Category Archives: Thoughts and Theories

Wednesday, Feb. 19th Occupy Corvallis Reading Group

Wednesday, Feb. 19th Occupy Reading Group meeting

Meeting Time & Place:  6:00 pm, 104 Hovland Hall (OSU campus)

Here are a couple of articles that delve into the recent waves of labor organizing and activism in the low-wage, private sector.  Both articles address how this moment resonates and doesn’t with more ‘traditional’ labor unionism and what that might mean.  Lots of food for thought here.  All are welcome to join in the conversation.  See you there?

“Can the One-Day Strike Revive the Labor Movement?”  Max Fraser, Dissent (Winter, 20140)
http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/can-the-one-day-strike-revive-the-labor-movement

“Saving Our Unions”  Steve Early (2014, Vol. 65, Feb.)
http://monthlyreview.org/2014/02/01/saving-unions

Directions to Hovland Hall below.  Be aware there is a lot of construction going on, so parking behind the building is not available right now. If you are arriving by car, the parking lost next to the Linus Pauling Science Center is likely the closest option.

http://oregonstate.edu/campusmap/?zoom=16&type=normal&centerlat=44.5664405984039&centerlng=-123.28127861022949&layers=1%2C&locations=820

Wednesday, Dec 4th Occupy Corvallis Reading Group

Occupy Corvallis Reading Group for Dec. 4th
Meeting Time & Place:  6:00 pm, Hovland 104 (OSU campus)

Hi All,

We agreed last week to continue exploring the “Beautiful Trouble” website http://beautifultrouble.org/.  At our last meeting we wandered thoughtfully through the section on “Principles”, each choosing principles of organizing/strategy/action to bring to the collective pot.  It was a lively discussion.  This week, we decided to focus on the Case Studies section.  The plan is for each of us to locate a case study or two that draws our attention and to bring those case studies (and relevant principles and theories) to the group conversation.  Attached is the message from last week that details the Beautiful Trouble website.  See you Wednesday!

From our Nov. 20th meeting:

We have been reading far and wide for two years now (our on-going conversations began in November of 2011, at the height of the Occupy movement). Our basic guiding theme has been “What is to be done?” – how do movements grow, what analyses are useful, etc. We’ve explored a range of writings, from outside the U.S. as well as within and at the borders, and there have been enduring themes. Once again we’ll turn to the theme of organizing and action, and the principles that might be useful as we consider these. In that vein, I’d like to propose that our next readings be from this wonderfully rich and imaginative site (which all activists should know about):

http://beautifultrouble.org/ (“Beautiful Trouble: A toolbox for Revolution”)

When you get to this page, scroll down a little past the ads for the book “Beautiful Trouble” (which comes in a cheap pocket-size edition, but all of which you can find on-line at this site). On the right hand side you’ll see the heading “Toolbox,” and under that the themes Tactics, Principles, Theories, Case Studies, and Practitioners.  There’s a lot of experience, imagination, and good ideas throughout. While there’s a lot worthwhile to explore, we should focus on a set of readings for our Wednesday gathering.

So let’s do this, if everyone is cool with it: click on “Principles” within the toolbox. It will take you to 52 links, each associated with a different “principle” of organizing/ strategy/ action. Each link will give you access you to a fuller meditation on a particular principle. Let’s each of us choose to read _three_ out of the 52 for our gathering on Wednesday. Choose whatever three “principles” pique your curiosity and interest. The readings are not long.

If the “Principles’ section does not rock your boat, you can of course also choose a tactic, case study or theory as one of your three readings from “Beautiful Trouble.” Explore the site, and bring us whatever provoked, inspired, or tantalized!

When we meet, we’ll talk about what we discovered. It will be fun to learn from each other this way, and see which three principles each of us investigate. See you Wednesday!

Wednesday, Nov. 20 Occupy Corvallis Reading Group

Our next lively conversation will be on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 6 PM, in our usual haven (Hovland 104 on the OSU campus). We’ll do something a little different for this next gathering. We have been reading far and wide for two years now (our on-going conversations began in November of 2011, at the height of the Occupy movement). Our basic guiding theme has been “What is to be done?” – how do movements grow, what analyses are useful, etc. We’ve explored a range of writings, from outside the U.S. as well as within and at the borders, and there have been enduring themes. Once again we’ll turn to the theme of organizing and action, and the principles that might be useful as we consider these. In that vein, I’d like to propose that our next readings be from this wonderfully rich and imaginative site (which all activists should know about):

http://beautifultrouble.org/ (“Beautiful Trouble: A toolbox for Revolution”)

When you get to this page, scroll down a little past the ads for the book “Beautiful Trouble” (which comes in a cheap pocket-size edition, but all of which you can find on-line at this site). On the right hand side you’ll see the heading “Toolbox,” and under that the themes Tactics, Principles, Theories, Case Studies, and Practitioners.  There’s a lot of experience, imagination, and good ideas throughout. While there’s a lot worthwhile to explore, we should focus on a set of readings for our Wednesday gathering.

