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Upcoming Free Event: Occupy co-creator Micah White to speak at IDEAS CITY Festival

Posted 2 days ago on April 24, 2015, 1:17 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Micah White, Events, IDEAS CITY Festival

ABOUT IDEAS CITY

The 2015 IDEAS CITY Festival will take place in the Bowery neighborhood of downtown Manhattan from May 28 to 30, 2015. IDEAS CITY explores the future of cities around the globe with culture as a driving force. Founded by the New Museum in 2011, it is a major collaborative initiative between arts, education, and civic organizations centered on the belief that culture is fundamentally and inextricably vital to urban growth and innovation. The theme of this year’s Festival is The Invisible City.

Ticketed events, open to the public, all ages.

More info: ideas-city.org and micahmwhite.com

Schedule & programming highlights

Conference

Thursday, May 28

The Festival kicks off with a series of talks, panels, discussions, and short films at the Great Hall at Cooper Union. Speakers will include some of the world’s most forward-thinking visionaries, who will discuss key civic issues and formulate action for the city of tomorrow. Panels will examine the following topics and questions:

  • Within the city, an increasing number of people—such as the homeless, elderly, and undocumented immigrants—are disappearing from sight. Is there a cartography to identify those who have wandered or been driven from the center?

  • The designers shaping the cities of the future must engage with an increasingly challenging set of hypothetical conditions—scenarios that often remain invisible to their inhabitants. How do urbanists, architects, and activists create habitats that anticipate drastic future change such as overcrowding and climate reversals?

  • We are increasingly dependent on global-network infrastructures that are as invisible as they are vast. How can networks and processes be made more transparent, accessible, and empowering? What role do they play in guaranteeing accountability? Can art be the connective membrane in this process?

  • A vast proportion of our lives exist as an invisible online record of our identities, interests, and affiliations. What role does data and privacy play in the perpetuation of democracy in the 21st century?

Select participants include:

Micah White, Cocreator of Occupy Wall Street and Founder of the Boutique Activist Consultancy specializing in “impossible campaigns” and the struggle between capitalism and activism.

Lawrence Lessig, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, advocates for the open-spectrum movement and the need for a Second Constitutional Congress.

Bjarke Ingels, an architect renowned for his innovative approach to sustainable development and renewable energy, is conceptualizing a park to protect New York City from rising water surges and is designing Google’s new campus in Palo Alto, California.

Trevor Paglen created the term “Experimental Geography” and uses his work as an artist to shed light on the erosion of privacy.

Jillian York, Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializes in free expression in the Arab world.

Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, is an expert in the role played by third-party service providers in easing law enforcement surveillance of their customers.

Actions

Friday, May 29

On the second day, IDEAS CITY upends typical formulas of conference-making by replacing talks and panels with a day of private workshops and an evening of performative actions. This inspiring circus of activity will animate a basilica, gym, and a neighborhood street, illuminating invisible undercurrents in our city. Programming includes:

  • The next best design idea at Pitching the City, organized by Architizer and Municipal Art Society, will showcase the newest city-building projects. Voting is open to the public.

  • Artist Jordi Jorba will repurpose an inoperative hot-air balloon inside a gymnasium to create colorful, temporary structures that house performances.

  • BattleFest, curated by Kareem Baptiste, bridges the underground and commercial mainstream dance worlds for one-on-one dance battles.

  • For the 2015 Poetic Address to the Nation, Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club, has organized ten poets to contribute sonnets on the state of our union.

  • 2013 IDEAS CITY: São Paulo participant Daniel Lima will present an audiovisual experience with a live score by Brazilian and Harlem-based musicians, infused with interviews by displaced residents of Harlem, São Paulo, Rio, Havana, and Berlin.

The Street

Saturday, May 30

One hundred cultural and community groups will transform the streetscape around the Bowery neighborhood into a temporary city of ideas, redefining public space through participatory programming and unexpected structures for gathering, several of which will be constructed from normally invisible commercial materials. Free and open to the public, all ages. Highlights include:

  • Using US waste products as construction material, the ETH Zurich Pavilion at the First Street Garden will redefine waste, acknowledging its capacity as a substance from which to construct new cities. In collaboration with New York City Parks and Recreation and First Street Green.

  • The Center for Genomic Gastronomy with Edible Geography uses egg foams to harvest air pollution and make smog meringues from different locations to allow urban atmospheres to be tasted and compared. Presented by the Finnish Cultural Institute.

