Category: Essays & Letters

Fertile Winter Yields Pay Dirt for Occupy Portland

By Barbara G. Ellis Portland, Oregon, is a city so packed with progressive activists that the two Bush presidents angrily dubbed it “Little Beirut”, because whenever they dared to drop in they were targeted by hundreds of vociferous protesters from many organizations. Issues that drew dissident ire included: the Iraq war, single-payer health insurance, impeaching…

A Heartbeat for the Movement

by Adam Sherburne in conversation with K. Kendall Originally from the bay area, Adam Sherburne is a musician who fought the music industry and most things American for over 20 years with his projects “Consolidated” and Free Music! Stop America! “I call myself a trans-jester, because we’ve had countless jesters, like we’ve had countless activists,…

Occupy South Korea: A Ghost Encampment

by Lauriel Schuman On my first day in South Korea while wandering around Seoul looking for any sign of activism (which tends to be what I do when I travel!) I came across what I can only assume is Occupy South Korea. I couldn’t be sure as there was no one around to ask but…

Why Occupy?

by John Wood At a recent Portland General Assembly, some of us had concerns about how a proposed action might be perceived by the general public. One person countered with (paraphrased) “If we don’t act on something because we’re afraid of how the public will view it, we’re going against everything we believe in.” If…

Why I Occupy – William Haas

Every person has a story to tell about what is important to them. A story about decisions they have made and the motivating factors for those decisions, whether it be family, friends, economics, ethics, or some other reason. Every person has a story to tell about an event that changed their life. A turning point…

A Tale of Two Ships

  by Lauren Paulson Two Occupy Portland ships didn’t meet in the night, recently, though they steered an impressively close course. One ship is the Oregon Area Jewish Committee (OAJC) who put on a meaningful update of the Occupy movement during an august group luncheon March 28th, at the tiny digs of the Miller Nash…

Why I Occupy – Jess Hadden

Every person has a story to tell about what is important to them. A story about decisions they have made and the motivating factors for those decisions, whether it be family, friends, economics, ethics, or some other reason. Every person has a story to tell about an event that changed their life. A turning point…

Beneath the Pavement – The Historical Struggle of the Commons

by Robin Banks On the one hand, there are the forces of control. There are commercial interests which see the commons as theirs – to transport their goods, to advertise and sell their products, to facilitate the functional operation of the machine. Acting on their behalf are the police and politicians, who enforce this relationship…

Perception Management

by David Glenn Cox There is no top to this and no bottom. There are no sides to this and no way to contain it. It can only be held in place temporarily, only with makeshift propaganda and truckloads of hubris. This involves us all, every last mother-loving son or daughter of us and it…

Occupy May Day: Not Your Usual General Strike

by Jeremy Brecher Based on a talk by Jeremy Brecher to Occupy University, Zuccotti Park. Last December, Occupy Los Angeles proposed a General Strike on May 1 “for migrant rights, jobs for all, a moratorium on foreclosures, and peace – and to recognize housing, education and health care as human rights.”  The idea has spread…