Mic Check – Where Are We Now?

io5-wordcloud-2Mic Check! OWS 5 year Survey responses – We heard from …

On the occasion of Occupy Wall Street’s Fifth Anniversary, we reached out to folks on our mailing list and social media, asking what they are doing currently.Thanks to all who responded to the survey!

The results have been aggregated into two posts, Happy 5th Anniversary, Occupy Wall Street! Occupy 5 Year Check-In Survey, featuring some history, and active and online Occupys.

This post is a longer list of responses to the Short Bio question, followed by (Occupy Affiliation*)
*These are replies by individuals and don’t speak for any Occupy.

We heard from…:

Occupy Columbia no longer in existence but all members remain politically active, and identify ourselves as ‘Occupiers’ (Occupy Columbia, NC)

Occupy DC —> Occupy Our Homes DC —> Democracy Spring (Occupy DC)

I have backed away from protesting, however I began to take my political science degree, and am currently volunteering for the NDP of Nova Scotia and Canada and other non-profits/NGOs. (Occupy Nova Scotia)

Lately all hope and support has been for the Bern..but now it’s all for Stein..the duopoly is dead. (Occupy New Orleans)

I will be at Montpellier, celebrating S17–the signing of the Constitution.
NHR, Dem Spring, Citizens United, etc., etc. (Occupy Boston)

Co-created “Activate CT” which held two March Against Monsanto events. Participated in the Bernie Sanders CT Team which was created by Occupy folks in connection with others. (Occupy Hartford)

Briefly involved in Occupy Wall Street, 99% Spring Non-violence Training, May Day NYC 2012, Occupy National Gathering 2012 in Philly; helped organize Occupy Weston (CT) and an anti-Citizens United highway bannering event with MoveToAmend and DemocracyForAmerica; match in NYC Climate March; attended rallies, marches,, workshops, panel discussions, etc. throughout Philly during DNC week; staying connected with local Bernie Sanders delegates and affinity groups who are “Continuing the Revolution” and anticipating further involvement with new organizations like BrandNewCongress, OurRevolution, PoliticsReborn, etc., and old ones like DemocracyForAmerica, MoveOn, MoveToAmend, etc. (Occupy Weston, CT)

Gave talks on-site and at Bryant Park; member of Occupy the SEC; helped with finances (Occupy the SEC)

Although OWS no longer exists, many of us have continued our work in labor and environmental, socials, and economic justice, and recently Occupy City Hall has brought the spirit of ’11 back to Lower Manhattan. (OWS)

After an intense 2012 supporting OPDX at our city hall to overturn the “camping ban” where police confiscate blankets calling sunhoused people on sidewalks recreational camping without lawful permits (!) and concurrent work against GMOs I lost it. Then I went down hill from there with no connection but the trauma with my condition made it impossible for me to have any involvement. However I hold artifacts including interviews and participation in O-P-N.org other possibilities network and protesting with, I wish I could remember, Global someone OWS awesome people and RisePDX and Mungen here with #WWCD. (Opdx aka occupy Portland)

I remain committed to the promise of the Occupy movement. (OccupyMN)

I haven’t affiliated with one of the local movements. Don’t think there is one here in Orange County, CA. But I do identify with the movement and I channel my activism into writing. I’ve published one novel – Diary of a 99%-er – and am about to publish the sequel, The (In)Elegant Struggle of Breaking Paradigms. (Occupy Affiliation: independent)

Largely inactive but the network of contacts enabled Occupy Boulder to enable other movements such as (1) Boulder Flood Relief, which organized relief efforts after the great flood of 2013; (2) brought attention of Black Lives Matter to the Boulder Community by organizing several marches and road blockages in the City of Boulder in November/December 2014. (Occupy Boulder)

Trade Unions, NRDF, LCV, Anarcho-syndicalism, American Popular Music, American Lyric Verse, Composition of songs and verse (Occupy Affiliation: Donor/Supporter )

I helped out with the Rolling Jubilee, have continued working on my wifi darknet project Occupy.here, building a new data cooperative called Small Data. (NYC Liberty Square)

I am now and have been since 2007 occupying my home. In 2016, latest actions on my home are before a judge in Delaware Superior Court. I embraced Occupy in 2011, immediately protesting in our town square. 2011 in Delaware, saw protests at sheriff sales and petitioned for an intensive third party mediation process. I also participated in Philadelphia and DC actions of Occupy. I have continued to admin the Occupy Delmarva facebook page, highlighting local issues and informing about national events. (Occupy Delmarva)

