You Can’t Evict an Idea Whose Time Has Come: The Occupation Will Continue!

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Occupy Chicago Announces Winter Plans, "Operation Chicago Spring"

 

CHICAGO 11/17/11 – The Occupy movement faces daily violence and eviction notices from state and local authorities across the country. Chicago has been no different, and Occupy Chicago has faced constant opposition from "Mayor 1%" Emanuel and harassment by the CPD. Our message to those who question our ability to persevere is: You can’t evict an idea whose time has come. The Occupation will continue!

The Occupy movement is inciting a conversation about the consolidation of wealth and power in our society, and the stranglehold that the top 1% have over our political system. Americans are seeing the crises of our economy and our democracy as systemic problems that require collective action to remedy. Every day, more and more Americans are identifying as part of the 99%, uniting across social and economic barriers to denounce the abuses of corporate money in politics.

Last week, the Occupy Chicago General Assembly passed a proposal called “Operation Chicago Spring,” a plan of action for the winter and beyond. The first portion calls for a schedule of daily events, actions, and teach-ins throughout the city and suburbs, with a diverse coalition of allies. The second part is a springtime call to action, asking the nation and the world to stand behind Occupy Chicago on April 7th, for a global day of action in support of our Occupation. (For full text of the proposal, see below.)

This winter, Occupy Chicago will participate in daily events and actions geared towards building community and solidarity across Chicago and it’s suburbs. We are already coordinating actions with groups as diverse as the Chicago Teachers Union, StandUp! Chicago, the Amalgamated Transit Union, Students Organizing with Labor (SOUL), Workers United, and the Jane Adams Senior Caucus. We will continue to reach out to communities across Chicago, and to coordinate with other Occupations.

Area Occupations include Occupy the Hood Chicago (OTHC), Occupy el Barrio, Occupy Wicker Park/Logan Square/Bucktown/Humboldt Park/Rogers Park/Bronzeville/Austin/

Altgeld, Occupy Naperville, Occupy Evanston, and various Occupied campuses, with more springing up every day. Occupy The Hood Chicago is an active component of Occupy Chicago. For the past month, OTHC has been making alliances with existing community groups across Chicago that are fighting against foreclosures and evictions, for better health care, and an end to neglect and abuse by corporations, banks and unresponsive government.

“The question isn’t, ‘where will the Occupation be,’ it’s ‘where won’t it be?’" Says Joshua Kaunert, an archaeologist and Occupy Chicago participant. “We will be indoors and outdoors, in every neighborhood and every suburb, at public hearings, protests, and community events. We believe that the grievances of nurses, teachers, the homeless, students, librarians, transit workers, the unemployed, and Occupy participants are one and the same. We want to break down the barriers between the north, west, and south sides of this city, and are committed to working in solidarity with any group that is on the right side of history.”

Occupy Chicago is putting out a global call designating April 7th, 2012 as a day of action in support of our Occupation. We will mobilize the local community we are helping to build over the winter, and will call for our national allies, including unions, to bring in their members to stand with us in Chicago.

“Occupy Chicago faces daily harassment and threats of arrest from the Chicago Police Department at our headquarters at Jackson & LaSalle. Hundreds of peaceful Occupy participants in Chicago have been arrested in our attempts to secure public space for our Occupation,” says Rachael Perrotta, an office worker and Occupy Chicago committee member. “We need the support of the entire Occupy movement, and of our local allies, as we approach the scheduled NATO and G8 Summits in Chicago next spring, to ensure our safety, and that the voice of the people is well represented.”

Some have questioned Occupy Chicago’s ability to survive the harsh Chicago winter. Due to health and safety concerns, the Occupation is working to secure an indoor location at which to host committee meetings, nightly General Assemblies, educational events, and day-to-day organizing. Occupy Chicago will continue to have a presence on the streets throughout the city, with or without a few feet of snow.

Occupy Chicago is building a relationship with a fiscal sponsor, allowing streamlined access to our funds, while also providing our donors with a tax-exemption. These plans should be finalized within the next few weeks.

