Occupied Education 2011


Norway was amazing. I had a sour taste in my mouth coming home to obligations and questions regarding my future. Why couldn’t we have a system as beautiful and supportive as Norway? I dove into political theories enthralled by Russian communism and anarchist ideologies. The French Revolution and History in general was riveting. I spent months digging through every subject creating a curriculum for my self education from articles and nearly a thousand dollars in books. I spent months in my room 10 hours a day absorbing as much knowledge as I could. I flew to NYC to attend a WWP conference and met up with some young radicals and IWW members along the way. I watched the Arab Spring and knew that we would do the same in the US. I knew we would be creating camps as well, especially after what I learned in NYC. I prepared by spending a lot of time in Chicago, surrounding myself with radical anarchists, immigrant worker groups, communists, US Uncut flash mobbers, and any other people assembling in the street. I read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and learned that being an organizer meant staying in the back ground and empowering the people so that they would survive without you, so they didn’t even know you had inspired organization at all.

In between protests and studying, I managed a restaurant and taught myself Spanish. Went dancing with my co-workers and to family parties so I could fully immerse myself in their language. When the Occupy movement was called for in the US I headed to LaSalle and Jackson to Occupy the street in front of the Federal Reserve. Never before had I felt so alive, had so much hope for humanity and so immediately connected to people like the fellow occupiers. We received immediate support. The second night a young couple brought 30 boxes with filet mignon and we only had 15 people out there. The movement grew and blossomed within days to a system of committees organizing everything from food, art, outreach, teach-ins, security, media, web, and much more. I saw what could happen if people got out of their house for a purpose, something they believed in. Twice I visited Occupy Wall Street in NYC for a few weeks, where some of the largest events were happening. I saw Naomi Klein speak, and a rich European art exhibit on wall street decide to dedicate their gallery to us.  I traveled around the other smaller occupies to combine visions and witness the miracle. A week in DC, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, and Los Angeles. After about 2 months, I realized that the Occupy movement, was really a work of art. The movement was a romantic movement that was intended to go outside of the box, to break structure. There was never enough unity to build anything new in it’s place.

I hopped on a road trip to California, and then ended up in Colorado for a while before I saw an article about a new treaty signed by all the South American countries, named after Simon Bolivar. Bolivar had the dream of unifying South America as one country. The prospect of making that large of unity and the history of struggle from that part of the world sent me searching for more political answers. I decided to go to South America myself and see what was happening.

Wall Street Protest Baltimoreoccupy dcoccupy

roadtrip red rock

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