So let’s do this, if everyone is cool with it: click on “Principles” within the toolbox. It will take you to 52 links, each associated with a different “principle” of organizing/ strategy/ action. Each link will give you access you to a fuller meditation on a particular principle. Let’s each of us choose to read _three_ out of the 52 for our gathering on Wednesday. Choose whatever three “principles” pique your curiosity and interest. The readings are not long.

If the “Principles’ section does not rock your boat, you can of course also choose a tactic, case study or theory as one of your three readings from “Beautiful Trouble.” Explore the site, and bring us whatever provoked, inspired, or tantalized!

When we meet, we’ll talk about what we discovered. It will be fun to learn from each other this way, and see which three principles each of us investigate. See you Wednesday!

Wednesday, Oct. 9 Occupy Corvallis Reading Group

For a radical democratic change to happen, there must be large popular movements demanding and struggling for this change. But unless ideas of direct and participatory democracy are known and familiar to most people, such movements will not emerge. So a first step, then, is to spread these ideas and make a strong argument for how direct and participatory democracy can be feasible today.  Camilla Hansen, “What would real democracy look like?”

 

The Reading Group will be meeting Wednesday, Oct. 9th at 6 pm in 104 Hovland Hall (OSU campus).  We will be taking up a piece written by Camilla Hansen, “What would real democracy look like?”  All are welcome to join in our ongoing conversation of social movements, grassroots activism, and the possibilities for social transformation. Hope to see you there!

“What would real democracy look like?”http://roarmag.org/2013/08/real-direct-participatory-democracy/

 

If you are traveling by car, there is free parking directly behind Hovland. http://oregonstate.edu/campusmap/?zoom=16&type=normal&centerlat=44.5664405984039&centerlng=-123.28127861022949&layers=1%2C&locations=820

Wednesday, Aug. 28th Occupy Corvallis Reading Group

Wednesday, Aug. 28th, we will meet in our accustomed room (Hovland 104, OSU campus) at 6 PM. If we don’t have access, we’ll find another place on campus close by. There is parking directly behind Hovland for those who need it.

We agreed to read Judi Bari’s “Revolutionary Ecology” this next time. Here is the URL (though you can find it on other sites also):

http://www.judibari.org/revolutionary-ecology.html

That’s our one, agreed upon reading. But for anyone who has the time and inclination, here are two supplemental and directly relevant readings. The first is for those who do not know who Judi Bari is — a tribute to her, written shortly after her death:

http://www.judibari.org/bari-obit.html

Since we often consider questions of social change strategies and “what is to be done?” here is the second supplemental reading, a more recent critical meditation on strategy, partially inspired by Judi’s formation of an IWW/ Earth First local consisting of timber workers and forest activists (and the “Green Bans in Australia, and the “Turtles and Teamsters” alliance) titled “Capital Blight: Alliances Between Workers and Environmentalists,” from the environmental unionism caucus of the IWW:

http://ecology.iww.org/node/121

 

Have a read and consider coming out to join us for some energizing discussion.

 

If you are traveling by car, there is free parking directly behind Hovland. http://oregonstate.edu/campusmap/?zoom=16&type=normal&centerlat=44.5664405984039&centerlng=-123.28127861022949&layers=1%2C&locations=820

Wednesday, Aug. 14th Occupy Corvallis Reading Group

The reading group will be meeting at 6 PM on Wednesday, Aug. 14th, in our regular and accustomed place (Hovland 104, OSU campus). Once again, if for some reason we can’t gain entrance, after we gather, we’ll walk a short distance together to another meeting spot on campus.

Following is a link to this week’s reading, “Chicago Rising! A resurgent protest culture fights back against Rahm Emanuel’s austerity agenda,” authored by Rick Perlstein.  How has Occupy Chicago (alongside and in coalition with many grassroots groups and organizations) remained active, creative, and committed to building transformative relationships in the context of severe austerity measures?  Have a read and consider coming out to join us for some energizing discussion.

 

http://www.thenation.com/article/175085/chicago-rising?page=0,0#axzz2bnfAATlk

 

If you are traveling by car, there is free parking directly behind Hovland. http://oregonstate.edu/campusmap/?zoom=16&type=normal&centerlat=44.5664405984039&centerlng=-123.28127861022949&layers=1%2C&locations=820

Wednesday, July 31st Occupy Corvallis Reading Group

The reading group will be meeting at 6 PM on Wednesday, July 31, in our regular and accustomed place (Hovland 104, OSU campus). Once again, if for some reason we can’t gain entrance, after we gather, we’ll walk a short distance together to another meeting spot on campus.

Here’s are two PDFs for our next readings, “Cultural Geography and Place-Based Problem Solving,” and “The Enabling City: Place-Based Creative Probelm-Solving and the Power of the Everyday.”  Here’ a suggestion to read the first one (“Cultural Geography”) if you can only read one. The second reading (“Enabling Cities”) provides a wealth concrete proposals and examples, and would be interesting to read in conjunction with the first, if you have time.

