Monthly Archives: November 2011

NYC Labor Against the War: 11.29 OWS Report: We Are All Egypt and Palestine

NYC Labor Against the War
11.29 Occupy Wall Street Report:

We Are All Egypt and Palestine

Solidarity, Renewal, and Struggle: Revolution Until Liberation
US Palestinian Community Network November 29, 2011

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‘We salute our comrades in the 99% Movement who have held Kuffiyeh Days, built Intifada Tents, and occupied the occupiers of Birthright Israel and the Boston Israeli Consulate — such examples hold brilliant promise for future solidarity as the same US-made tear gas rains down on us in the streets of Oakland, Cairo and Bil`in.’
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Dear friends and supporters of the Palestinian people in the U.S. and around the globe,

On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the US Palestinian Community Network marks 64 years since the partition of Palestine — 64 years of ongoing resistance, steadfastness and continuing commitment to free our land and our people. Today, we are in a time of revolution, and increasing global solidarity with our cause.

We are nearing the end of what has been a momentous year for the Palestinian people and the Arab nation. 2011 is almost over, but revolution continues throughout the Arab world. From Tunisia and Egypt to Bahrain and Yemen, the Arab revolutions are evolving in their own ways, demonstrating that the Arab people’s resolve against political despotism remains strong.

The Arab people recognize that the strategic enemies of justice and peace include puppet Arab regimes alongside Israel and its continued colonization and occupation of Palestine. The treachery of the puppet Arab regimes that are all too willing to suppress their own people while at times feigning support for Palestine is glaringly obvious.

It is equally clear that the United States cares nothing for the freedom and self-determination of Arabs, as is apparent in its massive military, economic and political support for Israel, threats of war and assassination throughout Arab countries, and its complete disregard for the movements of the Bahraini, Yemeni and Saudi people against their dictatorial regimes.

U.S. intervention, threats, and military and political maneuvers are a threat to Arab freedom and liberation — not a support. Despite attempts to co-opt the Arab revolutions and protect the status quo, however, there is no doubt that the Arab peoples will continue to demand freedom, equality, and unfettered self-determination until the last dictator is deposed and the Arab people can stand united against occupation, Zionism and all forms of globalization and exploitation.

Among all people in the region, Palestinians understand this historical moment to indicate that the Arab street rejects the status quo and seeks to create a future that is filled with hope and opportunity rather than despair and repression. Having in many ways inspired the 99% Movement in the United States, the proverbial Arab Spring is an unequivocal rejection of the puppet Arab regimes that are physical manifestations of the power abused by the world’s imperial powers.

The 99% Movement must recognize its ongoing connection to and draw inspiration from the continuing Arab revolutions. The same corporate greed against which the 99% has mobilized has worked to sustain Arab dictators that prioritize money over their people’s dignity and freedom.

Furthermore, Palestine is part of the 99% of the world, and the 99% Movement should also stand together with Palestinians to confront unfettered empire, settler colonialism, military and war profiteering. On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity, we encourage all cities and “occupations” in the 99% Movement to hold rallies, teach-ins, film screenings, and discussions about Palestine — and how to build our mutual solidarity as part of a global resistance to corporate power and imperial domination.

We salute our comrades in the 99% Movement who have held Kuffiyeh Days, built Intifada Tents, and occupied the occupiers of Birthright Israel and the Boston Israeli Consulate — such examples hold brilliant promise for future solidarity as the same US-made tear gas rains down on us in the streets of Oakland, Cairo and Bil`in.

As Egypt continues its revolution in the face of increased repression, we are reminded that the revolution is not comprised of a single action or a series of protests. Rather, revolution is a mindset, an ongoing quest to disturb the status quo and promote freedom, equality, and self-determination through fair and representative self-government.

Throughout this year, the Arab masses have demonstrated that they are the only genuine force that can bring justice, peace, and stability. We stand with the people of Egypt in their struggle to continue the revolution, confront military rule, and build a liberated Egypt that can reclaim its rightful role as a true leader of the Arab people.

