This week, we learned an enormous amount about the global surveillance system built with US tax dollars and with the explicit consent of US representatives. Word is that there is much more to come from the “NSA files”.
On Friday, join us as we stand in support of the heroic whistleblower, Edward Snowden, who risked everything to bring this truth to the world. He is already being attacked. He will need our active, vocal, and persistent support.
As we read through the documents released so far, two themes emerge with clear relevance to Occupy Wall Street. One is new insight into the continued merging of corporate and state power. It’s clear that the PRISM monitoring system is not merely government overreach: it’s enabled by, and inseparable from, corporate control of our daily lives. The NSA slides assert that PRISM would not be possible without the “voluntary cooperation” of each of the corporations - Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo. The profit motive provides little incentive to resist privacy intrusions. Indeed, massive incentives exist to help expand surveillance: over a million private contractors - a ‘digital Blackwater’ - build the spying infrastructure. These private firms own and operate the technology, and are not subject to public oversight. It may be that, because of its inconceivable size, the corporate surveillance apparatus is more powerful than even its government clients.
Just as we’ve learned more about who the watchers are, we’ve also learned more about who and what is being watched. We’ve known that all cell phones brought to Occupy Wall Street events were logged. Now we know that these numbers can be used to search a giant database, mapping all of our personal associations, past and present - proving there is power in the connections we are building. The system makes little effort to discriminate “citizens” from “foreigners”, and the data is shared with 35 countries, rendering any such distinction moot. All of us, around the world, are being profiled by a system that never forgets, and is always watching. The panopticon is here.
But there is hope. This globalization of surveillance is matched by the borderlessness nature of our resistance: from Istanbul to London to New York to Steubenville, we share a medium, and a message. This new common understanding is made explicit by the surveillance state’s whistleblowers: both Snowden and Manning have said in their words and actions that a transparent, open, networked society is necessary - and possible. As Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous, and the ongoing movements around the world continue to lay foundations for this new society, we are guided by values that transcend citizenship. As Laurie Penny writes in the New Statesman - “What these hackers are writing isn't just history - it's the base code of future human relations, on the most intimate level.”
This is the beginning of the beginning.
-- from the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team
One of the 100 Stories of what Wall Street Broke is of the #Covington7, who were arrested blocking the revolving door at Covington and Burling, the Wall Street law firm where US Attorney General Eric Holder used to be a partner. Now, instead of prosecuting bankers, the DoJ is pressing charges against the #Covington7 for their act of protest.
These brave women – six of them grandmothers whose lives have been impacted by the mortgage crisis – were arrested conducting a peaceful sit-in against one of the major representatives of Wall Street banks in Washington, DC during the Wall Street Accountability Week of Action.
These brave women need our support. They are currently fundraising for their travel and legal expenses as they stand up for all of us against Wall Street excess.
Occupy in the News
“Gezi Park protests similar to Occupy movement, not Middle East uprisings: President Gül”
At the Hurriyet Daily News, President Abdullah Gul opines that the protests in Gezi Park are reminiscent of Occupy protests. Since Occupy Wall Street came out of the Arab Spring, we’re wondering if he’s missing something...
“Turkey protesters #Occupy New York Times after $100,000 crowdfunding campaign”
The Verge reports that an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign financed a full-page ad in the New York Times on Friday supporting Turkey's anti-government protesters.
“Les Turcs de New York manifestent en solidarité avec la place Taksim” Radio France International covers last Saturday’s rally in Liberty Plaza.
News of last Saturday’s solidarity action for Turkey in Liberty Plaza made it all the way to the French press.
“Two Members of Pussy Riot Popped Up at Bluestockings This Week”
The New York Times and The Village Voice report that members of Pussy Riot have been in town and are here to raise awareness for their cause. As the women said: “Right now we are here on a special mission to try to establish connections with like-minded people and organizations throughout the globe." In this vein, they met with members of Occupy Wall Street, among others. "We are keeping the spirit alive. Continue the riot.”
“It takes a bold person to tinker with Smokey Bear”
At Summit Daily News a report that an artist and Occupy Wall Street activist has been slapped with a cease and desist order and threatened with jail time and fines over an image of Smokey the Bear she matched with an anti-fracking message. “Only you can prevent FAUCET fires,” was the offending message.
OWS Screenprinters Return to Zuccotti Park for #OccupyGezi
Our favorite screenprinters were up and at it again, printing on upcycled shirts, bags, and whatever was brought to them, this time with graphics supporting the Gezi Park protests, as covered by the art blog Hyperallergic.
