Category Archives: Announcements

This Weekend: Reading @Jefferson Market Library and ACT UP + OCCUPY!

For the month of April, the Jefferson Market Library is hosting an exhibition of poems from the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology in the spiral staircase leading library goers from the ground floor to the main room. April is POETRY MONTH! And the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology is open to all poems: famous poets sit next to obscure poets, experimental poems are next to traditional ones, there are many languages, and poems both for and against the the Occupy Movement. The anthology consists of 721 poems, 4 poetic introductions, 448 poets (140 women, 275 men, 34 androgynous) and poems in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Urdu, German, Japanese, Chinese and Dutch.

Tomorrow, April 14th, the Jefferson Market Library has opened its doors to OWS Poetry Anthology to host a reading so all the poets and the community at large can come out and engage with each other. This is a great opportunity for the Occupy Movement to educate and converse with the West Village Community. And they have two weeks to engage with the poems on the walls and think about what is being said…. So come prepared! I’ve even invited all the poets in the Anthology to read a poem as well, so expect to be challenged and expect to be loved!

Poets will get 3-5minutes to read their work, depending on the size of the crowd…. The event will be held in a similar fashion to the Poetry Assemblies: readers will add their name to a “hat” and be called at random. The event will kick off with a short “lecture” on the significance of MAY DAY and the GENERAL STRIKE, which is currently a major focus of the Occupy Movement…. if you don’t know much about it, or have questions or wanna hear about it from an expert, be sure to be there at 2pm. If you have serious ethical, moral, or safety concerns about the poems on the walls, be sure to tell a librarian! They’ll take your concerns, print and laminate them, and post them on the wall so everyone can consider what you got to say…. Also email them to me, so I can add it to the anthology ;) stephenjboyerATgmailDOTcom

Also, to mark the occasion, we will be presenting the NYPL with two copies of the anthology. One will go to central archives and the other will stay in the Jefferson Market branch

And if you haven’t heard, the anthology is currently running a campaign to raise money so it can be printed and sent to occupations, special collections, and major library systems around the world. The Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology is an anthology made by and for the people…. Please spread the word: if we are going to be able to do this, we will need for this to go viral and be supported by everyone. The link for the campaign is here, at indiegogo.

SUNDAY:::

To commemorate its 25th anniversary, the AIDS activist group ACT UP will return to its roots and stage a massive demonstration and march on Wall Street — on Wednesday, April 25 — starting at 11 am at City Hall and ending on Wall Street.

Hundreds of protestors are expected to converge for a daylong siege in Lower Manhattan.

ACT UP (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) will be joined by Occupy Wall Street (OWS), the organization making history this year and last with its public encampments and series of protests against the global financial community. The groups are joining forces to pump up the
volume on a growing nationwide outcry for a “Financial Speculation Tax” (Fi.S.T.) on Wall Street.

The groups are calling on local, state, and federal legislators to “give Wall Street the FiST,” which is needed to fill AIDS funding gaps and — once and for all — provide universal healthcare in the US. It’s time for effective healthcare to be made available to everyone — to the 99%, not just the 1%.

The Fi.S.T. does not target individual investors, and would not affect regular bank transactions. Instead, it would place a small tax — a mere fraction of one percent — on speculative trading by Wall Street investment banks, hedge funds and other large financial institutions.

HIV treatment saves lives — by preventing new infections and keeping those already infected from reaching end-stage AIDS. However, of all people worldwide in need of access to HIV treatment, only 44% have it. More than 8 million people do not. In the United States today, 3,840 people who qualify for federal assistance to pay for HIV treatment are on waiting lists — or in other words, are at risk of dying from AIDS.

“The AIDS crisis is not over,” says veteran ACT UP New York member Ann Northrop. “But, we know it could be,” she adds.

AIDS treatment — when combined with simple prevention interventions — is the key to breaking the back of the epidemic worldwide. In addition to saving lives, early HIV/AIDS treatment reduces the risk of transmission of HIV by 96%. And so, with sufficient funding for
treatment and prevention, we can turn the tide on AIDS. Globally, HIV/AIDS has claimed over 30 million lives.