There are no plans to abandon Jackson & LaSalle as one of the headquarters of Occupy Chicago.

“We will continue to occupy Chicago,” says Micah Philbrook, a teacher and Occupy Chicago participant. “The traders looking down from their windows may see fewer signs and hear fewer drums, but the neighborhoods of our city, the community organizations of our city, the unions of our city, and the rest of the 99% in our city will see and hear our support every day.”

 

-END-

 

Full Text of Operation Chicago Spring:

1) Occupy Chicago will endorse a call to action of doing at least one event every day over the course of the whole winter specifically geared towards building community across all of the neighborhoods of Chicago. The struggles of nurses, teachers, the homeless, students, librarians, transit workers, the unemployed, and Occupiers are the one and the same struggle, and the 99% must engage actively in each others' communities and struggles, break down barriers, and fight against the 1% as a united people for social, economic, and political justice.

Actions will be in different neighborhoods every day, scheduled and publicized with enough notice, so that Chicagoans can mobilize themselves to attend.

Actions can include but are not limited to: defending homes that are being foreclosed, sit-ins, flyering, banner dropping, building parks, delivering supplies to the homeless, guerilla theater and art, and more. We should coordinate these events with the Occupy Neighborhoods, such as Occupy the Hood, Occupy el Barrio, Occupy Rogers Park, Occupy Logan Square/Bucktown/Humbolt Park, and others. These smaller actions are intended to create momentum, and in NO WAY preclude from bigger actions aimed at fighting the 1%.

 

2) Occupy Chicago will endorse a date in spring, which it will begin raising awareness for now, as a national day of action. We will mobilize the communities of Chicago, other organizations, as well as Occupations across the country and world to stand with us in solidarity. With a definitive date to plan for and raise awareness beginning now, unions will have time to mobilize and bus in their members from across the state and country, other occupations will have time to organize rallies in their native cities and ample time to plan to support us in person. We will have time to organize and allocate our resources effectively, publicize both through actions, media, and outreach as an effective means of getting the word out over the next several months. With correct planning, we can come out with numbers so large that the city and state can neither ignore nor remove the occupation. The proposed date is April 7, due to weather considerations, and the fact that this is one month prior to the NATO/G8 Summit.

Comments

good!

hi every body

i thing that in generally things  is and will be going towards the better be days and i thing you are sharing me this and i think that you are stepping near we are doing here in egypt that today it was a huge Demonstration in all the cities of my country and we hope that things will be better

 

Sounds good to me

This sounds like a good idea. I am glad you will continue to be at LaSalle & Jackson too. I enjoy showing my support during my lunch break and hope to continue visiting as I am able throughout the winter. I'll bring a pizza or some hot coffee every now and then. Keep up the good work and do your best to continue your organizing for the long haul. John

A good plan of action

I think this is an important step for uniting the various groups and keeping them united throughout a possibly harsh winter. Honestly I like the idea of mobility better any way and this allows things to be felt in different parts of the city. It's like guerrilla demonstrations with each having a different impact because residental and, hopefully, government/financial institutions will be targets together.

Terrific strategy!

I'm looking forward to continuing work this winter, and waking up my neighborhood.  My goal is a symbol of Occupation in every apartment, home and independent business window by April 7th.

And if it snows, some snow occupation in the form of food color snow tagging (with a sprayer - who's with me?)

That, and teaching the dog some manners.  

 

Thanks!

mmazzi's picture

Thank you for your support.  Please continue and spread the word.  I think some people who have never been "active" feel more comfortable when someone they know says they are involved.  That's why I encourage people to spread the word to... whether it's to family, friends, or striking a conversation with the person next to you at the bus stop...

