Report: Youth Occupy Gathering

Waking at approximately 6:35 A.M I quickly rose from bed, dressed, had a quick breakfast, gathered my belongings and then rushed out the door with sleeping bag in hand. Though normally mornings in my house would be more casual today I couldn’t afford to be so sloth like. Today was the first day of the Maine Youth Occupy Gathering. Because of this I could not risk being late in meeting my contact; agreeing to meet at a local convenient store around 7:30AM as our rendezvous I needed to haul ass and quickly.

Though, as it turns out, I would be nearly ten minutes late, I miscalculated walking time, it was alright; my ride didn’t care, which was fortunate since last time I tried to meet a contact for a ride she never showed (and I wasn’t even late than!). As I approached the store, however, I clearly saw my contact waiting front and center before the store.

As I approached further I could see that he was truthful in his email exchanges and was who he said he was. Young, car ready, and rather cute, we introduced ourselves prior to hauling our crap in the backdoor. After this we were off (though not before stopping at another couple small stores to check for oil. After we did that, we were off!)!

The drive was nearly ninety minutes.  With the event being held near Bangor, and neither of us being familiar with the town, we knew that we were probably to spend a while searching for the place once actually arriving in town. Combining this with the long initial drive and we had ourselves a recipe for monotonous talk.

Fortunately, such wasn’t the case here. With both of us being so close to the same age the drive was standard questions (political activity, how much one has done in movements, family life and personal interests, etc) mixed with the typical teenage humor. Not only did the actual drive turn out well but the directions led us to the location a whole sixteen minutes early. Count ourselves lucky this happened despite originally getting lost.

The location, a building referred to as only the Solidarity Center was a spacious location. Built in gravel wheel chair ramp, well-made wooden steps, and an interior meeting area large enough to comfortable seat everyone, this locale would serve our small group well.

My contact and I went inside, helping an organizer carry in some cooking equipment, and settled in. While he snuggled with his girlfriend I ventured off and familiarized myself with the building (I.E where the bathrooms were). Post pissing, I gingerly waited for more people to arrive.

While in the middle of ice breaker games more people did arrive, with some trickling in some time afterwards, our numbers were fated to be small this weekend. All in all there were perhaps a little over two dozen people in and out on the first day with less permanent numbers the following. Though the organizers were expecting a larger turn out such amounts did not surprise me as the event was quickly advertised with not much youth inclusion.

From arriving I would force myself through the various workshops on the agonizing consensus process, be mildly intrigued when it came to the labor union’s local presentation (reformist but sign of progressive thought here and there), and only be engaged in when came for a Queer activist to give her brief history of the Occupy movement as well as her own personal involvement in the New York City Occupation.

Her mentioning her partner several times actually brings me back to the awesome fact of the heavy Queer presence there. Aside from myself there were anywhere from 3-4 other Queer advocates. From a affirming heterosexual, to a lesbian, and a Genderqueer man, I was in good company. Among these people I chatted often and enjoyed hearing their experience on organizing and life. Eventually I would gain several of these persons contact information.

Throughout lunch and breaks during the weekend I was happy to see the progressive politics of the people I worked with. Though many of them still had ideas that prevented them from being classified as revolutionaries (reformist dreams, uncertainty about what came after capitalism, and so forth) I do not exaggerate when I say the great majority of those present were anti-capitalist. This fact was even further reinforced when I met some contact from my own local occupy who had grown in their anti-capitalist stance since my last visit with them; people who were once “on the fence” about the Imperialist system now only condemned it but called it for what it was: imperialism.

Of the radicals there most were, as previous mentioned, anti-capitalist. There was a single Democratic Socialist, the usual assortment of Eco-Anarchists (who made up the majority of the radicals by far), as well as a young women who aside from some minor comments, I was positive was a revolutionary communist. Though I never gained significant political talk time with any of these people, I did manage brief conversations with each one; most interestingly I discovered a person there not only had read, but upheld, Karl Marx.

Though sometimes these individuals’ conversations would take a major nose dive into a result which I can only call “Facepalm” Overall the level of rhetoric had progressed. While at Occupy there were more libertarians than I could stomach, here there were none to be found. It made me think that if the political climate continued in this fashion than eventually they would be a moderately solid revolutionary base.

Eventually the first day came to an end and sleeping was called for. A sleeping bag and floor was all I needed. Rolling up an extra shirt I had brought with me as a pillow I fell asleep after only being mildly uncomfortable.