Both ACT UP and OWS suggest the revenue from a Financial Speculation Tax would be significant — potentially in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The revenue from this tax should be used to fund the end of the AIDS pandemic, i.e. to fill in US budget gaps in the fight against
HIV/AIDS at home and abroad. It should be used to provide treatment, services and prevention to thousands of Americans and millions around the world. The groups also say the tax could help pay for universal healthcare in the US.

“We are organizing this historic united front to bring our message to governments and to Wall Street financiers who are sitting on the key to ending the AIDS epidemic,” according to Eric Sawyer, a founding member of ACT UP New York. “There is no excuse. We have the know how to end AIDS. It is lack of funding and political will that keeps us from reaching universal access to HIV treatment worldwide.”

Additional organizations are expected to join the demonstration in New York City, including Housing Works, Health GAP, National Nurses United, OWS Healthcare for the 99% Working Group, Visual AIDS, MIX NYC, Le Petit Versailles, Queerocracy, Queering OWS and others. The action will be in New York on April 25th — but the need is global. And, the time is now.

AIDS is now. END AIDS NOW!

ACT UP & Occupy!
Tax Wall Street!
End AIDS!

The AIDS crisis is not over — but it could be! Tax Wall St. to End #AIDS #ACTUP #OWS #OccupyAIDS #OccupyWallSt #TaxWallSt #EndAIDS #April25 #ActUp25 #A25

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Help Print The OWS Poetry Anthology!

 

I’ve started a campaign for printing the OWS Poetry Anthology, the goal is to raise $40,000. You can check out the fundraiser on indiegogo here.

The OWS Poetry Anthology was born the second week of the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Assembly. I was so overwhelmed by the diversity and greatness of the poems presented during the first week of the Assembly, that I knew the assembly must be archived. So at the second Poetry Assembly I asked the poets gathered if I could archive it, then I gave out my email, expecting only a few poems to show up in my inbox. The response was overwhelming, and in the weeks that followed, I received a steady stream of poems from people all over the world. It seemed everyone that had been struck by the Occupy Movement had something to say, and an open Poetry Anthology, that was open to all voices and all types of “poetry” seemed like the appropriate way of archiving the inclusive spirit of Occupy Wall Street.

Many names have contributed to the anthology, some of which you may know: the visual artist Molly Crabapple did the cover art and some of the more prominent poets that contributed are Adrienne Rich, Eileen Myles, Ngoma Hill, the Allen Ginsberg Society on behalf of Allen, Wanda Coleman, CA Conrad, Dodie Bellamy, Kevin Killian, Charles Bernstein, Eliot Katz, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Lee Ann Brown, Anne Waldman, Puma Pearl, Danny Schechter, Stuart Leonard, Filip Marinovich, Ariana Reines, Frank Sherlock, and many many more…

The money donated to this project will allow for the OWS Poetry Anthology to be printed and given away to a lot of people. The more money the project receives, the more copies we will be able to print. The anthology has been open to anyone to send in poems of any size and definition since early October 2011. It’s over a thousand Microsoft Word pages. It’s probably the lengthiest, most inclusive text the Occupy Wall Street movement has yet produced and its a direct reflection of the SOUL of the movement. On April 14th, the Jefferson Market Library in Manhattan will be hosting the OWS Poetry Anthology community for an afternoon of open readings, where anyone can come and join and read a poem. To mark the occasion, we will be presenting the library with the first book print copy of the anthology for them to have on record. Also the money will go towards shipping and storage fees.

The Anthology is over a thousand pages, it’s a very big book. Originally I was going to ask for $50,000.00 as it’s going to be expensive to print this book and ship it. But in the interest of just getting copies into the world, I figured it was safer to shoot for $30,000.00. However, if the goal is met, and more money comes in, that will mean more copies can be printed. The more copies printed, the more people will be able to own it and the more special collections we will be able to get it into. By the time this project is completed, the NY Public Library and Poet’s House in NYC will already have copies in their collections. I’d like to get this important record into as many public collections as possible.

