Occupy Movement Template:TOCnestleft
The Occupy Movement was initiated on September 17, 2011, with the launch of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration.
That first demonstration on Wall street was allegedly sparked off by the Vancouver-based Adbusters Media Foundation, an anti-consumerist group best known for its advertisement-free magazine Adbusters. In a July 13, 2011 press release, the magazine suggested that readers take to the streets to protest corporate influence on democracy, address a growing disparity in wealth, and the absence of legal repercussions behind the recent global financial crisis:
- "On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices."
Adbusters suggested Sept. 17 as a starting date to coincide with America's Constitution Day, and the idea quickly spread online with help from the hacker group Anonymous and through the use of social media.
Occupy Movement: Stephane Frederic Hessel and "Time for Outrage!"
French conservative and writer Michel Gurfinkiel, writing at "Pajamas/Media" on Dec. 4, 2011, postulated that a Holocaust survivor from Germany may have been one of the people behind the "Occupy Movement" through his writing of a "political brochure titled "Indignez-vous!" (Time for Outrage!), which was published by "a left-wing publishing house specializing in Third World advocacy." According to Gurfinkiel, in this article entitled "The 94-Year-Old Frenchman Behind 'Occupy'", "the author, Stephane Frederic Hessel, "a Nazi camp survivor, a former ambassador, and a regular French talk show guest", wrote a 32 page, 3 euros, "political brocure" that "was an instant bestseller" with "one million copies in the first ten weeks, 1.5 million in the first year", which was "a little more than 13 months ago" (from December, 2011).
(Mitchel Gurfinkiel is the president of the Jean Jacques Rousseau Institute, a European think tank in Paris).
However, Gurfinkiel has some doubts about Hessel being the actual full author of the brochure or even its originator because of some suspect details of his life. Gurfinkiel wrote the following in his article:
"Stephane Hessel's popularity derives from his longevity and a grandiose but carefully edited personal narrative. His parents were the modes of "Jules et Jim", a famous novel turned into a famous film. The rest of his life, however, seems to be ridden with exaggerations, half-lies, and riddles."
"The circumstances under which he was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and transferred to a 'special camp' in Germany are obscure. He was not 'one of the drafters' of the UN Human Rights Charter of 1948 as he has often maintained, but merely a junior assistant to the Charter's main editor, the great French jurist Rene' Cassin. While making, all in all, a prestigious career as Quai d'Orsay (the French Foreign Office), he was nevertheless barred from many sensitive jobs. In fact, many of his colleagues wondered whether he was not a bit "too" left-wing.".
Gurfinkiel writes that that Hessel's book was successful not only in France but sold over 3.5 million copies, which had been translated into over 20 languages including Hebrew while in the U.S. it was not so popular until it "was just inserted in The Nation's April 7-14 issue."
The gist of this small book was Hesel's urging "contempary youth to get 'outraged' about poverty and injustice and to fight for a better world, just as he had done seventy years earlier as a member of the anti-Nazi Resistance. Gurfinkiel claimed that Hessel's targets were "benign modern democracies," especially Israel, "the country most people in France love to hate already."
"Hessel's influence on the ground grew to dwarf his sales accomplishments."
"'Outraged' movemetns claiming to follow the old Frenchman's philosophy bloomed in countries hit by recession or bankruptcy, like Spain, Greece, the UK, Chile, and more recently the United States. Strangely enough, even Israel - in spite of its comparatively good economic and financial shape and Hessel's rabid anti-Zionism - was hit by the movement last summer."
The methods of the protesters, according to Gurfinkiel manifested themselves this way:
"All 'outraged' movements tended to follow a single pattern. Citizens with no explicit political affiliation 'occupied' major streets, squares or public spaces for days or weeks, day and night, insisting upon 'social justice' or 'change.' They erected little booths and tent village, both in order to sleep there and to make it more difficult to be moved out or blocked by police the following day."
The article provides more observations on how these protesters seemed to follow Hessel's suggestions. Then he returned to the question of whether Hessel actually was behind this movement's ideology. Gurfinkiel wrote that "Hessel may not have been the real thinker and promoter of his movement."
"At 93 (last year) and 94 (now), he seems to enjoy excellent health and clarity of thought. he may indeed have written the few pages that turned him into an instant world icon. However, the pages were more likely provided by a ghostwriter. A convincing argument, in this respect, is that "Time for Outrage!" is a 'party line' operation. It is less about Hessel expressing his views than about others setting an agenda and Hessel endorsing it."