Waking up the next day I dressed, rolled up my sleeping bag, had a breakfast bar, and reviewed my workshop. Though this caused me to miss the first part of the second day’s beginning workshop I couldn’t bring myself to care. Reviewing never took too long and I eventually caught the middle of the man’s presentation.

Eventually it came time for my time in the sun. Yet, there were some shadows on this day. What had been my only complaint during the entire weekend was that when it came time for my workshop the organizers had lumped it in with another workshop. This meant that now people could choose which workshop they wanted to participate in. This annoyed me some as previously all the workshops were attended by all the people. Since my competition had been the “Know Your Rights” workshop only three people came to attendance.

I am a pragmatic person, however. Of the attendees there was only a few which I actually wanted to be in attendance which weren’t already. I also realize that knowing one’s rights when being active is a popular event as the possibility exists that those young people may already know how to bring their peers to occupy.

Ultimately, however, I did not mind the low attendance as I knew that even giving a presentation in front of a small audience was still giving me vital practice for the net event. I made some mistakes, created new strategies for presenting, and knew that what I had learned from giving such a lecture would serve me even better in the future.

After this I wound about the complex waiting for lunch to be over and for the final workshops to start. While at this point I was eager to go home, my workshop was done hence my reason for being here was bull and void, I still managed to sit still during the last workshop concerning corporate practices which led to the Occupy movement.

Finally the day ended. My ride and I hopped back in his car and headed back to our home town. The drive back down was more pleasant than the one up as we talked about how we had enjoyed the gathering and what we liked most. Immensely pleased about our train of thought we formally exchanged contact information and agreed that if either of us were planning anything in the future we should give each other a call; the beginning of any great social movement, after all, starts with the most humble origins.

Coming Out: The Inner War


Coming Out: The Inner War PDF Print Email



Well, my coming out story is quite convoluted and filled with a number of emotional twists and turns: read on and discover the war we all wage in our hearts, minds and souls!

It all started when I was 17 y/o. I was starting to think more about my sexual orientation and what my future was.This was during a strange time in my life where it was the summer vacation after my entrance into Adult Education (I had previously dropped out) and I wanted friends to hang out with.This is to say that I was incredibly lonely,and desperate for companionship of some-sort. However, this was before I had, or possessed any interest in, a facebook profile (the easiest way to reconnect with classmates from the past years). I didn’t really know where to go, or what to do, I had these feelings but that was it.Looking back on myself, I realize that I was in some deep, deep denial. While I never was disgusted with my feelings for guys, I still couldn’t honesty say that I was gay. During our younger years my brother would always tease me by saying that I was gay/homo because I didn’t ever have a girlfriend at anytime in my life, post puberty. I would always brush him off and not think much of it-he may have had girlfriends in elementary school, but I do not put much emphasis on relationships that young. After all, doesn’t real sexual attraction begin at 13? I was younger than him and as such did not think much of it. When puberty came, is when I would begin to have desires for women.

Well, puberty came and nothing changed. Perhaps I was distracted by all the erections and wet dreams, but I did not have any feeling for girls. Though I did, however, develop unknown feelings for guys. These feelings were mysterious and vague, as though it was an an occurrence that would come before the inevitable attraction to girls. I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t masturbate when I was young so self-discovery through that particular medium was unthinkable.

Years went by and I soon found myself at the tender age of 15 still thinking and wondering about when I was going to be attracted to girls. It’s funny, but I actually remember one time-in homeroom, at school-that I looked at a couple of my female classmates and thought, “When am I going to be desiring them?” If you’re laughing now, it simply means that you had a much easier time of it than me.

This great pit of denial even extended to when I did begin “touching myself” when I started jacking I was new to the experience and just kinda went as fast as I can, while thinking of the most erotic experience I could imagine.These thoughts were of course of guys doing stuff with others guys. It was actually pretty amazing; I was imagining two dudes giving each other oral sex and sometimes anal sex,and yet, still, I could not bring myself to think I was gay. To be fair I was no longer thinking about when I was going to start liking girls (so this would translate to me being in my “Questioning” stage”), but I still wouldn’t say that I was gay.

This period of my adolescence lasted for another year or so. An entire year of confused feelings and thoughts tricking my mind and leading me into places where I had no aid or help. I was alone and stranded.


