The Scope of the Global Spring

In December 2010, Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi drenched himself in fuel in the middle of Sidi Bouzid’s town square and ignited himself on fire as a traditional form of protest. Eighteen days later, Bouazizi died and four days after that, President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year dictatorship crumbled. More than a year later, Bouazizi’s self-immolation has created a scourge of resistance across all corners of the world.

The people’s epoch of protest has not come easily, but no revolution ever has. Censorship, brutality, arrest and murder have greeted protesters to derail their struggle for liberation. But as last year’s Arab Spring has proved, once the oppressed have lost their fear and tolerance for tyranny, real revolution and change is possible.

An international uprising

Now that the people of the Middle East have paved the way for emancipation, the afflicted working classes across the world are stirring up mass waves of upheaval, each fighting for their own distinct struggles. So far, this Global Spring has activated thousands in nearly every country to take the streets, mobilize and launch an international revolution.

March brought the revitalization of resistance communities all over the world:

  • The Socialist Unity Centre of India has reclaimed the streets of New Delhi to rally against unemployment, lack of education opportunities and violence against women and children in India.
  • When the Indonesian government announced fuel price hikes of more than 30 percent, thousands invaded Jakarta to protest and were met with tear gas and water cannons.
  • On the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, protesters reignited the American uprising against capitalism in all areas of the country.
  • More than 200,000 Canadian students marched to protest tuition hikes in Montreal and awoke a student movement for accessible education.
  • Protesters in the Philippines have marched by the thousands to rally against the U.S. imperialist occupation of their country.
  • Portuguese protesters conducted a general strike against austerity measures after a 78-billion euro bailout last year.
  • More than 400 people gathered in Moscow after taking the streets to mobilize against state television propaganda programming condemning opposition rallies.
  • The Pakistan working class took over a petrol station to oppose power cuts in Lahore.
  • The Aysén Social Movement in Chile has made great strides against its government tormentors and has worked to provide the working class with better working conditions, healthcare, education and city infrastructure.
  • About 40 people were killed in this week alone in Syria as a continued backlash against the Arab Spring and activist groups. More than 9,000 have been killed in the year-long conflict, but protests and marches have continued.
  • Countless marches have sprung up in the United States to assemble against racism in the dozens of protests that fought for justice for murdered teenager Treyvon Martin.
  • Jamyang Palden set himself aflame in the town of Rongwo in China to protest the country’s occupation of Tibet where government officials have cut off Internet and international news access. Palden is the 27th person in the last year to self-immolate in protest.

…and this has only been in the month of March.

These are just a few of the communities of resistance that have assembled and organized against their oppressors to continue the legacy of revolution Bouazizi helped spark.

Solidarity in revolution

As the globalization of government and markets has come to be the way of the world, oppressive regimes and capitalist interests have terrorized working classes and distorted countries’ economies. But the working class is using internationalism to their benefit; one country’s struggle has become another’s struggle. This use of solidarity has acted as the fuel to enrage and motivate working class groups to begin their own emancipation. Globalization has forced us to see that revolution cannot just happen in one country; it must be an international effort to crush the oppressive forces of government control, greed, violence and war. Social justice and human rights cannot exist in one country and not in another. This conflagration of dissent is spreading purposefully and will continue a power shift from the oppressive to the oppressed.

Those maintaining the status quo are scared, too. The use of violence against protesters only demonstrates a government’s belief that uprisings can and will eventually topple them to dust. Brutality cannot and has not prevented activists all over the world from continuing their plight for basic human rights.

The Global Spring has arrived, but this is only the beginning of the emancipation of the world’s working class and oppressed.

-G. Razo

“Our bodies have to be with other bodies and they have to occupy spaces to bring attention to injustices,” explains Dr. Foster, who looks back at King’s work and the efforts of African-Americans to focus the attention of the nation on discrimination. “With the bus boycotts, the lack of bodies on the bus brought on change. On the bridge in Selma — those bodies were beaten so brutally that we could see an incarnation of injustice and its evidence on the very bodies of people who survived. That incarnation of evidence of injustice stopped people and caused them to question, ‘Is something wrong?” - How the Occupy Movement Evokes the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Our bodies have to be with other bodies and they have to occupy spaces to bring attention to injustices,” explains Dr. Foster, who looks back at King’s work and the efforts of African-Americans to focus the attention of the nation on discrimination. “With the bus boycotts, the lack of bodies on the bus brought on change. On the bridge in Selma — those bodies were beaten so brutally that we could see an incarnation of injustice and its evidence on the very bodies of people who survived. That incarnation of evidence of injustice stopped people and caused them to question, ‘Is something wrong?” - How the Occupy Movement Evokes the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

  • They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
  • They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
  • They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
  • They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
  • They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
  • They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
  • They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
  • They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
  • They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
  • They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
  • They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
  • They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
  • They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
  • They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
  • They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
  • They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
  • They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
  • They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
  • They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
  • They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
  • They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
  • They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.


occupyonline

socialismartnature:

The internal economic anatomy of a decaying Empire …

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There are 18,000 parking lot attendants in the U.S. with college degrees. There are 5,000 janitors in the U.S. with PhDs. In all, some 17 million college-educated Americans have jobs that don’t require their level of education. Why?

The data comes from a the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and can be seen here in handy, depressing chart form:

We go into debt for degrees that will only end up getting us a service job. It’s a never-ending circle of servitude.

Occupy your mind with the facts & help others become informed about the United States’ false promises of economic mobility & equality:
In 2009, the number of millionaires in the United States rose 16 percent to 7.8 million.
The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.
83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
The bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7 percent of the liquid financial assets.
The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which is up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
More than 40 million Americans are on food stamps.
21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line
36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.
43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
The average federal worker now earns 60 percent MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
More than 40 percent of Americans who are employed are now working in service jobs.
In China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
(Poster by Jay Bryant via Occuprint.org)

Occupy your mind with the facts & help others become informed about the United States’ false promises of economic mobility & equality:

  • In 2009, the number of millionaires in the United States rose 16 percent to 7.8 million.
  • The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.
  • 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
  • The bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7 percent of the liquid financial assets.
  • The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
  • 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which is up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
  • More than 40 million Americans are on food stamps.
  • 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line
  • 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.
  • 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
  • 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
  • The average federal worker now earns 60 percent MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
  • More than 40 percent of Americans who are employed are now working in service jobs.
  • In China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.

(Poster by Jay Bryant via Occuprint.org)