  • Join artist Marjetica Potrč’s The Invisible Lunch Discussions with incognito speakers to address affordable housing and food at a one hundred-foot-long table stretching the length of Rivington Street.

  • Genspace, a citizen science biotech lab, and scientist Christine Marizzi from the DNA Learning Center will offer a hands-on bacteria-printing workshop, making New York City’s microbiome visible and accessible.

  • The Institute For Aesthletics’s Mayan Ball Game Tournament will mash the ancient Mesoamerican sport with New York City street basketball.

  • Explore the Institute for Public Architecture’s proposals for public and below-market housing in New York City, created in response to Mayor de Blasio’s “total reset” for housing.

  • The Living Theatre presents No Place to Hide, an experimental and participatory theater experience about hiding and the human condition.

  • NEW INC, the New Museum’s incubator for art, design, and technology, and cyberfeminist research collective Deep Lab’s week-long residency will explore privacy, security, surveillance, anonymity, and data aggregation, culminating in performances and workshops.

1 Comments

Occupy Zimbabwe Founder Abducted #WhereIsItaiDzamara

Posted 1 month ago on March 10, 2015, 4:15 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Occupy Africa Unity Square, #WhereIsItaiDzamara

Itai Dzamara (left) and a fellow activist (right) being arrested at the Occupy Africa Unity Square demo last year

Hello Occupy,

Can you please highlight the plight of Zimbabwean Journalist and activist Itai Dzamara. In 2014, a lone Itai Dzamara was inspired by the global Occupy Movement and started an Occupy in Zimbabwe's Africa Unity Square.

Itai advocated for the occupation of the Africa Unity Square in Harare as a way of communicating dissatisfaction in the country's leadership particularly Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF government.

Itai Dzamara went to the extent of writing a letter to Mugabe requesting him to retire from office. He hand delivered the letter to Mugabe's office. He was arrested after the delivery of the letter and later beaten up by the Zimbabwean police.

Yesterday Itai Dzamara was kidnapped by the Zimbabwean secret police and no one knows where he is. Can you please stand in solidarity with him and put it out on every social media platform. Please find links to news stories about him on Zimbabwean news sites this story needs to go internationally for the Zimbabwean government to be forced to free him.

Kind Regards,

X

More Information:

"Dzamara, a journalist and human rights activist, has since last year been leading anti-government protests under a peaceful civil disobedience programme dubbed Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS) Movement and he is the spokesperson of the National Youth Action Alliance. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has responded to the protests by suppressing the demonstrations. Dzamara has, on several occasions, been assaulted, tortured, detained, abducted and has faced death threats from state and non-state actors." — The Zimbabwean

"Journalist turned activist Itai Dzamara is still missing nearly 48 hours after being abducted by suspected state security agents on Monday." — Nehanda Radio

18 Comments

9 Notes On The Future of Revolution—Esquire Interviews Micah White

Posted 1 month ago on March 9, 2015, 1:14 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Micah White

Esquire names Micah White one of the most influential under 35 year olds alive today.

Here's an excerpt from Micah's interview with Esquire:

I’m not satisfied anymore with just the standard repertoire of activism. We have to really rethink the foundation of activism. And that’s what I’m trying to do.

The protest tactics that we’ve developed—the repertoire of tactics that we’ve developed—like, marching and these kinds of things, are designed to influence liberal democracy. They were designed to influence people—like, elected representatives—who had to listen to their constituents. But the breakdown of that paradigm happened on February 15, 2003, when the whole world had an anti-war march and President George Bush said, “I don’t listen to focus groups.” He said that, basically, by saying that, he basically said, “It doesn’t matter if you mass a million, billion, six billion people or whatever. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter.”

My thinking is moving away from protest. Instead, I’m more interested now with the power of social mobilization. The power of, basically, getting large numbers of people to change their behaviors, to depattern themselves, to actually get the facts collectively in order to tackle global challenges.

I think where it’s going now, it’s much more towards the Five Star in Italy, where they do things like getting people elected or, like, running very complicated organizations that are able to manage global problems. One of the things that’s happening is that we’re seeing these global problems that everyone faces, like Ebola, and that social movements might be the answer to those kind of problems, too. Right? Because they mobilize large numbers of people. They get large number of people to do highly synchronized actions together.

