American Spring Coming: Occupy G8 and NATO in Chicago

With the and summits coming to Chicago in the middle of May, the occupy movement is poised to jump start the American Spring.  The movement has already called for a general strike on , May 1.  This is a call for No , No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking,  TAKE THE STREETS!  My own local occupy, Occupy Toledo, is planning to retake a public place with a long-term occupation on .  With continued dissatisfaction with conditions, better weather on the horizon, and the convergence of large-scale occupations, this May could very well be the American spring.
“Against the backdrop of a global uprising that is simmering in dozens of countries and thousands of cities and towns, the and will hold a rare simultaneous summit in Chicago this May. The world’s and elites, heads of , 7,500 officials from 80 nations, and more than 2,500 will be there.
And so will we.

…The establishment in Chicago has been particularly brash in its treatment of the movement. Occupy Chicago is one of the few to never succeed in maintaining an encampment, as two attempts were met with over 300 arrests in the city’s famed Grant Park last fall. While clearly intended to deflate the movement’s momentum ahead of the coming summits in May, this repression only served to place the plight of Occupy in the limelight.Not content with cracking down on the Occupy camps, the mayor then escalated his assault by introducing a whole new set of for . Just prior to the holiday recess in December, he proposed changes to the two city ordinances dealing with demonstrations and parades, including increased fines for offenses to draconian new filing requirements for parade organizers.

…The American Spring will not materialize out of from just a few isolated incidents of repression. Like its Arab-world counterpart, it will be the product of a population that has reached its breaking point after years of systemic abuse. The fact is that the assault on basic civil liberties in this country has been so widespread that focusing on a handful of examples risks trivializing the issue. From the Act and FISA to NDAA to the ’s newfound right to assassinate, the federal has acted with marked impunity from Bush to . Meanwhile, the and local level governments maintain the bulk of the world’s largest system of incarceration, still rooted in age-old prejudices and sociological biases. In many ways, Occupy is reflective of an awakening generation: the babies of the baby-boomers who no longer buy the petty spoon-fed in school about this nation being a “beacon of peace.”

…Another important factor informing a possible American Spring is the promulgation of hysteria by the political, and . As with the enactment of repressive policies, hysteria is designed to drive into the masses in order to dissuade them from protest. It is also an indication of a ruling that has become increasingly desperate and a political class that is rapidly losing its . As people begin to recognize this, they may be less inclined to the vilification of as “destructive and dangerous anarchists,” and may be more likely to identify with them.

…Another compelling sign of a coming American Spring is the inspiring level of political organization in Chicago. On the one hand, there is the “Coalition Against the and Agenda” (CANG8), which has been planning the massive demonstration on May 19th since the summits were announced. They also organized much of the to the city’s new anti-protester ordinance, including a picket at City Hall on the day of the vote. In that latter effort, they were joined by dozens of supporters of Occupy Chicago in what culminated a strong joint effort among protest groups throughout the city. Organizer Andy Thayer told me: “The battle over the ordinance really brought together these various movements. I think the city was really taken aback by the response.” He further said that he was expecting to see the same few regular faces at the - picket at City Hall, only to find that Occupy had substantially energized their efforts.

…While the make their destructive plans inside, the American people will be constructing a better world on the outside.
I that you will join me and the thousands and thousands of people from across the United States and from around the planet that will be giving the peoples’ message about making our world a better place for all of us to live.

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