One of the abilities the bus gives us is to transport Occupiers from one place to another for various reasons. This past week we ferried a full busload of Occupiers to ARC38 to get some much needed rest and de-stressing. It was as much a medical treatment as anything else. Hard-grounders bear the brunt of the harassment, oppression and suppression aimed at Occupy Wall Street. New York City has legitimized rules and regulations that corporations have created which specifically target Occupiers — a clear and definite violation of our civil rights. It is immoral and unethical for any form of government or organization to make rules that target a specific group of people and prevent them from enjoying the liberties given to everybody else.
I was just informed that the hard-grounders of Occupy Trinity Wall Street were denied service and ejected into the rain by the management of the McDonalds restaurant on Broadway near Zuccotti Park last night (06/13 – 06/14). That was not the first time — it happens with the same regularity as the rain. I have been denied service and ejected into the rain three times at the same McDonalds, once during Winter Storm Athena. All three instances the police were called to do the dirty work because I otherwise refused to be denied. I was even ejected from that McDonalds once for complaining that a crazed, naked man in the restroom spit cheesburger at me when I entered, and he prevented me from using the facilities. I went to the police that time, and 4 different officers refused to help me — upholding the denial of service and ejection from the premises. Each time in the rain there were homeless people sleeping in McDonalds unmolested by management — another clear indication that Occupiers are an oppressed minority in Manhattan.
Occupiers have even suffered persecution from religion — evidence are the restrooms at Trinity Wall Street Church that were closed to us for nearly a year for “renovations” — which never happened. Also the holes Trinity Church drilled in the scaffolding above Occupier heads so there would be no shelter from the storm, despite a stop-work order. Rector Cooper’s characterization of the Occupiers as shiftless, homeless youth and troublemakers — cancelling Halloween for the children because of fears Occupiers would do the children harm — is a blatant expression of prejudice and persecution.
Another recent crime comes from the New York public library system, and should never have happened. Public libraries are bastions of freedom, defenders of the First Amendment — they have no business oppressing homeless people and Occupiers. During a heavy rain a group of hard-ground Occupiers sought shelter in a public library. They were told by library security that they had to leave their bags outside in the rain. They refused, of course. The police were called, and eventually the police allowed the Occupiers to have their bags inside, but required them to all sit and stay in one small corner of the library. Is this the way free peoples are treated in their own country? I’ll answer that one for you just in case you are having trouble with it, yo: No!
There has even been an incident where a person wearing Occupy patches on his clothes walked into a bank in order to transact business. Security at the bank immediately confronted him, locked the doors, closing down the bank, while they interrogated him as to why he was there. He held no protest sign, he chanted no protest cry, he made no protest actions — he simply walked into a branch of the bank he had his money in at the time in order to transact common, everyday business and was oppressed simply because he wore Occupy patches on his vest.
Of course, we all also know that the local police departments, the FBI, the NSA, and Homeland Security have all aided the banks and corporations in suppressing the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Those organizations even uncovered assassination plots against Occupiers, and informed the banks and corporations but not the Occupiers threatened, or even Occupy Wall Street in general. Mainstream media has even covered that aspect of our oppression. The police and government protect and serve bank and corporate interests, not the safety and welfare of the people.
If I cannot enjoy the liberties of United States citizenship, and the police will not aid me in protecting my rights and my safety, then there is no value to that citizenship and no reason for me to allow the government to govern my life. If I cannot enjoy the liberties of United States citizenship than I am naught but a slave in the eyes of the Elite. I refuse to be a slave.
Stacey once asked a security officer of Brookfield Properties to clarify the new post-9/17/11 rules, and the guard handed Stacey a paper titled “Rules of Engagement” — which she kept despite a lively attempt to take it back from her. That paper, as I understand, was given to lawyers who effectively helped suppress our rights by not bringing the situation into the courtroom. All of those rules of engagement targeted Occupiers and/or homeless people. For example: no large bags, no backpacks, no tents, no sleeping bags, no lying down, no distribution of food, no structures, no library, no music, no dancing, no obstruction of pedestrian traffic (one lone Occupier in the park with a sign can be, and has been, accosted by security and police for obstructing the flow of pedestrian movement — that’s insane, intentional and illegal) etc.. Additionally, the paper concluded that Chief Esposito of the NYPD is the commander-in-chief of enforcing these anti-Occupier rules, and if Brookfield Security (ex-Blackwater, ex-mercenary, ex-military, and wannabees) has trouble with Occupiers to call the NYPD and remind them that Chief Esposito has ordered these rules of engagement.