Gurfinkiel noted that a similar "outrage" protest movement had occurred in France in 1966, based on the writings of "another French author with similar political views," a man named Viviane Forrester who wrote a longer "but equally thin in intellectual terms "L'Horreur Economique" (The Economic Horror). Gurfinkiel also noted that "As for the tent village on public space, that had been tested in Paris from 2006 to 2009 by 'Les Enfants de Don Quichotte' ("Don Quixote's Children"), a group agitating for housing rights."
[KW: The recent protests in Israel were focused on "housing", i.e. a building program in parts of eastern Jerusalem for an increasing population, a fact that Gurfinkiel did take notice of in his article re "the rise of real estate prices in cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem."]
Gurfinkiel also takes not of World Net Daily writer Aaron Klein and his new book "Red Army", in which "Klein argues that the old radical and pro-Soviet networkrs of the Cold War era have resurfaced in contemporary American politics" re the rise of Barack Obama to take the White House in 2008.
Aiding in this rise of the Left in the US and in many other countries, according to Klein, are radical groups "that have been operating in Western countries since the mid-90s - from the anti-globalist and Green movements to the Islamists and anti-Israel militants" that can be traced "to radical and pro-Soviet Cold War-era networks." and that "In many instances, they have the same goals (with some adjustments), the same tactics (in a slightly modified or modernized form), and even the same personnel."
[KW: The emergence of older communist/marxist/socialist radicals in positions of leadership in the U.S. "Occupy Movement" in the major cities is one possible indication that Gurfinkiel and Klein were right, to some degree, about the old pro-Soviet network being back in action. These leaders include members of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and the Democratic Socialists of America, with at least one from the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), now of the International Socialist Organization (ISO). Only time will tell whether this trend of old leftists emerging in positions of leadership in the Occupy movements is very extensive and influential in guiding it, or whether this infiltration was "target of opportunity" for a marxist Left who is always looking for causes and organizations to infiltrate, guide, dominant, or actually led against the democratic system and free enterprise system of the United States].
[KW: Another point that Gurfinkiel made, about Hessel being the front man for a ghostwriter for his book "Time for Outrage!" is worth keeping in mind in regards to the question of whether Barack Obama actually wrote his two best-selling books, "Dreams of My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope." A few researchers who have compared the more intellectual writings of avowed marxist Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers with the style used by Obama in his two books, claim that Ayers was apparently the "ghostwriter" for them, which would give lie to the claim that Obama barely knew Ayers, and then only as someone in the neighborhood. The latter statement has already been shot down in flames with the discoveries that Ayers and Obama served together in an Annenberg educational foundation and that Ayers held a major fundraiser for the future president at his home at which the cream of the Old Left (i.e. CPUSA members and sympathizers turned DSAers) were present].
[KW: A last point to keep in mind are two marxist, rabble-rousing, violence-endorsing books that have had some influence on the worldwide Left. The first is the book by avowed Marxist, Van Jones, entitled "Reclaiming Revolution: History, Summation & Lessonsfrom the work of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement STORM, Spring 2004 which was the bible of his little Maoist group of stormtroopers known as "STORM". This organization only lasted a couple of years but Van Jones was picked up by White House key advisor to Pres.Obama, Valerie Jarrett, to be the "Green Czar" for the Obama administration, which he was until his marxist background was exposed and he was forced to resign.
The second book is one entitled "The Coming Insurrection" which was written in France by the Invisible Committee, a group that is a mix of European anarchists and marxists, and which the French police identified as the Tarmac Nine. The book advocates anarcho/marxist violence in the streets to overthrow both democratic, authoritarian and weak socialist governments in Europe (and possibly Africa/The Middle East). It was a major influence in the violence in Greece over the past two years (2010-2011). Some information "The Coming Insurrection" can be found at the www.wikipedia.org website among other sources.
The Greek underground marxists/terrorists have a long history of extreme violence against the US, going back to bombings and the killing of U.S. CIA Station Chief John Welch in the 1970's, as well as the assassination of Greek law enforcement officials and politicians. They were the last marxist terrorist group on the European continent to be dismantled, successfully outlasting the Baader-Meinhoff Gang (BMG), the Japanese Red Army (JRA), and the Italian Red Brigades. Only the Irish Republican Army (IRA), both factions, and the Spanish ethnic/leftist ETA Basque lasted longer, with the Official IRA and the ETA now having laid down their arms.
Perhaps it was a combination of most or all of the above-mentioned publications having a collective effect on some of the "Occupy" protest movements that has led to the increasing violence of their hardcore members and infiltrated marxist organizations/personnel, aided by both the Black Bloc and Red Bloc Anarchists of Europe and the U.S. This is something that, too, will have to be watched for over time as the Occupy Movement continues to change its ideology, tactics, and strategies].
