Following last week’s raid on Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco police evicted Occupy SF from their last camp, in front of the Federal Reserve, at 4am this morning. 55 people were arrested. Occupy Pittsburgh is also facing an eviction deadline today, continuing an escalating trend of harassment and eviction of nonviolent protesters across the country and the world.
To the 1%’s pundits who claim Occupy is over: We are still here. Even as the agents of the 1% evict our communities and eviscerate our rights, we are evolving. What we have set in motion cannot be stopped with tear gas, bulldozers, rubber bullets, or metal barricades.
Occupations across the country have found creative ways to persist, resist, and rebuild. We aren’t giving up our public spaces. Last we checked, tents still stand in DC, Chicago, Boise, Oklahoma City, Buffalo, Miami, Chapel Hill, Cleveland, Baltimore, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Pensacola, Lexington, Newark, Tacoma, Charlotte, New Haven, Houston, Austin, Tampa, Louisville, and elsewhere. In Anchorage, they even have igloos. On their two month anniversary, Occupy Minnesota will gather at The People’s Plaza to reclaim their space and continue the fight for equality and justice.
Occupiers in cities like Atlanta, Oakland, and Phoenix have cleverly responded to evictions by staying in the parks during the day and moving to the sidewalk at night. In Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, San Jose, Kansas City, Sacramento, Hartford, Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and New York, evicted Occupations continue to hold General Assemblies and maintain busy calendars with daily meetings, events, workshops, teach-ins, marches, direct actions, and demonstrations at their local city hall, bank branch, corporate office, and courts.
We are also disrupting business-as-usual from Wall Street to K Street. We have brought the festivity of Broadway into the streets. We mic check corrupt politicians and 1%ers everywhere they go. We have moved homeless families into empty foreclosed homes. We have spread our message by occupying the highway. In DC, Oakland, Santa Cruz, London, and Seattle we have liberated buildings from the banks and greedy corporations and begun to turn them into vibrant community centers.
While maintaining our nonpartisan focus on economic inequality and connecting a diversity of issues that impact the 99%, Occupations have begun to refine and hone our messaging around the big banks, foreclosures, evictions, and housing. Foreclosure auctions have been disrupted in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Bremerton, and New Orleans. Occupiers foreclosed on bank offices in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Buffalo and elsewhere. Today, a few weeks after Occupiers took over the Washington State Capital, Occupy Providence is marching on their State house to “ask this house for homes!” After the recent Day of Action to Occupy Our Homes, many cities continue to support families, especially in communities of color, as they fight back against unfair evictions. In Atlanta, Cleveland, Oakland, Chicago, New York, and Oakland, Occupiers are helping homeless families find shelter and resist eviction.
In solidarity with all oppressed communities, we are actively supporting the many social movements that comprise the global revolution. We have marched on U.S.-companies that supply teargas to the Egyptian government to support our comrades in Tahir Square; with immigrants rights activists against deportation, detention and wage-theft in Birmingham, Alabama and New York; with seniors to advocate for social services; with students against tuition-hikes, with workers and unions for jobs, better working conditions, and fair wages; and with farmers fighting for food justice. Occupations in solidarity with OWS have arisen in Manila, Auckland, London, Amsterdam, South Africa and beyond. We’ve marched to draw attention to the connections between the corrupt banking system and issues like the prison industrial complex and climate change.
This is merely a sketch of the ongoing work of the Occupy Wall Street movement. It would be nearly impossible to compile a comprehensive list of the brave actions that are happening all across the United States and the world. And we’re just getting started. Tomorrow, December 12th, in response to the coordinated effort to crush Occupy Wall Street, Occupiers in every major West Coast port city – San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver – are joining Occupy Oakland in a coordinated effort of our own: West Coast Port Shutdown. Solidarity actions are being organized around the world, including in Japan, Houston, Albuquerque, Denver, Greensboro, Austin, Honolulu, Salt Lake City, and New York.
“The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”