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(en) Cuba, Media, Havana Time: An Occupier from New York in Havana
Mon, 02 Jul 2012 16:57:26 +0300
Occupy Wall Street ---- I remember how before every time the government would do something
bad in the world big peaceful demonstrations would be organized against the imperialist
wars of the United States. The press and the people didn’t talk about the majority of
these efforts and nothing changed much through them. ---- We would be in the street
yelling with a lot of people, but there wouldn’t be a response from the government, or
from those who were walking on the street near us. And so, I don’t think we will win this
fight with the demonstrations, it’s not sufficient to stop something as big as this
government. ---- There would be thousands of people in the street, and after all of it
everyone would go back to their house. ---- With Occupy…it’s completely different.
Afterward the protest, everyone goes back to the site, to the tents in the park to analyze
together: “What happened with the demonstration?
What happened with the police? Who did they arrest?” and “how are we going to get them
out?” and “tomorrow”….
In Occupy someone plays the guitar and another knows about economics, and it’s all shared.
Some people want to do this action or this demonstration. Some want to cook for the people
in the streets or talk about a certain situation.
They create a new society inside of the violent, capitalist society of New York. And this
is very powerful. Everyone makes what they want in the same place and with basically the
same objective: change the world, the government of the United States.
Right now if some young person wants to see what is happening and is frustrated like me-
with the economic situation and everything- they can go the Occupy encampment…and there
are many open arms waiting to teach and learn together about what they are going to do.
Many young people have been frustrated and have seen the fall of the economy and how the
Obama administration handles the crises, the administration that held so much hope. Almost
nothing changed and the youth have reached a critical point. They realize that the system
doesn’t function for the people.
The frustration has been rising since the crises, and before. Many hopes were destroyed in
the last two years and with the war and the bad economy. All of the wealth is in the hands
of the bankers, and nothing for the majority of the people.
Occupy…is bigger, not because it was organized so much better than before when no one was
coming. It’s not just a protest; it’s a synthesis of many things in the current historical
I have been in contact with many compañeros there and I don’t think that anyone knows
exactly how to identify the people who were there first.
Right now it matters less than before if they are anarchists, if they are communists. I
believe that the anarchists were the first people to start Occupy Wall Street that were
camping first, doing the powerful actions.
It seems that this is because their ideological leaning is more towards direct action and
less towards “mass” politics. I think there are many anarchists that are organizing more
Occupy… is important for the number of new people that have not organized, or participated
in anything in their lives and are organizing there, learning and acting. Just before I
came to Cuba, in New York I went a demonstration against the NATO intervention in Libya,
in Times Square, and there were about 10 people against this war in all of New York, New
York with 10 million people.
To me it doesn’t matter much who are Anarchists or Communists, because the most important
is that there are more people in this movement, in the Left in New York, in all of the
world, but in the United States specifically.
More than 4000 people have been arrested; the majority has been let out on bail and is
awaiting trial. They participated in peaceful actions, like occupations of public places
and marches in the streets.
The movement has committees to give legal help and funds to these activists. Still now,
they have to go to court to pay some fines. But the state repression is rising, with more
police and more serious charges, people accused of felonies, used for killers and rapists,
for the peaceful actions of blocking the streets during an action.
Nobody, luckily, has died in the Occupy movement or in their direct actions. Many have
been injured by the police, with injuries from the batons and gas canisters.
I think that all of this had a big impact, but specifically Tahrir Square, in Egypt, where
everyone united to protest the government.
Easton and Erica
The press talked a lot about this revolution, and put many images of it on television.
They were there, maintaining the pressure on the government.
I think this action was a big inspiration for Occupy…because it’s a similar idea.
I think that the people in the United States are part of this world movement. Occupy Wall
Street also the revolutions of the Arab world are part of the same movement. The whole
world is changing.
Now they are not camping in the majority of the cities in the United States. The police
violently removed them, evicted them, and arrested them. With the evictions in the big
cities, there is confusion about the direction of the movement.
And so, the movement has to decide a new path, occupy a new place or something, because
there is no leadership and there is nothing like a main document that dictates what the
movement should do in this situation.
It seems difficult to me to choose a new path for the movement. There are many different
politics among the protestors. Some are anti-imperialists and some are not against the wars.
Some are Democratic Party supporters and are going to work for this party in the next
year, for Obama and the system. They are going to try to make a movement that functions as
a tool to get more votes.
And some of us have no interest in this idea. We have no hope in the Democratic Party.
Now, I think what we need is to grow in numbers. After we can talk about politics.
I came to study in Cuba before Occupy… my observations came to me from news from friends
and my thoughts after having been an organizer with Brandworkers in New York for some
years, besides what I learned upon returning to the US.
To be continued…
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