Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution Part 4: ‘Tentmonster’ Sara Kerrison

Occupy Savvy Exclusive! One of the coolest things about activism is that it doesn’t have celebrities – it has role models. Recently, we put 7 poignant questions to five of the world’s most inspiring women. These women hail from Iceland, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and for their profound actions, deeds, words, generosity, heart, and perseverance, we deem them “wahine toa”.

In Aotearoa, New Zealand, we describe a fearless woman of soul and substance, as “wahine toa”. This very loosely translates to “woman warrior.”

The Maori dictionary explains it as;

wāhine: (noun) women, females, ladies, wives.

toa: (stative) be brave, bold, victorious, experienced, accomplished, adept, competent, skilful, capable.

But wahine toa is even more; to us she is;

kaitiaki: (noun) trustee, minder, guard, custodian, guardian, keeper.

She becomes;

ūkaipō: (noun) mother, origin, source of sustenance, real home.

She is “atua” in the sense of; “a way of perceiving and rationalising the world”.

If it were audible; we could almost hear our ladies blushing through the screen. The truth is; they deserve every accolade we can give them, as they live this wild journey called life to the fullest, inspiring so many of us to follow their path, by discovering our own.

These next few days, you will see the same 7 questions posted here, again and again. But you will see vastly different answers. All of a unique and immeasurable insightfulness that is a gift, as a reader, to absorb.

Part One saw us publish the heartfelt words of Turtle Island, Canada’s Min Reyes.

Part Two was an exclusive interview with Iceland’s very own Birgitta Jónsdóttir.

Part Three was an introduction to Aotearoa, New Zealand’s Marama Davidson.

In Part Four we cover an Occupy Melbourne institution that rightly went viral; an original “Tentmonster” – Australia’s Sara Kerrison.

Tentmonster

The proverbial meat of this article is going to start unconventionally. By making you wet yourself with laughter. In case you missed it back in December 2011, it is our great pleasure to introduce: the Occupy Melbourne Tentmonsters.

If you’ve taken the 4 minutes out of your day to watch the above; you will be shocked by the contrast of what happened next. Apparently the Melbourne Police didn’t get the joke. Their retaliation was swift, brutal and left an innocent young girl who had lightened the world with laughter, an extremely public victim of the self-evident Police State.

tentmonsters

The sickening assault circled the globe. In one fell swoop Melbourne Police did their international reputation irrevocable damage. The grassroots fallout was instantaneous.

Within hours the entire Occupy movement was expressing both their outrage and their empathy with Sara, then swiftly replicating the “tentmonsters” tactic in spontaneous solidarity actions worldwide; spawning “International Wear A Tent For Human Rights Day“.

There were no longer just tentmonsters in Aussie. They sprung up in locations as far flung from Melbourne as possible; including the Occupy National Gathering (2012) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. In Occupy DC… and at Occupy Santa Cruz, California.

There were even tentmonsters in attendance at the famous Occupy Oakland Port Shutdown II. (Pics courtesy of CIAbook) They even popped up on livestreaming legend Oakfosho’s Ustream, the following January.

With these serendipitous events, Sara was unwittingly thrust into the global spotlight. A Wikileaks activist and Bradley Manning supporter, she had fought injustice but never sought to be the public victim of it.

True occupiers have an innate ability to turn attacks on them into personal and societal victories. Sara did exactly that, putting her profile to good use. She is now a co-litigant representing Occupy Melbourne in the Australian Federal Court in Muldoon Vs Melbourne – a constitutional case that is testing fundamental principles of political communication and freedom of expression.

As Min Reyes said in Part 1 of this series (paraphrasing); the movements come in waves, each a little bigger than the last, all blurring into each other until the individual banners are meaningless and meld into one.

In Part 2 Birgitta Jónsdóttir described the revolution as an ongoing process; where we needed to abandon ego-logy and embrace ecology.

Part 3 saw Marama Davidson deliver the stark reality; we can no longer attempt to be the human boss of Earth. Such wankery is running us into utter ruination.

Here follows Sara’s insightful answers to the same 7 questions we put to the other wahine toa featured in this series.

Q1. Occupy Savvy: Strong women abound in the Occupy and Idle No More movements. Did you ever foresee that you would contribute as meaningfully as you have, to such momentous events?

Sara: Occupy Melbourne was the real catalyst of my participation in social
change. I immediately recognized something in Occupy, some truth in life
and myself that had always been missing and that perhaps subconsciously I
had always been searching for; a sense of community and a belief in my
inalienable right to direct the outcome of my own life. I definitely
didn’t plan to get so involved, but the moment I experienced it I knew
that here is something that EVERYONE deserves to feel! It is moving to be
involved in something much larger than yourself.

Q2. Occupy Savvy: An ONZ admin says “Activism didn’t radicalise me; the state response to activism radicalised me.” Can you empathise with this statement?