- "Decisions are made democratically, without voting, by general assent... The direct democratic process adopted by Occupy Wall Street has deep roots in American radical history. It was widely employed in the civil rights movement and by the Students for a Democratic Society."
- Occupy Sydney
- Occupy Auckland
- Occupy Detroit
- Occupy El Paso
- Occupy New Haven
- Occupy Missoula
- Occupy San Jose
- Occupy DC
- Occupy Los Angeles
- Occupy Dallas
- Occupy Bangor
- Occupy Maine
- Occupy Augusta
- Occupy New Jersey
- Occupy Atlanta
- Occupy Tokyo
- Occupy Albany
- Occupy Boulder
- Occupy Columbus
- Occupy Denver
- Occupy Fairbanks
- Occupy Flint
- Occupy Fort Collins
- Occupy Indianapolis
- Occupy Ithaca
- Occupy Maui
- Occupy Minnesota
- Occupy Seattle
- Occupy Oak Park
- Occupy Memphis
- Occupy Salt Lake City
- Occupy Denton
- Occupy Burlington
- Occupy Bloomington
- Occupy New Orleans
- Occupy Vancouver
- Occupy Oklahoma City
- Occupy Hartford
- Occupy Athens (Ohio)
- Occupy San Diego
- Occupy Tampa
- Occupy Sacramento
- Occupy Baltimore
- Occupy Tucson
- Occupy Portland
- Alex Maldonado
- Occupy Las Cruces
- Occupy Milwaukee
- Occupy San Francisco
- Occupy Springfield IL
- Occupy Missouri
- Occupy Kansas
- Occupy Honolulu
- Occupy Alaska
- Occupy Santa Cruz
- Occupy Miami
- Occupy Kokomo
- Democratic Socialists of America (Summary)
The following is a list of Occupy Demonstrations yet to be added to the KeyWiki database:
- Occupy Harlem
- Occupy Albuquerque
- Occupy Ashland
- Occupy Ann Arbor
- Occupy Austin
- Occupy Buffalo
- Occupy Des Moines
- Occupy Eugene
- Occupy Houston
- Occupy Iowa City
- Occupy Jersey City
- Occupy Kansas City
- Occupy Miami
- Occupy Salem
- Occupy Santa Fe
- Occupy Toronto
- Occupy Trenton
- Occupy Twin Cities
- Occupy London
- Occupy Montreal
- Occupy Calgary
- Occupy Melbourne
- Occupy Adelaide
- Occupy Perth
As of December 5, 2011, a total of at least eight people have died in connection with the Occupy Movement.
- Darwin Cox, 23, was found dead in a tent at the Occupy Denton camp on December 3, 2011. The cause of death was unknown, but organizers said they did not suspect foul play.
- A man died on November 11, 2011 at the Salt Lake City Occupy Campsite. Local police said the death was likely a result of a combination of carbon monoxide poisoning and a drug overdose.
- Kayode Foster was shot in the head and died outside of the Occupy Oakland site on November 11, 2011.
- Joshua Pfenning, 35, committed suicide at the Occupy Burlington site on November 10, 2011. Pfenning reportedly aimed a gun at three individuals in a tent before turning the gun on himself.
- A man died reportedly of natural causes at the Occupy Bloomington camp site on November 5, 2011.
- A 53-year-old man died on November 8, 2011 at the Occupy New Orleans camp site. The man was reported to have been dead for two days before he was found.
- A 20-year-old woman died of a drug overdose at the Occupy Vancouver camp on November 5, 2011. 
- Louis Cameron Rodriguez, 18, died at the Occupy Oklahoma City camp on October 31, 2011.
- A sexual assault was reported at Occupy Hartford on December 1, 2011. The victim said she was inappropriately kissed and groped.
- A woman said she was raped at Occupy Philadelphia on November 13, 2011. Police arrested a suspect, who allegedly had a prior arrest record.
Credit for compiling this list belongs primarily to http://occupyarrests.moonfruit.com.
Sources are available here.
The following State & Federal Representatives and Senators have expressed their support for the Occupy Movement:
The following organizations have expressed their support, or actively supported the Occupy Movement:
Day of Action
Speaking on the phone from his union hall which is festooned with a banner, "Defend the Picket Line, Defend Free Speech," Dan Coffman, president of Local 21 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in Washington State stated,
Coffman stated that he would be in Oakland all day Thursday, "fighting for our union jobs and for the rights of our members and the rights of all Americans to the exercise of free speech."
