An Open Letter to the Occupy Movement: Why We Need Agreements

The framework that might best serve the Occupy movement is one of strategic nonviolent direct action. Within that framework, Occupy groups would make clear agreements about which tactics to use for a given action. This frame is strategic—it makes no moral judgments about whether or not violence is ever appropriate, it does not demand we commit ourselves to a lifetime of Gandhian pacifism, but it says, ‘This is how we agree to act together at this time.’ It is active, not passive. It seeks to create a dilemma for the opposition, and to dramatize the difference between our values and theirs. […]

The Poetics of the Street

I’ve been on my feet all day, but I don’t feel tired. I’m exhilarated. What’s happening here is so beautiful, so powerful. It answers our most primal human needs: to have a voice, to have that voice heard and affirmed, to tell your story, to be seen, to be part of something, to stand for something, to stand together, to stand strong. […]

Return to Oakland

The only thing I hate worse than rallies is not having rallies. And I’m glad we’re having this one, and glad I’m here, aching feet and all. Because it’s the necessary response to the brutal police attack on Occupy Oakland. At 4 AM, the police surrounded the camp. According to reports, they ringed the square, fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs into the sleeping crowd, and then arrested over a hundred people, who are being held in custody for two days until their arraignment. […]