SaraI completely understand, we expressed a similar sentiment after our
eviction in Melbourne because we experienced and witnessed some pretty
brutal things happen to the people we cared about and to everything that
we had built. It was this experience that was instrumental in making me
fully internalize the gravity of the situation, what they are capable of
and how necessary it is for us to persevere. But in the end I feel that
more important than what radicalized me is what keeps me going, and
perhaps it was anger and outrage that ignited me, but it was hope that
kept me going.

Q3. Occupy Savvy: Activism messages appear to be increasingly penetrating the public consciousness. What is your experience of this awakening?

SaraMy personal experience of activism messages being taken on by the public
was when I wrote a short essay about the need for rEvolution which gained
some small notoriety and popularity on the internet. I was grateful that
so many people related to it because it means that many others are having
similar revelations, and realizing the need for us to OPEN OUR EYES!

Q4. Occupy Savvy: What has been your most satisfying moment of the global revolution, to date?

Sara: Even though it is constantly challenging, and sometimes very painful and frustrating, everything about the rEvolution is satisfying, because no matter what happens you know you are involved in such a worthy cause.

Something that particularly touched me was when I saw the videos of the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street. I was so captivated by this group of strangers, so hands on and involved, so organized and dedicated to their ideals, and so willing to confront hard and real truths about life and the condition of humanity. I was taken aback, because this involvement was a totally foreign concept to me. When the camera swept across the crowd and you saw all of the people, there was a look on each of their faces quite unlike anything I’ve seen before, maybe it was renewed hope.

It’s a simple scene but it really moved me, and I keep coming back to that memory, to remind me to persevere not just against the injustice in the world but for all the beauty that is possible.

Q5. Occupy Savvy: In what way would you most like to see the global narrative shift, from this point?

Sara: I see sustainable self-sufficiency as a practical foundation upon which all great global change can occur. So I want to see solar panels on every roof in every city, water collections in every gutter, vertical farms on the walls of every skyscraper and community gardens in every vacant lot! If each person is able to provide for themselves their most basic needs, society itself will be inadvertently changed, because we will no longer see each other as competitors, and we will have the freedom necessary to interact more meaningfully with each other, our communities and our planet.

And really these ideas aren’t that farfetched! Every single thing that we require to liberate us exists already within ourselves and on our planet. We possess the most awe-inspiring technologies; we could make our reality here into anything that we want! But somehow along the way we managed to convince ourselves that we must work a wage for someone else to pay back the debt of our own existence, and to buy back our freedom. Well our lives aren’t loaned to us by the big banks, so why do we feel we have to spend our lives paying them back?

Q6. Occupy Savvy: What advice would you give to a woman becoming involved in activism for the first time?

SaraDon’t get distracted by small things such as the police and drama of activist groups. I’ve seen too many activists get sucked into the vortex of interpersonal politics, and use up all of the energy that could have been spent furthering their cause on fighting each other, and eventually self-destruction.

The same goes for the police. They can do things that OUTRAGE you, and yes they can HURT you, and make you ANGRY and make you want to FIGHT BACK. But don’t, it’s just getting caught in their trap. So be gentle with yourself, and take breaks because if you burn out you won’t be helping anyone.

Always listen to people who have the opposite opinion to you, there is no point preaching to the choir. Don’t try to be a badass, and don’t get paranoid about governmental implants involved in your business, because they probably are.

It can all probably be summed up by this Dr. Seuss quote:

“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot
with your left.”

Q7. Occupy Savvy: In what way have you seen your country change, over the last 18 months? In what way would you see it change, in the next 18?

SaraI haven’t seen my country change nearly enough in the last 18 months! And I wonder to myself why that is, what it is that we are doing, or not doing in our public advocacy that isn’t persuasive?

Grand ambitions aside, the change I want to see is within the protest culture itself, there needs to be a paradigm shift within activism. A transformation from specific issue-based approaches, to an approach that acknowledges the systemic nature of our problems here on Earth.

Problems that are inherent in the very structure of the system our societies are built on, and that permeate to the core of its people and so warrant an approach in activism that also deals with the issues at their very source and encompasses the entire panorama of problems.

It’s something that I’ve been contemplating for a while but can’t fully articulate yet, but I’d love to start throwing around ideas with any and all people who are feeling the same thing.


That concludes the fourth part of “Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution”. We thank Sara for repping Australia in this series and for being such a fantastic role model for women in her country. Keep an eye out in the coming days for interviews with the final wahine toa to be featured in this series; a staunch female activist hailing from the United States of America.

This site operates on a $0 budget & so if you loved this article all we ask is that you share it with your friends and family. Help us spread the sentiments expressed by these ladies, around the world. Thank you!

LEAK: NZ Cops Brag About Bashing TPP Protesters – U.S. Embassy “Happy”

This week the NZ corporate media, in concert with the NZ police, put forward a young female protester as a scapegoat for the repeated violence demonstrated by officers & security guards at the December 8 TPPA Shutdown protest at Sky City, in Auckland.

