Members of Occupy Albany Radical Caucus Arrested

On Friday, 26 members of Occupy Albany were arrested, and another 13 on Saturday. Eight of those arrested were members of the Radical Caucus.

The following “Statement by the Members of Occupy Albany’s Radical Caucus Arrested Saturday and Sunday Evenings in Lafayette Park” was released today:

On Saturday evening 26 people were arrested and on Sunday evening 13 were arrested for remaining in Lafayette Park past a curfew. This curfew did not exist until days before the first General Assembly in Lafayette Park.  Among each night’s arrestees were 8 members of the Occupy Albany Radical Caucus.  While we took part in this action, we would like to make it known we are not of the view that occupying public spaces and appealing to the Bill of Rights is sufficient action for the creation of a just society. No government can grant us rights; they can merely take away our autonomy. This was demonstrated last night when we were arrested.

The privatization of public space and resources must be thoughtfully and effectively resisted. We feel it is essential to defend against this offensive by the 1% and their lapdogs such as Andrew Cuomo.  But we also recognize that it will be necessary to challenge the property rights system which forms the legal basis for many of the material injustices done upon the 99%.  Eviction of persons from their homes by banks and landlords, the idling and off-shoring of our productive capacity, falling wages for those who remain employed, and the elimination of an already miserly social safety net are all methods by which the wealth of our nation is being consolidated to the richest 1%. This extraction can only be ended by moving beyond a system which affirms the property rights of owners to act with profit driven self-interest and towards a system that holds people accountable for the shared costs they impose on society.

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A few words spoken on October 15 at the State Capitol in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

[This was kept simple and brief so that I could put down the bullhorn that had been used by everyone up until I stood up to speak, and instead use the people's mic.]

I am the 99%. I am here because I was on unemployment four times in the last seven years, and because the bank took my home. Because, like many of you, my family and I have depended on food stamps and other services to live. And we continue to live under the threat of those services disappearing. I’m here because I teach at a school where we are denied the ability to collectively bargain. But I, like you, am here because this system has no future. And we are building a model for a new community. We don’t want jobs, we want a living. We don’t want anything but a thriving community based on love, communication, and working through our problems together, through self-determination, self-management and real democracy.

Another world is not just possible. It is here right now.

Occupy Albany’s First Critical Mistake: On the question of nonviolence

I offer the following commentary in full solidarity and critical unity with Occupy Albany.

Early in the General Assembly meeting on Sunday, October 9, 2011, a woman took the floor and proposed that Occupy Albany take the position that “this is a non-violent movement.” I attempted to block this proposal. In arguing for the block, I mistakenly only addressed point #4 below, whereas the first two points are probably more important at this point and time.

There are five primary problems with this proposal: Continue reading