Occupy These Actions & Events
Thursday, June 13th, 7pm
- Retail Action in Support of Bangladeshi Factory Workers
- Atlantic Center Mall, Brooklyn
- Join 99 Pickets as we stand in solidarity with the workers of Bangladesh and are outraged over the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building, which has killed more than 1,100 garment workers. This follows the fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory last year where more than 100 Bangladeshi workers lost their lives. In our 3rd solidarity action, we'll visit several retail stores in Brooklyn and demand that they sign on to the legally binding *Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. The program will be overseen by a Steering Committee consisting of an equal number of representatives of trade unions and companies and one representative of the International Labor Organization and will be enforceable through binding arbitration. Find it on NYCGA.net.
Friday, June 14th
- 7 Month Sandy Debrief
- Sheepshead Bay Yacht Club - 3076 Emmons Avenue
- This week marks 7 months since Super Storm Sandy hit our region and Occupy Sandy formed. Whether you quit your job and have been working full time on hurricane relief for the past 7 months, organized like crazy for the first few weeks and then drifted on to other things, canvassed for a couple of weekends, or did any other variation of volunteering/organizing, we would love to invite you to join us to debrief the past half of a year. We encourage everyone who is working or has worked with folks on the ground to spread the word to them as well. Find it on NYCGA.net.
- Occu-Evolve Anti Ticket Quota Pro Improved Quality of Life Rally and March
- Liberty Plaza
- This assembly and rally is to call into question the forced ticket quota system that negatively affects so many New Yorkers lives. From unfair to unnecessary parking tickets to stop and frisk we are ALL impacted in too many ways. This action is also in support of The People’s Agenda consented by Occu-Evolve.
Saturday, June 15th
- NYC 99Rise Strategic Nonviolent Movement Training
- 101 Clark Street, Brooklyn
- Plug into the movement to reclaim democracy for 99%.
- We want to train fired up folks (like you!) to be expert organizers, powerful movement-builders, and effective nonviolent actionists with all the skills you'll need to win back our democracy from the stranglehold of Big Money. That's why 99Rise is leading trainings across the country to empower as many people as possible with the essential DNA possessed by every successful strategic nonviolent struggle. Join us at this free, intensive, 1-day training and join 99Rise's nationwide network of civil resistance organizers committed to building a winning movement for real democracy. Find it on NYCGA.net.
- Assata Shakur's Legacy and Lives of Resistance: Free University Teach In
- Marcus Garvey Park (enter south side at 120th St and 5th Ave)
- The actions and writings of Assata Shakur, a Black Liberation activist living in exile in Cuba, have been influential to a wide range of activists. Our event theme - "Assata Shakur's Legacy & Lives of Resistance" - connects Assata Shakur's political and personal work with a network of people who have dedicated our lives to struggle, celebration, and social change. In solidarity with the "Assata Teach-In" series, Free University-NYC and Brecht Forum invite friends, families, comrades, and community groups to learn and share transformative education in public space. A potluck dinner will be served at 6pm (please RSVP so we can prepare enough food). Find it on NYCGA.net.
- Occupy Dance with Global Water Dances
- Bowling Green
- Global Water Dances New York has invited Occupy Dance to participate in their upcoming event. It’s an opportunity for dancers, drummers, environmental, fracking & sustainability activists to raise awareness of the connectedness of water issues - and have fun doing it! More info to come! Their website: www.globalwaterdancesny.org. Find it on NYCGA.net.
Monday, June 17th, 8:00am-6:00pm
- New York Crossroads: Rally to Stop Fracking and Say Yes to Renewable Energy
- New York State Capitol Building
- Occupy the Pipeline will be among the myriad environmental groups, concerned citizens, and advocates of renewable energy to deliver the message of sustainability to Governor Cuomo on June 17th. We stand at a crossroads and the time is now to write New York's future! Who will be there: Anti-fracking leaders (including members of Occupy The Pipeline), renewable energy leaders, scientists, farmers, business owners, health professionals, students, parents, grandparents, kids, artists, elected officials, you, your neighbors, and more!
Wednesday, June 26th, 11:30am
- A Flash Mob to Protect Our City
- Park Row and Chambers St at base of Brooklyn Bridge
- Join Occupy the Pipeline for a highly visual and spectacular action in front of City Hall including music and giant pipeline puppets vs solar panels and windmills. Let's show our representatives we demand a city that runs on clean, renewable energy - and we want an end to fracked, shale gas infrastructure! Please be on time and ready to participate! Find it on NYCGA.net.