The combined protest movements of It’s Our Future, Occupy New Zealand, Aotearoa Is Not For Sale and Socialist Aotearoa, among others, were depicted as violent, framed as volatile and dangerous and falsely accused of wanton assaults on police officers.

Despite this Occupy NZ flooded the alternative media sphere with THE TRUTH:

* multiple sets of unedited live coverage thanks to Occupy Eye & Redstar309z

* comprehensive info-filled blogpost

resources / viewing guides/analysis

But never did we dream that the protesters written about so libelously in the national media would now be suddenly exonerated in so spectacular a fashion as has unfolded!

Global Peace & Justice Aotearoa has published a press release containing a leaked tape.

The tape is of internal police conversations regarding the approval of the U.S. Embassy of the police actions that day, a tape of which GPJA says;

In the recording the officer acknowledges Saturday’s melee was sparked when an officer “broke ranks” and ran into the crowd.

The admins on Occupy Auckland & Occupy New Zealand have had a hell of a week. Not only have they had to deal with constant paid trolls on You Tube videos posting false “witness testimony” (sure they were there! With a uniform on…) we have also had to deal with many of our own loyal supporters who weren’t present, and who took the corporate media/police line at face value.

It seems the entire country forgot our track record of a year straight of non-violent protest actions.

As with the violence displayed at the Occupy Auckland evictions and the constant bashings dished out by police at Glen Innes Housing protests, there was already a mountain of evidence that the blame for the TPPA unrest lay at the feet of authorities.

For an organisation that has promised to change its culture surrounding the handling of crimes committed by its employees, it needs to take a serious look at why it is expending its resources targeting normal legislative democratic dissent and not dealing to the abysmal social issues that continue in Auckland seemingly unabated.

When the police make the general public the enemy, who is left for them to protect and serve?

It is difficult for someone not involved to realise the full significance of this now-famous photo of Motorbike Cop – NZ’s own version of Pepper Spray Cop.

"What kind of a cop is this? No ID, No badge, No uniform, A crash helmet. He roamed around beating up on young girls." says an eye-witness http://t.co/eFWWrKH9 #tpp #tppa #d8

“What kind of a cop is this? No ID, No badge, No uniform, A crash helmet. He roamed around beating up on young girls.” says an eye-witness http://t.co/eFWWrKH9 #tpp #tppa #d8

The member of the public in the above photo is wearing a Power Shift t-shirt. Power Shift had an event at the university on the morning of the TPPA protest, and are a very straight-laced coalition of climate change protesters, many of whom then attended the TPPA shutdown on a whim.

While to corporate eyes the young man’s skin colour may condemn him, as with the other victims of Motorbike Cop he was quite obviously undeserving of the ill-treatment so publicly meted out to him.

Likewise some police may have been fooled into thinking it is an accomplishment to hit John Minto. To us, it is the utmost shame to beat a man of his age. Those who physically abuse someone they can’t outmatch intellectually are the definition of thugs.

The city cops that policed Occupy Auckland for the first four months of our occupations, were the opposite of the thuggery displayed at the TPPA negotiations.

It seems whenever police are imported from other locations there is brutality, but the regular city cops especially under the guidance of Inspector Danny Meade, have been constantly affable, supportive and generated goodwill amongst activists.

To have those efforts so callously destroyed for the sake of testosterone and blatant political discrimination, let alone on the world stage where it is being played out, is pure embarrassment.

This month we have worked so hard to move the world to analyse and reject the TPPA, with great success. Even going so far as to host foreign citizen journalists, to spend money filming and documenting the momentous events here, creating a pure historical record.

Occupier Kereru of Occupy Auckland said: this is the year of instant karma. All actions will be held immediately accountable.

It seems this is precisely what has played out here. Despite the police and corporate media machines being set firmly against us – the truth has slipped through the cracks and the perpetrators have revealed themselves and their intentions, to the world.

D8 TPPA Shutdown Protesters Refuse To Be Ignored

(Updated D10 2012) The frequently foolish John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, has a long track record of outright “ignoring” mass dissent amongst the population, boiling for over a year now.

When 8,000 protesters amassed on the steps of Parliament in May, John Key claimed from inside that very building, to be unaware of their presence.

Only last week, he told the NZ public to outright “ignore” the TPPA protesters.

Today those protesters showed that they will not be ignored.

The mainstream media version of today’s events is that a rogue female protester assaulted a cop, resulting in the unrest. However, eye witness testimony from those on the ground paints a vastly different picture.

As does the extremely valuable live video coverage of the event, broadcast by Occupy Eye (NYC, DC) and Redstar309Z (Auckland, NZ) from the ground. Their streams are a must-see.

Below is a mash-up of media from the day – videos, photos, and tweets. We will continually add links and information as able.

