Category Archives: pr0t0type
We’re all “pr0t0types,” if we want to be.
So yeah, come N-17 in Milwaukee and the resulting occupation of the North Avenue overpass transecting I-43, M.P.D. Chief Flynn made the right call, or at least the call most tactically sound.
This project, a joint occupation of infrastructure across the U.S. on the two-month anniversary of the initiation of O.W.S. had been in the planning for awhile. No matter the amount of secrecy, come N-17, on the day of, at the very least, I am sure that the police had an inkling as to what’d be in the works. Make no doubt about, all participating knew that arrest was potential and some we’re even counting on it considering the predisposition of police departments across the nation and their willingness to arrest and sometimes brutalize.
I’ve argued, and for some time now, that the arrest of and brutality towards occupiers only strengthens the movement. Not that I’m trying to weaken the movement by allowing this tidbit of truth to slip from my mouth, but brutality, police brutality is unacceptable under any circumstance, especially when it rears its ugly heads at citizens exercising their constitutional rights.
It would seem that Chief Flynn was of the same opinion. Rather than marching in with pepper spray and batons in hand, they left us to the elements – a cold Wisconsin night. He knew that one of secondary goals was a “martyrdom” of sorts – maybe not so much a goal, but a known and potential consequence considering our stand on the bridge and unwillingness to vacate. All things considered, I have to begrudgingly admit that his strategy was superior to our own and in some ways feel like he’d won the battle (that’s the tactician in me talking). Furthermore, he utilized the media in ways that’d painted us to be fools.
On that note, the Chief’s manipulation of the media, both on and off the camera, I’ve put together a vid (below) wherein I dismantle his arguments and assertions. I only hope that this message reaches even a 10th the audience his had. In combination with the “Flynn Dialogue,” I also take a moment to evaluate the “violence” associated with the #Occupy movement, or rather and more appropriately, the violence aimed at it as was the case for a scary moment during our occupation and stand at the intersection of I-43 and North Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 17, 2011.
I shouldn’t even have to ask the question! However, the answer is not as evident as it may seem to you or I.
Premise – You walk into a shopping mall on Black Friday. You have a whole list of “goodies” you wish to purchase at an accommodating cost. Whilst shopping in your third store on the list (about 30 minutes unto your consumptive adventure) you pause for one split-second wherein you hear an Amber-Alert being broadcast throughout the mall. What do you do? Pay attention and keep your eyes open for the missing child? Or do you check your list and see what more you need to get before the day’s “festivities” end?
For crying out freaking loud, get outside, enjoy the day! It’s 50 degrees out in mid-November and you want to spend it in mall!?!
Try Stuffing Your Turkey With This! The massacre of indigenous peoples and the imposition of one’s God upon the masses and without consent…what a holiday this is!
Oh, and I’d like to take a moment to Reflect upon Dr. Zinn’s work and the impact he’s had on my life. Actually, it was both Dr. Zinn and a high school history teacher that impacted my life in ways that truly alter life courses. It’s no secret to my closest friends that although I had a stellar academic performance in college, high school was a completely different matter – truth be told, I was actually kicked out of the “normal” high school and graduated from the Alternative Education Center.
However, while in High School I had the pleasure of taking a history class with perhaps one of the most influential people in my life. On the first day of class, this teacher asked us to stack our state-issued history books in the corner. He then handed us each a copy of “The People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn, he’d paid for these books out of pocket. We then learned the history, the real history, of the people – the massacres, the hardship, the struggle and vigilance, it was an eye opener and not one student in the class avoided captivation.
Unfortunately, said history teacher was mysteriously let go of after but one year…big surprise, right? And unfortunately once more, Howard Zinn had passed (a couple of years ago now). I know that I may be young, but in a weird way said events reminded me of mine own mortality and the never-ending quest for knowledge these individuals had sparked within my soul. My thanks to both of you and nothing but the best wishes wherever you may roam.
Black Friday is on it’s way unto next year, or nearly. I revel in this as I watch the clock and see that only 3 1/2 hours remain unto this dismal day, a day wrought the worst of what’s American – our Culture of Consumption. Granted, this vid provided below was made prior to this darkest day’s activities, but the message should remain and remain near to the heart – We aren’t what we own!
I understand that when you sometimes see the flashy clothes, new XBox, a pimped out SUV or diamond ring one may sometimes wonder how it is that they reach this “level” of status. But truth be told, as long as you can look yourself in the mirror, remain true to your own sense of integrity and just be happy with who you are and the loved ones you’ve surrounded yourself with, everything’s OK. A great many of us are just like you and will not look down on you for what you don’t have; rather, we’ll see eye to eye in what we share.