At this critical juncture, we must also be wary about those forces that wish to divide us and use Arab or Palestinian institutions or official bodies to undermine and co-opt the Arab revolutions. However, we have strong faith in the Arab masses who are fully aware of their capacity to affect change without foreign intervention or interference. We also recognize and renounce attempts by the United States to treat Palestine as if it is a separate issue, totally disconnected from the popular uprisings that have gripped the Arab world.

On the contrary, the Palestinian revolution is now — as it has always been — central to the Arab revolution and the achievement of true liberation. On this day of solidarity, USPCN reiterates that we will realize Palestine’s liberation through mass mobilization, revolution, political unity, and institution building, not through “peace processes” that prioritize colonial expansion over indigenous people’s rights.

As the forces in solidarity with the Palestinians continue to increase in size and strength, we remember those — Palestinian and others — who have given their lives for Palestine’s sake, and hold close to our hearts those that remain imprisoned behind the bars of settler-colonialism and apartheid. In this time of revolution, we call on all Palestinians, Arabs, and solidarity activists alike to renew their spirit and continue to struggle for Palestine’s liberation.

NYC Labor Against the War: 11.20 OWS Report: Calling Occupy: Stand With Egypt

NYC Labor Against the War
11.20 Occupy Wall Street Report:

Calling Occupy: Stand With Egypt

Tahrir, Davis, Made in USA

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‘Our brothers and sisters in Egypt inspired us all with their courage over the past ten months. Without them, would we have seen the Occupy movement? How would our own struggles against austerity and cuts look without the model of the Egyptian revolution, and the knowledge that ordinary people can change the world?’
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November 20, 2011

A call for international solidarity with protests in Egypt

Hundreds of thousands of protesters are braving tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannon and live ammunition in demonstrations against the ruling military council in Egypt. By late on 20 November there were an estimated 100,000 in Tahrir Square according to eyewitness accounts and thousands protesting in every major city in Egypt. Their demands are clear: the downfall of Marshal Tantawi and Mubarak’s generals. As of Sunday 5 people at least had been killed and around 1000 injured.

The Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions issued a call on Saturday 19 November to its 1.4 million members in affiliated unions to join the protests in Tahrir.

Our brothers and sisters in Egypt inspired us all with their courage over the past ten months. Without them, would we have seen the Occupy movement? How would our own struggles against austerity and cuts look without the model of the Egyptian revolution, and the knowledge that ordinary people can change the world?

If you are organising a protest or a picket, particularly if you can mobilise support from the trade union movement in solidarity with the call from the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions, please let us know. We will list as many protests as we can on this page. Either leave a comment on this page or email Send us pictures and we will publish them too.

Demonstrations organised worldwide in support of protests in Egypt against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Monday 21 November
Ireland, Egyptian Embassy in Dublin, 12 Clyde Road, Dublin 4, 5pm

UK, Egyptian Embassy in London, 26 South Street, W1K 1DW 5-7pm
Called by Egyptian activists in London, same time everyday this week:

Tuesday 22 November
UK, Egyptian Embassy in London, 26 South Street, W1K 1DW 5-7pm
Mobilisation for Trade Unionists and Students – bring your banners!

Wednesday 23 November
UK, Egyptian Embassy in London, 26 South Street, W1K 1DW 5-7pm

Thursday 24 November
UK, Egyptian Embassy in London, 26 South Street, W1K 1DW 5-7pm

Friday 25 November
UK, Egyptian Embassy in London, 26 South Street, W1K 1DW 5-7pm

NYC Labor Against the War: 11.8 OWS Report: NYC Labor Against the War: 11.8 OWS Report: Call-Out for Solidarity With Egypt

NYC Labor Against the War
11.8 Occupy Wall Street Report:

Call-Out for Solidarity with Egypt: Defend the Revolution

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‘A letter from Cairo to the Occupy/Decolonize movements & other solidarity movements:
You can help us defend our revolution.’
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Thursday, November 3, 2011
Call-Out for Solidarity with Egypt: Defend the Revolution

A letter from Cairo to the Occupy/Decolonize movements & other solidarity movements.

