2011 – A Partial Review, Part III – The Occupy Movement Protests

More than any other event in 2011, the Occupy Movement protests moved me the most. When I say moved though, I don’t mean in a jumping-for-joy, congratulatory way. At one point, it was to tears.

I’m naturally herd-shy, and tend to steer clear of groups for very practical reasons as well as a slightly more visceral aversion to actions affected by groupthink. It can be breathtakingly beautiful in fish or birds, but its scary in humans. In the sociopolitical arena the very practical reasons include that herds are so much easier to manipulate, and those in the know know just how . They achieve that through having at their disposal intellectual resources far in advance of any sociopolitical group, and the experience gained through a long history of subversion and manipulation. In the 60’s and 70’s, it was taken as given that all political groups were infiltrated by the FBI.

Early in the movement development I attempted to get people to consider that all might not be as it seemed. In The Occupy Together Movement- Collective Actions and the Need for Individual Thought I communicated my thoughts and included in the post an article that provided evidence that strongly suggested intelligence agency involvement in the birth of the movement. The article discusses COINTELPRO, the FBI’s ‘COunter INTELlligence PROgram’, which infiltrated domestic antiwar and civil rights protest groups in the 60’s and 70’s.

At the beginning of the post I said that I was aware that what I had to say would be neither popular nor well received. I was still surprised at how unpopular it was and how resistant people would be to reviewing the information for themselves and forming their own conclusions. So I turned to providing information on the kind of techniques that have been used in the past by unscrupulous types in political settings to steer and manipulate groups, techniques such as Neurolinguistic Programming and Miltonian Hypnosis, to enable individuals to identify and deal with suchlike covert manipulation.

More recently, I discovered the involvement of The Tavistock Institute, who were running Social Dreaming Events within various Occupy groups worldwide. The Tavistock Institute have deep roots in British Psychological warfare and long-running intelligence agency involvement. Again a post was drawn up containing my concerns, thoughts, and multiple links to external data sources and a recommendation that people do their own research.

The overall negative response to that post has been the trigger for the change of tack going on in the Psyclone project.

Dissonance, Denial, and Danger covers the above in more detail, and includes information previously networked through Psyclone and The Centre of the Psyclone regarding subconscious neurological processes that can block the taking in of new or challenging information.

It’s been gratifying then, now that the brouhaha has died down, to hear other researchers and analysts questioning aspects of the Occupy Movement. Questioning is good, and shouldn’t be stopped in a hurry, ever. I understand the tendency in ‘alternative’ circles for those in them, having reinvented themselves (kind of) in their movement away from the mainstream, to be resistant to information that challenges those positions. More so than ‘normal’ people. Understanding doesn’t make it any less exasperating and frustrating.

The documentary The Revolution Business discusses the role ‘revolution consultants’ have played in the ‘spontaneous’ uprisings seen throughout the year in North Africa and the Middle East.

The excellently written and link-laden 2011 – The Year of the Dupe examines the issue in more detail and shows US State Department big budget operations behind the ‘Arab Spring’, the “spontaneous,” “indigenous” uprisings.

My respect goes out to Tony Cartalucci, the author of the piece, for what is possibly the most comprehensively researched and informative article I’ve read this year. Essential reading!

I will stop here to say that I do think there has been positive things that have come out of the Occupy protests. Back-slapping aside though, a more important insight has presented itself for those with eyes to see.

Having ‘eyes to see’ is the nub of the issue. Too many people self-censor information, and in doing so severely limit their potential and make themselves and those around them vulnerable.  Too often, political activists in this instance, fail to take into account the programming and conditioning they’ve received from society. There is no such thing as objectivity. We all act from a frame of reference that has been shaped by what went before.

Too many also seem to think that they’re immune to behaviouaral manipulation. To them I would say there are some highly trained and highly paid, smug and deviant individuals out there that know you aren’t.

My suggestions for 2012 would be to think more, constantly question yourself, your beliefs and worldviews, their source, their accurateness, their appropriateness. Take the time to read up on human behaviour and psychology. Make up your own mind. If you don’t somebody else will have made it up for you…fact.

Knowledge is power. For that reason restriction,  suppression, and manipulation of information is a very basic social control technique. Very basic and very easy given that control of the media has been consolidated into such few hands. Failing to consider the aims and effects of the overall media output, as well as its detail, is dangerously naïve. Even a cursory glance at facts reveals mainstream media’s worrying links, policies and agendas. Whatever you see on television, hear on the radio, or read in the newspapers has been, at the very least, allowed. More often than not though, it has been meticulously designed using principles of behavioural psychology and linguistics toward very specific aims. Put another way, if your channels of information are confined to those listed above, then your awareness, your reality, is being manipulated and compromised.

Don’t believe anything you read or hear until you’ve done your own research into it. The time it takes is well worth it..

We are in a special, privileged, “information rich” position with access to more information via the Internet than it’s possible to read or digest in a single human lifetime. There is no reason why we can’t understand who we truly are and where we are going. There is no reason why the average individual can’t be fully empowered. We can accelerate the transition of our species out of the “era of slavery” into the era of physical and spiritual freedom if we study, analyse, question and act on a wide base of information.

It is crucially important for you and those you care about that you consider all information with an open and inquiring mind  before forming opinions and
conclusions. A little skepticism is healthy, but only when it moves one to investigate further before arriving at a judgment.

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As was said at the beginning of Part I,  the overall theme of our output from here on in will take a slightly different tack and focus on information for those already thinking outside the box.