I, personally, have not been there because of physical problems I've been having.  My husband sometimes drops by on his lunch hour.  I drop off supplies occasionally and talk about the movement to a lot of other people.  I tell people "look... we've been sitting at our kitchen tables and couches bitching about things for years, complaining that nobody was doing anything... now people are finally doing something and we ALL need to support it in whatever way we can... if you can't be out there, then go to the website, donate money or supplies, etc.... Sometimes my support comes in the form of emailing or calling TV stations or radio shows to either support the movement or go off on them if they are unfairly portraying the movement in the media... I remember one person talked early on about washing and drying rain-soaked blankets for protesters... in other words, everybody has different skills, abilities, or finances they can lend to the movement... so, if you're not able to be out there, at least figure out what you can do to support those who stand in our place "

I encourage everybody to remind those they talk to that they can do SOMETHING to get involved!

Thanks to EVERYBODY who is there standing for me!

Hey, I'm an occupier lending

Hey, I'm an occupier lending an important opinion: CHANGE THE WORDING in the first paragraph unless there are publicized reports of police violence against protestors, don't compare us to NYC and Oakland's situation falsely! Our challenges are different and we will be called out on this if the wording is inaccurate. It's not worth it - people will support no matter what. We don't face "daily violence". Change it please.

Love you.

The sentence reads:

The sentence reads:

"The Occupy movement faces daily violence and eviction notices from state and local authorities across the country."

I think this is pretty clear that it's not specific to Occupy Chicago.

Other offices

Jesus, a few of us are continuing to look for other locations, whether they be office space or large enough for GAs. A donated space would be ideal, of course. Please PM  me to discuss further.

 

People's Economic Summit

People's Economic Summit

The eyes of the world will be on Chicago with the NATO/G8 summit May 13-26, 2012.  I submit that Occupy Chicago and the M20 Anti War Coalition join with other local, national and international groups and organize a People's Economic Summit to take place during this time.  This would carry on a tradition from a group located in Great Britain called TOES (The Other Economic Summit) that has offered an alternative at previous economic summits.  It is my understanding that the founder of this group has advanced in age and is unable to further participate.  It's our time now. 

The top social/economic/climate justice thinkers should be invited to participate.  A list of possible invitees follows at the conclusion.

With the NATO/G8 lasting 13 days there is plenty of time for individuals such as those listed below to present an alternative to the economic and physical destruction carried out by NATO and the G8.  This should be done and it can be done most effectively by including in the discussion those who have been most affected by militarism, imperialism and neoliberal globalization.  The least amongst us should testify and give witness.  Included should be representatives from all across the globe that have been on the receiving end of our economic and militaristic exploitation.

I recommend the creation of a simple questionnaire asking people what their economic and budget concerns are so that these results can be tabulated for the People's Economic Summit.  This can be done online, but it also must be done face to face in our communities.  One way would be to pass out flyers on the shortcomings of a capitalist economy and hand people a clipboard with a few questions concerning the priority of how the wealth of our nation should be distributed.  Another way would be simply to ask friends, neighbors and relatives what their concerns are, clipboard in hand.  As one who has done door to door solicitation in the past, it's not easy.  But with a partner it can be done, especially after you start to receive positive feedback from those you are visiting.

In the 1950s the outlawed African National Congress (ANC) asked the people of South Africa similar questions.  The results were tabulated and gave birth to the South African Freedom Charter.  This outlawed document which began "The People shall govern" gave them hope through the next three decades of apartheid.  For a more detailed account of South Africa:  http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/3395

Concentrate the efforts of Occupy activists along with other peace and social justice activists into compiling a document similar to the Freedom Charter.  This can be done over the winter and leading up to the People's Economic Summit.  Our goal should be to dwarf the NATO/G8 with a democratic economic summit that is of, by and for the people, of both the U.S. and the entire globe. 

The Occupy Chicago Tribune could be full of articles by these learned advocates for racial justice, social justice, economic justice, environmental justice, water rights, food rights, monetary reform, political reform, anti imperialism and an end to war.

This list of interdependent principles was agreed upon by our South Shore People's Movement Assembly in NW Indiana.  We believe that these four principles contain the entirety of our demands.  Individual issues should be judged by how they relate to accomplishing the four principles. 