After three decades of living under a dictatorship, Egyptians started a revolution demanding bread, freedom and social justice. After a nearly utopian occupation of Tahrir Square lasting eighteen days, we rid ourselves of Mubarak and began the second, harder, task of removing his apparatuses of power. Mubarak is gone, but the military regime lives on. So the revolution continues – building pressure, taking to the streets and claiming the right to control our lives and livelihoods against systems of repression that abused us for years. But now, seemingly so soon after its beginnings, the revolution is under attack. We write this letter to tell you about what we are seeing, how we mean to stand against this crackdown, and to call for your solidarity with us.

The 25th and 28th of January, the 11th of February: you saw these days, lived these days with us on television. But we have battled through the 25th of February, the 9th of March, the 9th of April, the 15th of May, the 28th of June, the 23rd of July, the 1st of August, the 9th of September, the 9th of October. Again and again the army and the police have attacked us, beaten us, arrested us, killed us. And we have resisted, we have continued; some of these days we lost, others we won, but never without cost. Over a thousand gave their lives to remove Mubarak. Many more have joined them in death since. We go on so that their deaths will not be in vain. Names like Ali Maher (a 15 year old demonstrator killed by the army in Tahrir, 9th of April), Atef Yehia (shot in the head by security forces in a protest in solidarity with Palestine, 15th of May), Mina Danial (shot by the Army in a protest in front of Masepro, 9th of October). Mina Daniel, in death, suffers the perverse indignity of being on the military prosecutor’s list of the accused.

Moreover, since the military junta took power, at least 12,000 of us have been tried by military courts, unable to call witnesses and with limited access to lawyers. Minors are serving in adult prisons, death sentences have been handed down, torture runs rampant. Women demonstrators have been subjected to sexual assault in the form of “virginity tests” by the Army.

On October 9th, the Army massacred 28 of us at Maspero; they ran us over with tanks and shot us down in the street while manipulating state media to try and incite sectarian violence. The story has been censored. The military is investigating itself. They are systematically targeting those of us who speak out. This Sunday, our comrade and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah was imprisoned on trumped-up charges. He spends another night in an unlit cell tonight.

All this from the military that supposedly will ensure a transition to democracy, that claimed to defend the revolution, and seemingly convinced many within Egypt and internationally that it was doing so. The official line has been one of ensuring “stability”, with empty assurances that the Army is only creating a proper environment for the upcoming elections. But even once a new parliament is elected, we will still live under a junta that holds legislative, executive, and judicial authority, with no guarantee that this will end. Those who challenge this scheme are harassed, arrested, and tortured; military trials of civilians are the primary tool of this repression. The prisons are full of casualties of this “transition”.
We now refuse to co-operate with military trials and prosecutions. We will not hand ourselves in, we will not submit ourselves to questioning. If they want us, they can take us from our homes and workplaces.

Nine months into our new military repression, we are still fighting for our revolution. We are marching, occupying, striking, shutting things down. And you, too, are marching, occupying, striking, shutting things down. We know from the outpouring of support we received in January that the world was watching us closely and even inspired by our revolution. We felt closer to you than ever before. And now, it’s your turn to inspire us as we watch the struggles of your movements. We marched to the US Embassy in Cairo to protest the violent eviction of the occupation in Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland. Our strength is in our shared struggle. If they stifle our resistance, the 1% will win – in Cairo, New York, London, Rome – everywhere. But while the revolution lives our imaginations knows no bounds. We can still create a world worth living.

You can help us defend our revolution.

The G8, IMF and Gulf states are promising the regime loans of $35 billion. The US gives the Egyptian military $1.3 billion in aid every year. Governments the world over continue their long-term support and alliance with the military rulers of Egypt. The bullets they kill us with are made in America. The tear gas that burns from Oakland to Palestine is made in Wyoming. David Cameron’s first visit to post-revolutionary Egypt was to close a weapons deal. These are only a few examples. People’s lives, freedoms and futures must stop being trafficked for strategic assets. We must unite against governments who do not share their people’s interests.

We are calling on you to undertake solidarity actions to help us oppose this crackdown.

