After the Encampments: #OCCUPYMIGRATION and #OCCUPYHOMES
After the Encampments: #OCCUPYMIGRATION and #OCCUPYHOMES
By Micah White / adbusters.org
Dec 6, 2011

The history of activism is a cat-and-mouse game of surprising tactical innovations that spark an insurrectionary situation and the counterstrategies developed to put down the revolt. In 1848, the invention of the barricade toppled the King of France and sparked a Europe-wide people's uprising. In 1999, the unique mixture of a carnivalesque mood with human lockboxes disrupted the World Trade Organization's Seattle meeting and launched the alterglobalization movement. In 2003, the speed of the Internet empowered the world's first worldwide, synchronized antiwar protest. In each of these cases, the power structures were taken by surprise, were slow to respond but eventually, through trial-and-error, discovered a successful counterstrategy.  If there is one law of activism it is that every tactic which works initially will eventually be defeated if too often repeated.

From the perspective of the status quo putting down a revolution is a matter of buttressing oneself against unforeseen assaults and waiting out the initial storm while continually experimenting with responses. Once an effective response is hit upon it is replicated across society and used to suppress the revolt everywhere. In 1848, for example, the barricade was practically invulnerable because the military was unprepared for street fighting (they approached the barricades head-on, at its strongest point) and were constrained by the ethical code that cannons cannot be used against one's own people. Once this spell was broken, once the government grew desperate enough to use cannons to destroy citizen houses so that barricades could be attacked from their flank, the revolution of 1848 fizzled out. And yet, even after a tactic is neutralized it lingers on within the insurgent imagination. It wasn't until the 1871 Paris Commune that the barricade was finally shown to be utterly useless, perhaps even a detriment. Our task as revolutionary activists is thus quite difficult: we must continually innovate; we must perceive immediately when one tactic begins to fail; we must be ready to deploy another stratagem. 

#OCCUPY was birthed when the Tahrir Uprising was combined with the Spanish acampadas and transposed onto an unexpected place: the most potent symbol of casino capitalism: Wall Street. From a strictly tactical perspective, the first phase of #OCCUPY was comprised of a permanent encampment and a general assembly. The encampment claimed symbolic territory and the general assembly enabled organic, bottom-up self-governance. It was the quantity and autonomy of these encampments – that they grew despite an early media blackout, that locals showered them with financial and material support, that they functioned as a viable alternative to the corporate-State – which presented the greatest threat to the status quo. Thus, what happened next is not surprising: after several failed attempts nationally to foreclose the encampments, the corporate-State finally discovered this counterstrategy: first, announce an eviction deadline; then, amass a large show of force which provokes a corresponding mobilization of the encampment's local supporters, exhausting their resources; next, pretend as if you have decided not to enforce the eviction and let it seem like the encampment has won; finally, come back suddenly a day, week or month later and carry out a military-style raid when the encampment is sparsely populated and unable to "cry wolf." We can safely say that this successful technique will be used against every encampment from on.

Attacked on one front, our natural inclination is often to concentrate our energy on winning back lost ground. This may not be the wisest option. In this particular case, we could very easily get stuck in a game of diminishing returns by expending our resources to set up encampments once they've been taken down knowing they will be taken down once again. If we were not able to defend our encampment from eviction when we were strongest, why would we be able to defend it when we are weakest? 

This is not to say that we should abandon the encampments but rather that now might be the perfect moment to embrace the innovation that is already happening. Encampments are the site of new ways of being and new forms of revolutionary social organization. At a purely practical level, they provide the food, shelter and resources that are absolutely necessary to many of us. However, the creative re-imagining of the encampment model has already begun … we should encourage it. 

We can accelerate the #OCCUPYHOMES meme by making a concerted push on December 6 and beyond to set up squats in bank-owned, foreclosed homes. In addition, we can facilitate the #OCCUPYMIGRATION of occupiers from hostile to friendly cities. There are, for example, over ninety tents at #OCCUPYBERKELEY even though #OCCUPYOAKLAND's encampment a few miles away has been shut down. 

While the corporate-State chases symbolic tents, we can start consolidating and fortifying our outdoor encampments in friendly territory until we are strong enough to resist foreclosure. Meanwhile in cities everywhere, let's quietly set up local indoor Occupy Homes in every neighborhood. Both of these spaces just might become the bases for our Spring Offensive.

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State
George Lakey · 29,261 views today · Instead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over.
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 16,562 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 13,022 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 9,074 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
Voices of Standing Rock
49 min · 6,805 views today · Short stories told by water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota. Part 1 - Introduction: Since mid-August 2016, thousands have set up camp near the Standing Rock Sioux...
Redneck Revolt Presents: A Message to the Patriot Movement
6 min · 4,819 views today · Over the past few weeks, Redneck Revolt has been communicating with a former member of a III% Patriot Militia based out of Ohio. Peter made contact with our organization after...
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 4,577 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
Charles Eisenstein: The Two Great Stories That Give Meaning to Our Lives
6 min · 3,665 views today · What matters in life? Who are we? Every culture has answers to these questions. And the way we answer them has profound effects on the health of people and planet. This is a...
The Fire Within
Words by Sophie Scholl - Illustrations by Gavin Aung Than · 3,528 views today · Sophie Scholl (1921-1943) was a German activist who is famous for speaking out against the Nazi regime. Scholl was a member of a protest group called The White Rose, which...
The London Anarchist Group Squatting Mansions to Fight Homelessness
6 min · 2,418 views today · London squatting activists ANAL (Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians) are squatting empty multi-million pound buildings and opening them up to the homeless.
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 2,144 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
The Lessons of Standing Rock
Michael Emero · 2,109 views today · In mid-November of 2016, I was a Water Protector at Standing Rock. At first my goal was to play investigative journalist; documenting then writing about every detail for my...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 2,061 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
What Happens When You Rebel Against the Herd
Sofo Archon · 1,738 views today · Are You Truly Living Your Life? You live, but are you living the way you want to live, or the way others want you to live? You choose, but are your choices based on...
Everything We Think We Know About Addiction Is Wrong
6 min · 1,362 views today · What causes addiction? Easy, right? Drugs cause addiction. But maybe it is not that simple. This video is adapted from Johann Hari's New York Times best-selling book 'Chasing...
Films for Action's Public Film Screening Guide
Tim Hjersted and Matt Toplikar · 1,045 views today · This guide will give you step by step instructions on how to host Films For Action sponsored film screening events in your city. It is intended primarily for people who have...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 1,015 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 928 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 596 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Philippine Vigils Against Vigilantes - The Reign of Terror in the President's War on Drugs
7 min · 582 views today · The war on drugs waged by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has taken more than 7,000 lives since its inception. It took the killing of a South Korean businessman by police...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
After the Encampments: #OCCUPYMIGRATION and #OCCUPYHOMES