Than, one day, I decided to get on the internet, and for some reason or another, I typed in the words “Gay Teen Support” and hit “search.” I didn’t know what I was looking for or what I wanted, but I possessed this overwhelming sensation that I should undertake this course of action.

My search lead me to here -Chadzboyz; a place where there where so many helpful things on homosexuality that I didn’t know what to read first.There were articles on figuring out whether or not a person was gay, pieces on safe sex and STD’s, Short stories centered around gay teens, gay news of a varied nature, wardrobe and fashion tips, and everything else you could possible imagine. In short I had discovered a gold mine of information.

I had always to some extent known I was gay, but nonetheless,when I was on Chadzboyz for the first time, it was like I was on a forbidden site; an area where I could suffer dire consequences if I was discovered. At the time, I wasn’t active on the forum here (a truly great place to interact with others) and did all my peering into the gay world through the main site -the homepage. During this time of isolation, my feelings were confused and weird. It felt as though when I was on Chadzboyz, or any website dedicated to the Queer world, that I was entering into a world that was mine, but that was foreign and alien; as though it was a realm which was awaiting my return. When visiting Chadzboyz I felt energized, I felt hyper, like one does when you are engaged in a activity which you have always wanted to do, but for whatever reason, could not perform. My time on chadz’ was akin to a time race-get on fast, and off even faster, for anyone could walk in and discover my history, see the material, and “out” me. It was akin to having butterflies in my stomach, only these butterflies were dangerous winged monsters capable of destroying my life.

Time went by, and I soon got myself an email address, the first thing I did was formally join the Chadzboyz forum.

It was amazing; the people, threads, discussions, and activity was like a beautiful dream. A dream where I could be with, and talk with other homosexuals, to know that I really wasn’t alone out there in the big old, homophobic world.

However, time on a forum could only do so much for me. While I did meet many wonderful individuals,I still lacked a certain sort of center, an identity of who I was and what the queer universe was about.

The second great milestone of mine came from the most unexpected of places: Youtube. If you do not already know there is a wealth of “Coming Out” videos posted up there, begging to be watched. Every video is different and stars a different-normal-teen talking about his/her coming out process. As I watched these video my sense of self grew. I began to get a feeling of the wider world. While chadzboyz was great, these videos were awesome! They gave me courage and inspired me to do something, to not stand on the sidelines and remain passive while so many others activity show who they are free from doubt. I watched video after video, perhaps dozens, and with every video a new sensation developed within the recesses of my belly. I had now grown accustomed to the singular truth that I was gay, for it slowly dawned on me through all the interactions that this was who I was. The sensation I speak about was, of course, the need to act-the desire to come out.

Why did I want to come out? This is a good question to ask not only me, but yourself.I remember hearing stories of how people would remain their entire life in their mental closet, never telling their family. They would satisfy their inner cravings for love by strolling the night bars/clubs, then once done they would return home and try their best to hide their true self. They would be in their 40’s,50’s,and 60’s without anyone knowing of their secret life-their homosexual life.

I didn’t want this life. Who would?

I wanted to be able to tell my family and friends about who I was dating, I wanted to openly talk about the latest news stories regarding gay people, to be able to bring home a Partner (more commonly referred to as a boyfriend) to my family and tell them about him-meet and have dinner. However, most importantly, I wanted to be able to be myself and not hide my true desires. I wanted a life free from elaborate lies and deception-I wanted truth.


Still,the big question remained-HOW!?

I didn’t know at first,so I brainstormed and thought and gathered up energy/bravery for a classical coming out surprise (AKA Kid:”Guess what? I’m Gay!” Parents: *Stare dumbfounded*), that so many before me had done. However, even while doing this, I knew that there had to be a better way, a method which didn’t involve me freaking out beyond my means to cope. I brainstormed and brainstormed.

While my mind performed Olympic level mental acrobatics, trying to figure out the best way to “spill the beans,” my need for freedom-for truth-took me to another less challenging arena: coming out to my best friend.

Chris had always been my number one buddy since we had met (…before him there was another boy,but we had a falling out). Following the first summer vacation after meeting in school,we spent literally,almost everyday hanging out.We played Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, watched Dragonball Z and other Anime shows, rode bikes and had plenty of sleep overs.Years later, when his parents divorced, I, on a regular basis, spent the weekend with him and his bother while they went to live with their mother. Needless to say, we had a tight relationship, one that I cherished.