These boxes contained 750,000 signatures from people worldwide who are against the TPPA

These boxes contained 750,000 signatures from people worldwide who are against the TPPA

After Professor Jane Kelsey from Auckland University School of Law was denied entry to hand over the petition, the boxes were set it alight in protest. #d8 #tpp #tppa

After Professor Jane Kelsey from Auckland University School of Law was denied entry to hand over the petition, the boxes were set alight in protest. #d8 #tpp #tppa

(Last two photos by @keyweekat of Occupy Auckland Media Team)

Keyweekat’s video of the symbolic burning of the rejected petition signatures:

At this point, several scuffles broke out between police and protesters with livestream footage showing officers throwing punches, kicking & shoving & using various tactics against protesters of all ages and walks of life.

There was much furore after the cop in this photo allegedly attacked a number of protesters including women. He was then intercepted by a group of protesters who began to return the favour, at which point according to Occupy Eye, the rest of the cops “came in swinging” to get him out. (Refer to the livestreams to see these events for yourself).

"What kind of a cop is this? No ID, No badge, No uniform, A crash helmet. He roamed around beating up on young girls." says an eye-witness http://t.co/eFWWrKH9 #tpp #tppa #d8

“What kind of a cop is this? No ID, No badge, No uniform, A crash helmet. He roamed around beating up on young girls.” says an eye-witness http://t.co/eFWWrKH9 #tpp #tppa #d8

The protesters then scattered with a large group gathering for debrief at Aotea Square, which was quickly surrounded by police, apparently intent on kettling those still within the vicinity.

However the display of violence against the young female had infuriated the crowd, who openly confronted the police, telling them to stand down & leave immediately, which they apparently wisely chose to do.

This 12 minute video filmed & edited by Occupy Eye is a must-see.

For a thorough time-stamped analysis of the above video please read this viewing guide.

Police Walk Of Shame from Aotea Square after assaulting protesters incl. young women:

Eye-witness testimony regarding police assaults on protesters:

2nd eye-witness testimony regarding police assaults on protesters:

Middle-aged protester shows her bruises from being physically grabbed and thrown by police #d8 #tpp #tppa #anfs

Middle-aged protester shows her bruises from being physically grabbed and thrown by police #d8 #tpp #tppa #anfs

3News (who have a long track record of misrepresenting protest actions in New Zealand) claim there were 30 police present. In reality, there were a multitude of squads of 30-45 police each and likely in excess of 30 police vehicles.

We might wonder where TV3 and the other corporate media get their information from. However, we know full well where they get it from. In fact, we captured them getting it!

Is this why the NZ corporate media are reporting fiction?

Is this why the NZ corporate media are reporting fiction?

3News report there were 30 police present. You be the judge.

Intersection of Albert & Wellesley, #d8 #tpp #tppa

Intersection of Albert & Wellesley, #d8 #tpp #tppa

Albert Street #d8 #tpp #tppa

Albert Street #d8 #tpp #tppa

Intersection of Albert St & Victoria St West

Intersection of Albert St & Victoria St West

Victoria Street West, Auckland #d8 #tpp #tppa

Victoria Street West, Auckland #d8 #tpp #tppa

Federal St, Auckland. Entrance of the Sky City Grand Hotel #d8 #tpp #tppa

Federal St, Auckland. Entrance of the Sky City Grand Hotel #d8 #tpp #tppa

Intersection Federal St & Wellesley St, Auckland #d8 #tpp #tppa

Intersection Federal St & Wellesley St, Auckland #d8 #tpp #tppa

There were squads of cops like this at each corner/entrance to Aotea Square, blatantly attempting to kettle the protesters who had fled to Aotea to escape the violence at Sky City

There were squads of cops like this at each corner/entrance to Aotea Square, blatantly attempting to kettle the protesters who had fled to Aotea to escape the violence at Sky City

Police face off against protesters after assaulting numerous people (as per http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/27569157 live footage)  #tpp #tppa #d8

Police face off against protesters after assaulting numerous people (as per http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/27569157 live footage) #tpp #tppa #d8

Also check out this must-read blogpost with more commentary and pics & vids shot from different angles.

Thank you to the world for watching. Special thanks to Global Rev & Ustream for carrying the livestreams today. Big boo to Sky News for stealing Occupy Eye’s stream without permission. More to come about that!!!

Solidarity With Gaza – Global Peace And Justice – Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland protesters fly Palestinian flag from the U.S. Embassy flagpole!

Yesterday’s Global Peace and Justice “Solidarity With Gaza” march from Aotea Square to the U.S. Embassy in Auckland, New Zealand, was one of the most exciting Auckland actions to date.

The turn-out was huge despite short notice and pouring rain that had us all soggy in no time (causing slippery cellphone syndrome for us citizen journalists!) with as many as 300 or more protesters in attendance.

The march visibly swelled as it snaked its way down Queen Street towards the U.S. Consulate on Customs Street, near Auckland’s Princes Wharf.