Allied with unhoused people, Black Lives Matter, DontShootPortland, TenantsRights, Affordable Housing, Climate Justice, 350PDX (Occupy Portland)

Cofounded Love Has No Borders, a radical migrant solidarity network based out of Tampa, FL that assists recently arrived refugees in feeling welcome and their other self determined needs and organizes against the rise of zenophobia, anti-refugee sentiments, and fascism. https://www.facebook.com/groups/lovehasnoborders/
Cofounded Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, a grassroots disaster relief network based on the principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action. https://www.facebook.com/MutualAidDisasterRelief/
Also work with Earth First! Food Not Bombs, Alliance for Fair Food, The Icarus Project, Black Lives Matter, Dream Defenders, U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, and others.
(Occupy Tampa, Occupy St. Pete, Occupy Wall St.)

In the original occupation of the City Hall grounds at Los Angeles, I brought food and I donated about a dozen analog megaphones (“speaking cones”) to aid in communication at the site and on marches. (Active supporter)

Two groups are still active that came out of Occupy. The 28ers (working for a 28th constitutional amendment to get money out of politics) and Chicccaa (a community based organisation). (Occupy Riverside)

I’m a Wobbly. (Career Counselor, Providence, RI)

helped on national goals (supporter, marcher, Asheville, NC)

Though I never stayed at an encampment, I was very active with Occupy New England (ONE), running our twitter account and co-organizing our 2nd and 3rd Regional Gatherings, in Burlington, VT and Portland, ME, respectively. I traveled to Chicago for #NoNATO and to Philly for the first #NatGat. I also helped coordinate New England’s Occupy Sandy contingent, moving multiple tons of relief supplies and volunteering in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and the Rockaways in Queens. (Occupy New England)

Occupy structure, such as it was, no longer exists. Various people are doing the good work, and some I’ve seen some friendships among people who met at the time, but we all more or less went our separate ways. I see a few of the people at local BLM and Bernie events, but fewer than I’d have hoped. FYI: I’m a long-term activist in various peace and justice movements, so Occupy wasn’t my entry into activism. (Tacoma, WA)

We’ve a small but growing group in the Island opposed to our main industry, offshore financial services and the damage they inflict (Isle of Man)

Active with environmental justice work in Florida (ReACT Florida, Tarpon Springs)

Heavily involved as a volunteer in the Bernie campaign and currently participating in “Our Revolution.” Attended the People’s Convention in Philly (where I helped open the event by performing “We Shall Not Be Moved”), and subsequent street actions during the DNC. Ran “Big Road in Chelsea” performance space at CPUSA in NYC to bring together different communities through performance arts programs. (OWS attendee )

NEK 99% grew out of the Northeast Kingdom Peace and Justice Group founded by the Rev. Robert Castle, civil rights and peace activist (Jonothan Demme’s “Cousin Bobby”) in late September 2011. Our focus is community activism in this low income northern Vermont city. We have a small art gallery and community center and various free events and a spin-off group is working on setting up a low-cost wireless mesh internet system for the neighborhood. We also publish a monthly newsletter and have a Facebook page at NEK 99%. (NEK 99% (Occupy the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont))

new york – sustainability // work in land conservation now in PA (sustainability working group)

http://activismtoday.blogspot.com/ (Occupy Wall Street)

I was *very* enthusiastic of Occupy at first, and I hung in there for the better part of three years and was VERY involved, as a popular local entertainer and teacher at various musical and theatrical events to help raise money and awareness of economic issues, and also as a key player in the Occupy Eugene Library Committee, which we endeavored to steer as a sort of clearinghouse of issue analysis, aiming to separate rhetoric from reality with regards to all the soundbites flying around on both the political Right and Left. The nail in the coffin for me was when I saw 99.9% of my fellow activists swallow the “March Against Monsanto” song and dance, hook line and sinker, back when that campaign came swooping in to hijack our momentum back around Spring of 2012. Though that juggernaut certainly rang all of our bells of “corporate evil giant” intersecting with “impending environmental doom” it did not take much effort at all to discern that this propaganda was, by and large, completely baseless and was ulteriorly fronting for marketing schemers issuing from the multibillion-dollar “organic” lobby. It was a very sad and disillusioning lesson in the power and pervasiveness of Groupthink dynamics amongst the ranks of the very folks that I had for so long trusted to be vigilant against that very sort of phenomenon. Ultimately, my lonely protests against this grand misdirection of our focus and energies proved to be mostly in vain, to Quixotic proportions, and I eventually had to drop out and start catching up with the many corners of my life as a musician and an educator that I had placed on hold for the most part while I had been devoting so much of my life to a movement that I had had such high hopes for. Thanks for listening, and thanks for conducting this survey!(Occupy Eugene (Library Committee))