The pre-9/17/11 rules in every Privately Owned Public Space were simply: No Skateboarding, No Rollerblading, No Bicycling. In the time after the occupation of Zuccotti Park every Privately Owned Public Space in New York City has posted a version of the New Zuccotti Park Rules. That is a clear violation of our civil rights that with one fell swoop branded and defined us as different from everybody else. No longer were we identified by the color of our skin, or by our religion or ethnicity, or by any other of the usual discriminatory viewpoints. Now we are Occupiers — the sub-humans for the current hate ethic. It seems we have not progressed very far since the bad old days of Jim Crow. In fact, we just may have descended deeper into the muck and mire of the dregs of the ethical and moral abyss.
This corporate control of public space is a crime — and make no mistake, it is public space regardless of corrupt court decisions post-OWS. Privately Owned Public Spaces are a punishment to the corporations that own the land for not following building codes — i.e. building too high and/or wide. As punishment for violating building codes and stealing the healthy ambiance of the environment away from the people who live there, the corporations had to provide and maintain a public space that is open 24 hours a day. Public space is a public resource, it is the Commons. It is not a private park to be barricaded and patrolled and severely regulated to keep the public from using the park in every way a citizen would desire, including assembling to address grievances against the government. In fact, that is the primary reason for public parks — for the people to assemble to address problems and situations of all sorts, but especially to address governmental abuses of the people. When the government fails, the people need to act — and they need a place to assemble. That place is the public park. Do your homework. Read the founding documents of this country and you will realize that all parks are a public resource, and it is only elitist oppression that thinks otherwise. It is even inscribed in stone at City Hall Park in Manhattan that “The park is the last refuge of the people, the cradle of liberty.”
They write it in stone, and yet to the Elite it is only Doublespeak for the masses. It doesn’t take much brain-power to figure out why the Elite are illegally usurping control of public parks and sidewalks — they want to remain in control and not be held accountable for their crimes against country, humanity and the planet. Lawyers, judges and politicians are in on this crime — all of them upholding this treasonous corruption of power that denies the unalienable rights of the people. If the Declaration of Independence is not worth the hemp it is written on anymore then, by default, there is no more United States of America — it has morphed into something much more sinister. If that is the case, then the September 29, 2011 Declaration of the New York City General Assembly is truly a revolutionary document that dismantles all systems of control used by this and other criminal governments against the citizens — who are no longer citizens, being now a free people without borders or leaders.
Occupy Wall Street is revolution, it is not reform. Have you been so domesticated that you have forgotten what revolution means, and how it differs from reform?
We are treated badly by the NYPD and security forces everywhere in New York City that we go. There are many anecdotal stories out there about our interactions with the NYPD as ordinary citizens . . . and at some point in the encounter the police find out the people in question are Occupiers . . . and the situation immediately goes downhill fast from there. I was just told a story about a woman in a car crash being aided by a police officer. In the middle of helping her, the police officer noticed an OWS button on her purse. He immediately made a disgusted face, pointed at the button, and walked away without finishing his job of providing aid to the injured woman. The woman was not seriously injured but that does not make the situation any better for the NYPD or for Occupiers.
Around the Financial District business owners know hard-grounder faces now. After all, it’s been almost two years we hard-grounders have occupied the streets and parks of New York City’s Financial District. We are routinely denied entrance into establishments, and even public facilities such as libraries and restrooms. While it is true that many of the discriminatory acts perpetrated against us are also perpetrated against homeless people, Occupiers receive a harsher version of the hate. Perhaps this is because we have a message the Establishment doesn’t want to admit is true, timely and demands action now.
Occupying Wall Street is not an easy task, and the stress of constant struggle is traumatizing. Since most hard-grounders are now homeless, having given up everything for The Movement (and yet, The Movement tries hard to forget the hard-grounders), taking a break is impossible. Hard-grounders have to live, and Manhattan is not an inexpensive place to live even if you sleep on sidewalks. Spanging and busking (begging) is a daily grind that also wears on the soul of Occupiers. Begging for money on the street, whether by sign or performance, is a tedious, full-time job that ‘pays’ less than minimum wage. Take a day off and you don’t eat the next day. Manhattan isn’t exactly sprouting with wild edibles — and what is here is terribly contaminated with pollution. The environment of Manhattan is toxic to Earth life. I’ve never been on a river by the coast that did not have seagulls, or crows, or any of the many critters that love riparian environments. For that matter, there’s plenty opf garbage for millions of seagulls and crows . . . so why aren’t they here? Because the environment is toxic to them.
It is toxic to us also. Environmental toxicity causes myriad health problems and shortens life spans. So adding together persecution as an oppressed minority, a toxic environment, and inadequate nutrition and sleep, we get a serious medical problem that a week at The Farm won’t cure, but will help alleviate the symptoms for a bit. What will cure all of this? Revolution.