Umbrella’s of every colour of the rainbow shielded the crowd from above, while colourful costuming and signs galore provided ample eye-candy to accompany the consistent chanting of people’s voices in protest at the atrocities of the never-ending Israel-Palestine conflict.

The most astonishing and unexpected aspect of the event was the disparate if not entirely invisible police presence. There were in fact NO marshalling police vehicles on the Queen Street march (a first-time experience for us, in every action we have covered there have been police marshalling and/or mustering and/or significant police and private security presence, sometimes into the many hundreds of officers.)

We assumed (the mother of all…) that the police must be amassed at the Embassy yet once we all arrived there, only 2 police vehicles and a half dozen police emerged and were VERY low key about their presence.

At the Embassy the crowd watched in awe and amazement as a Palestinian flag was raised above the Consulate, on their very own flagpole!

Approximately 30 protesters threw old shoes at the Embassy to display their disgust at U.S. foreign policy. There were several speeches from the soundtruck and a song.

That an action on such a contentious topic as this could go virtually unattended by the NZ Police is a massive shift in tactics on their part.

That the events ended naturally with protesters peacefully dispersing of their own accord, entirely unmolested by authorities, makes a pleasant change from the constant brutality exerted against the public at the student’s Blockade The Budget protests, and at the Glen Innes House Defense protests, throughout 2012.

It was certainly nice to see the police film squad also absent. At least, the uniformed ones anyway!

We hope this signals a new focus for police; away from unnecessarily expending resources on suppressing democratic dissent and shadowing activists to instead funneling those resources on fighting actual crime, and surveilling actual criminals.

Video of Palestinian flag flying above embassy: (clarification; we did not see the U.S. flag come down so flagpole may have been empty with no ambassador in residence however Palestinian flag was raised and flown above the consulate!!!)

Protesters throwing their shoes at the U.S. Embassy in protest:

We are still processing pics from the event, and will insert a gallery here ASAP. In the meantime, tons of pics of the event are already published in our online newspaper; The Occupied NZ Herald

Other resources:

Global Peace & Justice Website

Official event press release

Facebook event page

Other noteworthy coverage;

Amazon News Media

Socialist Aotearoa

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

Occupy Oakland: A Phoenix Will Rise From The Ashes #O25 #OO

48 hours out from #O25 Occupy Oakland is in turmoil. It needs our help.

We, who have eye-witnessed on their behalf. As they in turn did for us, during the evictions of Occupy Auckland, here in NZ.

How can we help? By speaking the truth. Fearlessly.

By regurgitating the sum of our knowledge gathered over this past year and trusting in each other’s mutual sincerity enough to ALWAYS keep an open mind.

We who have now, finally, become adept at picking out the true of heart and conscience, from the wolves in sheep’s clothing. For by their actions, they are known.

———————————————————————————————————–

The geographic difference between Oakland, CA & New Zealand belies the closeness of the socio-economic circumstances and the pop culture. Listening to the Port Shutdown II soundtruck on Oakfosho’s livestream, we knew (and raucously sung along to) every song played.

Whether it is the ‘Pac connection (revered as a deity in the NZ hip-hop/rap scene) or the fact that I, a white Kiwi woman, can rap the entire of Luniz “I Got 5 On It”; at street level we feel Oakland, like a distant older sibling. “Up in the O-A-K the town; homies don’t play around, we down to blaze a pound…” “Holla if ya hear me!”

Activists and musicians from Oakland have been naming all of our social ills and nailing the root causes of them for decades before Occupy spawned. They, and the newer generations of activists who collectively founded Occupy Oakland do have so much to be proud of.

Proud that people were fed, that people were housed, that people were roused from their slumber and reunited in community. Proud that because of the sheer determination of citizen media; the whole world IS watching.

We will never forget the night the chopper’s cut & ran.

We were screaming obscenities at the @ABC7newsBayArea “refuelling” lies, while watching both the CBS and ABC7 helicopters cut & run SIMULTANEOUSLY… from the livestreams on the ground.

We don’t need to retell that story… it was already done beautifully in this absolute must-read blog post, authored by an Oakland resident who witnessed the same sequence of events as us.

The writer talks of leaping out of their chair and running out of their house to join their community on #O25 ’11, explicitly because of what they witnessed through the livestreams. Yet another testament to the invaluable ability of People’s Media to reach an audience otherwise literally CUT OFF from participation, by the complicity and corruption of the mainstream media.

Witnessing the chopper cut-and-run & the events that followed, instantly turned us into by-proxy Occupy Oakland activists. As with activists the world over, we amplified & collated the media response and from sheer outrage at the injustices, absolutely hammered the public interfacing (read: P.R.) channels of the officials responsible for the debacle.