We are suggesting an International Day to Defend the Egyptian Revolution on Nov 12th under the slogan “Defend the Egyptian Revolution – End Military Trials for Civilians”

Events could include:

Actions targeting Egyptian Embassies or Consulates demanding the release of civilians sentenced in military tribunals. If Alaa is released, demand the release of the thousands of others.
Actions targeting your government to end support for the Egyptian junta.
Demand the release of civilians sentenced to military tribunals. If Alaa is released, the thousands of others must follow.
Project videos about the repression we face (military trials, Maspero massacre) and our continued resistance. Email us for links.
Videoconferencing with activists in Egypt
Any creative way to show your support, and to show the Egyptian people that they have allies abroad.

If you’re organising anything or wish to, email us at We would also love to see photos and videos from any events you organize.

The Campaign to End Military Trials of Civilians
The Free Alaa Campaign
Comrades from Cairo

NYC Labor Against the War: 11.4 OWS Report: Occupy and Palestine

NYC Labor Against the War
11.4 Occupy Wall Street Report:

Occupy and Palestine

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“If #OWS can not support #FreedomWaves and #Gaza then they should not compare themselves to #ArabSpring or #Tahrir.”

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Flotilla controversy within Occupy Wall Street shows Palestine continues to be a fault line
by Ben Lorber on November 4, 2011

At about midnight Palestinian time, all was quiet on the Mediterranean Sea. All reports coming from the Tahrir and Saoirse indicated that the two unidentified (possibly Israeli) ships and planes, which had been trailing the humanitarian vessels an hour before, had receded into the distance, and posed no immediate threat. The international activists aboard the Canadian and Irish vessels announced they were heading off to sleep, as journalist Hassan Ghani, aboard the Canadian Tahrir, tweeted that “I remember these feelings a year ago onboard the Mavi Marmara; the tension but also the hope of reaching Gaza the next morning”. Folks eyeing the Twitter-sphere found themselves “praying that this is not the calm before the storm”, and encouraging the 27 crew members to “stay steady in your tracks and strong in your minds”.

In the midst of this calm, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement posted a surprising and exhilarating tweet:

“We support and would like to express #solidarity to #FreedomWaves #Palestine #ows”.

Moments later, the Twitter representative of the Canada Boat to Gaza posted an appreciative response, We are thrilled to receive the support of _#OccupyWallStreet Looks like only the 1% support the Israeli blockade of Gaza.” The Twitter-sphere flared up with expressions of praise and affirmation, proving that the 99% naturally link the struggle for the Occupation of Wall Street with the struggle against the Occupation of Palestine as two facets of a single universal liberation struggle.

Approximately four hours later, however, Occupy Wall Street’s tweet mysteriously disappeared from its home page on Twitter. The Twitter-sphere was instantly taken aback- “didn’t realize #OWS is non-political!!” remarked one tweeter, while another insisted that “If #OWS can not support #FreedomWaves and #Gaza then they should not compare themselves to #ArabSpring or #Tahrir.” The Canada Boat to Gaza, who earlier had nodded in satisfaction, now, shook its head in disappointment, offering, in the face of Occupy Wall Street’s fear of involving itself in the Israel-Palestine conflict, a few words by Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Many tweeps asked “Why did @OccupyWallSt delete a tweet showing solidarity with #FreedomWaves?” or “@OccupyWallSt Did you seriously delete the tweet supporting #FreedomWaves WHY?” The closest official answer came from Daniel Sieradski, a new media activist who has been central to the OccupyJudaism activities. Sieradski explained, the “#FreedomWaves tweet was unauthorized, did not have reflect #OWS community consensus and was subsequently deleted.” He added, “#OWS does not have a position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” and “#OWS is a consensus based movement. The GA has never discussed the I/P issue & even if it did, it would never reach consensus.” Sieradski acknowledged he was not speaking as a spokesperson from Occupy Wall Street but he had “heard what happened from people close to it.” I was not able to receive an official explanation from the Occupy Wall Street movement about why tweet being deleted.