(Occupy Ann Arbor)

Here is my webpage. http://www.masonphd.net Currently focussing my activism on Dual Power social change through organizing communal ecovillages. (Occupy Oakland and Occupy Cal)

#15Now, Move to Amend, #FlushtheTPP, local anti-Walmart group, Bernie Sanders campaign (local, state and national roles) (Occupy Portland)

Visited camp, fed campers, marched locally and in NY , DC AND throughout New England. Occupy Sandy supporter. (New Haven and Shoreline, CT)

I just showed up for a couple of days for Occupy Sandy. (Volunteer)

strongly agree (farmer beekeeper)

Clearly the lack of progress is due to Electronic Election rigging. We need to focus on getting transparency with the VOTE COUNTING- Need to go back to Hand Counted Ballots to determine if machine count actually matches the votes cast. www.electiondefensealliange.org and www.blackboxvoting.org or com. please inform yourselves (supporter)

I participated in OWS at age 16 as a high school student in Brooklyn. It was an amazing exposure to radical politics, despite the issues within and criticisms of the movement that I’ve come to understand since then. I’m writing from Thessaloniki, Greece, where I’m spending the summer volunteering in refugee camps. I honestly don’t think I’d be here if not for Occupy. (Former participant )

We started the Bernie or bust movement. Co-Founder: Revolt Against Plutocracy. (Occupy Ithaca)

Since occupy we started www.PopularResistance.org that covers the movement throughout the US and globally. We also run campaigns. Stop the TPP: www.FlushTheTPP/nolameduck to stop the ratification of the TPP. #NoLameDuck
No Honeymoon: To start the likely Clinton presidency off with protests before she is inaugurated and beyond. #NoHoneymoon see https://www.popularresistance.org/newsletter-nohoneymoon-create-a-presidency-of-protest/
(Occupy Washington, DC at Freedom Plaza)

Anti-Keystone Pipeline, 350.org, lots of climate-related petition signing (Occupy K Street (DC), Occupy San Francisco)

While we have no general assembly, we have Facebook groups and free standing associations. I host a Facebook page. Occupy Greater San Diego https://www.facebook.com/OccupySanDiego/ (Friends, San Diego CA)

Occupy Mississippi, Self-sustainability in Mississippi. (Occupy Mississippi)

The two projects I worked with most, Occupy Public Access and Occupy Our Stories, were media projects that ended in 2012/13. The relationships with those activists have continued some collaboration on other media. I plan to attend events in New York, and will be releasing an album of music inspired by Occupy called Occupied Songs. (supporter, worked with a few occupy groups like occupy public access and occupy our stories; NYC)

Elected local planning commission, reported from COP21, founded save historic bridge committee (Reporter)

Photography exhibition. Occupy Sandy, local Occupy Vancouver. (Photograph)

I am now a volunteer at Greenpeace for over a year and get occupy face book stuff all the time as one of my groups but only one person runs it was a supporter of Bernie Sanders my main thing for over a year is being a Greenpeace activist but you got me started, (Occupy Sandy in NYC helped went to many meetings of Occupy )

nothing formal (Sympathizer/Potential volunteer, Richmond VA)

I still communicate with Occupy Hartford people from time to time. Most of them are still involved in activism in some way. I am currently involved in the Nuit Debout movement in France, which amplified following the dictatorial imposition of a law stripping workers of their rights (la loi El Khomri). The law itself puts France up to date with EU regulations, which are made in Brussels by politicians who often favor their own business interests (the EU government and large corporations are in cahoots). There were mass demonstrations and strikes in the Spring of 2016, and the movement has since developed into a broader concern about the voice of the people, social justice, questioning the ‘state of emergency’ in France, and fighting police brutality. Students are planning on blocking public universities, saying they will not allow school to start up again so long as the government has not withdrawn the law.(Occupy Hartford)