Mayor Jean Quan’s Facebook page was receiving 14,000 – 20,000 comments per post on her page, lambasting her (to put it politely). ABC7 was forced to pull their twitter feed off their website after it erupted into abuse at their obvious lies and omissions, bailing right as everyone was gassed.

The following are some of the tweets that transpired from our end, within the first 24 hours. (Note: 26th in NZ was 25th for OO)

The reference to “OPD lies” in one of the tweets above is due to the OPD holding a press-conference on #O25 itself stating to the corporate media that they had not used flash-bang grenades against the demonstrators. Once the deluge of citizen media came out proving them liars, the footage of their press conference was removed from the web.

The fall-out was immediate and swift. Mayor Jean Quan’s inner circle soon began to crumble.

Petitions sprang up; including a recall petition. A “Recall Mayor Jean Quan” Facebook page got thousands of likes almost instantaneously. Even, of all people, the police union, got on her case.

Mayor Jean Quan In Big Trouble After Riot” claimed SFGate.com, as the resignations of Quan’s inner circle continued.

Astonishingly, Quan’s response (other than to shirk an appearance at a General Assembly for not being given priority in the speaking order) was to spill the beans about PERF‘s “18-city” eviction co-ordination.

This Oakland Tribune live-blog of O25 tells of the beginnings of the idea to shut down the Port of Oakland as part of a General Strike.

“Protesters are calling for a general strike in the city of Oakland on Thursday and are telling people to gather at 5 p.m. in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. They say their hope is to shut down the city. They’re telling businesses to close their shops and will be going into businesses to promote the idea. Protesters say they are trying to mobilize unions and turn this into a strike movement.”

“An estimated 2,000 protesters are on hand, and they’re discussing the mechanics for a strike on the city next Wednesday. Protest leaders are trying to galvanize unions, students and businesses into taking part. Ideally, protesters want students to skip school, businesses to shut down and hundreds of thousands of citizens to mobilize at the City Center.”

One week later, on the day of the Strike:

You can tell when the 99% backs an action. Because it looks like this.

You can also tell who really backs the 99% and not just their own agenda, by their level of tolerance.

True Occupy Media amplify for all issues and for EVERY faction in a spirit of inclusion.

We cover the religious organisations that support the 99%; even though we do not personally ascribe to any of them. We cover the student movement, although we are not all students. We cover Rainbow Youth & LGBT issues, regardless of our own sexuality. We advocate for the elderly, the young, no matter what our own age.

We cover indigenous issues, because the mainstream media deliberately distort both history and the present, and above all we seek to give voice to those who often go unheard.

We cover the entire 99% to the best of our ability, and strive to strengthen the movement, to decentralise and grow the chorus of testimony horizontally across our society.

But the true mark of Occupy Media is that we never fucking quit sharing movement information. No matter what is thrown our way.

The drive to share the information and grow the awakening outstrips any personal discomforts we are forced to endure. Be it financial through deprivation, or through being targeted for bullying and derision by others.

Those who truly believe – who truly love Occupy – act to grow the movement. Not to pigeon-hole it into one fixed method or ideology.

Thus it was with shock and dismay that we witnessed the beheading of the Occupy Oakland Media team.

Proposals to disband entire media teams were surprisingly common across the movement. There was an asserted drive, especially in Oakland, to:

a) alienate livestreamers – even going so far as to accuse them of being “narks”, while outright ignoring/turning a blind eye to the vastly superior surveillance capabilities of the state

b) control the key infrastructure of the Occupy

c) usurp the resources of the Occupy

d) discredit the Occupiers and alienate the public from them

We suffered the same thing at Occupy Auckland, though by good fortune managed to mass block the destructive proposals to fire our media team and they never passed. Although it poisoned our G.A. process & succeeded to some extent in alienating people from the movement, those who pushed for it have since proven their colours many times over in the wider activist community, and we are now rightfully acknowledged for having, through fierce loyalty and dogged determination, kept Occupy Auckland alive, despite their constant claims that “Occupy is dead!”

To go through that experience immediately prior to witnessing the same proposal actually PASS at Occupy Oakland, was horrifying. On live chat on Oakfosho’s stream, the day of that fateful General Assembly, no less than a half dozen cities were screaming warnings that the same proposal had been made at their occupies. We were all begging Oak to warn the G.A. not to do it. No proposal should EVER be passed which undoes the work of dozens of people who have given so much of themselves and their lives to the movement. Sadly due to the absence of much of the already beleaguered media team and the first-in-history successful use of the word ‘terrorist’ as a deterrent to further investigation… it was all over.

I had a particular memory of said ‘terrorist’, from months prior. Where I had stumbled across a Kickstarter page that successfully fundraised $3,200 for the creation of a definitive “Oral History of Occupy Oakland“. (The project delivery date was January 2012 yet we cannot find any trace of it.)

