Dear Musical Friends,
One year ago, you first felt the spark of Occupy Wall Street. More than four thousand musicians and music industry professionals from all around the world came together on this site to pledge their support under the simple words:
“We the undersigned musicians, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movements around the world.”
Here is the list of all who signed that first year.
We thank all those who played on the streets, at benefits and concerts, wrote songs, posted videos, and joined their fellows in the streets and other public spaces for actions, planning, and the good work of occupying.
We at Occupy Musicians ask you this September to sign on or renew your pledge to Occupy and to plug in to the actions, projects, and energy that has been planned for the anniversary and beyond:
or send an email to us with your info: occupymusicians at gmail dot com
Also, please send us information about your first year of Occupying – music, writing, photography, video, anything (occupymusicians at gmail). With your permission, will create pages of your images/texts here and add videos to our YouTube station. We prefer to embed music rather than host it, so suggest Bandcamp or Soundcloud for your Occupy songs. You can also share first person accounts with Occupied Stories.
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is holding a three-day convergence of education, celebration and resistance from September 15-17 to mark the one-year anniversary of the movement. The eyes of the world will be on New York City during this period. We are writing you today as fellow musicians and fellow music industry folks to show or renew your support for OWS by joining us in the squares and the streets. Whether or not you will be in New York, we ask you to sign and circulate this page in a spirit of solidarity.
Over the past year, OWS has helped refocused the world’s attention on economic injustice. It has transformed the cultural landscape and expanded the political imagination through ideas of the 99%, the 1%, occupation, general assemblies, direct democracy, and more. Better yet, it has offered hope, a new means of radical critique, and a place from which to advocate for fundamental rather than cosmetic change.
It’s time for those who are privileged enough to play on the world’s stages and halls, and those of us playing in the streets and everywhere else music is made, to sing, speak, and write about our support for the 99%. Now is the time to lend our support in visible ways to the commitment shown by the Occupy movement and to help it grow and evolve.
Already on the agenda for Year Two:
• The continuation of local, community-based Occupy campaigns focusing on everything from pushing our cities to sever ties with Goldman Sachs to fighting for free education and healthcare for the 99%, to supporting workers’ struggles.
• An expansion of Occupy our Homes, which has successfuly prevented foreclosures and evictions across the country.
• Strike Debt: a project to highlight and mobilize around predatory debt practices and build a debt resistance movement. Debt affects us all (even if we are not debtors ourselves), not least of these concerns is $1 trillion in student debt: these are the people we work with every day.
• Continuing to support campaigns against stop-and-frisk police harassment of people of color and the politics of mass incarceration.
• A renewed commitment to connecting the dots between Wall Street and environmental disasters, especially the regime of fossil-fuel capitalism that is destroying the bases of planetary life itself.
• Occupy music groups (such as the Musicians Solidarity Council and the OWS Music Working Group) are organizing for the fallOccupy CMJ, Occupy Music Education actions and education, fall social justice music workshops, etc. We would love to hear about active Occupy music/arts/performance groups working on fall actions (occupymusicians at gmail)
If you will be in New York for S17 please participate in the OWS anniversary convergence:
• Saturday the 15th, join a thematic assembly, participate in a direct action training, or do a teach-in/performance as part of the OWS convergence at Washington Square. At 6pm join an Occupy Guitarmy all hands rehearsal and jam in the square.
• Sunday the 16th, march with the Occupy Guitarmy (all instruments and voices encouraged to come) against the Spectra Energy fracking pipeline . The group will then march to and be the opening act at the OWS Anniversary Concert with Michelle Shocked, Das Racist, and Tom Morello at Foley Square. End the day with Occupy Rosh Hashanah at Zuccotti Park or S17 action orientation.
• Monday the 17th, at 7am, join OWS at a designated assembly point in one of its four zones around the New York Stock Exchange (99% Bloc, Eco Bloc, Edu Bloc & Debt Bloc). In whichever zone you choose, join ACT-UP, Vocal New York and others and participate in a nonviolent civil disobedience (the People’s Wall) in the tradition of the Civil Rights movement. Or form an affinity group with your friends and do creative actions in that zone (99 Revolutions). At 10am, Storm Wall Street with OWS eco-activists at Bowling Green. At 2pm, join the debt assembly at South Ferry. End the 17th at 6pm with the Popular Assembly, a massive report-back from all OWS and allied campaigns focused on moving into Year Two.
A very special, musical action is 99 Corners, a mass set of pop up musical performances across the five boroughs from 9am-9pm. Pick a corner to play for 10 minutes on September 17th and just let the OWS music working group know your location, which they’ll put on a giant musical pop up map: music at nycga dot net
• The week following the 17th, offer a class or other event at the Free University from September 18-22. If you are interested, Occupy Guitarmy is looking for students, music instructors, and songwriting instructors for their “Occupy Guitarmy Certificate Program” on Saturday, Sept. 22 10am-2pm. music at nycga dot net for more information.
• Sunday the 23rd, join the Strike Debt Assembly at 12pm in Washington Square Park to explore the possibilities around uniting debtors from around the world.
If you will not be in New York:
• Find your local Occupy groups through interoccupy.net and plug in.
• Organize music in the streets for the anniversary of your local Occupy. Here is an “Occupy Guitarmy starter kit” with some songs, chords, logos, and info about how to organize a musical action.
• Please sign this letter and let others know that that you support the Occupy movement.
• Donate to the OWS S17 Action Resource Fund.
Write a short piece about your experiences as a working musician for We Work In Sound, the first person, “we are the 99%” site for working musicians and sound professionals.
Prove the corporate media are wrong when they say Occupy is over. If you don’t like what you see at the moment, get involved. Help shape the national and global conversation from the bottom up.
Join the movement again, or for the first time. Make it known that we not only advocate radical change in theory; we are committed to making change in practice.
occupymusicians at gmail dot com