The following was translated from Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now) Barcelona, a Spanish protest movement that helped inspire #OWS. While some things are specific to Spain/Europe, they echo our reasons for taking the streets on the May 1st General Strike here in North America and beyond. For more about Democracia Real Ya and the upcoming #12M15 global days of action in English and other languages, seehere.
We will take to the streets on May 12th in a creative, nonviolent popular demonstration to continue working toward a May 15th in defense of the people!
On May 15th, 2011, millions began a process of social change, delivering a clear and unequivocal signal that we are not commodities in the hands of politicians and bankers, and stating publicly that our current representative democracy is dying. The political class and the powerful have not gotten the message. Despite the growing protests and cries of distress from the 99%, these elites are exploiting the crisis to plunder the common wealth and endangering the lives of the people.
Capitalism has decided to cancel democracy and bankers now rule us. Clearly, this 1% of the population is legalized crime in power. The party system lead us to this disaster and now the 99% must take the reins of our own destiny. We demand a new constitutional power to regain the sovereignty that belongs to us. Therefore, this 12th and 15th of May, after a year of unanswered protest, we will return to the streets with a majority calling for a consumer strike and urging more legitimate demands and protests everywhere.
Some of us have organized and are building alternatives and solutions with our own hands, but in the face of repression and blockades imposed on us by the state, who are jeopardizing the integrity of the people with inhumane measures, we are forced to demand our basic needs for survival. Thus, in order to ensure the 99%’s right to exist, we demand:
Not one more euro to rescue banks. We demand a citizens’ debt audit. We will not pay illegitimate debt created by those who caused the crisis.
Free and quality education and health care. Do not cut public spending or privatize public services.
Fair distribution of labor, living wages, and an end to precarious labor. No retirement at 67 and withdrawal of the Labor Reform.
Guaranteed right of access to decent housing. Retroactive foreclosure foregiveness. Social rental housing. Promotion of housing cooperatives.
Tax reform that allows a fair distribution of the wealth we collectively produce. Universal basic income for all people.
A broad coalition of organizations, initiatives and networks are mobilizing to diverse days of action in Frankfurt from May 16th to 18th . The central element of the protest choreography is mass blockades on May 18, taking place after the take the squares action on May 17 and before the mass demonstration on May 19. The goal of our action on this day is to effectively disrupt the normal business activities of European Central Bank and other central actors in the financial center in Frankfurt. The parties responsible for the global politics of crisis and impoverishment are to be confronted directly in front of the doors of their decision-making headquarters with imaginative blockades and creative forms of civil disobedience. Our mobilization aims at a mix of mass and decisiveness. Thousands of people with various backgrounds and cultures of protest want to and will participate in the protest actions in arranged affinity groups or spontaneous swarming.
Thursday, May 17: Take the Squares
May 17, the day before the blockades, has the motto “take the squares”. Various spaces in the city center as well as green areas near the bank towers shall – to the extent that authorities prohibit declared activities – be appropriated for cultural-political protest events and asambleas. As blockade groups, we will participate in the occupy activities as much as possible and attempt – to the extent that the police wants to deter us from the occupation with prohibition measures – to contribute to the implementation of the occupations. “Take the squares” is a unique element of the Blockupy mobilization. It should symbolize our solidarity with the struggles at Tahrir Square in Cairo, the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, Syntagma in Athens and all Occupy camps.
As we, the blockade groups, want to begin our action the following morning at 6:00 am, successful occupations in the banking district additionally provide us with a good point of departure. We want to use these spaces for blockade-training, and the occupations on May 17 can both temporally and spatially flow into the blockades on May 18.
Friday, May 18: Block the ECB
On Friday, May 18, the blockades start at 6:00 in the morning. The primary focus of this day is the European Central Bank. The ECB is not only the symbol of the crisis management of finance politics that benefits major banks – as part of the Troika, the ECB is also a direct social political actor. It plays a role in dictating austerity policies and impoverishment programs in Greece and Portugal. This is enough reason to pester this institution.
Early in the morning on May 18, demonstration groups coming from multiple directions in the city center will begin to move in order to block all entrances of the Eurotower. To accomplish this, we will use mobile blockade fingers to flexibly react to police concepts and actions, and we will – if necessary – obstruct the adjacent streets in order to make it impossible to access the ECB.
The blockade groups that are making preparations have agreed on a common consensus for action (http://17to19m.blogsport.eu/2012/04/07/blockade-action-consensus/). The consensus mentions that each blockade finger will carry diverse objects and symbols in line with thematic concentrations in order to simultaneously visualize the diverse elements of our resistance against the authoritarian crisis regime. We will use shopping carts, cooking pots and hospital beds to criticize the impositions and cuts of social policies as well as policies of privatization in the healthcare system. Cardboard military tanks will symbolize the militarization of society and show the connection between war and crisis. Boats and ladders will symbolize resistance against the border regime. Giant marionettes will refer to the precarious labor relations of (not only) migrants. The protest against education policies will be present in a book block made of oversized books. We will use ventilators, stilts and yucca palms to express the struggles against global climate change. We will use barrels, white protection suits and masks to expose the countless disastrous ecological catastrophes, such as Fukushima and Deep Water Horizon. We will use all of these symbols and objects – which will also include red-and-white barrier tape and woolen thread – in order to effectively set up and hold onto substantive blockade points.