I was a sophomore in college at Swarthmore on 9/11. And that was, like, the inflection point. And that was the point, too, that I kind of, like, really changed my approach to activism and tried to directly influence, like a lot of people, the war. I started to see the power of the Internet to allow for global action at the same time. Like, on February 15, 2003, we had, like, a global synchronized action on every continent on earth. Which I think would’ve been impossible prior to the Internet and stuff like that.

Arab Spring is absolutely crucial. And it was absolutely crucial for my own development because I have lived in Egypt for nine months in, like, you know, 2005 or 2006. My wife’s father is a former ambassador to Egypt. I remember staying at the embassy and seeing, like, how many police officers Mubarak would employ to, like, keep order in his society. I mean, I remember seeing that and I remember thinking, at the time, like, “Wow. A revolution would be impossible here with all these police officers.” Like, they would have dozens and dozens and dozens of police officers everywhere. Then, lo and behold, a revolution happened in Tahir Square. That opened my eyes.

I’m at the library and I’m reading all these books about revolution. Is there a pattern that always happens? And there is. De Tocqueville is who observed that that revolution often just functions to strengthen state power. I think that that’s why the movement towards kind of, you know, horizontalist, Internet-enabled, populist movements is a way to not repeat that pattern.

The total cost of Occupy was probably under, like, $500. It’s ridiculous. It’s like a force multiplier. That is allowing history to be changed very rapidly.

If there’s gonna be a revolution, it’ll happen non-violently. I think it’ll be a very peaceful kind of. It’ll be more like an awakening, you know?

Micah White PhD, 32, is an activist and former Adbusters editor who saw the protests of Tahrir Square and launched the Occupy Wall Street movement—and the wealth-gap debate that’s raged ever since—with a letter that began “All right you 90,000 redeemers, rebels, and radicals out there . . .” He’s since opened Boutique Activist Consultancy. (Motto: “We Win Lost Causes.”)


The paradigms of activism are in crisis. "You can't solve climate change by organizing a global climate march," says Micah in the latest issue of Esquire.

44 Comments

THE END OF PROTEST (new book by Micah White)

Posted 1 month ago on March 8, 2015, 7 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Micah White, The End Of Protest

"Protest is dead, long live Protest!"

We are pleased to announce that Alfred A. Knopf Canada will publish Micah White's new book THE END OF PROTEST in Spring, 2016.

Pledge to read THE END OF PROTEST and let's seed the world with a new protest paradigm!

White, former editor at Adbusters Magazine and "[one of] today's most innovative social activists" (CBC Radio) was a driving force behind the Occupy Movement, which became a global phenomenon. World rights to the book were acquired by Random House of Canada's associate publisher Scott Sellers.

"We're incredibly excited to be partnering with Micah on this book," says Amanda Lewis, associate editor at Knopf Random House Canada who will be working closely with White on the project. "From economic collapse to climate change to the breakdown of society, there has never been a more important time for a book about how we make true revolution. Micah is one of the strongest voices to guide this resurgence, and his vision for a renewed future—combining philosophy, spirituality, critique of social movements, and practical steps for actually making change—is unlike any other I have read."

In THE END OF PROTEST, Micah White offers readers a provocative playbook for harnessing the creativity and optimism of the people in order to transform the existing social order. The paradigms underlying contemporary protest are in a period of crisis. The global forces that impact our ability to determine our collective future—capitalism's collapse, catastrophic climate change and the existential crisis of ultramodernity—stand outside the reach of traditional forms of democratic dissent. Occupy Wall Street was a constructive failure, according to White, that exposed the limits of protest and inaugurated a more potent paradigm of social action based on contagious memes. On the horizon are increasingly sophisticated and dynamic movements that emerge in a bid to break through the political stasis and establish a global people's democracy.

THE END OF PROTEST is a populist cri de coeur that introduces a daring and original new thinker.

Please share this link with three friends.

102 Comments

a little rebellion is a good thing

Posted 2 months ago on Feb. 16, 2015, 8:06 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: PresidentsDay

PRESIDENTS' DAY 2015

“God forbid we should be twenty years without a rebellion. What country can preserve its liberties if the rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?” — President Thomas Jefferson (1787)

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember, or overthrow it.” — President Abraham Lincoln (Inaugural Address, 1861)

“The right of Revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression if they are strong enough, either by withdrawing from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.” — President Ulysses S. Grant (1885)

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." — President John F. Kennedy (1962)

88 Comments

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