  1. Create an Environmentally Sustainable World
  2. Racial, Social & Economic Justice for All
  3. Bottom Up Participatory Democracy, Instead of Cram Down Corporate Democracy
  4. End U.S. Imperialism and Wars

A beginning list of possible invitees to participate in the People's Economic Summit

  • Ellen Brown, attorney, author "Web of Debt", WebOfDebt.com
  • Noam Chomsky, professor MIT, linguist, activist and author "Manufacturing Consent: the Political Economy of the Mass Media" 
  • Raoul Contreras, professor, Chair Minority Studies, Indiana University Northwest, founder of IUN's Annual Participatory Democracy Conference "Democracy Is in the Streets", caucus chair National Association Chicana and Chicano Studies    
  • David DeGraw, AmpedStatus.com and one of the original OWS organizers, DavidDeGraw.org
  • Vince Emanuele, Iraq War vet (IVAW), radio host "Veterans Unplugged", WIMS radio, Michigan City, IN, VeteransUnplugged.com
  • Glen Ford, Executive Editor BlackAgendaReport.com
  • John Bellamy Foster, professor University of Oregon, sociologist, editor Monthly Review and author "The Ecological Rift: Capitalism's War on the Earth" 
  • David Graeber, professor Goldsmiths, University of London, anthropologist, author "Debt, the First 5,000 Years" and one of the original OWS organizers, He proposes a Debt Jubilee or amnesty as practiced in ancient Sumeria, Babylon, Egypt and called for in the Bible "Every seventh year you shall make a cancellation.  The cancellation shall be as follows: ever creditor is to release the debts that he has owing to him by his neighbor" (Deuteronomy 15:1-3)
  • James Hansen, professor Columbia University, climatologist, activist and author "Storms of My Grandchildren"
  • Chris Hedges, journalist, war correspondent and author "The World As It Is" 
  • Aaron Hughes, Iraq War vet (IVAW), artist and Organizing Team Leader for IVAW where he has worked on projects including Warrior Writers, Combat Paper, Drawing For Peace, Operation First Casualty, Winter Soldier, the Demilitarized University, the Field Organizing Program, and Operation Recovery
  • Michael Hudson, professor University of Missouri, economist and author "Super Imperialism: the Economic Strategy of American Empire" and "Global Fracture: the New International Economic Order"
  • Kathy Kelley, international peace and social justice activist, co founder Voices For Creative Non Violence, VCNV.org
  • Naomi Klein, economist, author "The Shock Doctrine", NaomiKlein.org
  • Cynthia McKinney, former Green Party Presidential candidate
  • Kim Scipes, professor Purdue North Central, sociologist, progressive union activist, author "AFL-CIO's Secret War on Developing Country Workers"
  • Cindy Sheehan, peace and social justice activist, author "Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey through Heartache to Activism", CindySheehansSoapbox.com
  • David Swanson, peace and social justice activist, WarIsACrime.org, author "War Is a Lie"
  • Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, professor Drake University, economist and author "The Politcal Economy of U.S. Militarism"
  • Stephen Zarlenga, Director American Monetary Institute, Monetary.org, author "The Lost Science of Money", author of the "American Monetary Act" that is now before Congress as the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (NEED) sponsored by Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers that calls for (1) The nationalization of the Federal Reserve under the Department of Treasury,  (2) Elimination of fractional reserve lending by private banks, (3) The creation of trillions of dollars of new fiat money, with no debt, spent into circulation on massive infrastructure, education and healthcare programs.
  • Jean Ziegler, professor, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Food,  current member of UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee, author "Massive Destruction--the Geopolitics of Hunger"

My attempt with this list was to create a diverse group that represents the host of interrelated issues facing us.  Off the top of my head, it lacks a specific expert on people's water rights.  Although Dr. Ziegler is certainly qualified in this regard, his emphasis and expertise is in food rights. 

This whole project is an ambitious undertaking, but so was standing outside the Chicago Federal Reserve bringing witness to the inequality that is American society.  I will be glad to join whatever committee is charged with planning the event.  Once Occupy Chicago and the M/20 Coalition are on board we can begin planning.

Nick Egnatz

OccupyNick@yahoo.com

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