Madrid - Plaza Mayor

thevelvetsun


Do you believe in rock'n'roll?

Can music save your mortal soul?


On how an "occupation" differs in nature from a traditional protest
Firefly - Wash can't take the sky from m
thevelvetsun
A traditional protest is characterized by citizens taking to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with something, whether it is a law, injustices, a political figure, a war, etc. Protests happen for only a couple hours at a time, and then people return to their homes and hope that the visibility of the protest convinces political leaders to change something. (Sometimes instead of political change, protesters seek to change ideologies of the population in general.) But essentially, the people put the responsibility for change in the hands of others, not taking direct responsibility themselves.

An occupation is very different, whether the people participating realize it or not. (And not just because of the 24/7 visibility.) In an occupation, the citizens are taking the responsibility for change upon themselves. They're not simply going home at night with faith that the powers that be will listen to them. Occupiers take it upon themselves to make decisions. Camping with strangers 24/7 forces a certain degree of cooperation, and in these recent occupations that often takes the form of a General Assembly, or direct democracy, wherein all major decisions are arrived at collectively. Once the occupiers realize they're able to make collective decisions, the question arises, do we really need the political leaders, economic leaders, or media to make our decisions for us? No, we don't. Regarding the problem we're protesting... why don't we just fix it ourselves? We have the power to fix it ourselves. People participating in direct democracy with a large group of diverse people has a very empowering effect. It sends a message to the powers at be that if they don't fix the problem, the people will fix it for them.

That is why an occupation is much more powerful than traditional protesting, even sustained protesting. And that is why I think the Occupy Wall Street movement has a very good chance of succeeding.

OCCUPY BOSTON
Firefly - Wash can't take the sky from m
thevelvetsun


Hundreds of police in Boston. Storming camp in the middle of the night (1-2am Boston time). Arresting and beating peaceful protesters, including US Veterans. 16 paddywagons, dozens of police cars. Throwing all belongings into garbage trucks. 16,000 people watching live on livestream.

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING.

For every one they arrest, two will be there to take their place. We are the 99%. The people united will never be defeated.

OCCUPY TOGETHER
Inception - Totem
thevelvetsun
I wish I was in NYC right now, so I could participate in OCCUPY WALL STREET.

http://www.occupywallst.org

Corporate greed is really what is ruining our country right now. There are several social issues I'm very passionate about, but with over 15% of America below the poverty level of $11k per year, the economy is something we need to fix NOW. And jobs bills are only temporary, we need to fundamentally change the way our democracy works and who it works for. Once we get America back into the hands of the 99%, then we'll be able to tackle social issues without our politicians being bought by billion dollar companies who want to protect the status quo.

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

These are peaceful, leaderless protests. They use the "General Assembly" system, which you can read about here. It's basically a forum held twice daily at the occupied park for people to organize, find common solutions to logistical issues, discuss the goals of the occupation, and solve differences. It's really inspiring.

They're super organized, with "Working Groups" of volunteers in areas like Welcome and Outreach | Kitchen | Press | Sanitation | Medical | Donation Sorting | Technology, and more. Because they're leaderless they don't have one dude with a megaphone, instead when anyone wants to make an important announcement, they yell out "mic check" until people echo it back, then they do their announcement one sentence at a time and everyone yells it in echo throughout the entire park, to get the message across to a park full of 2,000-15,000 people in no time. They have a livestream going, so people from all over the world can stay up to date and contribute and hear news that the media doesn't want us to hear. They have a group of lawyers and they've distributed the phone number to everyone, so if they're arrested they can use their phone call on an actual lawyer that can get them released within hours. (Not many people are being arrested though, that's just the media trying to scare people into staying home.) They democratically decide what to do with all the donations, popular choices being food for all and free bail money for anyone who gets arrested. It's amazing.

Here are some pictures from the occupationCollapse )

John Lennon's song Working Class Hero embodies this movement. Ahead of his timeCollapse )

WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT!!!!Collapse )

what does "PRIVILEGE" really mean? in plain english
Madrid - Plaza Mayor
thevelvetsun
I've never been in a fistfight. The only fistfights I've really ever witnessed have been in movies and television, the vast majority of which are choreographed and performed by actors and stuntmen. As such, I probably have a skewed idea of what it's like to be in a fistfight, or to be punched in the face. At best, I can only have a theoretical understanding of the physical effects of a punch in the face, or the conditions faced by participants in a fistfight, or the emotional effect that such combat has on a participant. As such, if I were to say something like, "Being punched in the face isn't so bad; after all, our bodies heal themselves, and it's mostly just bruising anyway," or, "The simple way to avoid getting hit in a fistfight is to just move around, so the other guy can't hit you -- you should've been able to avoid that punch easily," those are privileged statements, because they are grounded in faulty assumptions stemming from my disconnection from the reality of the situation on which I'm commenting.

That's what a "privileged statement" is -- it's a statement grounded in flawed assumptions stemming from the speaker's lack of experience with that type of marginalization. A privileged person can make statements that don't reflect hir privilege, usually by (for instance) listening to marginalized people's explanations of what their marginalization is like, and understanding that making judgments about how severe or difficult a certain thing really is seldom works when the speaker hasn't experienced that thing. A person who is privileged in a particular arena will never completely, intuitively, experientially understand what it is like to be subject to marginalization in that arena (which is why it's important not to speak for people who are marginalized in that arena, or to try to tell them what it's "really" like), but with effort, listening, and empathy, they can learn to understand where their own experiences as a privileged person might lead them to flawed assumptions, and begin to correct those assumptions.

Privilege is less about who a person is and more about what that person's experiences do or do not include, which informs their assumptions about how the world works.

[I didn't originally write this, it's from a comment on ontd_political on livejournal. But I think it does a very good job of separating the world "privilege" from discussions if "-isms" so that people don't feel defensive reading it. It makes the word easy to understand, and with that understanding, one can then apply the meaning to "-isms".]

Prop 8 = UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Madrid - Plaza Mayor
thevelvetsun
Prop 8 was just overturned as unconstitutional!!!:D

Adam Lambert 7-20-2010 Seattle
Adam Lambert - Rock on!
thevelvetsun
The concert was amazing!!!!









Some more pictures!!Collapse )

Complete gallery here, 36 pictures total.

Review!Collapse )