The page makes the astonishing claim;

“Especially in the earlier period of the plaza, my reporting has been at times, and for most of this period, the only in-depth narrative work done on the camp, and by any estimate the most accurate.”  -Jamie Omar Yassin

It then lists a bunch of links to the apparently WePay-funded blog Hyphenated-Republic whose last update was August 27th, 2012.

However it does have a very active Twitter feed on it – one which is filled with daily hate messages about OOMedia, courtesy of @Hyphy_Republic.

Despite his account’s “protected” status (another sure sign of someone spreading the awakening!) his twitter feed populating on his dormant blog site means his vitriole is able to be witnessed live.

As of 5 hours ago Yassin says;

2 days ago, this bizarre statement:

Which seems to be a vast departure from the story told here most notably, in the comments section.

Ironically, one thing Occupy Oakland definitely DOES have is great websites. Both OccupyOakland.org & HellaOccupyOakland.org have high usability and polish.

Unfortunately the “official” website appears to have no news updates between August 8th and October 22nd. The official Facebook page, which has a huge reach with over 24,000 likes on it, has been dormant for months. Suggesting the “new” media team that “replaced” OOMedia is all but AWOL.

One of Jaime Omar Yassin’s anti-OOMedia Twitter compadres is @OccupiedOakTrib who appears to control the infrastructure of the media teams print publication. (Or at the very least its social media accounts). From which he has made very clear his public position, while continuing to, still seven months later, be snapping at the heels of OOMedia. Despite having personally announced the “Emergency GA” to present a proposal to depose them.

Watching that OO assembly all we could see was ourselves mirrored in it. The same ringleaders. The same stooge saboteurs. The same cat-calling, negativity-cheering, rent-a-mob. The same slanderous terminology slung about to inflate emotions and utterly DISTRACT everyone present from action-planning, instead making them unwitting participants in devolution.

Now, seven months later, the writing is on the wall. As we would say, “the proof is in the pudding”. HellaOccupyOakland is posting exponential articles from around the globe, to every 1 by the Occupied Oakland Tribune. Meanwhile Jaime Omar Yassin is blaming Occupy Oakland for his not having uploaded an audio file to the G.A. archive in forever, despite having gloated over the historical value of it on the Kickstarter page that apparently netted him $3,200.

For all the cries of “transparency” and “accountability” between the two of them; the online record IS transparent. It shows no uploads of G.A. minutes or audio for the “emergency” G.A. that voted to fire the media team. Nor any in the seven months since.

Twitter is also transparent. If you search “OOMedia” in Twitter, with no # or @ in front, what you will find is @oomedia relentlessly sharing and spreading movement info, while being blasted with constant time-wasting trolling, by the same group of people, over and over again.

It quite frankly sucks, but is no wonder, that those actively spreading the awakening are being hated on. By people whose timelines are filled with narcissistic, vitriolic bullshit by comparison.

While others claim credit for actions of the 99%; yet heap scorn upon the founding principles that brought the 99% together.

Non-Violence. Global Solidarity. Local Governance.

Thus the self-styled “Oakland Commune” appears to be a remanifestation of OO that is an attempt to mask the failure of those behind the firing of the media team, at doing any better.

The “O.C.” is now wearing the Port Shutdowns as a badge of honor while showing little interest in the original agreement to “mobilise the unions and make this a strike movement” as per the statement of the Port Shutdown Committee.

They are instead writing angsty teenage revolutionary would-be manifestos, advocating “smashy smashy” and deriding “pacifists” as lesser beings, completely ignoring the roots of Occupy; of Tahrir and the Battle of Qasr Elnil Bridge that turned the tide of the Egyptian Revolution and brought down Mubarak.

As in other examples of recent successful revolution, it was achieved by large-scale acts of non-violence.

We watched it live, thanks to brave Egyptian livestreamers.

It is not possible to claim to be Occupy, or to lay claim to Occupy’s support base, if you do not believe in using peaceful methods to obtain societal change.

You will never convince the 99% to support the use of violence. The second you do, you EXCLUDE the elderly. The young. The disabled. Those with children. The 99%!

The enemy of the 99% is the banks. Not the police, not the Councils, not the Mayors, not the myriad of distracting middle-layers of the pyramid: but the TOP OF THE PYRAMID!

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No-one knows what is coming this #O25 though it is bound to be historic. We will witness, support & amplify regardless. For as was done for us, so shall be done for you.

Two of the final sources for this article are filled with memories for those who ate, slept and truly lived, at Occupy Oakland.

This gorgeous look at the real camp; as it was. A blogpost to treasure.

This comparison of the “Before” and “After” images, pre & post eviction.

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Bella doesn’t know it, but she made a grown woman on the other side of the world, cry her eyes out. Not just any woman. A woman that had survived years in prison. Who said about it; “they should have just put me in the men’s prison. I would have been better off.”

I showed the woman the video of Bella speaking at #OakMtg. She couldn’t even get through the entire video without breaking down. She got about two thirds the way through then turned it off and made a hasty and teary departure.