So,naturally, when I knew I was gay, and was thinking of ways to come out, I knew that sooner or later I would have to tell Chris.There was only a slight stipulation, however, I hadn’t seen him for several years at this point.This was when I had dropped out, and was finishing up my High School education in the Adult Education system. I had to convey my thoughts through a medium which didn’t involve me travelling inane distances to tell him. I of course couldn’t simply wait, so I made the decision to tell him via text.

Luckily, he reacted well, and said that it was “unexpected,” but otherwise didn’t care. I was very happy that nothing would change between us. mmediately, when I thought about all the stress and anxiety that went into just sending that one little text, I couldn’t help but thinking,”Well,that was easier than I thought!” I made a mental note to myself that all I have to be is sure of myself, and things will be okay in the end.

Resuming on my other task of conjuring up new thoughts for how to come out in person, I returned my brain to more deep thinking. While brainstorming,my noggin popped out a good idea for my activity side (the side of my consciousness which demanded that I take action). This idea was soon to become my path to coming out, it was, if I do say so myself, bloody brilliant!

sup_co_symbol_lambdaThe answer laid in the most obvious of places: Laziness…of a kind, or the feeling of displaying something that those around you have no clue about.The solution to my need for “activity” was in my face,quite literally,the entire time-wear a T-shirt! I took hold of a plain white short sleeved shirt,grabbed a permanent ink marker,and drew in the middle of the front and the back the Lambda.No words or phrases-just a single obscure symbol that represented gay pride the world over! The symbol the legendary Gay Liberation Front adopted as their own during the civil rights movement.

I wore the shirt for a long time,maybe around a month or so,and to my surprise nobody asked any questions. Yet, even so, I was happy-I was wearing something that said to the world, “I am who I am,” and was proud even if they didn’t have the foggiest idea as to what the symbol meant. However,time would prove my original assumption of no one asking invalid, for soon the day came.

My mother asked the question: “What does that symbol mean anyway?”

How to respond? Should I be elusive and withhold the information? Make up something fake? Or, dare I, tell her truth-that she has a gay son? I choose the later!

I informed her that it was a gay pride symbol,I said…

ME: “Well,I guess that you’ll find out sooner or later,so I should tell you now. It’s called the Lambda-spelled L.A.M.B.D.A-and it is a gay pride symbol.”

MOTHER: “A gay pride…? Curtis,are you…gay?”

ME: “Yes, I am”

Then there was silence, and I continued cooking my spaghetti.But I knew that it wasn’t over-I still had more to do. My brother was up stairs playing a video game and I didn’t want mother telling him while they went to work-I had to tell him myself. So I quickly walked up stairs and said…

ME: “Did you hear me and mum’s conversation?”

BROTHER: “I might of,but I can’t remember.”

ME: “Well,we were talking about the symbol on my shirt, and that I am gay”

Silence.I  get up to walk out of the room; he probably needs time, like mother, to digest everything. But as I am at the door to leave, he says…”Well,I want to let you know that I don’t think any differently of you.”

This was a surprise. I hadn’t expected him to reject me or anything, but for him to say something so profound so quickly, was a curve-ball! I said “Thanks” and headed back down stairs to finish cooking my spaghetti.

I cooked my food, and began my famous process of piling the spaghetti sky-high-all of it in a single bowl! I had noticed that mother went into the living room,so after finishing making my mini leaning tower of Piza, I went in as well. To not only see if she had anything to say, but to also watch my than favorite TV show Cold Case. I watched the show, and eat up all my spaghetti and still no answer. Knowing that it was very near the time for her to head of to work, I reminded her of the homophobic tendencies of her co-worker and boss by saying, “Remember mum,your boss is a redneck, and your coworker is a religious zealot.” She nodded something in agreement and said something akin to “Yeah.”

Then they left for the next four hours for their shift. Not a single word had been said by my mother. Perhaps she just needed some time?

Their shift past,and they came home. As it turned out, this was one of the days when we were going grocery shopping. By now it was 7:00pm and I liked shopping at night, so I tagged along. It was only my brother and mother-father decided to remain home and sleep.