Assisted in resistance at Ferguson. Supported Bernie Sanders as a delegate from county, to district, to State Convention. Continue to move Occupy tweets as I can. No at this time. I may just turn off the lights and watch YouTube video of the struggle and remember the glory days of our Camelot. (Occupy Social Media)

Participated in (300,000 people) Sept. 24, 2005 Anti-Iraq War Washington DC Rally/March. Made several pilgrimages to OWS from Long Island to Liberty Sq. Plaza and camped out one weekend Fri-Sun. Helped Organize Local Occupy Group OTH Occupy The Hamptons, later renamed to OTEE Occupy The East End. Studied in a multitude of training sessions, participated in General Assemblies, Participated in several Actions Including ‘Shut Down Wall St.’, ‘March Against Stop & Frisk’, Second Month Anniversary March(30,000 people), May Day March the following year, (400,000 people) ‘NYC Climate March’ & ‘Flood Wall St.’ (Sept. 2014), Active *Bernie* Volunteer in 7 states, Active *Dr. Jill Stein* Volunteer, Training as Citizen Journalist, Covered DNC Convention in Philadelphia: Including Inside DNC, Street Actions & Marches, and ‘The People’s Revolution Convention’; Currently appear on a local political action radio show every other week. (Help Organize our Local Occupy Group OTH Occupy The Hamptons, later renamed to OTEE Occupy The East End.)

I was a member of the media relations committee. (Occupy Phoenix)

Still a Lone Wolf Occusister. I have worked hard to continue to get the word out about movements that support the Occupy philosophy. I am presently covering #NoDAPL. I was busy on FB and tweeting away moments after Mike Brown was left to die in the street after being murdered by a policeman in Ferguson, MO. #BlackLivesMatter #ClimateChange and #IdleNoMore are three facets of the conversation change that I publicize on a daily basis. Nothing makes my heart smile more than hearing other protest/political activist/ protectors using the Mic Check form of crowd communication. I also love love love hearing “Show me what Democracy Looks Like” being chanted. Our social media efforts have worked! (Originally – Occupy New Hampshire; Now – Occupy Social Media – @OneLoveOccupy on Twitter)

Gone/ Facebook page (Occupy Copenhagen)

Regional Support (Founding member of Occupy Traverse City)

Autumn 2011 and following winter I went to numerous Occupy protests in Burlington and Montpelier, Vermont. I am no longer in contact with any group; I don’t know if any group in Vermont is still active or not. I have continued to be politically active on my own, by calling officials, signing online petitions, talking to people, writing, etc. (No longer in contact with any group)

Occupy Farms farm 2012; Facebook shares, comments, educating young volunteers on growing food and local marketing.(none, VT)

Our GMOP working group morphed into WAmend, a coalition of 50+ different organizations working to help amend the Constitution to settle for once and for all that constitutional rights are for people — NOT corporations, and that money is NOT speech.

We succeeded in getting over 300,000 petition signatures to qualify Initiative 735 for the November ballot in WA state. When passed, it will make WA the 18th state calling for such a constitutional amendment. 90% of those signatures were gathered by volunteers, not paid signature gatherers.

I’m also involved with 99Rise and Democracy Spring, which is led mainly by folks who came from Occupy. Got arrested on the steps of the Capitol building last April as part of a mass sit-in.(Get Money Out of Politics, Occupy Seattle)

There is no formal Occupy here any more, however members are still active with environmental issues, pipeline protesting, homeless issues, etc. I personally continue to address police brutality, actively protest oil & gas cartel abuses, standing with the homeless against police brutality & evictions, involved with Black Lives Matter, Anti-Racist Idaho, had a pop-up free store for two years, worked with Food Not Bombs, NATO protest in Chicago, Shut Down the Ports in Portland to name a few. I currently have a herbal farmacy (growing People’s medicine), bee sanctuary (saving our gentle pollinators) and steward a huge community garden (learning how to sustain community thru feeding ourselves).(Occupy Boise)

(Follower (in Peru we haven’t got an organized movement yet))