And this ain’t no spring chicken; she is a staunch lady. Just like Bella. But the truth rings so true to those of us who have been trying to tell it our whole lives, that to hear your every thought, feeling and wish come out of another person’s mouth, saying all the things you’ve ever wanted to but couldn’t, is a profoundly moving and emotional experience.

The recognition that at our core we all have the same wants and needs, just varying ability to express and achieve them. Within a system weighting itself wholly against our success.

Well that system is formulaic. It isn’t able to apply different methodologies at a micro level, everything must always be centralised and all instruction uniform. That is its inherent weakness.

For it means that with effective communication between the Occupies; we can connect the dots and learn from each others mistakes, with the omniscience of a hive mind.

Knowledge based on experience is our greatest asset, along with each other.

For a year now, OOMedia team have provided us with support and covered issues that were of no direct benefit for them to, other than in pure solidarity for a fellow Occupy.

For that we are so grateful to them.

Solidarity EVERYONE at Occupy Oakland. Wishing you a safe #O25.

Must-Watch Video: Occupy Media Legend BellaEiko Destroys Oakland Council In Chambers

This is the most important video of the entire Occupy movement in my opinion. The truth has a certain ring to it and especially coming from a pillar of Occupy media/livestreaming like BellaEiko, who we have followed from her first streams way back when.

The beginning of this video will be shocking to some, as will the end. Especially if they don’t know Bella and don’t realise what she has seen and been exposed to; her friends and fellow occupiers shot with rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades; beaten, gassed, arrested en masse by the notoriously vicious and unforgiving Oakland Police Department.

As “radical” as some may interpret it; what she says is true. On all counts. Despite being the opposite of her in race & location; our experiences are very similar. We have both spent 8+ months battling a massive corporate media that flat out lies & omits critical information, slandering us – politicians who go to extreme & dodgy lengths to inconvenience and silence us – police who infiltrate and assault and arrest us.

And we both know that the Earth can and should provide, for free; that which we are charged “money” for in a broken “capitalist” system.

Occupy is not about prescribing to a specific political ideology. No matter what it may be. Occupy is about learning to recreate a sustainable culture where NO PERSON is left behind, or at want for basic human needs.

If we could have, we would have stood up to Auckland Council and had a similar outpouring of our experiences, but we have been repeatedly denied the opportunity to seek redress. They literally lock us out of public meetings in open defiance of protocol & civil law.

One day we very may well get that chance because many of us NZ Occupiers have equally important and poignant, albeit stinging, words to deliver to OUR so-called “public SERVANTS”.

*** As featured in tonights edition of The Occupied NZ Herald! Please like/share/subscribe (FREE) & bookmark the link: http://paper.li/OccupyNZ/1336702243

Video Of #NoNATO Livestreamer Snatched By Police And Arrested – Rebelutionary_Z

Video clip of the minutes leading up to & the arrest of, livestreamer Rebelutionary_Z in Chicago at the anti-NATO protests. The arrest itself is really bizarre, he is pottering around talking to people, making sure people are ok then whammo, he gets jumped by a bunch of cops and arrested, seemingly for nothing.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22741414/highlight/264982#utm_campaign=unknown&utm_source=264982&utm_medium=social

Shocking Overhead Photo Of Kettled Anti-Nato Protesters At Occupy Chicago

Shocking overhead photo from ABC7 showing a mass of armed riot police caging in & descending upon unarmed protesters at the #NoNATO protests in Chicago.

Video: Massive Bahraini Protests During F1 Championship

The situation in Bahrain has been horrific for a long time now. Citizens openly slaughtered by their government. Some amazingly courageous Bahraini livestreamers have been doing their best to get the truth out of what is happening there on the ground. Bahrain, while essentially run by a corrupt dictator, is also a pet of the West. Currently, the world-famous F1 Grand Prix racing championship is being held there despite the constant state violence against the populace. This video shows Bahraini’s marching down Budaiya Road – the men are on the left – the women are on the right – and gives some idea of the scope of the unrest in the kingdom.

To see a large amount of media that the MSM will -NEVER- and have never showed you on Bahrain, please type ” Occupy Bahrain ” into Facebook then ‘like’ it. They have many instances of amazing citizen journalism footage that is not to be found elsewhere. Like it, share it, donate some of your time & compassion to spreading the word about what is happening to the Bahraini people.

American Freedom Radio Host Vinnie Eastwood Interviews Member of Occupy Auckland Media Team

Vinnie Eastwood from GuerillaMedia interviews an Occupy Auckland media team member on American Freedom Radio.

Pretty comprehensive hour-long interview covering the 3-week media blackout of & then bias against Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement; the corruption/corporatisation of Auckland Council; the evictions of Occupy Auckland, the surveillance of Occupy members & surveillance methods in use worldwide by corporations against the public.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback.

2 Apr 2012 Vinny Eastwood Show