A leaflet handed out in October at the Occupy Carbondale (IL) encampment:
The Oakland Occupy Encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza in California was raided at 4:30 am. Using tear gas, rubber bullets, and ﬂash-bang grenades over 70 people were arrested and the plaza evacuated.
October 25, 2011
by The Second Pyschogeographical Association in recognition of the Occupy Carbondale Encampment
please copy and distribute
PUBLIC SPACE HASBEEN HI-JACKED…
by a quotidian social/political and technological apparatus that exists for the primary purpose of protecting the opulent few and the bored-to-the-point-of-the-ignored some from the complaints, play, and political action of the tormented many! The social, spatial, and of course political “occupy” endeavor that has swept across the country and the world started on September 17, 2011 when thousands of people increasingly agitated by the glaring disparity of wealth took to the streets in New York City in an attempt to publicly voice this agitation. “Occupy Wall Street” started as a small action in the face of a gigantic issue proclaiming that 1% of the population comprised of an economic elite effectively dominate the remaining 99%. While the economic validity of this claim is questionable and in no way functions as an analysis of class, it is both a broad and accurate enough rallying point behind the “occupy” endeavor, which embodies the counter argument that a small percent of the population convening in a public space could have a large impact on a multi-faceted issue.
The New York assembly proposed a simple effective and highly subversive proposal urging people everywhere to “Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.” This proposal started an endeavor that for The Second Psychogeographical Association is primarily about, “space and participation, two elements that are hindering the achievement of any real solution for the myriad concerns expressed by people, everywhere.”
Many have dismissed this endeavor for failing to form a single issue of protest, or discredited the endeavor’s lack of clearly stated goals’ as there has been no list of demands presented by the protesters, no issues of reform to press, achieve, and eventually claim as victorious. Meanwhile, grievances, complaints, problematic realities, and disgruntled protests boarding on manic desperation seem to be coming from every direction ranging from lack of health care reform, corporate greed, raising personal debt, job loss, and of course the absolute appropriation of public and private space in the name of safety and rationality. Many of the problems being discussed are obvious to anyone paying attention, yet the ability to address them in a public civic space is what is missing from the equation. The recent forced removal of peaceful protesters from a public space in Oakland is a glaring example of how this environment of non-participation came to be and a glimpse of what is at stake. This endeavor resists cooption, hierarchical order, singularity, and deﬁnition. This endeavor is fragmented, altered, singular and collective; it is autonomous, site-speciﬁc and moves both toward and away from recognized goals. To the SPA, this endeavor is current, contemporary, and happening today; it is also a child of the avant-garde, a vital component of participatory democracy, a friend of DIY punk and spontaneous hip-hop, an admirer of the psychogeographical perspective of street skateboarding and a fan of the bicycle without brakes, a contemporary of Dadaist and Surrealist projects, and a student of The Situationist International.
The Second Pyschogeographical Association
October 25, 2011
Please participate, occupy, speak, or simply be where you are “supposed” to be. Public spaces are intimidating as the danger of public space and unfamiliar people create a dangerous non-space that should be “occupied” in order to create a productive dialogic tension. Through participatory exploration, conversation, and play you can “occupy” your own spatial niche in the collective space of society, rather than one merely presented to you. Do not move through space, as a commuter would, engage in it critically as the “occupiers” have. This endeavor is about the loss of space and the loss of the ability to convene. If we do not stop to “occupy” our collective here, we will never get where there is, as individuals.
For the original document, click this image: