The autonomous occupation of 90 5th Avenue, which began its second phase Wednesday November 23rd, continues. Today we celebrate Thanks-taking, in solidarity with the general strike in Portugal, the ongoing revolutionary movement in Egypt, and comrades worldwide rejecting all forms of authority and manipulation.
An occupation cannot be voted away – it continues as long as the occupiers decide to stay, to show support, and to keep coming. As we said on November 18th, “private spaces must be liberated.” We believe this as much now as we did then. So this private space remains liberated.
Walking by the location offered by the New School administration, 2 West 13th Street, we saw the results of the most superficial expression of participatory democracy: a list of rules, and an empty space waiting for its subjects.
It is clear that this occupation was never about or for students; it was to destroy student-identity politics. This occupation’s affiliation and solidarity with the All-NYC Student General Assembly often served only to confuse its participants, as well as everyone else. A student can only be talked to as a student, which is exactly what we saw from the administration – what began as a patronizing tacit support, led to a condescending theater of negotiation. We are not students, workers, activists, or anything else. We are angry, and we want it all.
What the collaborationists among us have failed to understand, and what they have obscured in their communications with comrades and the wider public, is that we didn’t need to form a movement if we wanted to maintain a culture of compromise in the university, in the workplace, in the home, in the street – this is what we were already doing. If some want to continue, they can feel free. Anyone looking to experiment with other options is welcome to join us in this occupation, 90 5th Avenue, and all the other occupations we expect to see soon.
We have decided to take what we want, to realize that what we want is already ours, and to recognize that all those who try to inhibit these movements place themselves on the opposite side of the barricades.
24 November 2011