For the past few months I’ve been trying to persuade publishers to print the book in its entirety but it seems the values of this book do not mesh with the values of a publishing company, as we would like for this book to be given out to people freely and we would prefer not exclude any poets nor poems from its pages. So it seems the only way to keep the book, in all its magick, is to print it ourselves and to bring it to the people ourselves, and to read from its pages ourselves. This book is a radical departure from the traditional structure of the “anthology”, most anthologies are very selective, while this collection seeks to welcome all forms of poetry and engages in experiments like placing a famous poets poet next to a never before heard poet. What happens when you don’t exclude an idea and you let everyone encounter the idea? What happens when you print thousands of copies of a book of poetry and GIVE IT AWAY FREE?!

The poems that have comprised this anthology are poems from the soul, poems demanding a new world, poems begging that the recession end, poems from hysterical and starving peers, even poems from the 1% ready to argue against Occupy Wall Street, there are poems from the world over that is standing up virtually naked at the feet of a corporate beast, a war of David versus Goliath scope, and the people that have assembled and added to the OWS Anthology are ready to speak out against the atrocities destroying our Earth, fight back and create a future that can beget a future.

I read from and spoke about the Anthology on WBAI a little while back, you can listen to that program here. The Anthology has received a lot of press, from independent press to the Nation to the Wall Street Journal. So if you’re interested and unfamiliar with this project, search around the internet and you will find a lot of information about what we’ve been doing! Thank you!

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Poetry Anthology Update + Writing Prompt!

As I recently posted, we’re going to be putting on an OWS Poetry Anthology reading at the Jefferson Market Library on April 14th, from 2-5pm. As part of the reading, we’re going to be giving the library a copy of the OWS Poetry Anthology for them to keep as part of their special collections. If you’d like to be in the anthology that will be available at the New York Public Library, be sure to send me your poem by the evening of April 8th, a Sunday. As you probably know, the anthology is ever growing, but we’re going to give them an edition of it, so whatever has been sent to me by April 8th will go into the version of the anthology they’ll have on file. I hope to include your poem in it! Send work to stephenjboyer(AT)gmail.com. Also, if you want to help with some “fixing up” work on the anthology, get in touch with me! As I am trying to clean it up, fix formatting and typo’s. But no changes to any poems will be made! And only want help from people, that will respect all the differing work that has been sent into the anthology.

For those of you that need a prompt or some sort of push toward a poetic starting place… I suggest you go to Occupy Union Square and show solidarity with all the beautiful people currently living and occupying there… DISCOURSE DISCOURSE DISCOURSE and then go home and weave the conversations into an epic poem! For the more adventurous… I’ve been thinking it might be interesting to have people watch the documentary “Dark Secrets: Inside Bohemian Grove” by Alex Jones and then write a poem from the eyes of the owl god Moloch. Shoot forth from the eyes Moloch and unleash verse upon the robed men gathered to worship you!

Remember reality: PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER. ALL PEOPLE. HAVE THE POWER. The people gathered in the documentary may have accumulated “wealth” but it’s actually THE PEOPLE, you know, EVERYBODY that has THE POWER. I don’t mean to get all Star Wars on you, but it’s true… The elites NEED us. We do not need them. Spring forth, GOD/DESS, (the elites worship you) and fill their souls with verse! Moloch! You are the center of a weird, bizarre ancient Canaanite, Lucifarian, Babylonian ceremony, please make sure I get a spot on the guest list…

“What sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!

Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgement! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovas! Moloch whose factories dream and choke in the fog! Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!

Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!

Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!

Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!

They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!”

-Allen Ginsberg
excerpt from HOWL

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And then the NYPD did what they know how to do…

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Spring Fling! Mark Your Calendar!

Happy Sixth Month Anniversary! Spring has come to New York City! Which means, if you’ve been hiding and resting this winter (like I did for a bit) it’s time to dust off your signs and hit the streets! The flowers are in bloom and job prospects are still scarce, so it’s the perfect time to fall in love and with Cupid’s arrow hanging out of your side, run around the streets of New York demanding a better world for you and your new found lover. Today, at the six month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, I was struck by Cupid’s arrow when I noticed a boy screaming hysterically at a swarm of nypd officers, “fuck you you fucking pig you cant push me on a fucking public sidewalk you fucking pig!” Swoon!