We shared some organizing stories last time we met, and hopefully these readings give us yet another interesting perspective from which to think about how to change the world, one place at a time. If for some reason you can’t open the PDF, google the titles of the articles, and they will take you to the download pages.

We use the readings as a springboard for wide-ranging discussion. If you have never joined us on a Wednesday evening, but think this set of readings might draw you, don’t hesitate! Everyone is welcome.

 
Cultural Geography and Place-Based Problem Solving

 

the_enabling_city

 

If you are traveling by car, there is free parking directly behind Hovland. http://oregonstate.edu/campusmap/?zoom=16&type=normal&centerlat=44.5664405984039&centerlng=-123.28127861022949&layers=1%2C&locations=820

 

Wednesday, July 3rd Occupy Reading Group

Hi all,

Last time we met we agreed on the following as readings for our Wednesday, July 3 gathering (6 PM, Hovland 104). The first is a short poem, a kind of ‘declaration of interdependence’ (I proposed because of the proximity of July 4).  The conversation between Angela Davis and Grace Lee Boggs was suggested by Joseph.  Lisa suggested the short interview with former Black Panther, community organizer, and current political prisoner  Russell Maroon Shoatz. Here they all are:

“For All” – short ‘Declaration of Interdependence’ poem by Gary Snyder

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/snyder/onlinepoems.htm
 

“On Revolution: A Conversation Between Grace Lee Boggs and Angela Davis”

http://www.radioproject.org/2012/02/grace-lee-boggs-berkeley/

“On Democracy, Matriarchy, Occupy Wall Street, and Food Security” An Interview with former Black Panther and current political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz

http://russellmaroonshoats.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/an-interview-with-russell-maroon-shoats-on-democracy-matriarchy-occupy-wall-street-and-food-security/

Looking forward to this conversation!  See you soon –

READING GROUP MEETS WEDNESDAY JUNE 19

How should an economy, and work itself, be structured in a just and liberatory society? Is there even a place for “work” in such a society, or should we re-imagine and re-think that category of human activity? The Occupy Reading Group will be discussing Participatory Economics (known as “Parecon”), based on proposals developed by Michael Albert and others. There are a number of sources through which you can learn about Parecon – if you google it, you’ll find numerous sites, You Tube presentations, etc. Here’s a selection, including a “worker’s critique” of Parecon. Also included is a link to an article that discusses the value – or lack thereof – of the Left coming up with programmatic proposals for the future.  Read what you can, or what interests you, from the selection, and then join us at 6 PM on Wednesday, June 19, in Hovland 104 on the OSU campus (directions below) for a rousing conversation!

Wikipedia: Participatory Economics (Parecon)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_economics

Short summary of Parecon by Michael Albert:

http://pareconfinland.blogspot.com/2012/01/michael-albert-osallisuustalous.html

Critique from the Left: “A Worker’s Critique of Parecon”:

http://libcom.org/blog/workers-critique-parecon-11042012

Then there’s this link, to an article that addresses the more general question about the value (or lack thereof) of outlining programs for the future:

http://jacobinmag.com/2012/12/the-red-and-the-black/

If you have the time and interest, here’s a video of Michael Albert (it’s over 2 hours long):
Long video intro to Parecon by Michael Albert:

http://www.zcommunications.org/alternative-economy-cultures-documentations-by-michael-albert

Again, we meet this Wednesday, June 19th, at 6 PM, in Hovland 104 on the OSU campus. If you are traveling by car, there is free parking directly behind Hovland. http://oregonstate.edu/campusmap/?zoom=16&type=normal&centerlat=44.5664405984039&centerlng=-123.28127861022949&layers=1%2C&locations=820

We use the readings as a springboard for wide-ranging discussion. If you have never joined us on a Wednesday evening, but think this set of readings might draw you, don’t hesitate! Everyone is welcome.

Hope to see you there. . .

 

Wednesday, June 5 Occupy Corvallis Reading Group

This week we will be discussing the second half (from p. 85 to conclusion) of the book, Anti-Capitalism by Ezequiel Adamovsky and the United Illustrators. We will be looking at historically recent anti-capitalist movements and what we are learning about challenging and changing the relations of power structuring life and our ways of living from the local to the global. Good stuff!

We meet this Wednesday, June 5th, at 6 PM, in Hovland 104 on the OSU campus. If you are traveling by car, there is free parking directly behind Hovland. http://oregonstate.edu/campusmap/?zoom=16&type=normal&centerlat=44.5664405984039&centerlng=-123.28127861022949&layers=1%2C&locations=820

We use the readings as a springboard for wide-ranging discussion. If you have never joined us on a Wednesday evening, but think this set of readings might draw you, don’t hesitate! Everyone is welcome.

Hope to see you there. . .