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Sunday -- 07.31.11 -- For General Assemblies in Every Part of the World

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Sunday -- 07.31.11 -- For General Assemblies in Every Part of the World

CONTENTS:
1. About Sunday
2. Some of Sunday's Contributors
3. First Resolution of the Direct Democracy Assembly in Athens
4. Conversation with Participants of the General Assembly in Athens 5. Conversation with Sabu Kohso about a post-Fukushima world
6. Useful Links

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1. About Sunday

When: 1:00 pm - 5:00pm
Who: Free and open to all
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor
What: Meeting / Discussion

Attempt 1 : (to summarize this event into one line)
Anti-austerity/pro-democracy groups and individuals meeting at 16Beaver

Attempt 2 : A day devoted to exploring the inter-relations of recent global/local struggles through first-hand accounts

Attempt 3 : A day dedicated to create short-circuits in our imaginaries

Attempt 4 : (breaking the one line rule)

To attempt to recount the signs and cracks that have appeared over the last decade in the facade of the worlds of power would require a book length introduction. But one senses that in the midst of a crisis that has called into question the last 20 years of post-historical and
post-political proclamations, the last 7 months have catapulted humanity back into a global dimension of struggle and revolt.

One senses that at this juncture, in the midst of the revolutionary struggles across North Africa, the Middle East, and now the Mediterranean, there is renewed understanding of what non-representative politics can look like.

What does a democratic multitude look like? And how does it invent a new vocabulary for praxis? How does this general intellect, that has
strengthened over the last few decades, transform into political action?

On what grounds can this emergent politics be conjoined across disparate sites and struggles? How does one express solidarity with the events in Tunisia or Egypt, for example? How do those struggles and approaches get translated elsewhere? How were they put into play in Spain? And how did the events in Spain inspire a resurgence of political strategies in the most recent developments in Greece?

How do the euphoric dimensions of these successes hold up to the grim prospects of a post Fukushima reality? What can we learn about and from the nuclear disaster which has unfolded since March and are there
prospects to use some of this knowledge in our movements?

This Sunday is a special day at 16 Beaver, as we will be attempting to bring together reports on various struggles from North Africa, Spain and Greece, post-Fukushima Japan, and trying to connect them to contemporary struggles right here in New York and the US. The event comes together out of the interest of various individuals and groups here in New York to build upon some of these developments globally, learn from them, and put them into play here.

The event also takes place in the background of various calls to
mobilization, which include a call for a People's Assembly, in front of the bull near Beaver Street, on August 2nd, as well as a call to occupy Wall Street on September 17th, and an effort to mobilize an occupation in Washington beginning on October 6, 2011.

What can be learned from these global experiences within movements here in the US? This afternoon will begin with reports from various individuals speaking on behalf of struggles from specific international contexts and here in New York. Then we will proceed to open up to questions and allow a discussion to unfold.

As a part of the event, we conducted two conversations in preparation.

A few of the organizers of this event conducted an interview with a few of the participants of the General Assembly in Athens.

And we also recorded a conversation with Sabu Khoso about post-Fukushima Japan.

The recordings have been posted as a resource - especially for those friends who live in distant places but are nonetheless inspired,
concerned, and interested in these processes.

 

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2. Some of Sunday's Guests

We are still in the process of confirming people who will be coming and speaking. And of course, we have no idea who will get this invitation and come. But we make an attempt below to give an idea of some people who will be joining us.

New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts
http://nocutsny.wordpress.com/

Antonio Poudereux Velasco lives in Madrid and has participated in the occupation of Puerta del Sol. He is a member of the World Extension Team created during that occupation. He will not speak in this event as a representative of neither that team or #acampadasol, but as an individual. He works as a sound engineer.

Georgia Sagri is an artist and non-employed activist. From early age she has been a member of the Void Network, a cultural, political and
philosophical collective in Athens Greece with the aim the radicalization of every day life, the participation to the emancipatory social struggles, the creation of social centers, self-organized autonomous spaces and the construction of situations in Public Space.

Sabu Kohso is an independent writer and translator, a native of Japan, living in NYC since 1980. He has written three books in Japanese on social movements and progressive culture of NYC in relationship with the
formation of urban space, as well as a book on the geographical and deterritorial lineage of anarchist thought across the world. He has also translated books by Kojin Karatani, Arata Isozaki (Japanese to English), David Graeber and John Holloway (English to Japanese). Being active for many years in establishing a global network of anti-authortaian movements in and out of Japan, Kohso is currently working on the blog Jfissures for the exchange of critical voices between the disaster stricken Japan and elsewhere.