Here are some more photo’s I took with my phone today:

Also, I’d like to announce the next OWS Poetry Anthology Reading! It’s going to be April 14th at the Jefferson Market Library in the West Village. The reading will be from 2pm-5pm and it’s a chance for us to CELEBRATE POETRY MONTH! This is a great opportunity for the OWS Community, The People’s Library, the OWS Poetry Community, and the West Village Community to meet, talk and discuss through the form of poetry. Like all readings past, the reading is open to everyone, readers will get 3-5 minutes depending on how many people show up and everyone is encouraged to invite everyone. Like the anthology, all points of view accepted. I’ve been talking with the head librarian and he’s also opened the doors for us to put up a bunch of OWS Anthology poems throughout the library as decorations so library goers can read poems while they peruse the shelves. The occasion will also provide us the opportunity to place a copy of the OWS Poetry Anthology in the library, so the NYPL will officially have a copy of the OWS Poetry Anthology for the community to enjoy. Yes! And if that isn’t enough, we’ll be opening the reading with a quick talk by one of the OWS communities many organizers, to explain the significance and the history and the reason why we are calling for a GENERAL STRIKE on May 1st. If you can’t tell already, I’m excited! Get in touch if you’d like to help or if you can assist with printing and laminating costs as it’s gonna cost a bit to get the poems ready to hang around the library.

So yeah, it’s Spring! May Day is coming! Hopefully I’ll be seeing you in the streets!

And PS: Recently I spoke to my cousin about his time in the Middle East working for the US Military, and it ripped me apart and I was appalled and disgusted beyond belief and for a week I couldn’t think and all I wanted to do was cry but then I was finally able to write about it, and if you want the full gory details, then go here.

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Wall Street to Main Street


Six months after Occupy Wall Street (OWS) sparked a global 99% movement, Occupy with Art and Masters on Main Street launch “Wall Street to Main Street” (WS2MS) in historic Catskill, NY. Through a dynamic series of art exhibits, performances, screenings, happenings, public discussions, community- and family-focused activities, WS2MS will not only illuminate the amazing phenomenon of OWS, it will explore possible futures of the movement and build a creative bridge to connect the protests with the real needs and values of Main Street, USA.

Occupy Books: An Experiment in Communal Reading, located at 450 Main Street. This site is books + couches and reading lamps, including an opportunity to write on its walls reflections, quotes, messages and/or whatever you want.  Importantly, the books at Occupy Books are by donation, in keeping with the OWS People’s Library, which will be contributing books from its collection for this action.

WS2MS opens March 17, 2012 in Catskill, NY.

If you would like to donate books directly to the show, please ship to the address below:

Occupy Books
C/O Green County Council on the Arts
P.O.Box 463, 398 Main Street
Catskill, New York 12414

 

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#OccupyThought: First papers online, reviewers invited.

The following is an update on the #OccupyThought project. They are seeking Occupiers and others for feedback on this first round of papers.

“We have released our first dozen papers, and are seeking comments, critiques, and responses from theorists and activists. Please join the conversation here: http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/tne/cluster/occupythought

Additional submissions are also welcomed, both from concerned scholars and from theoretically-minded activists. The extended deadline is March 20th. Address inquiries to d.e.wittkower at gmail dot com, or stay informed about the project here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/occupy-thought

#OccupyThought: First papers

Welcome to the #Occupation - Steven Michels

Whiteness and the 99% - Joel Olson

Lessons from Occupy: Name the enemy - Linda Alcoff

The “Occupy” Movement and the Politics to Come - Paul Livingston

Is Occupy Wall Street Communist? - Stephen Tumino

Hannah Arendt on Cairo and Occupy - Anthony Boese

Aesthetic Theory, Aesthetic Praxis: The Poetics of Activism - Josh Robinson

What is your Occupation? - Miles Kennedy

Occupy the Future: Occupying the US Higher and Secondary - Angelo Letizia

Becoming Revolution - Benjamin Schrader

Democracy: A Work in Progress - Philip Goff

Practical solutions and a Comprehensive vision for America - Henckel Miranda

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