Peace

Occupy Reality: #context, re: peaceful protests (and more)

Mickey Z at The Fair Share of the Common Heritage

“Democracy don’t rule the world/You’d better get that in your head/This world is ruled by violence/But I guess that’s better left unsaid”

— Bob Dylan

Just as talk begins of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) seeking to expand beyond Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza, comes NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly telling tales of (unarmed) protestors (purportedly) “targeting” (heavily armed) cops.

“These people wanted to have confrontation with the police for whatever reason.  Somehow, I guess it works to their purposes,” Kelly told WCBS in New York before adding the obvious: “They’re going to be met with force when they do that.”

Kelly went on to add: “We’re going to accommodate them as long as they do it peacefully and in accordance with the laws and regulations.”

He had no comment, of course, on members of his police force remaining in accordance with any “laws and regulations,” but the larger issue—as I see it—is the whole “do it peacefully” part.

As I’ve walked through Zuccotti Park, I’ve often heard folks (especially those giving interviews) talking (boasting, even) about how peaceful OWS is. Without getting into the pros and cons of dissidents being so proud of obeying laws, I will say that the scene at OWS is definitely not peaceful.

There’s nothing truly “peaceful” about an environment surrounded by heavily armed defenders of the corporate status quo—no matter how many folk songs you sing or organic banana peels you compost.

In fact, I’ll go as far as saying: In today’s society, there’s no such thing as a peaceful protest.

We need a far more holistic view of our culture in order to pursue a far more holistic approach to change. So, before I expand on the point above, I want to first address some other criticisms being launched—without context—at OWS:

Charge: Brookfield Office Properties, which owns Zuccotti Park, put out a statement, which read, in part: “Sanitation is a growing concern. Normally the park is cleaned and inspected every weeknight … because the protestors refuse to cooperate … the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16th and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels.”

#context: Eighty-one tons of mercury is emitted into the atmosphere each year as a result of electric power generation. Every square mile of ocean hosts 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. Every second, 10,000 gallons of gasoline are burned in the US. Each year, Americans use 2.2 billion pounds of pesticides. Every day, 13 million tons of toxic chemicals are released across the globe…but we’re focusing on the “sanitary conditions” in Zuccotti Park (supposedly) reaching “unacceptable levels”?

Charge: There’s damage (allegedly) being done to plants in the park.

#context: Really? Let’s talk damage: Thanks to the dominant culture, 80% of the world’s forests have already been cut down while 200,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed every 24 hours.

Charge: Protestors are making way too much noise and it’s bothering their Wall Street neighbors.

#context: I’m surprised the critics can hear anything over the sound of chainsaws clear-cutting and mountaintop mining explosions and predator drone detonations and the screams emanating from slaughterhouses, vivisection labs, and fur farms across the globe. Or how about just the cacophony caused by the multi-billion dollar Freedom (sic) Tower construction directly across the street from OWS?

Charge: New York City has already “wasted” $2 million in overtime to cops assigned to the protest.

#context: Let’s compare that amount to the 54% of American taxpayer dollars that fund the largest “occupation” force in the history of humanity: the US military.

Charge: OWS lacks a coherent message.

#context: Pardon us, but all the comprehensive and meaningful agendas like “Yes We Can” and “Hope and Change” and “Shock and Awe” were already taken.

Which finally brings me back to the whole “peaceful protest” concept…

The reason OWS is perceived by most as a peaceful protest is because the army of the rich (NYPD) has created a ring around it—filming the occupiers’ every move and threatening immediate and unrestricted violence to anyone it deems as a worthy target.

I repeat: There’s nothing truly “peaceful” about an environment surrounded by heavily armed enemies.

The occupiers may be displaying almost exclusively peaceful behavior but the brutal logic of violent deterrence is a 24/7 factor influencing this choice. If someone in OWS wanted to try a different tack, well, Ray Kelly already explained that one: “They’re going to be met with force.”

In a broader sense, this scenario epitomizes the implicit daily violence of human culture. The primary reason why we play along with the current system (pay for food and water, pay rent, etc.) and often tolerate the intolerable (toxins in our food, reduced civil liberties, etc.) is because if we didn’t, we’d eventually face violence from the State (eviction, arrest, detainment, prison, etc.).

Taking things to an even wider view, simply using a computer to type this article means I’ve agreed on some level to the mining of coltan (a major component of computer circuitry) by child labor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where mining profits are used to fund a ruthless civil war and the slaughter of the world’s largest primate (Eastern Lowland Gorilla) to make room for coltan mines. Every keystroke I make is an act of violence.

I could go on—the examples are virtually without limit—but it’s easier to sum up for now: Industrial civilization is built on and based on and functions on overt and covert violence. Any discussion of non-violence that ignores this reality is an exercise in deep denial.

Until the pervasive presence/threat of cultural violence is diminished and ultimately eradicated, we must never stop exposing it, factoring it into our words and actions, and finding ways to sabotage it.

The revolutionary process involves the nuts and bolts of daily, even hourly resistance—hard work like reaching out to those who’ve been heavily conditioned by mainstream culture. This can be an agonizingly slow, inch-by-inch effort—but it’s crucial.

The revolutionary process also involves broadening our scope and making wider and wider connections—aiming for holistic perspectives and thus, holistic justice across lines of gender, age, ethnicity, species, ability, sexual orientation, class, and more. This is abstract work but no less arduous. For those you already in tune with the OWS groove, it’s crucial.

Either way, the path we must tread could be summed like this: Occupy Reality #context.

 

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.