It was during this time of quiet unknown, that my mother decided to speak. She said how she would always love me no matter what I was, and that she just wanted me to be happy. She didn’t think any different of me, and she accepted me for who I was (in the following weeks, while we were alone on another car ride, she would actually share a story from her youth when she thought she might be a lesbian because she was always comparing herself to the other girls in her magazines. I said that I thought that as pretty normal behavior for young girls to do). So two down…one to go.

My father I didn’t tell myself. My mom had asked me if I wanted her to tell him for me, and I said that I did. I still remember when they were in bed and I overheard my mum telling him. It was vague and fuzzy, but I remember hearing my father’s sound of surprise, like a “huh” sound with an edge, as to connote disbelief. To this day me and my father have not formally talked about my sexuality, but our relationship hasn’t changed at all. I don’t mind if we don’t talk about it, I just find it a bit odd that he didn’t have anything to say. I knew that he took it rather hard though. When he was informed of “the News” the following night when we were at Wal-Mart, he was silent and acted a bit weird. You could tell that he was thinking and in a deep zone, an area reserved for serious issues, that demanded real attention. He accepts me, however, and that is fine.

Overall, my coming out battle was fairly easy going, especially when taken in comparison to the numerous tragedies that still occur on a daily basis the world over. I wasn’t rejected or ridiculed, I was not called names or disowned,or kicked out of the house. It was a period of incredible self-discovery and worry, that faded back into the background when events normalized. I have profound respect for those who underwent a traumatic coming out experience,and still are proud to be who they are, who can proudly say, “I am gay and I make no apologies!” Sometimes things go well,and sometimes they do not. Mine went well, but not everyone is as lucky. I would urge everyone who is not out to come out and bring forth the revolution, but not before you are ready. Take your time, and godspeed!

The Queer Project Report #4


To begin, let’s start with Rhode Island’s governor, Lincoln Chafee, signing into law an executive order which recognizes homosexual marriages performed in other states. The move, according to liberals, is more than merely a lip service as it allows state employees, and anyone covered with health insurance, to be entitled to life insurance benefits. Though this move is indeed some small measure of progress, the fact remains that this action comes after President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage thus making it more of a last ditch move to avoid legalizing actual gay marriage. What one would call compromise with the conservatives.

Moving onto the event that everyone has been talking about: Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage. Though it has barely been a week he has already come under both heavy fire and heavy praise. In reaction to his announcement the national hate group NOM (National Organization for Marriage) released a shabby anit-gay documentary chronicling the supposed horrors that gay marriage will have on children. Prasie came in the form of a list of thousands of signatures thanking the president.

Yet, for all the hype and supposed historical connotations this move has, no one seems to be aware, or at least willing to acknowledge, that this move is historical only so as far as it is a historic opportunist move; the elections will be coming up soon and Obama needs the gay vote (after all, he failed to deliver much on his first term, so now he needs to pull out the big guns for his next term). Beyond this it is simply a game of politics: to say Obama cares about the queer population is a lot like saying the bourgeoisie cares about the workers; they care insofar as they have to care to maintain their prestige.

Despite this “historic” event it did not stop the Colorado from, once again, killing the final effort to pass a Civil Unions bill. A revealing event: the president can endorse equality while doing nothing to help those states which are hard pressed to even pass partial equality bills. Surely were Obama the ally he claims to be he would be less inclined to allow the states to “do what they will” and more inclined to actively pressuring the reactionary territories to grant homosexuals what they deserve- equality.

Still, such a fight is difficult to do under a nation which, much like in my next story, has people, in this case a teacher, who is cruel that they believe they can humiliate and degrade youth.

Jared Swank, a high schooler in Hanover Pennsylvania, took a transgendered date to the prom. When dancing with his date he allowed a teacher to video record his romantic time undoubtedly under the impression that the educator would give him the tape afterwards as a keepsake; what would have been a touching event. Yet such isn’t what ended up happening. Rather than the teacher giving him the tape he would later find out that the tape had been used to humiliate him. He had discovered that the teacher had showed the recoding to her science class as a mockery.

When later asked by Eyewitness News about the event Jared recalled how he could only feel exploited.

“How To Attract Youth To Occupy”: A Workshop

This workshop is all about attracting young people, your peers, to the occupy movement. This task is vitally important. Without youth involvement any popular uprising is bound to fail; older generations often fail to understand this as they are too mired in the system. Yet for those in the trenches, building a strong youth movement is paramount precisely because with youth comes new dimensions of understanding.

