As people come back to school and start thinking about what’s next, it seems like a good opportunity to remind everyone about the activities over the weekend of September 15-17 and beyond for the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. There was a three-month run up to May Day but the summer holiday and the Presidential election campaign has made it harder to keep people focused. Here’s a moment when the world’s attention will be back on OWS and it’s a great chance to show that, whatever you think Occupy is or should be, the energy of the movement is still here and still needs to be heard.
These are my personal highlights:
Saturday 15 September: Education
The weekend begins with a thematic assembly in Washington Square Park. You can hear about what the different working groups of the movement are engaged in and participate in open-ended facilitated discussions about the key themes of the weekend, such as debt, the environmental crisis, political corruption, as well as long-term themes of the movement. The assembly ends with a re-convergence to discuss the future.
7.30pm Launch of The Debt Resistors Operations Manual, Judson Church
A collective publication by Strike Debt, The Debt Resistors Operations Manual offers debtors practical advice and information on debt of all kinds and how to resist it. Published for the weekend, this launch event includes teach-ins, video screenings and the chance to share stories.
Sunday 16 September: Celebration
7.30 pm Occupy Rosh Hashanah, Zucotti Park/Liberty Plaza. The Jewish New Year begins at sunset on the night preceding the anniversary. Following from the amazing Occupy Yom Kippur last year, Occupy Judaism and others are creating an nondeminational holiday service and potluck dinner. There will be echoes of the alliances during the Civil Rights Movement between Jewish progressives and African Americans, it’s a great prelude to S17 itself.
Monday 17 September: Liberation
Early morning from 7am: The People’s Wall will block access to Wall Street by closing down key intersections. ACT UP, 350.org and Housing Works are among those joining OWS in this action. It’s a non-violent civil disobedience so be prepared by doing a training on Saturday or Sunday.
Also early: The 99 Revolutions, mobile actions by affinity groups across downtown (as in the poster above).
Strike Debt will also have actions during the course of the day. More details closer to the time.
These actions are being finalized over the next week but everything will depend on how the day goes. There is already a large pile of NYPD barricade blocks at Zucotti Park, so it may be that it’s the police that shut down Wall Street for us.
6pm: The Emma Goldman Assembly, 55 Water Street. Perhaps the most enticing event is the gathering of the “movement of movements” that Occupy has become to plan ahead. The Assembly is not a decision making body but a place to share, discuss and learn. There are plans to make this a regular event going forward.
September 18-22: Free University
The fabulous Free University has a week-long series of events in the works following S17, to build on the action and take the energy into Year Two. Most meetings in Madison Square Park, as on May Day.
There’s so much more going on and I’ll be returning to this often in the run-up to the day. For the time being, the thing to do is get the word out. See you in the streets.