Be well my friends, be well.
#Occupy is officially two-months old and for the time being, seems to be as strong as ever. Though this movement has been around for only a short time, it seemed like an eternity in waiting for me. The sentiments expressed and awakened in others by the #Occupy movement are notions that I’ve discussed for quite some time here on the “internetz,” topics like campaign finance reform, American foreign policy, corporate person-hood and the growing disparity between rich and poor; but DAMN! Is it not refreshing to see feet on the ground and opposed to asses on the couch, thumbing from one prime-time event to another.
In order to commemorate in solidarity with the newly awakened and veterans alike, I ventured to Milwaukee on the 17th wherein I participated in the peaceful takeover of a bridge, an arterial path of sorts in Milwaukee – the I-43/North Ave. overpass. As we made are way towards the bridge past brother, sister and barricade alike, I sensed a movement, a movement never sensed before, even moreso than that of the anti-war protests I took part in. This was change, these were people and a future, a mutually beneficial future, was the goal. For the first time, the very first time, I thought, “maybe, just maybe.”
* “Phase 4, Reflections” coming tomorrow
I understand that one of the grievances being leveled by the #OCCUPY movement is a lack of jobs. With unemployment above 9%, there’s no doubt about the ills associated with trying to find a job, it’s rough, trust me. To further illustrate the trials associated with finding a job, let me tell you a story. I was in China when the economy crapped out. My wife would ask me if everything would be okay when we went back stateside, so please, stop me if you’ve heard this one, “Yes dear, everything will be okay. This happens every decade or so in the states, it gets bad for a couple of months, maybe even a year, but it all pulls back together in end.” It didn’t. It only got worse and when we came back, it took months to find employment at even the most basic of levels. Holding two college degrees, there were zero avenues for me in terms of degree related jobs and every time I applied for nearly any type of basic labor, I got the overqualified speech. If it weren’t for friends and family, perhaps I’d still be unemployed unto this day.
Yes, I was naive back then and perhaps a little too optimistic. Either way, the economy’s still shit, however, I am one of the lucky, I am employed (at the most basic of levels and near minimum wage, great for repaying student loans).
To continue on, as things became worse and worse, with regard to our economy and the relationship between our government and corporations, as we became poorer and poorer, we saw the fruition of the #OCCUPY movement. A culmination of people’s denigrated, disenfranchised and desperate. Naturally, I became involved.
Weathering the cold with a cold, we stood for an ideal and ideal world. We became strong when cheered and even stronger when jeered when the now and then (nearly 1 out of every 100) car would pass us by, “GET A JOB ASSHOLES!” Herein lies the other argument made by #OCCUPY, my condition, not the “no jobs” argument, but “too many jobs,” to barely keep our heads above the water argument. To those of you riding by, to you Rush “dipshit” Limbaugh, I do work and I do pay taxes. I work three jobs alongside my wife’s two jobs and we can barely keep up with the expenses. We live frugally, but student loan repayments, medical costs and the increasing costs of goods needed to sustain one’s lives parallel to zero wage increases, no cost of living adjustment and zero to lacking benefits is strangling us alongside a great many other Americans. Equality among the people cannot be maintained considering the contemporary modus operandi evolved within our shared America – the newer land of not freedom, but rampant corporate greed and an every growing class of cheap and cheapened labor.
Say what you will about the 99% Rush, but just remember that when the 99% falls unto complete starvation, we’ll use whatever means that we can to eat! As for the 1 in 100 cars, the “GET A JOB!” crowd, when the storm comes to your door and when your coffers run dry, we’ll be here to welcome you not with insult, but with open arms and solidarity. Let’s just pray the we, the 99%, can accomplish our goals prior to you falling unto the circumstances that we have.
So yeah, one of the greatest strengths I have observed and have been able to partake in at #Occupy is the transmission of ideas, be it in person or here amongst the wired.
For example, consider this particular story –
So I’m out weathering the soon to be frozen tundra, sign in hand, my camera in the other and all the vigilance I’d need. While talking to a motorist who’d pulled up with a question or two I’d spied a sign on the corner opposite. Making out only two words on the sign, all distances considered, I begin to wonder just what “Complexity Economics” was. How better to learn than ask. So I’d made my way across the street or two and ventured upon Nick, a fellow occupier and soul resistant to this newer American status quo – Class Warfare wherein the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
We talked for a bit wherein he explained the basics, quite intriguing might I add and he’d agreed to an interview. That being said, here we go (on a final side-note, should any of you have questions, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to do a follow up interview).
Be sure to check out Nick’s “Complexity Economics” Facebook page at –