Occupy Everywhere Lecture Naomi Klein Michael Moore The New School

 

And we screened The Take in 2004.  You know in audience at the Film Forum in New York.

 

I remember the discussion afterwards.  We showed the film.  First question every screening.

 

“Okay that’s very nice for them.  But do you think this could ever happen in America?  Do things need to get really bad?”

 

And we would always say “No they don’t need to get.  And you know I hate this idea that things need to get really bad, before people are gonna.”

 

Reacting what a horrible idea.  But I mean when we showed The Take now.  We are actually showing The Take tomorrow at Occupy Wall Street.

 

People do not react like that they just take notes.  They’re like yeah we’ll do that.

 

 

Crowd:  (laughs)

 

 

Rinku Sen: Were there, there bad

 

 

Crowd:  (claps)

 

Naomi Klein:  Uhm but…  What’s interesting is that you have this explosion of participatory democracy in Argentina.

 

The slogan of the Occupied factories was “Occupy, Resist, Produce”

 

Okay the First stage is you occupy your factory.

 

Uhm the Second stage is you resist police repression.

 

Because it’s gonna come right.  And the way you resist police repression is you make friends with all your neighbours.

 

Uhm you turn yourself into a community project.  And that meant for one of the factories, that they were producing tiles.  That meant giving tiles to the hospitals and schools, things like that.

 

Uhm so that when the police came, they had slingshots, they uhm with the ceramic tiles.

 

Uhm but they didn’t actually use them, because there were so many hundreds of people outside their factory that the police just turned around and left.

 

Just like at Occupy Wall Street when they tried to evict them.

 

 

Crowd:  (claps)

 

 

Naomi Klein:  But the Third piece of it was Produce.

 

Was produce uhm and what’s interesting looking back at that political moment is that the neighbourhood assemblies which were just about.

 

Had the experience of direct democracy in the moment.  Uhm sort of fell apart because they didn’t find a way to intersect with structures of power and the bigger political conversation that was happening in the country.

 

Uhm and so when the economy recovered a bit.  They, they disappeared but the factories are still there.

 

200 occupied factories are still there, they’re still growing.  Uhm and, and so I think there is a lesson in that.

 

About the next stage for this movement that there has to be some kind of a producing stage.

 

Uhm and you know producing can mean all kinds of things.  But it but, but the occupying and the resisting isn’t enough, uhm to last for the long haul.

 

 

Richard Kim:  Bill

 

 

Naomi Klein:  Uhm yes

 

 

Richard Kim:  Bill I wanted to get to you on this question.

 

(William) Bill Greider:  Ah listening to Naomi I remember.

 

Argentina reminds me that I sent her or her husband Avi Lewis who is sitting over there, sort of furlorn email saying

 

“You guys are down there on the barricades seizing factories with the workers.  And I’m back here over Washington in America writing sappy little sermons about worker ownership” (laughs)

 

 

Crowd:  (laughs)

 

 

(William) Bill Greider:  I mean I.  It felt like time has passed me by.  Let me make 2 quick suggestions for discussion.  That could be strategies that would resolve some of all we have been talking about here.

 

One is what Michael was mentioning was a Constitutional Amendment on Money (coughs) in politics.  And, and the personhood of corporations.

 

We could in an hour of conversation.  We could make a pretty good list of 10 or 12 constitutional amendments that ought to be on the table.

 

And of course that’s an extremely difficult to accomplish, it takes years.  But as the Right as always understood.  They are marvellous organizing tools.  And you can be selective about it.

 

You could start actually with FDR’s Second Bill of Rights in 1944

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