“Hold on to these spaces, nurture them, and let the boundaries of your occupations grow. .. Reclaiming these spaces and managing them justly and collectively is proof enough of our legitimacy… these spaces are fundamental to the possibility of a new world. These are public spaces. Spaces for gathering, leisure, meeting, and interacting – these spaces should be the reason we live in cities… We have and must continue to open them to anyone that wants to build a better world, particularly for the marginalized, excluded and for those groups who have suffered the worst.”
~ From ‘Solidarity Statement From Cairo’
~Posted Oct. 25, 2011, 2:39 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
All of us who identify with and support various progressive social movements should now take stock of the general situation before us. We must seek common ground based upon our common needs: food, clothing, shelter, medical care and quality education. These common needs may not seem very sexy or controversial enough for some, but these needs are essential elements of living a sustainable life. Our basic common needs we all share are what helps to unite us. It is not only our oppression that gives us something in common as oppressed people. Meeting our common needs is essential for our staying alive in order to continue to wage struggles to make a better new world for all of us.
Every day when we awaken we usually want a breakfast if food is available. For many people there simply is no food at home, so one must go out searching for food. Even when we find food and eat the body is such that it will require more food in the future to sustain life. We must be in the here and now with a future vision for where we want to be and how we want to live. Whatever happens, we must survive!
One of the best Survival Programs of the former Black Panther Party was the Free Breakfast for Children Program. It was later adopted by the System and free breakfast programs were made available for children throughout the country. At one point the Panther Party had a Free Breakfast Program, a Free Medical Clinic, a Free Legal Aid Program and other basic Free Survival Programs that helped to serve the basic needs of the people. These Survival Programs became threats to the false legitimacy of the System. Together these Free Survival Programs formed the basis of a community infrastructure that was able to help take care of its own people by helping to meet basic survival needs. The slogan was Survival, pending Revolution. Panther Members worked in solidarity with the Black Community and were practical minded.
Definition of INFRASTRUCTURE noun
1: the underlying foundation or basic framework (as of a system or organization)
2: the permanent installations required for military purposes
3: the system of public works of a country, state, or region; also : the resources (as personnel, buildings, or equipment) required for an activity
— in•fra•struc•tur•al adjective
The strategy of the Panther Party, as I understand it, was to create a community infrastructure: serve the people with Free Survival Programs and the Black Panther Party Newspaper and get the active support of the Black Community. The BPP sought to heighten the polarizing antagonistic contradictions between the whole Black Community as an internal colony of the Amerikan Empire and their repressors: the greedy corporate ruling class, the profit-addicted businesses and the local police forces operating like a foreign army in an occupied country. The Panther Party strove to exhaust all legal and peaceful methods of struggle, while asserting its right to armed self-defense.
Predictably, the Panther Party Offices were attacked by the local police forces and its hired thugs. The Panther Party itself suffered from internal ideological conflicts, external arrests, costly trials of its main leadership, agent provocateurs slipped in causing chaos and ultimately the Black Panther Party fell apart under the strains and stresses.
LINK: WHAT WAS THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY?
Nevertheless, the Black Panther Party was once a strong guiding force for revolutionary change in the Black Community and inspired others to follow its example. The Brown Berets came up and started to unify the Chicano/Latino community and at one time had many Chapters throughout Aztlan or the U.S. Southwest. It too became a target of the fascist forces of repression and was disbanded by its leadership at the time because of agent provocateurs and out of concern of being attacked as the Panther Party was.
There is now a new Black Panther Party that needs to be examined in order to learn from its example. Plus, there are new Brown Berets Chapters that are now operating with others in the works. Many White people have become true radicals and are taking the lead in the new growing revolutionary movement that is blossoming inside the United States in this New Millennium. If those of us here in the U.S.A. can overcome our personal character defects, especially the hatred and wrath of racism that divides us, we have the natural potential to transform this wicked world as it is today.
My Mantra is: I am first and foremost a humane being! As a conscientious humane being I have care, concern and deep compassion for all living beings, regardless of any personal orientation. Revolution begins within the soul of our own psyche. We need to eliminate all forms of negativism that divide us as humane beings, such as, nationalism, racism, sexism and tribalism. We are one family of humankind called human beings, not genetically distinct races of people.
The year of 2011 has been a great historic year. We have seen the desert sandstorms of liberation during the Arab Spring in the Middle East with uprisings that started in Tunisia; the people of Egypt who first gathered around Tahrir Square ~Tahrir means Liberation~ in Cairo, have established a new revolutionary base; now Libya has decisively liberated itself after many intense armed struggles. The insane Evil Gadaffy is dead and gone. Other countries of that region are now rebelling against their evil repressors. These historical events may seem new and sudden, but they are the culmination of centuries of cruel slavery that the peoples of those regions have endured.
Now we witness the birth, emergence and growth of the Occupy Wall Street Movement that exposes the corporate greed of the Wall Street masters of monopoly capital. It is a relatively new movement with great revolutionary potential. Here in Sacramento was have the Occupy Sacramento Movement and it is having more and more of an influence on the consciousness of people in Sacramento. Plus, it shows the good connectedness with other Occupy locations here in the U.S.A. and across the globe.
The Occupy Movement is a relatively leaderless movement. This seems strange to most of us who are use to being involved with political organizations with a set structure of leadership. Yet what has happened to all our various movements and causes? Who waits for liberation in the shadows of our existence? Being leaderless the ideal is to not have any one person or group of persons take control and rob the movement of its essence of principled unity, democratic consensus and loving harmony. Even in A.A. 12-Steps Groups the Chairperson is usually only temporary so that there is a rotating leadership which prevents the domination of the group by an egomaniac. Every leader is a follower and every follower is a potential leader.
Now the Occupy Movement in general is de-centralized and has no definite set revolutionary program or survival platform that is clearly outlined for all to come to agreement on. It is still in the process of maturing. No one has a reliable crystal ball in terms of how it will all play out. How long will the System hold backs its armed reactionary wrath before it seeks to wipe it out? Will the Movement be co-opted or absorbed by the System? Will it be distracted into settling for mere surface reforms? Time and space will reveal more in the future. Fundamental transformation is still required to address the central contradiction between the 99% of the ‘have-nots’ and the 1% of the ‘haves’. This central contradiction involves property rights and the physical occupation of properties, that is, public spaces. We still have the right to peacefully assemble according to our First Amendment Rights and our basic humane rights.
The Occupy Zones are specific locations where local activists, artists and creative-types can meet in peace and come together to share their experiences, strengths and hopes for the future. Stories can be told and new stories can be made. It is a good place to be that promotes social integration among common folks with different backgrounds and combats the alienation of individual isolation.
Whatever happens there is still a core need for basic community infrastructure if the Occupy Movement is going to be able to withstand human deprivations, weather elements, periodic arrests and the armed forces of reaction. We should look at seeking natural alliances, pooling our resources together, expanding collective networks and continue to create democratic consensus-building in a widening matrix of movements, organizations, civic groups and individuals.
In the protracted process we will learn better than ever what a true democracy is among good people who care for each other and help each other to be better humane beings who will no longer remain silent. We are striving for new relationships in a new world that is now blossoming before our very eyes.
Venceremos! Che Peta
On Twitter @Peta_de_Aztlan