A group of us began meeting at a local coffee shop (Cabin Fever) in Defiance, OH. As a result, we began a two-year effort to get an initiative passed in the city of Defiance. In Nov., 2012, the initiative passed with a 67% vote. It was based on the work of Move to Amend (movetoamend.org). The people voted that corporations are not people and money is not speech. As a result, we have a Democracy Day after every presidential election at which we give testimony supporting our desire for an end to the corrupting influence of corporate money. (Occupy Defiance (Ohio))

I am a retired physician and professor in 4 depts. of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. I was an enthusiastic supporter of and contributor to the Bernie Sanders Campaign. I am a member of several national activist groups (PNHP, National Physicians Alliance, SPAN Ohio, Physicians for Social Responsibility, HealthcareNow, etc.); however, I have not succeeded in finding local groups of activist who want to pursue the Bernie Sanders agenda. I am a volunteer tutor in a GED program for four days a week; however, in the absence of other local activist groups, I spend the remainder of my time in following news (not cable TV), politics, and investments. I have a strong interest in providing education for and equal opportunities for impoverished youth, a particularly large proportion of Ohio youth. In the past, I received both a Silver Beaver and a Whitney Young Award for work with minority boy scouts both in Birmingham and in Cleveland. I have served on many boards including the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. I would love to find a local group of activists who focus on techniques to involve young citizens in our quest for free education for all, prison reform, free, healthcare for all, higher quality healthcare without corporate domination, much higher tax rates for the wealthy (including myself), no ceiling on incomes that are subject to social security taxes, and making stronger controls for big banks, hedge funds, etc. (local groups in Cleveland and/or in Fort Myers where I spend several months of the year). (Occupy Affiliation: I am not aware of a group in Cleveland.)

(Occupy Washington DC / OccupyWDC)

always more on the outer orbits, appreciated occupy’s impact on sanders campaign. (listener, observer, supporter, occupy sandy contributor)

I am a 60 year old male of mixed racial descent attempting to save my parents home from foreclosure after caring for them at home for 4 years. My mom was scammed by Citibank into a 30 year mortgage for a home improvement loan that stripped her equity and left her almost penniless. That she was 89 years old and had dementia at the time of her signing is not even entering the discussion of the court proceedings and I am fed up. (Therapist/Musician)

I joined the protests on Wall Street a few times. I volunteered with Occupy Sandy to help victims and clean up after the fact. Since, I have participated in a few Black Lives Matter marches. As an ally of the movement working in corporate America, I try to educate the folks around me (who have quite a lot of power) on issues of racial, social and economic justice. (San Francisco)

(San Diego)

Have distanced myself from OLA directly. There has been a fair amount of alienation.My Post Occupy Trauma continues. I am still connected with a number of individual occupiers on Facebook and via a few ancillary organizations and formations – mostly political, food or homelessness and/or academically oriented. And one sad funeral of an occupier names Sunshine. No longer following the primary OLA Facebook page or Twitter (issues where it was hijacked) except intermittently and a number of issue or individual protests – Police Brutality, homeliness, hunger, Restorative Justice, renters rights, BLM, Bernie Sanders, Election Reform, 3rd party politics, March against Monsanto and Labor issues – though I rarely actually go to their events. Lots of participating in Academic Coursework and related forums in Labor, Restorative Justice and environmental Science (Occupy LA)

Occupy Albany is defunct after 2 years of zombie meetings, I now work with a food Not bombs chapter, Green Party, and a community project. (Albany/Wall Street)

I moved from Chicago to Honolulu and stayed in the world’s longest running Occupy encampment for 1.5 years fighting for Houseless Rights. I was part of 2 federal lawsuits to try to end the raids against the houseless where they were trashing everything from medication to a prosthetic leg, newborn formula to x-mas gifts, and food to identification. These were the basis for a class action suit that was done after I moved to Omaha. And through all of this, I acted as a street medic helping patients who were kicked out of the nearby hospitals, encampment health, and car accidents. Since moving to Iowa, I have taken a break from activism to give myself time to heal from the PTSD that the anti-NATO protests (in Chicago) and the raids gave me. (Occupy Chicago & (de)Occupy Honolulu)

