OCCUPY OKLAHOMA NEWSLETTER “The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Steven Biko, anti-apartheid activist Tel: 918-406-9514 | E-mail: email@example.com | Web: freedom-one.org/smf1/index.php
Occupy Oklahoma Issue II
Happy New Year to Occupy Oklahoma I hope all you wonderful people out there in Occupy Oklahoma-Land had your fill of turkey, pie,
For the second issue of the Occupy Oklahoma Newsletter I am honored to be able to present you with a short essay from Davis D. Joyce, a retired history professor and the author, coauthor, or editor of nine books. I was lucky enough to be able to attend a class Professor Joyce taught at Tulsa’s Church of the Restoration called,”American Radical Thought”. He has offered to teach it again when we are
time with relatives and stuffing, not necessarily in that order. I love the holidays but I’m always in a hurry to get back to the trenches. The greed of Wall Street never sleeps so I don’t feel we can let down our watch for long. Occupy Tulsa got the new year off with a bang (figuratively only) on January 3 with two direct action events. The first was out on the downtown plaza where Daniel Lee, dressed as a prisoner from Abu Ghraib complete with hood and chains pontificated while Tulsa channels 6 and 8 and I filmed (link). http://youtu.be/k0E4NxXwUDI .Afterwards we talked to the downtown crowd and handed out flyers.. Later in the day we conducted another nonviolent, nondestructive action to inform the people. I wish I could share more about that one.
ready. Preparing for the second edition I naturally
wanted to see how the first edition went over. It seems that since the first day (Dec 21,2011) the
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
Occupy Oklahoma Newsletter had 263 readers in 11 days. Not bad with Christmas so close.
On page 2 you will find the list of events. Be
by Davis D. Joyce
"Oh, how I wish Howard Zinn had been alive in the year 2011...."to witness the Arab Spring, the worker
sure to send events you want posted so we can
uprising in Wisconsin, and, most of all, the Occupy Wall Street movement, wrote Matthew
help get the word out.
Rothschild recently. (Rothschild is the editor of _The Progressive_, an important left-leaning magazine for over 100 years now.) The Occupy movement is indeed the latest example of the kind of movement Zinn wrote about and supported all his life, until his death in January of 2010. My job here is to provide, briefly, historical context for the movement you/we are participating in. For you see, I’m a historian, but I’m interested in the past primarily because I’m interested in the present–and the future.
Continued on page 3.
EVENTS I’ll be happy to post any Occupy events in Oklahoma. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupy Tulsa Anti-War Protest with Tulsa Peace Fellowship When: Saturday January 7,2012 Where: Southwest corner 41st & Yale Ave. Tulsa, OK Description: U.S. Out of Afghanistan! sponsored by the Tulsa Peace Fellowship Occupy Stillwater Student March
When: Monday January 9,2012 Time: 12:00 to 1:00 Where: Student Union Brick Patio
Martin Luther King Parade Occupy Tulsa will join the yearly Martin Luther King Parade, courtesy of
re pictures a e r e th e r ke su Always ma rs media, you t u o h it .W nt of your eve as is only half n o ti c a e or theirs, th effective!
Tulsa Peace Fellowship. When: Monday January 16 Time: Parade will begin to line up at 9am.Parade begins at 11am Place: Parade begins at Detroit and John Hope Franklin Blvd The parade will be televised on Tulsa channel 8. Parade web site
Citizens United Protest Americans across the country are on the march, and they are marching OUR way. They carry signs that say, “Corporations are NOT people! Money is NOT Speech!” And they are chanting those truths at the top of their
lungs! The time has come to make these truths evident to the courts. Join Occupy Tulsa Friday, January 20, 2012.
As the man who wrote the modern book on nonWhen: Friday January 20
violent revolution, Gene Sharp tells us we must stay
non-violent. The first time you raise your hand, the first
Place: In front of Tulsa District Court, 333 W 4
rock you throw, you give your opponent an excuse to
use violence. When you are fighting a government you have an opponent with many times the potential force you and your friends have. When the government attacks you with force and you have been non-violent you show their brutality and gain sympathy from the people. .
Continued from page 1: A Power Governments Cannot Suppress Like Staughton Lynd wrote in his important 1968 book, _Intellectual Origins of American Radicalism_, "I am less interested in eighteenth-century radicalism than in twentieth-century radicalism. . . . The characteristic concepts of the . . . radicalism of today have a long and honorable history. Acquaintance with that history may help in sharpening intellectual tools for the work of tomorrow."
