot of experience spotting them." Cointelpro.

Now Adam is one of our group members that I tried (rather unsuccessfully, I might add) to describe earlier. He's youngish, maybe 30, huge grin, and can typically be seen on the corner wielding his protest sign like a well-tuned weapon of lulz, Guy Fawkes mask strategically placed on the back of his head. He's been coming to the GAs since the very beginning, and he's been pretty active at the marches, protests, whatever. So if I had to choose just one person from our group that I would say is definitely Anon, Adam would be it. It's not just the Guy Fawkes mask. It's his attitude, practically oozing from every pore: "Fuck fear. I will live and never stop."

So when Andrew says he's really "quite sure" this guy is cointelpro, I could hardly keep from laughing. I told Andrew, "No, I'm pretty sure he's just Anon. It's a different culture, you know."

Explaining the hivemind to a NORP, actually, a superNORP, as I expect all politicians must be, is not an easy task. First, even using the term "hivemind" automatically gives the wrong impression, as I found when I told Andrew he just needed to understand the hivemind.

"What?" he asked. "Borg?"

"No, no," I typed. "Completely different."

And, as usual, when I'm trying to explain or describe something about Anonymous, I ended up quoting FFAD/Telemachos. He seems to have a much better understanding than I do:

FFAD/Telemachos wrote:If we truly develop a hivemind community that calls itself "Anonymous", then we need to understand and agree upon what Anonymous really means, because really, all of our culture and philosophy, all of our actions, arise from that single point of meta-agreement. Anonymous as it was originally conceived only truly exists within the collective intelligence of those who hold this idea in common. This is a hard and fast rule. Anonymous only exists in the hivemind, and can only be understood in the plural sense, of those who are self-aware Anonymous.

Anonymous is an idea that anyone can have and share in, and even have their own idea about. If there is a disagreement about what Anonymous is, then with this meta-agreement, we have a basis for agreeing to disagree on certain points. In addition, this gives us a basis for collaboration and organizing further.

When you are in Anonymous, you are one of a myriad of nameless, faceless individuals. You cannot be singled out nor even attacked for your actions, for to attack one is to attack all. When Anonymous has no cause they are a herd of cats. When they do, they are a swarm of angry hornets. Anonymous is a brotherhood, and yes, a sisterhood as well, that knows its own, and takes care of its own.

I call for a community of intelligent, constructive trolls and activists. Anonymous knows when to be serious, and when to have fun; hacktivism to keep the Internet free and change the world, and trolling constructively for the lulz.

We level the playing field by making information free, and we do it for the lulz.

You are free to have your own idea about what Anonymous is.

"And I must add," I told Andrew, "that not everyone in Anonymous agrees with this definition."

"I'm a lawyer," Andrew responded. "I'm also running for Congress. Much more of me is not anonymous than other people, by and large."

So here's the big difference between the NORP/superNORP cultures and the Anonymous culture, and I suspect this will become even more pronounced as this movement grows and evolves.

"Yes, exactly." I told Andrew. "I think Anons have gotten a taste of the freedom that comes from being Anonymous...literally anonymous, and being able to say whatever they want without repercussion. So, now they do. Whenever."

"I was just advised by a friend that I need to do LESS of that!" Andrew responded.

LULZY indeed!

By now, on the group, our Admin had finally gotten on and deleted the whole shitstorm thread (there are no /b/asements on FB, and from what I understand, there's also no true delete, but I digress). One of our other members who had been thick in the fray with Adam started a new thread:

Bret: that's done
Bret: sorry again.
Adam: LoL Good call.
me: Yep, you guys keep me on my toes! What would I do for entertainment without you two? ♥

And then quiet. PEACE. Just a herd of cats, looking for the next reason to pounce and play.
__________________

So that is the hivemind. I have a working theory that WITP was an intensive, 3-month course in the Anon culture. Not that anyone planned it to be that way. If it were planned, I doubt it would have ever happened. But somehow, what was birthed and developed in that environment was a strange alchemy between the Channers, old-time activists and NORP/activist wannabes. And I think the key WAS (IS?) being anonymous, as has been often theorized. That in some way, the anonymous nature of the Internet and especially anonymous/psuedononymous forums allows a part of the psyche to be fed, perhaps the ID, or perhaps it is just a feeding of the whole psyche. A time and a place where human spirits can escape from the continuous and often harsh repercussions of the real world. And become, if only for an instant or two, free.

Not to suggest that there are not repercussions, too, in that world. Or to suggest that anyone can be truly anonymous, much less Anonymous. But I'll have to go into that another time.

Tomorrow we're supposed to have a "Black Friday OP" and I'll get a chance to talk with Adam about how he needs to stop being cointelpro. I wonder if he'll find that as hilarious as I did?
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Re: Dear Occupy Diary

Post by ravenpaige on Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:40 pm

I've kindof moved this to my blog, so you can read the recent posts here:
http://newelkhartproject.blogspot.com/
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