The Illuminator is a political art collective based in New York City that utilizes guerrilla projections in the urban landscape as their primary strategy for intervention. Initiated in March of 2012, the project emerged out of the Occupy Wall Street movement in the wake of the original “OWS Bat Signal” projection-action of 17 November 2011. Since then the collective has staged hundreds of interventions in public spaces—both geographical and virtual—as acts of incitement and invitation. We transform the street from a site of transit to a space of engagement, conflict, and dialogue. The images we create circulate over the Internet as vivid talismans of trespass within the over-saturated and suffocating visual culture of commodity capitalism, provoking much needed dialogue concerning the issues of our time. By adopting a superhero persona we strive to communicate in a pop culture vernacular so that all may understand our mission. We call for  heroism—for an insurgent broad based popular movement to challenge entrenched power and initiate the radical political, social, and economic transformations that the urgency of this moment demands. (The Illuminator, media, NYC)

70 y/o veteran of peace movement. Work with Quakers, 350.org, NYC Light Brigade, others. (Activist, Brooklyn)

Occupy Sonoma County embraces the egalitarian, deep democracy principles of the Occupy Movement with a regional strategy for effectively organizing county-wide social justice campaigns that are globally relevant. Find us on Twitter and Facebook as well as Youtube through our website at http://occupysonomacounty.org or call 707-877-6650.(Occupy Sonoma County)

Moral, fiscal and active support of OSAC, Low Wage Workers, Homeless, Environmental, Feminist Issues, AIDS LifeCycle, Union advocacy, BLM (Occupy Sacramento 24/7, etc)

We heard from…:
Occupy Social Media Presence

Occupy Orlando per se’ no longer is a physical entity as they no longer hold GAs, and many have moved away. The OO page promotes all local and some events elsewhere; not limited to but including: March against Monsanto, Million Mask March, Black Lives Matters, Food Not bombs, – or any known event that fall under the Occupy umbrella https://www.facebook.com/groups/337396979640134/ (Occupy Orlando)

Online presence mainly. Bernie Sanders now Green Party and Our Revolution, 350Merced.org, Journey4Justice. S17 Event: http://interoccupy.net/events/mic-check-om5-ows5-call-to-action/ posted on OM page (Occupy Merced)

Occupy Buffalo Online presence – FacebookTwitter

Both occupy groups have remained on Facebook, but no longer physically exist. I help out with local efforts fighting fossil fuel and am now an animal rights activist.
(WOWs, https://www.facebook.com/WOWSNYC/,
Occupy Orange County NY, https://www.facebook.com/OccupyOrangeNY/)

Occupy Bergen County is currently a Facebook page, Twitter account (@OccupyBergenC), and e-mail list. Various members are working on various issues, inside and outside of politics, but mainly as individuals. Through OBC, I connected to Trade Justice Metro N.Y. and am still involved with that group—as I am with a variety of groups and people whom I met through Occupy. Although few groups are still active under the Occupy umbrella, the network clearly lives on in many forms, physical and virtual.(Occupy Bergen County, InterOccupy, NatGat teams, and [limited] Occu-Evolve, Occupy Alternative Banking)

Occupy Helena’s fb page is still up and running with 2 administrators and is still active. We haven’t had official meetings or events for some time but the page has postings and a small following. Our offshoot of Strike Debt MT fb page is still up too but not actively posting. In this small Montana community, most of the Occupy activists here had lately moved into the Montanan’s for Bernie group and many of the actions and activities occurred there. Now they/we are moving on. If you are a Montana activist, with our low spread-out population, you wear many hats and participate in many progressive, and direction action groups in the areas of environment, economic and social/political justice. There are not a whole lot of anarchist thinkers here but we do exist. (Occupy Helena in support of OWS)

Happy 5th Anniversary, Occupy Wall Street!

Occupy 5 Year Check-In Survey

We also heard from…:

Heather Hurwitz, OWS Alternative Banking Working Group, Participant in Bernie Sanders movement in NYC and SF, DNC protests for Bernie, formerly with Occupy Santa Barbara, Researcher of Occupy Movement globally esp. in NYC and SF Bay Area/Oakland, teach classes at Barnard that include readings and discussions about Occupy.