Oh, if you’re not a hard-grounder you probably will ask — “What about lawyers? What about the civil liberty organizations? What about city programs designed to help?” The answer to that is simply: Shit Is Fucked Up And Bullshit! Lawyers uphold the unjust court system. How else can “Occupier-related structures” and “sidewalk chalking that has a message” be cause for arrest in New Haven as reported 06/17/13 after the re-Occupation of New Haven? “You know you’re Occupiers. You can’t have that sort of thing.” Those laws are not written, and yet Occupiers can be arrested and held until their court date for these fake offenses. Occupiers may even be punished for these fake offenses — similar events have happened in New York City regarding chalking and structures (for instance, any kind of shelter from the elements such as a cardboard box)
Civil liberty organizations and city programs are part of the same System of oppression that stomps on the sleeping Occupier as she holds her 24-hour, 7-day a week, 365-day a year protest on the sidewalk. To top it off, the fair-weather and career-seeking activists who have stolen the name of Occupy Wall Street have also made off with the funding and lawsuit monies. Nothing is given to the hard-grounders. The elite of Occupy Wall Street ignore the fact that hard-grounders are still occupying Wall Street — the day after the June 1st re-Occupation of Liberty Park one of the elite wrote an article on why the re-occupation failed, even as working groups were setting up in the park that day. The elite think if they aren’t there, it ain’t happening. The struggle now includes ridding Occupy Wall Street of the elite and the infiltrators, disruptors, saboteurs and provocateurs, as well as the career-seeking activists, the liberal reformers and the con-men looking for a new angle on a quick buck. The people occupying Wall Street are Occupy Wall Street. Nobody else.
If you would rather do hurricane relief work instead of occupying Wall Street rain, sleet and storm, then join Occupy Sandy . . . oh, wait . . . that’s right, Occupy Sandy is not open, inclusive, non-heirarchal and freely democratic (i.e. anarchistic) like Occupy Wall Street. Therefore, Occupy Sandy cannot use the Occupy name — just as it says in the Statement of Autonomy.
Duh! It so much a no-brainer I have to say it again because I don’t believe people don’t realize . . . the people occupying Wall Street are the only ones who can rightfully call themselves Occupy Wall Street. Everybody else can be Occupy Something-Else, like Occupy Sandy or preferably Occupy Their-Own-Neighborhood. Because, if you don’t live in Liberty Park (aka Zuccotti Park) or on the streets around the park and Wall Street, you don’t belong in the Occupy Wall Street General Assembly — and that includes Occupy Sandy people (have your own General Assembly, yo). Your General Assembly is in your neighborhood. Occupy General Assemblies were always intended to be neighborhood assemblies, and you only belong to the General Assembly where you live. Making decisions in another person’s neighborhood is colonization, yo. We struggle against colonization, remember? Go home, assemble in your own neighborhood, occupy your own neighborhood. Let us who have been occupying Wall Street be Occupy Wall Street. If you want to help, we’d love your help. If you want to be part of Occupy Wall Street and make decisions in our General Assemblies, then come live with us around Wall Street. We’d love for you to join us. But don’t dare sit in your high-rise apartment or suburban home with manicured lawn sipping faddish alcoholic beverages and think you can lord it over us and rule us. We have no leaders. We are the leaders.
And another thing, nobody owns a working group. Those people in Finance, for example, who refuse to give up control of the funds for the greater good even when the consensus of their General Assembly states that they should relinquish control, are thieves not Occupiers, and should be treated as such.
You can’t be Occupy Wall Street if you don’t want to occupy Wall Street. If you want to occupy Facebook and Twitter then create an Occupy Facebook & Twitter group. But I have to tell you fair-weather activists that you’ve done a piss-poor job occupying social media to this date. You guys just aren’t that competent at anything. Good thing your Daddy left you some money ’cause otherwise you don’t have the skills to survive.
How do you like me now?
The Founding Documents that define Occupy Wall Street
The Declaration of the New York City General Assembly
The Principles of Solidarity
The Statement of Autonomy
As I mentioned, homeless people are also an oppressed and suppressed minority. That discrimination is evidenced in many places, especially public places (therefore damning the local governments and police, as well as the local population that supports the discrimination). The Homeless Bill of Rights adopted by Rhode Island and Connecticut should never have had to be. That such a bill of rights, which basically and fundamentally states that homeless people have the same rights as housed people, is necessary is a bold accusation against the hateful, persecuting immorality of this Society. If the government, the courts and the police willfully discriminate against and persecute a specific group of its citizens, then those persecuted are no longer citizens. If we can’t enjoy the rights of citizenship then to remain a citizen is to be a slave. Many, if not most, of the homeless people across the nation are in that situation because the banks stole their homes from them — and were supported in that theft by the government. The banks were even rewarded for their criminal activities by being bailed out by the government using the peoples money and sacrificing the peoples governmental support.
Once again, if the government does not protect my rights as a citizen then I am not a citizen. I owe no allegiance to any form of government that does not protect my rights, my safety and my welfare the same as every other citizen. As well, I owe no obedience to a police force that actively seeks to suppress my rights and injure my person. With the government, the courts, and the police arrayed against me I have but two choices: be a slave or be free. I choose to be free.
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