The Roots Of PopularResistance.org Began At Occupation

Above and all photos from Ward Reilly.

View of Freedom Plaza from a nearby rooftop. The Plaza included tents for legal, first aid, media and food; and you can see the first sleeping tents going up.

View of early days of Freedom Plaza from a nearby rooftop. The Plaza included tents for legal, first aid, media and food; and you can see the first sleeping tents going up.

Today is the anniversary of the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC. The roots of Popular Resistance come from that occupation and was developed with the advice of many people involved in that effort, as well as allied campaigns around the country.

We began the occupation on the anniversary of the beginning of  the Afghanistan War to connect war with the austerity budget that began that week and the reality of a two-party plutocracy that served the Wall Street and Empire economy. While we started organizing early in 2011, by the time the encampment began there were hundreds of occupy encampments around the country. OWS began on September 17th and sparked a national revolt that continues to have a political and cultural impact today.

Core group discussing how to handle the police when they came to close down. We came up with the idea of holding a dance party and the General Assembly approved. — with Tighe Barry, Bill Moyer, Ellen Davidson, Medea Benjamin, David Swanson, Dennis Trainor Jr, Margaret Flowers, Leah Bolger, Ellen Davidson and Tarak Kauff.

Core group discussing how to handle the police when they came to close us down. We came up with the idea of holding a dance party and the General Assembly approved. — with Tighe Barry, Bill Moyer, Ellen Davidson, Medea Benjamin, David Swanson, Dennis Trainor Jr, Margaret Flowers, Leah Bolger, Ellen Davidson, Udi Pladott, Lisa Simeone and Tarak Kauff. There was an obvious undercover officer nearby who we asked to leave.

We recognize the encampments as a phase of a movement, a tactic to show we exist and that tens of thousands were united in their opposition to the corrupt economy and government. In the end hundreds of thousands participated and changed the conversation and impacted policy decisions in Washington, DC and around the country. The occupations were an awakening that let each of us know we were not alone.

When we expected the police to come and remove us we organized a dance party. These folks led it off and got us in the mood!

When we expected the police to come and remove us we organized a dance party. These folks led it off and got us in the mood!

The people involved in the occupy represented multiple fronts of struggle that are still uniting to create the movement of movements we need to succeed in achieving the social, political and economic transformation that is necessary for the people and planet. When the occupy encampment phase ended we met with lots of activists individually and in group meetings who worked on a wide range of issues. Popular Resistance came out of that process. The movement of which we are a part is one for social, economic and environmental justice.

The General Assembly where we announced, unexpectedly, that the Park Service offered to extend our permit for four months. Of course, they did not allow camping, sleeping, tents or food -- all rules we immediately violated. The GA approved as you can see from the 'twinkles' and we accepted the offer.

The General Assembly where we announced, unexpectedly, that the Park Service offered to extend our permit for four months. The GA approved as you can see from the ‘twinkles’ and we accepted the offer. Of course, they did not allow camping, sleeping, tents or food — all rules we immediately violated.

We will never forget the months of planning that went into the occupation of Freedom Plaza, the 100 or so people from around the country who worked for months to make it a reality, the thousands who were there and the many actions that were launched from the plaza.

The occupation was a moment in the years of organizing to halt the march of a global neo-liberal economic model that is destroying people and the planet and creating perpetual war that continue to this day. It was a tactic that raised mass awareness and forged new relationships.

The work continues as wee seek to stop the machine and create a new world that is peaceful, just and sustainable, a world in which human need is more important than corporate greed.

More photos from the dance party by Ellen Davidson here.