On March 10th, 40 Occupiers gathered at Judson Church for the Unorganized Workers Assembly to share experiences and tactics about a wide range of workplace organizing campaigns and projects around the city. The assembly was sponsored by Occupy Your Workplace (OYWP), a working group coming out of OWS. From Hot N Crusty to Golden Farm and Tom Cat Bakery, restaurant workers to carwasheros, Student-Worker solidarity at Columbia University and organizing in the Arts industry, New York is buzzing with initiatives.
Breakout groups discussed both the theory and practice of workplace organizing as well as ways to build solidarity across campaigns. There was also a discussion of an ongoing project of OYWP: a workplace Operations Manual inspired by the Debt Resistors manual, which issued an open call for submissions about workplace experiences of the 99%. The manual aims to locate the strategies and tactics of resistance used by the 99% to gain power and visibility in the workplace. There is also an editorial group open to people willing to work on shaping the manual.
Join the Occupy Your Workplace/Organize the Unorganized Facebook group and learn more about the OYWP mailing list, find details about any of their projects, or to get information about upcoming Unorganized Workers Assemblies.
-- from the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team
Occupy in The News
Tidal #4: Block by Block is ready for download. Articles include meditations on Debt and the Commons, reflections on Occupy Sandy and the connections between Occupy and the Civil Rights Movement.
Occupywallstreet.net reports on the third day of demonstrations spurred on by the death of sixteen-year-old Kimani Gray, with on-the-scene coverage from Occupy activist Austin Guest.
On the blog, Waging Nonviolence, Yotam Marom compares his feelings about Kimani Gray to those he had in 2011 when Georgia executed Troy Davis, “I remember the rally held at Union Square, and the feeling that it was one of the most real political moments I’ve ever experienced — with the deepest hurt and the rawest anger mingling together in a beautiful and tragic human knot.”
Alexis Goldstein, former VP at Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch and now OWS activist, reports back on a recent visit to the Rachel Maddow Show where she talked about the Senate hearing on JPMorganChase’s so-called ‘whale’ trades--the risky derivative trades that ended up costing the company six billion dollars in losses. After a nine month investigation, the bank was found to have “ignor[ed] risks, deceiv[ed] investors, [and fought] with regulators.” According to Goldstein, “the great abuse of the London Whale trade is that it was done with “excess deposits,” which is depositor money (your checking account, my savings account) that is not loaned out. JPMorgan gambled customer money, and then lied about it.”
Strike Debt’s coming action--abolishing over one million dollars in medical debt for randomly chosen people in Indiana and Kentucky--can’t help but garner attention. CNN Money and The Daily News reported on Strike Debt’s work and helped to spread the word about the national week of action taking place right now.
In the spirit of mutual-aid, the Occupy Sandy Grants/Projects Group brings you this web-based resource of projects coming out of OS and OWS, and tips on structuring and funding them.
Submissions welcome, contact Kristian at knammack AT gmail.com.
#LifeOrDebt Week of Action
Thursday, March 21st, 4:00pm
Strike Private Health Insurance
Kick off the Strike Debt week of action with a rally and creative actions against the private insurance companies!
Saturday, March 23rd, 9:30am-7:00pm
Life or Debt: A Day of Free Healthcare and Education
Judson Church, 55 Washington Square South and Washington Square Park
Join us on March 23 for a day of free healthcare, radical education and a march to highlight community hospital closings. @Washington Square Park 9:30am – all day: Free education, legal advice, performances and music 2pm – March to highlight community hospital closings
@Judson Church 9:30am – 1:30pm: A health fair with FREE HEALTHCARE! 5:30pm – 7pm: Continuation of health fair. We also plan to have practitioners on call to answer medical questions live on the internet all day!
Saturday, March 23rd, 9:30am-7:00pm
Occupy Town Square: Life or Debt
Washington Square Park
Occupy Town Square has joined Strike Debt in a day of free healthcare, radical education and a march to highlight community hospital closings. If you are interested in tabling, doing a teach-in, or have other ideas for how you would like to participate, drop us a line!
We also plan to have practitioners on call to answer medical questions live on the internet all day! It wouldn't be an Occupy Town Square without the OWS Screen Printers! Bring your blank T-shirts, totes and other clothing for the brilliant screeners to customize.