Civil rights and legal groups, including the National Lawyers Guild and the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, have filed papers demanding any information, that the Department of Justice and the intelligence agencies have, relating to a possible nationwide or coordinated crackdown on Occupy Wall Street. They say that the almost-simultaneous crackdowns in cities across the country are cause for concern.
The following is a list of events not officially affiliated with the Occupy Movement, but that have been inspired by the movement:
Statements of solidarity
CPUSA on the Occupy Movement
Occupy isn't running for office - it's aiming higher
An "Outlook" section column in the Washington Post of Jan. 15, 2012, entitled "Occupy isn't running for office - it's aiming higher", by Sarah Seltzer, P. B3, ... FINISH
The Post's coverage of Occupy DC"
A columnn on the Occupy DC movement by Wash. Post Ombudsman Patrick B. Pexton, P. A17, "The Post's coverage of Occupy DC", explained the WP's position on covering the Occupy DC story after having received complaints about either too much or not enough reporting on this story.
Marxist Eric Hobsbawn Supports Occupy Movement
One of the leading British marxists, Eric Hobsbawm has come out in support of the Occupy Movement. In an information-filled article by the BBC World Service News, Andrew Whitehead, on Dec. 22, 2011, "Eric Hobsbawm on 2011: 'It reminds me of 1848...'", the mid-ninties marxist gave his opinions on the Occupy Movement, the Arab Spring, and other protest movements around the world, except for similar movements in Communist countries, which he ignored.
Some selected quotes and information from the article include:
"It was an enormous joy to discover once again that it's possible for people to get down in the streets, to demonstrate, to overthrow governments."...
"Born just months before the Russian revolution of 1917, he was a Communist for most of his adult life - as well as an innovative and influential writer and thinker. He has been a historian of revolution, and at times an advocate of revolutionary change."
"Now in his mid-ninties, his continuing passion for politics is reflected in the title of his most recent book "How to Change the World" - and in his keen interest in the Arab Spring."...
Hosbawn's observation on the "Arab Spring" are worth noting because he accidentally (or intentionally), exposed the fallacy of the thinking in the West that those who started it will be those who control its' direction and ideology. A few related quotes of his point out this conundrum (because it also serves to warn people that many revolutions against authoritarian regimes which were democratis in aims, were preempted, taken-over, and then solidified by trained communist agitators, street thugs, and hardened marxists).
Whitehead wrote that Hobsbawm noted that "Not enough notice has been taken, he says, of the differences between Arab countries in the throes of mass protests."
"We are in the middle of a revolution - bit it isn't the same revolution."
"What unites them is a common discontent and common mobilisable forces - a modernising middle class, particularly a young student middle class, and of course technology which makes it today very much easier to mobilise protests."
"The actual occupations in most cases have not been mass protests, not the 99%, but the famous 'stage army' of students and counter culture. Sometimes that has found an echo in public opinion - and in the anti-Wall Street, anti-capitalist occupations, that is clearly the case."...
"The traditional left was geared to akind of society that is no longer in existence or is going out of business. It believed very largely in the mass labour movement as the carrier of the future. Well, we'be been de-industrialised, so that's no longer possible." [KW: This is not necessarily true in the western countries, including Latin America, where trained communist cadre can and have shown up as leaders of anti-capitalism protests, especially in the U.S., England, France, and Greece, to name a few).
In commenting on the Arab Spring and Islam, re the protests, Whitehead wrote that Hobsbawn viewed these movements as "not a harbinger of wider revolution", but as "a wider push for gradual reform of the sort of which, he makes of point of harking back to Iran in 1979, the first revolution to be counced in the political language of Islam."
"One aspect of that revolution has found an echo in the Arab world in recent months", wrote Whitehead.
"The people who had made concessions to Islam, but were not Islamists themselves, were marginalised. And that included reformers, liberals, communists."
"While the Arab Spring has brought him joy, this aspect of it he regards as an 'unexpected and not necessarily welcome.'"
"What emerges as the mass ideology is not the ideology of those that started off the demonstrations."
Story on the use of Guy Fawkes/V for Vendetta mask in the Occupy Movement
A long story on the various uses of masks by the Occupy Movement, especially the one from the movie "V for Vendetta" was published in the Washington Times, nov. 7, 2011, as a story by AP writers Tamara Lush and Verena Dobnik", (Tampa, FL and NYC, resp.) with additional reporting by Cassandra Vinograd, London, and Manuel Valdes, Seattle). Entitled "The man behind the mask of Occupy Protesters", it focused on Alexandra Ricciardelli, 20, Keyport, NJ, about the meaning of the mask, as well as talking to Jason J. Cross, who was selling them for $5.00 a piece. He had bought over 100 Chinese-made masks online to sell at Occupy Wall Street protests/sites.