That’s what I had in mind when I first taught a course on American Radical Thought almost 40 years ago, and why I called it "I’ll Tell You What You Can Do With Your Radical Tradition." Similarly, here in Oklahoma, we need desperately, the dominant climate of opinion being what it is today, to be reminded of our radical past. Is it not possible that Oklahoma’s past radicals can serve to remind us of changes that still need to be made, maybe even provide models of how (and how not) to go about making them, and, perhaps most important of all, provide inspiration for the job?
In short, as I look back on the history of our nation and our state, it’s clear to me that most of the positive changes, most of the progress we’ve made toward living up to those wonderful ideals expressed so eloquently in our Declaration of Independence (freedom, liberty, equality....) has been the result of the work of "We, the People," not the rich and powerful. I’m thinking of the abolition of slavery, equal rights for women, the civil rights movement, anti-war movements, the environmental movement, etc. As the great African American abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass put it, "Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will." So let’s DEMAND that the 1% carry their fair share of the load, and that the 99% get their fair share, period!
Back, in conclusion, to Howard Zinn. His most important book was called _A People’s History of the United States_. It was history from the bottom up, so to speak, NOT from the point of view of presidents, kings and queens, generals, the rich; and it was history from the outside in also, in the sense that its heros and heroines were those who had worked to bring about positive change in the lives of the common people–that is to say, MOST of us. Because this is my approach to history as well, I don’t quote presidents much, but try THIS, from a guy named Abraham Lincoln: "Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
So, Occupiers, don’t give up! Zinn understood "the core problem: that there is immense wealth available, enough to care for the urgent needs of everyone on Earth, and that this wealth is being monopolized by a small number of individuals, who squander it on luxuries and war while millions die and more millions live in misery." But he also understood that "We, the People" have, as he entitled one of his books, _A Power Governments Cannot Suppress_. As he said, "You never know what spark is going to really result in a conflagration. . . . You have to do things, do things, do things; you have to light that match, light that match, light that match, not knowing how often it’s going to sputter and go out and at what point it’s going to take hold. That’s what happened in the civil rights movement, and that’s what happens in other movements. Things take a long time. It requires patience, but not a passive patience–the patience of activism."
(Davis D. Joyce is a retired history professor and the author, co-author, or editor of nine books, including _Howard Zinn: A Radical American Vision_ and two Zinninfluenced collections of "alternative views" of Oklahoma history, _"An Oklahoma I Had Never Seen Before"_ and _Alternative Oklahoma_.)
OCCUPY OKLAHOMA I
“ We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing,
while others judge us by what we have done.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The following is from a talented writer and regular contributor to the “Red State Activists” page I created on Facebook. Thank you Bob! As the new year approaches the season political will begin in earnest. We have already been inundated with political ads galore and now that the gloves will be off and everything will be official those ads will be coming fast and furiously.
Ours is not a season of plenty. Millions of our fellow Americans are out of work and although the job market is growing it isn't doing so by leaps and bounds. The political rhetoric will be ramping up as the frenzy of the race heats up starting next week with the Iowa Caucuses. Candidates have been saying a lot already, and yet we know almost nothing about what their plans are to put America back to work, grow the economy and deal with the fast rising poverty levels.
We have more people below the poverty line than any time in the history of our nation. We need to hear from the candidates what they will do to help lift people out of poverty. We need to know where they stand on creating jobs for those millions who have none. We need to understand what they will do that will 'promote the general welfare' and 'secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity'. So far their pronouncements haven't been very forthcoming in those areas. We, as Americans need to start holding their feet to the fire.
We don't need to know what the shortcomings of our president is. We know them already. What we need to know is what those who seek the office of president intend to do to make this country well again. The candidates need to start running for the country and not against Barack Obama. It isn't about Barack Obama its about jobs. It isn't about abortions or any other 'hot button' single issue. It's about the economy and what our next president, be he Barack Obama or some member of the gaggle of geese seeking to displace him in the Oval Office will do to improve the condition of our nation.
We need our politicians to tell us not what they will do to bring down our country, but rather what they will do to work together for the common good. We don't need more Koch Brother shills genuflecting to the right and praying upon the altar of the almighty dollar. We need statesmen and stateswomen who are truly committed to improving the lot of every citizen not just the privileged few.
Tis the Season of Political Frenzy! We have already been fed an overdose of political rhetoric. What we need now is political facts. Political truths! Will we receive facts and truths? Though they are something to be devoutly wished for, not likely!" ----- Bob Bearden
Treat people as if they were what they should be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming. Johann von Goethe