Since the Fall of 2011, Heather has researched the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Her work focuses on the two “movement centers” in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the first Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia in July 2012. In 2016, Heather is studying ongoing Occupy groups and activism as well as movements that have spun-off from Occupy such as the Bernie Sanders movement. In each location, Heather contributed to and observed activities of the most significant city-wide and mixed-sex protests as well as the feminist, women’s, lesbian, gay, queer, and people of color groups and events. Her archives and research include Oakland Occupy Patriarchy, Safer Spaces committees, Women Occupying Wall Street, feminist general assemblies, and Women Occupy, a national clearinghouse of feminist and women’s groups, and many other working groups and spin-off movements. In addition, Heather has interviewed Occupiers across the U.S. and participated in Occupy Santa Barbara. Currently, she is writing several articles and a book about the first 5 years of the Occupy movement.

Heather’s dissertation was one of the first studies to use feminist and intersectional analyses to examine the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The study draws on qualitative and quantitative data including participant observation, an archive of paper and electronic documents about the movement, semi-structured in-depth interviews with 73 participants, and the Occupy Research Demographic and Political Participation Survey (n=~5000) (see abstract below). Using feminist methodology, Heather’s study combines qualitative and quantitative methods to examine gender conflict, feminist mobilization, and the gendered organizational structures, tactics, strategies, and collective identities in Occupy.

Heather co-authored, with Verta Taylor, a book chapter based on her dissertation research, “Women Occupying Wall Street: Gender Conflict and Feminist Mobilization,” that is forthcoming in 100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment: An Appraisal of Women’s Political Activism edited by Lee Ann Banaszak and Holly J. McCammon for Oxford University Press. Prior to publication in 2017, for more information about the chapter please contact Heather directly at hhurwitz@barnard.edu.


Hey there! I was the treasurer of Bloombergville, where I realized that if we took Zuccotti Park they would have trouble finding a legal argument to kick us out of the park and then was part of the Tactical Working Group on #S17 advocating for the setting of the meet up to be the Chase Manhattan Plaza in the final planning NYCGAs, and then Activist Legal Working Group, Facilitation, Labor Outreach Committee, cut and posted the video for the initial #Sothebys Disruption, Arts and Labor, and Facilitated a meeting for the Direct Action Working Group after my return. I also sat in on Movement Building WG meetings, and painted banners in Magic Mountain. In late September I left Zuccotti and traveled to Pittsburgh and Baltimore where I attended occupation planning meetings and offered insight, before heading to Washington DC, where I was part of the Stop the Machine Peacekeepers training, and was selected as a police liaison and peacekeeper team leader. Stop the Machine became Occupy DC Freedom Plaza. On October 15th I was in Charlotte and witnessed the protest in front of the Bank of America Building (causing me to miss our greyhound bus). In late October I arrived in New Orleans and began sleeping/organizing in the Occupy NOLA camp. During this period I met Black Panther and Common Ground Organizer Malik Rahim and we became friends. I woke up on November 15th in a tent at Occupy NOLA, and returned to NYC in early December and was around for D17. I stayed until mid May before leaving for a buddhist monastery. In late August of 2012 Malik Rahim asked me to come to New Orleans to help him organize a relief effort after Hurricane Isaac, which had made land fall exactly 7 years after Katrina. The effort we organized ended up becoming Occupy Isaac, and developed the hub model and used a lot of IO calls (Andrea Ciannavei would facilitate and tech the calls) all institutional knowledge that became helpful less than two months later for Occupy Sandy. During Hurricane Sandy I was on the island of Ocracoke in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and experienced 3 feet of flooding myself, and returned to New York about two weeks after the storm, settling in YANA in the Far Rockaways until Christmas.

After that I went Georgia for a while and was devastated after what I had seen. Eventually I ended up in Mississippi helping to build the Rising Tide Meditation Hall, and healing some of my ‘Post-Occupy Stress Disorder’. The Rising Tide Meditation Hall is at the Magnolia Grove Monastery, a Monastery founded by the Sangha of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Spiritual leader and Peace Activist exiled from Vietnam in 1968 for his peace activism. In front of the Meditation Hall sits a statue of both Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King Jr., depicting a scene captured in a photo of one of their several meetings.

I forgot but I was also on the Occu-Caravan from Asheville North Carolina to Philly. I worked on the Nat Gat Organizing group prior to Nat Gat but at Nat Gat took a pretty low key role.