Sunday, March 24th, 1:00pm
Hospital Closings Protest
Former Site of St. John’s Hospital Queens, 90-02 Queens Blvd.
St. John’s Hospital Queens has been closed for about 4 years now. At the time of its closing, St. John’s and its sister hospital had debts and losses in excess of $110 million. Our debt-ridden healthcare system drives hospitals into closure. Join us to demand that healthcare, hospital, and medical debt be absolved, so that healthcare stops driving community hospitals — and people — into bankruptcy.
Occupy these Actions & Events
March 22nd - March 24th
Organizing New York
United Federation of Teachers building, 52 Broadway
A “Force Multiplier” is an approach or tool that dramatically increases effectiveness or impact.
For the new generation of political changemakers, mastering the tools of organizing is that force multiplier. That’s the thinking behind Sunday’s Rootscamp, a day long unconference that is part of a three day Organizing New York training event.
Master advanced social media techniques, grassroots fundraising, tips on messaging for the media, or learn about new tools and strategies you haven’t even heard of yet. Have questions? Please email ONY@organizing20.org. (Your Inbox: Occupied has endorsed this event).
Saturday, March 23rd, noon-2pm
Divest from TD Bank Day of Action and Rally
Union Square, 14th Street
Join Occupy the Pipeline, 350.org and Sane Energy Project as we call out TD Bank for Greenwashing their Image! We are Calling for All Concerned Citizens to Stop Providing Tar Dollars for Total Destruction! If you have money in TD Bank we think it’s time to MOVE YOUR MONEY. You don’t have to live in NYC to join in this Action! Learn more
Sunday, March 24rd, noon-3pm
National Day of Action to Save the People’s Post Office
James A. Farley Post Office, 421 8th Ave
Congress has manufactured a crisis in the Post Office by requiring it to pre-fund its employee benefits for 75 years. Their ‘solution’ is to cut Saturday Delivery service, following the standard prescription of cutting public services before privatizing them. Tell Congress to stop dismantling the Postal Service so it can keep Delivering for America at this rally.
Monday, March 25th, 7:30pm
Everybody now! Direct Action Singing Group
Judson Memorial Church
To be a part of Everybody Now!, all you have to do is start to sing (or whistle, or hum). We amplify the voice of direct action, not just in loudness, but in beauty and in power. New to Everybody Now? Our mission statement lives here: http://everybodynow.net/about/
7:30-8: Skill Share, 8-9:30: Singing Together, 9:30-10: Discussion + Snacks
Do you have ideas for songs that you would like to share? Or an event/rally/action/march that you think we should collaborate with? Let us know!
Wednesday March 27 - 7pm
Building an Alternative to the Two Parties of Wall St.
CUNY Graduate Center Room 5414 (365 5th Ave, Manhattan, btw 34th & 35th)
Join Occupier Kshema Sawant, Lucas Sanchez from NY Communities for Change and Eljeer Hawkins for a discussion how we can continue to build a left alternative to the two parties of Wall Street. Last Fall, Kshama Sawant ran against the Washington state’s Democratic Speaker of the House to demonstrate that it is, in fact, possible to challenge the two parties of big business. She won a historic 29% of the vote as a Socialist Alternative candidate even though her campaign refused corporate donations and was largely ignored by the corporate media!
Friday, March 29th, 6:30-9:00pm
Women’s History Month Assembly
60 Wall Street
In this special assembly to honor and commemorate Women’s History Month, we will discuss the issues surrounding women and the importance of organizing around Feminism and Womanism and their connection and effectiveness in combating the issues that People of Color, the Working Class, Women, Poor People and all of the 99% face today.
Saturday, March 30th, 10am-8:00pm
Building the Commons - Making Worlds
The Brooklyn Commons, 388 Atlantic Avenue
“Making Worlds: a Commons Coalition” was formed during the occupation of Zuccotti Park in order to bring projects working to reclaim the commons to the fore of the Occupy movement. Last year’s Forum on the Commons sought to conceptualize and explore different areas for commoning – natural resources, arts and education, care and reproduction, alternative economies. This year, we would like to open up space for a horizontal conversation with a strong focus on the concrete processes of commoning that are taking place or could take place in New York City now. To register and for a detailed schedule please visit makingworlds.org