“Occupy Wall Street West” Embodies the Movement. Literally.


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On January 20, to mark the second anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, hundreds of activists and social artists engaged in street theater in the name of economic justice. Dubbed “Occupy Wall Street West” and organized by a coalition of 55 Bay Area organizations and dozens of Occupy San Francisco affinity groups, protesters peacefully entered Wells Fargo’s corporate headquarters and Bank of America’s main branch and held up signs demanding that banks end predatory evictions and foreclosures.

Political Flash Mob: November 19, 2011.

And then they danced.

A flash mob called “One People” converged on the plaza that houses Bank of America and Goldman Sachs and commenced with a freeze.  A dancer called out “Mic check!” The group responded, “Mic check!” and vocalized a piercing scream of anguish, which collapsed into a die-in before transforming into an upbeat dance.

The above video was directed and edited by Ben Flanigan and produced by Magalie Bonneau-Marcil of the Oakland-based DancingwithoutBorders.org, which explores the intersection between art and activism. Street theater and dance are effective direct action tools, and they show the world that this movement has a sense of humor – and, more importantly, a sense of joy. As Drew Dellinger, a poet and educator who is quoted in the film, says:

“I think art and politics are connected, because it’s about imagination. It’s about having the vision and the creativity and the imagination to say, ‘I can imagine a world without foreclosure. I can imagine a world that’s moved beyond war, that’s moved beyond racism and sexism and economic injustice.’ So the same capacities of imagination that the artists use is the same poetic capacities that the poet uses to create, is the same imagination and creativity that we’re using to create a better world.” 

Here’s One People and the flash mob the group begat on November 19, 2011 in San Francisco. This film was also made by Magalie Bonneau-Marcil and Ben Flanigan.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lorenzo-Gonzalez/100002661893155 Lorenzo Gonzalez

    If the Occupy Wall St. movement wants to make a change in the way that America is managed by the professional politicians and the Congress, it must create a political party that complements the existing representative democratic political system with direct democracy. The latter allows the citizens to decide directly (online) in the issues that affect the country.
    This new party will empower its members to vote online about the topics that will be discuss in Congress, then the congressmen of this party will follow EXACTLY the directly democratic resolution expressed by its members on the party homepage. For example, if a pending bill is supported by 70% of party members and is opposed by 30% of party members on the party website, and the party has 10 seats in parliament, then 7 congressmen would support and 3 would oppose the bill.
    THIS IS REAL PEOPLE POWER. THIS IS REAL CHANGE INSTEAD OF WORTHLESS PROMISES.
    Those citizens who are NOT willing to delegate power to a congressman will register and vote for the list for congressmen of the direct democracy party since the congressmen of this party are obliged to follow faithfully what members of the party want as explained above.
    Those citizens who prefer to delegate power to a congressman can continue with the current system of traditional parties either because they prefer or because they do not have the electronic capabilities to send their own decisions.
    As the role of the party’s congressmen is to accurately reflect the wishes of party members, citizens who will integrate the list for Congress could be chosen by lottery among the party members who expressed their desire to serve as delegates, that is, any ordinary citizen can be a congressman.
    Similar parties already exist in UK and other countries.
    Please see: http://paparty.co.uk/index.html