In 2014 I came to New York to help with Arts and Organizing for The People’s Climate March and for #FloodWallStreet or other Direct Actions that were being developed through the council. When #FloodWallStreet gained more traction, Sandy Nurse and I bottom-lined the tactical working group, as I finished an article that would appear on Occupy.com several days prior to the Climate March on the People’s Climate Train. Several days before the Action after many conversations with other organizers, I authorized Stan Williams to reach out on our behalf to the Mayor’s office (I personally texted City Council Member Ydanis that we didn’t want a fight, and he showed up on the front line). I instructed Stan that he was able to say that we didn’t want a fight, and that he was not authorized to make any agreements or divulge any tactical details about our multiple contingency plans. Unfortunately Stan included Aaron Black in his discussions who overstepped his authorization. This belief by the police that the Flood Wall Street March would march down Beaver to Broad and then sit in pens in front of the stock exchange awaiting arrest was instrumental in the deception which allowed us to occupy Broadway around the bull. During the People’s Climate March I was a front of line Marshall working with Marty and the NYPD to protect the indigenous youth at the front of the march. The next day I walked through the police line ahead of the front of march banner to lead everyone up Broadway rather than turning right to head to Beaver (as the cops thought we were going to) and deployed the signal for everyone to sit down in front of the Standard Oil Building. Marty gave me a glare as I sat in the street.

After FloodWallStreet I moved to Boulder, Colorado to pursue an opportunity to become the Allen Ginsberg Fellow at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. The reason I am interested in pursuing this fellowship is that it is my dream to write Roman a Clefs (like On the Road) about our movements that are subversive and encourage more people to participate. In addition the lineage of Naropa University, blends the teachings of Allen Ginsberg (revolutionary poet, founder & activist), Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Buddhist reincarnated teacher and founder) and Amiri Baraka (revolutionary Black Arts Poet, and faculty member until his death). I also want to write poetry that is revolutionary.

Unfortunately while I was trying to complete my application in 2014 for the program, Black Lives Matter was erupting and I was busy organizing marches in Boulder and attending marches in Denver. The weekend before my application was due I actually was tailing a march that I wasn’t really participating in because it happened to be going by the bookstores where I was looking for a specific book to finish a research paper, when the Boulder police decided to arrest a couple of people of color in a sea of white faces. At that point I decided that I need to do jail support rather than worry about finishing the fellowship application, and missed the deadline.

In December 2015, I traveled to Paris because I had been helping to develop an app to help activists gain situational awareness, and before the team bailed on me, had planned on deploying it at the COP 21 as a test run. When the project fell apart my partner at the time in Flatirons Political Art was doing stuff for the IEN so I still had a reason to go, and love Paris, so I figured I would get over there and finish my Fellowship Application, which I did.

In March of 2016, Marissa Holmes came to Boulder to screen “All Day, All Week: An Occupy Wall Street Story”. After that screening my Fiance (at the time, now wife) and I were driving home when we were pulled over by the Police. Even though she was not intoxicated they tried to pressure her into admitting that she was. They then mis administered the sobriety tests before arresting her for driving while intoxicated. My wife feared that she was being framed so she refused the roadside test, wanting to wait till she got to the jail so she could be tested there by someone who wasn’t being domineering and aggressive.

When they told me they were going to tow the car and search it, I asked if I could call a friend to come and drive it home. They told me I had five minutes. More than five minutes later they hadn’t returned and I was feeling in danger and wanted to leave. I exited and put my hands up prior to approaching the police car and placing my hand on the hood of the car, in a surrendering ‘non threatening way’. The cops then rushed me and I ended up being hogtied, prior to charging with me with two counts of felony assault against an officer. When I asked for medical care at the jail, I was sent to solitary confinement for the entirety of Easter. My trial is set for December 5th-10th.

A week later in early April I got a call informing me that I was being awarded the Allen Ginsberg Fellowship. I had been encouraged to apply for the fellowship because I was a debt resistor and ineligible to take out loans. Unfortunately upon being awarded the merit based Fellowship named after one of the most prolific activists in the 20th Century (Rocky Flats, Chicago Eight, Levitating the Pentagon during the Anti War March, Howl…) I was informed that a student was not allowed to receive any sort of financial aid, even merit based, without filling out a FAFSA and being eligible for Federal Financial Aid. The fellowship was rescinded.

It’s my intention to apply again for the fellowship and I am confident I will be acquitted. (Bloombergville)

One comment on “Mic Check – Where Are We Now?

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