Costas Panayotakis is Associate Professor of Sociology at the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York. Originally from Greece, he has written many articles on Greece, been interviewed by radio and TV programs in the US and abroad and is the author of Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy, which will be published this fall by Pluto Press.

Luis Moreno-Caballud is a member of the group/assembly Democracia Real Ya - NYC, which is part of the Spanish May-15 movement. He also researches and teaches Spanish contemporary history and culture at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

Larry Hales is a community activist and fighter. While living in Denver, Larry was one of the founders of Colorado United Communities Against Police Brutality, and an organizer of the Recreate 68 Coalition, organized to protest last year’s Democratic National Convention. In November 2007, Denver police broke into Hales’ house and arrested him on false charges arising from his giving shelter to a victim of police brutality who was out on parole. Months later and after a strong people’s campaign, the charges against Larry were finally dropped. Presently, Larry Hales is an organizer for the Bail Out the People Movement and the youth group Fight Imperialism Stand Together (F.I.S.T.), and a contributing editor with Workers World newspaper.

Doug Singsen is active in the movement against budget cuts in New York City and in the student movement against tuition hikes at the City University of New York (CUNY). He helped organize the National Day of Action to Defend Public Education on March 4, 2010, the Day of Rage Against the Cuts on March 24, 2011, and the recent Bloombergville
occupation. He is a member of New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts and the International Socialist Organization and is a PhD student in the Art History Program at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Mohammed Serbout was born and raised in Morocco from a working family, went to school and studied hard in order to have a better future, but the reality is there are no chances left there, so he decided to participate with the youth in changing the status quo of the actual regime...

Yotam Marom is a member of the Organization for a Free Society and the New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts Coalition, and has been active in the
anti-austerity struggle in New York City, most recently through the Bloombergville occupation. Yotam is a co-founder of Without Walls - a democratic, social-justice oriented educational collective - and has experience in communal living. He is also a writer and musician.

 

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3. First Resolution of the Direct Democracy Assembly in Athens

For a long time decisions have been made for us, without us.

We are workers, unemployed, retirees, youth, who have come to Syntagma Square to fight and struggle for our lives and our future.

We are here because we know that the solutions to our problems can come only from us.

We call all residents of Athens , workers, unemployed and youth, to come to Syntagma Square , and all of society to fill the public squares and to take life into its own hands.

In these public squares we will shape our claims and our demands together.

We call on all workers who are going on strike in the coming days to show up and remain in Syntagma Square .

We will not leave the squares until those who compelled us to come here go away: 

Governments, Troika (EU, ECB and IMF), Banks, IMF Memoranda, and everyone that exploits us.  We send them the message that the debt is not ours.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY NOW!

EQUALITY - JUSTICE - DIGNITY!

The only struggle that is lost is the one that is never fought!

 

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4. Conversation with 'Some of the Participators of the General Assembly of the Direct Democracy in Athens'

This conversation is an attempt to open up the process of the General Assemblies taking place in Athens on Syntagma Square, like an engine, in order to understand how it developed, and how it works. It touches on the problems they have faced, the barriers of having fixed ideological agendas, the question of restricting media access, of formulating respect, creating the form for a new political speech, drawing lots, voting, making resolutions, taking collective actions, establishing different thematic groups, working groups, allowing conflict and arguments, constructing a non-representative political agency, avoiding demands, ….

For listening to the conversation, please visit:

http://sduk.us/conversations/072511_greece_assembly.mp3

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5. Conversation with Sabu Kohso about a post-Fukushima world

This is an attempt to speak with Sabu Kohso, a writer, translator from Japan, living in New York. Since 3-11, Sabu has been working with others to run and maintain jfissures (jfissures.wordpress.com) one of the few websites to attempt to translate pertinent texts into and from Japanese related to Fukushima and connecting it to a global context. This is an impromptu conversation which took place in preparation for Sunday's event. Sabu tries to speak about his own relation to what has happened in Japan, the reflections and fissures within Japanese society, the potential questions which emerge from that experience, and how they might also connect to other historical experiences of struggle in Japan.

For listening to the conversation, please visit:

http://sduk.us/conversations/072711_sabu.mp3

If you are interested in reading some recent texts from Sabu, please read:

Notes for Understanding What is Happening in Japan
http://th-rough.eu/writers/kosho-eng/notes-understanding-what-happening-japan

Fangs Hiding in the Green -- Impressions of Post 3/11 Japan
http://th-rough.eu/writers/kosho-eng/fangs-hiding-green-impressions-post-311-japan

 

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6. Useful Links

http://amesi-dimokratia.org

http://takethesquare.net/

http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=174935459243842

http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=144937025580428

http://october2011.org/

 

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