As the controversy blazed across Twitter, it opened a space for the 99% to express the obvious connections between the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the global dominance of the 1%- “#OWS is inseparable from #Palestine. 1% funding Israeli settlements and extremist settlers? Priceless.”; “#OWS is inseparable from#Gaza. The 1% diverts resources from the 99% by Israel’s blockading and shelling 100% of Gaza”; “The Tear Gas used in #Oakland is the same tear gas used in#Palestine, when protesters demonstrate non violently”, to cite a few among the myriad examples. Not everyone on twitter was upset however. The tweeter “Fatima600”, who had been using this racist name to fire verbal attacks at the flotilla throughout the night, responded, “They are tired of having their movement hijacked!!!!! I love you #OWS!!!!”

Hours later, @OccupyFortWorth expressed its support for Freedom Waves for Gaza- “Our support for #Gaza and #Freedomwaves is limitless. It emanates and echoes from the deepest purest regions of our heart. Love. Solidarity”, asserting, in contrast to #OccupyWallSt’s hesitancy, that “we don’t mind losing followers who are uncritical or unwilling to engage the issues (Or who are reflexively pro-Zionist.)”.

Ben Lorber is an American activist with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank and a journalist with the Alternative Information Center in Bethlehem. Visit his blog at

NYC Labor Against the War: 11.2 OWS Report: General Strike Shuts Port of Oakland

NYC Labor Against the War
11.2 Occupy Wall Street Report:

General Strike Shuts Port of Oakland

Source: Port of Oakland Running at Half Capacity After Wildcat Strike in Solidarity With Occupy Oakland
“Rank and filers told people this morning not to take work. Key jobs were not filled but some other jobs were,” Heyman said, resulting in what he described as an “effective shutdown.” “This is an example of the consciousness of the San Francisco ports union, which has a history of solidarity actions with the global labor movement,” Heyman added.

Occupy Oakland succeeds in shutting down port

‎”At this time, maritime operations are effectively shut down at the Port of Oakland. Maritime area operations will resume when it is safe and secure to do so,” the port said in a written statement to Reuters.

General Strike Shuts Down Oakland. Watch Live! |
Watch live as the 99% fight back and shut down a port. Today Oakland, tomorrow your public square. On November 17th, in NYC and beyond, we will resist until we win. We will no longer accept the rule of the 1%. This is not a symbolic protest. This is the resistance. Act now.

Live Blog: Crowds gather, block traffic in downtown Oakland
Thousands of people have assembled at the intersection at Webster and 20th streets in front of Chase and other bank branches. Two protesters climbed a lamp post and put up a banner that crosses Webster street that says “Occupy the banks.”

Workers, students join Occupy rally in Oakland
Thousands of anti-Wall Street protesters marched in the streets of Oakland on Wednesday as they geared up with labor unions to picket banks, take over foreclosed homes and vacant buildings and disrupt operations at the nation’s fifth-busiest port.

Occupy movement organises day of protest in Oakland — in pictures
Protesters gathered on Wednesday for a planned ‘general strike’ aimed at shutting down the city in a series of demonstrations.

“Occupy Oakland” strike gains big labor support – CBS News
The unions representing Oakland’s public school teachers, community college instructors, city government workers and University of California, Berkeley teaching assistants have endorsed the broad-based call to action that is expected to include marches, pickets outside banks and an attempt to shut down the Port of Oakland in the evening.

Veteran’s journey from Iraq to Oakland protests
“I was not surprised that he was at a protest, speaking up. Scott had gotten older, he’d grown up and gotten a voice. He wasn’t a completely different person when he came back. He’d just seen a lot things. And I was proud of him, standing up for something he believed in.”

Shutting It All Down: The Power of General Strikes in U.S. History
The two major general strikes in American history are the Seattle General Strike of 1919 and the Oakland General Strike of 1946. In 1919, the workers of Seattle engaged in a three-day mass action calling all city workers onto the streets. This was the first citywide collective action in American history known as a general strike.

We are all Oakland
Occupy, while tapping into the same working class radicalization that fueled the Wisconsin revolt, is a far broader movement. It is a national uprising, first of all–and it targets social inequality, denounces big-money control of both political parties, and raises questions about the system itself.