He was quoted as describing them as "The origins of this mask comes from the idea of rising up against the government. Guy Fawkes represents the fact that the people have real power."
Guy Fawkes was described by the AP writers as "a criminal who tried to blow up a government building" in London in the 1700s. He was also described as "a Catholic insurrectionist" who was executed "for the bombing attempt." November 5th was England's "official celebration for defeating Fawkes" according to Prof. Lewis Call, assistant history professor at California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo.
Call noted that "The reputation of Guy Fawkes has been recuperated. Before he was originally seen as a terrorist trying to destroy England. Now he's seen more as a freedom fight, a fighter for individual liberty against an oppressive regime. The political meaning of that figure has transformed."
A London protester said that "People hide behind the masks, put the masks on and their identity is hidden. Therefore, they can do a lot more than they would if they didn't have the masks."
The unidentified protester also claimed that "Anonymous UK has imported 1,000 copies from China, and the distribution goes 'straight into the pockets of the Anonymous beer fund rather than the Warner Bros. Much better."
An Occupy Seattle protester, Hudson Williams Eynon noted the irony of using "corporate" products in the Occupy Movement, including Smartphones, cameras and the Internet service" in order to organize. "There's a lot of inherent ironies in protesting corporations in a corporate world, Williams Eynon said in early October."
Paul Le Blanc's on Occupy
Coming together in a common revolutionary party
The challenge of Occupy
Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky
- The Vancouver Courier: Adbusters sparks Wall Street protest, Sept. 27, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 24, 2011)
- Adbusters: #OCCUPYWALLSTREET, July 13, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 25, 2011)
- http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-94-year-old-frenchman-behind-%E3%80%98occupy%E2%99/?singlepage=true, and "http://www.michelgurfinkiel.com/articles/403-Far-Left-The-94-Year-Old-Frenchman-Behind-Occupy.html
- OWSJ: Enacting the Impossible on Consensus Decision Making, Oct. 23, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 26, 2011)
- Fort-Worth Star Telegram "Occupy Denton camp dismantled after protester's death," December 4, 2011
- KSL.com "Man found dead in Pioneer Park, Occupy SLC ordered to leave both camps," November 11, 2011
- San Francisco Chronicle "Occupy Oakland campers defy city demand to leave," November 12, 2011
- Oakland North "Oakland man charged with murder in shooting death near former Occupy Oakland encampment," December 2, 2011
- ABC "," November 12, 2011
- Burlington Free Press "Future of Occupy Burlington encampment uncertain after police clear City Hall Park to investigate man's death," November 11, 2011
- Indiana Public Media "City Still Supports Occupy Bloomington After Man’s Death," November 7, 2011
- USA Today "Occupy protests face new issue in deaths," November 12, 2011
- New Orleans Times Picayune "Man found dead in Occupy New Orleans encampment," November 8, 2011
- Vancouver Sun "Tragic death rocks Occupy Vancouver site," November 7, 2011
- Norman Transcript "Occupy Oklahoma City holds memorial for dead protester," November 6, 2011
- Hartford Courant "Sexual Assault Reported At Occupy Hartford Camp," December 3, 2011
- Fox News "Man Arrested After Sexual Assault at 'Occupy Philadelphia'" November 13, 2011
- People's World: “Occupy Cleveland” wins wide community support, Oct. 14, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 25, 2011)
- ABC News, ago to petition mayor to stop arrests, October 21, 2011
- People's World: Unions help Wall Street “occupiers” rock New York, Oct. 6, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 25, 2011)
- People's World: Occupy Wall Street protests spread to hundreds of cities, Oct. 11, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 26, 2011)
- Inter Press Service: Occupy Movement Divides Civil Rights Activists, Oct. 31, 2011 (accessed on Nov. 2, 2011)
- People's World: Occupy Wall Street blocks eviction attempt, Oct. 14, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 25, 2011)
- People's World: Occupy, unions and allies: "We refuse to be evicted", Nov. 17, 2011 (accessed on Dec. 9, 2011)
- People's World: Occupy: embrace the new, build the movement, Nov. 1, 2011 (accessed on Dec. 12, 2011)
- People's World: Spotlight is on jobs as “occupy” protests intensify, Oct. 5, 2011 (accessed on Oct. 26, 2011)
- LINKS, February 2012, Paul Le Blanc: Revolutionary organisation and the ‘Occupy moment’