Occupy Updates: What's Phase II? Plus Actions Continue Worldwide as Nurses, Students, Keep Up the Fight

Last night while thousands of students were protesting CUNY tuition hikes and meeting the usual massive police presence, I sat in and observed a panel at Columbia  University sponsored by Dissent Magazine, Jacobin Magazine and Columbia's American Studies department, featuring Frances Fox Piven, Liza Featherstone, Nikil Saval, Michael Hirsch and Dorian Warren.

The topic: What's OWS Phase II? It's a question on many minds, and the answers provided by the experts on "movements" (blessedly, these were true experts on social movements, not shallow media observers) both heartening and unspecific: OWS will have to become more radical and more powerful. It has won the messaging war, said Fox Piven, but now it needs to be so strong and tap into so much power that the machinery of the system will have no choice but to "bend": cave in to demands or be unable to function. How will this happen? Through a slow and steady buildup of pressure: students occupying their universities, workers (either in unions or in other workers grous) joining in, even politicians becoming emboldened to present more radical ideas.

The consensus, though, was that movements take years to go through a full arc, and this one is only beginning. Instead of offering armchair advice to OWS, Fox Piven said, supporters should get off their chairs and plan their own actions. Advocate for specific reforms or offer support to local occupations. The movement will only be able to realize its power if it becomes more than just "the movement"--if it truly begins to be a mobilization of the 99%.

I created a "storify" of my and fellow Journalist Anna Lekas Miler's tweets at the event. View it below.

Meanwhile, Occupy actions continue to take place around the country and the world and police reaction remains less than stellar.

  • American nurses will rally on Wednesday in solidarity with a massive day of strikes by their British counterparts. "nurses, joined by other union members in Washington and several other cities, will hold noon rallies at the British Embassy in Washington and at British consulates in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, and San Francisco." Scroll down to see locations for the actions.
  • Nashville police fined occupiersjust before evicting them.
  • Boston police ignored a restraining order to seize property from Occupy Boston
  • In Portland, another "we are the 99%" "bat-signal" was projected on the side of a building. In Seattle, protesters got creative with balloons.
  • Another fun event is being planned in New York: "Occupy Broadway," a special Broadway performance in an as-yet undisclosed location.


Locations for the Nurses' Union Rallies Tomorrow:

"With up to two million British workers expected to join the biggest strike in the United Kingdom in a generation Wednesday, Nov. 30, the largest union of registered nurses in the U.S. announced today that it will hold support rallies for British nurses and other workers in six U.S. cities Wednesday.

Washington, DC – Embassy of the United Kingdom, 3100 Massachusetts Ave NW

Boston – Consulate, One Broadway, Cambridge

Chicago – Consulate, 625 N. Michigan Ave.

Los Angeles – Consulate, 11766 Wilshire Blvd.

Orlando – Consulate, 200 South Orange Ave.

San Francisco – Consulate, One Sansome St.


AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 29, 2011, 7:56am

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