This Can't Be Happening
Sites of Interest
(courtesy Empire Burlesque)
A Tiny Revolution
William Blum/Killing Hope
The Distant Ocean
Welcome to the Sideshow
Mark Crispin Miller
Crooks and Liars
Black Agenda Report
The Raw Story
Iraq Vets Against the War
Blues and Dreams
Bright Terrible Spirit
Marina Sitrin, postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Globalization and Social Change at the City University of New York. She is author of the book Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina. She is researching global mass movements from Spain to Egypt to Greece. Most recently she co-authored the forthcoming Occupying Language, part of the Occupied Media Pamphlet Series published by Zuccotti Park Press.
Amin Husain, editor of Tidal magazine and a key facilitator of the Occupy movement in August 2011, leading the first General Assembly in Zuccotti Park. He is a co-founder of the Plus Brigade, which has been central to the weekly Friday protests down at the Stock Exchange. Amin Husain is a lawyer who left his job at a corporate law firm in Manhattan representing financial institutions to become an artist and activist.
Teresa Gutierrez, co-coordinator for the May 1st Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights.
"People all over the country are talking about May Day as our day, whether you want to call it workers’ holiday or immigrant rights or the 99 percent," says Martina Sitrin, who notes Occupy activists hope to use May Day as a way to build solidarity with the student movement and non-unionized workers, as well. "This year is an important year to revive the struggle for immigrants in the wake of a million of our people being deported," adds Teresa Gutierrez.
Meanwhile, a debate over tactics continues within the Occupy movement. Chris Hedges discusses his recent column titled "The Cancer in Occupy," which critiques Black Bloc anarchists who cover their faces during protests and sometimes destroy property. "The Occupy movement expresses what the majority feels. And the goal of the security state is to sever the movement from the mainstream," Hedges says. "The way they will do that is by using groups—and some of these people may be well-meaning—but by using groups that will frighten the mainstream away." But "nothing is off the table," responds Amin Husain, who says the Occupy movement needs to reconceptualize how struggle works, how decisions get made through dialogue, and how to build power from within.
Husain and Hedges also discuss how they became involved in the Occupy protests. Husain is a former corporate lawyer who was working on Wall Street when he decided to leave his position of privilege. Hedges went from being a New York Times reporter to getting arrested in front of Goldman Sachs and challenging the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama.
We end the roundtable discussion with an excerpt of poet Stuart Leonard reading his poem, "Taking Brooklyn Bridge," which tells the story of the personal and political awakening he experienced while participating in an Occupy Wall Street march across the Brooklyn Bridge last fall. It is part of the Occupied Media Pamphlet Series published by Zuccotti Park Press. [includes rush transcript]