When fist-raising 1968 Olympian Dr John Carlos and I wrote his memoir, The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World, we didn't exactly expect the publishing date to coincide with a mass national protest movement for economic and social justice. I've now heard about 100 variations of the joke: "It was really smart of your publisher to plan this whole 'Occupy' movement with your book release." It's an obvious comment, given that Carlos and I have made sure to visit every Occupy encampment we can on our national book tour.
Contrary to some media reporting, the Occupy Sydney movement has a focused and coherent political agenda, researchers from the University of Sydney believe. Based on 180 field interviews undertaken at the November 5 rally in Sydney, a research team from the University’s Department of Government and International Relations have discovered that the movement's position is focused on concerns about the social and political impact of capitalism on Australian and global society.
About 300 people rallied in King George Square on November 5 to support the worldwide Occupy movement, and assert the right of Occupy Brisbane to keep its encampment in public space. Following the rally, demonstrators marched to Post Office Square, Queens Park, and then across the Brisbane River to Musgrave Park in West End.
The streets of Oakland, California, echoed with the voices of tens of thousands of people determined to take a stand on November 2. Workers, students, activists and people from all walks of life responded to the call for a general strike by Occupy Oakland. The last general strike in the United States was in 1946 (also in Oakland).
Occupy has gone viral. First we had flash trading, then flash mobs, and now a flash movement. But this is no flash in the pan. The Occupy movement is here to stay, come hell or high water, because the status quo is unacceptable. Not since the 1930s and 1960s have tens of thousands of people in the US been this defiant and determined to win economic and social justice. What is unfolding is in many ways a synthesis of the movements of those eras. Our emphasis on mass, non-violent resistance in the face of repression is a product of the civil rights movement.
“The crisis of the capitalist system has provoked the indignados movement [the ‘outraged’, as they are known in Spain] that has arisen in one country after another across the globe,” Elisa Osori, a national directorate member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) said. The PSUV is a mass party headed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. A revolutionary process in Venezuela is redistributing the nation’s oil wealth, bring industries and resources under public ownership and promoting direct, participatory democracy.
Occupy Melbourne has re-established its occupation at Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens. Its general assemblies are still held in City Square, the original Occupy Melbourne site. Since being violently evicted from City Square on October 21, Occupy Melbourne has become a travelling occupation. When the Occupy Melbourne march arrived at the Treasury Gardens on October 29, it was met with a big police contingent, including police on horses. The police had threatened to arrest anyone who tried to pitch tents.
When Annie Leonard put her groundbreaking cartoon The Story of Stuff online in late 2007, she would have been really happy if 50,000 people had watched it. “To my utter amazement we got 50,000 viewers on the first day,” she told Green Left Weekly during a recent visit to Australia. Almost four years later, more than 15 million people, in every country in the world, have watched The Story of Stuff.
About 1500 people joined an Occupy Sydney rally at Town Hall on November 5, making it the largest of the three Occupy Sydney marches so far. Members of the Maritime Union of Australia and other unions filled out the crowd. The crowd marched to Martin Place -- where Occupy Sydney had set up a permanent camp from October 15-23 until being violently evicted by police. Police took legal action to stop the march on November 5, but the day before an agreement was reached allow a different, shorter march route.