Both in the time before and on the day of the blockade itself, we will publicly communicate our the subject matter and goals of our actions – to persons who work in the bank towers who will not be able to reach their places of work and to all persons who will not be able to use the streets and particular subways and other local trains that are blocked. The transportation authorities will be informed prior to the actions that the stations surrounding the ECB and in the banking district will be affected by a “strike from elsewhere” as well as why this will be so. The blockade of the ECB will affect other banking and business centers in this district. Depending on the strength of the mobilization, the call to blockupy should be spread as early as possible to further actors of global exploitation.
With blockades and occupations, go-ins, encirclements and diverse forms of creative action, we wish to and we will transform the financial center for this entire day into a colorful and loud zone of protest.
May 19: Mass demonstration
On the day after the blockades, May 19, the mass demonstration will take place. For this and for all the action days, mobilization is occurring on a Europe-wide scale. As blockade groups we will participate in this demonstration with all of our symbols and thematic forms of expression. We are hoping for a resolute demonstration that points to our (hopefully) successful occupations and blockades on the day before and send a strong signal of transnational solidarity. We are using our symbols to express that we understand the collaborative mobilization of Blockupy Frankfurt as a catalyst and demand to transform the unendurable conditions in intensified struggles in our daily lives.
“We need some public space and we will have public space necessary to protest.” Occupy London looses battle for space to peaceably assemble. Case to go to the World Court on Human Rights.
Uploaded by TheYoungTurks on Jan 25, 2012 SOPA and PIPA may not be likely to pass soon but internet freedom is still under attack. “The Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) is an international treaty, of sorts, that can take away your Internet access. H.R. 1981 (PDF link), the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (PCIC), aims to have your entire Internet history recorded, saved and used against you….”.* Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur discuss on The Young Turks.
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Uploaded by TheYoungTurks on Jan 25, 2012
SOPA and PIPA may not be likely to pass soon but internet freedom is still under attack. “The Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) is an international treaty, of sorts, that can take away your Internet access. H.R. 1981 (PDF link), the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (PCIC), aims to have your entire Internet history recorded, saved and used against you….”.* Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur discuss on The Young Turks.
Occupy Portland calls for a national day of non-violent direct action to reclaim our voices and challenge our society’s obsession with profit and greed by shutting down the corporations. We are rejecting a society that does not allow us control of our future. We will reclaim our ability to shape our world in a democratic, cooperative, just and sustainable direction. We call on the Occupy Movement and everyone seeking freedom and justice to join us in this day of action. There has been a theft by the 1% of our democratic ability to shape and form the society in which we live and our society is steered toward the destructive pursuit of consumption, profit and greed at the expense of all else. We call on people to target corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is a prime example of the way corporations buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves the interests of corporations and not people. They used it to create the anti-labor legislation in Wisconsin and the racist bill SB 1070 in Arizona among so many others. They use ALEC to spread these corporate laws around the country. In doing this we begin to recreate our democracy. In doing this we begin to create a society that is organized to meet human needs and sustain life.
Occupy Portland calls for a national day of non-violent direct action to reclaim our voices and challenge our society’s obsession with profit and greed by shutting down the corporations. We are rejecting a society that does not allow us control of our future. We will reclaim our ability to shape our world in a democratic, cooperative, just and sustainable direction.
We call on the Occupy Movement and everyone seeking freedom and justice to join us in this day of action.
There has been a theft by the 1% of our democratic ability to shape and form the society in which we live and our society is steered toward the destructive pursuit of consumption, profit and greed at the expense of all else.
We call on people to target corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is a prime example of the way corporations buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves the interests of corporations and not people. They used it to create the anti-labor legislation in Wisconsin and the racist bill SB 1070 in Arizona among so many others. They use ALEC to spread these corporate laws around the country.
In doing this we begin to recreate our democracy. In doing this we begin to create a society that is organized to meet human needs and sustain life.
Then Cairo and Egypt…
Then Spain and the “Indignados”….
The Occupy Movement has taken much of its inspiration from Spain’s “Outraged” Movement: what lessons does Spain have for Occupy now?
National call for action on Capitol Hill draws occupiers from across U.S.
December 31st, 2011 - President Obama signs the Declaration of War on the USA.
January 3rd, 2012 - NY Police use “New American War Powers” in Brooklyn New York, against Occupy live streaming website, to shut down “live streaming” internet communications between all Occupations.
The Real Terrorists are on Wall Street.
Occupy “Die In” at Iowa DNC protests NDAA, Corporate Control Of Politics
Occupy The Caucus took aim at Democrats on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, holding a “die in” to protest President Obama signing a law that could allow Americans to be held indefinitely without trial if they are accused of terrorism. “It’s a slippery slope of what is terrorism and coming at the American people.” said one of the group. Protesters also wanted Democrats to know they were just as guilty as Republicans when it comes to allowing corporate money to heavily influence the nation’s policy decisions. Protesters lay on the floor of a hotel that houses the Democratic National Committee’s Iowa “war room”, playing dead while one read a statement. “The people lying before you represent the victims of the one percent’s war on democracy both at home and abroad. We are determine to remain here until Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee agrees to meet with us to discuss our demands that corporate money be removed from national politics and civil liberties be restored to their primary position in all public policy. We seek a discussion about how the democratic party will stop serving the interests of Wall Street and corporate money and start putting people before profits.” On Sunday, the group had invited Schultz to meet with them, but she declined the invention according to an Occupy press release. Twelve of the protesters were arrested for trespassing. Video by Roger Routh.