All of you here today probably know this, or are beginning to understand this.  Your participation here is no small event; contrary to what less supportive individuals may have said, you being here mean you have a spark which surpasses those who are “politically challenged.” I cannot say I have all the answers to your struggle but I can help you build awareness among your friends.


          As I am sure all of you know no one thing can attract a person to any sort of event; there is no pan-political cause which will unite a divided mass. This is why you need to employ a wide range of techniques when you are out propagating. What responds to one person will not necessarily respond to another.

This was certainly true in my case. Some people were complaining about the need to destroy “big government” while others were arguing for more reformist approaches to solving the economic crisis. Appealing to a person’s political, and even idealistic convictions, is one manner an activist can go about attracting others to join the movement but is hardly useful among a crowd of mostly apolitical young people.

To seem even moderately in touch with such individuals you are going to have to employ tactful strategies. Ones which serve your immediate ends without alienating people; especially those who are scared stiff of any kind of activist work (however mild). This becomes even harder when dealing with alienated youth who are chained to parental and guardian figures. Yet, there are some methods that should help you in breaking the ice.


Be A Walking Billboard

          Proudly and vibrantly show off what you believe in. Wearing T-Shirts, and other clothes which displays your goals front and center will go a long way in attracting attention. Attracting attention is good since that means you are making an impact. Though you might seem a bit eccentric this air of uniqueness will give you opportunities to make contact. Making contact can be done quickly; just a passerby in the school hallways, or on the street is all it takes for the onlooker to ask a question about your choice of political clothing.

This has worked well for me on numerous occasions. First, at occupy Augusta, when I wore my Che Guevara shirt and then a second time when I was walking to the capital.

The first time, at occupy, was the typical reactions: someone sees something that gives them an emotional reaction, in this case the visage of the legendary communist guerrilla fighter, and they wish to uptake that person in political discussion. During such time you will have invaluable moments to argue decisively for your cause. Because of this you might want to think beforehand what you line of discussion will be in regards to what image you are associating yourself with.

The second time, when I was walking to the capital, I was wearing a Code: Pink “Bring Our War Dollars Home” T-shirt. While out near the walking trail I was pleasantly surprised when someone shouted at me “Asshole!” Obviously a moment like this isn’t ideal but it does illustrate the power of symbolic images.

So as long as you wear something-anything-political and keep it on sight within others, chances are sooner or later a person will stop and comment. During this space, when you are engaging them in conversation, you will have your opening. During this opening you will have your opportunity to debate, but more importantly, you will have your chance to recruit your peers to the occupy movement.


Demagoguery Guidelines

          Effectively engaging others in political conversation is a delicate matter. While anyone can simply speak, and speaking is still better than silence, to be ‘above average’ will get you more places than the typical talk. Because of this there are some basic guidelines which you should be aware of.

First is speaking with confidence. When speaking about a controversial subject it never pays off to appear uncertain or hesitant. An old fashioned public speaking trick which I remember is that even if you are unsure of the exact details, even if you are advocating for a unpopular stance, always use clear, decisive language.

This means getting rid of all the “Umms, eh, ah, and moderate ‘well, it wasn’t perfect but it was still good.’ Any pauses which indicate you have to think of a rebuttal or what to say next means a crack has appeared in your confidence wall. Maintaining a high level of confidence is important because it means that those you are trying to sway will be more likely to listen, in full, to your argument. It won’t guarantee people will take up your cause but it does give you legitimacy to who you are as a social activist; it differentiates you from the ego-mass that is American culture and gives you just a shed of power many other activists do not possess

The occasional smile and joke helps as well, though never sacrifice quality for content. The objective here is to seem versed enough in your area of proficiency, which you already should be, to not only answer every question the others have, with an air of confidence, but also while relating it to current events without a second thought as to how and make it appealing to those who have no deep understanding of your cause.


The goal of all this verbal intercourse is to convince someone, or some group, of the need to endorse an issue. More specifically, however, it is to bring them into the Occupy Movement. Bringing people into a movement takes more than simply being a smooth talker though: you do have to have an idea that rallies them to your banner (Occupy).

Dealing with your alienated peers brings in a host of new problems since many of them probably have never dealt with anything political before in their lives (satire from popular shows not withstanding). So, in order to reach said youth you have to speak with confidence, yes, but before you can speak you must have an idea: an idea that relates to them on a fundamental level; such an issue needs to be personal and striking for otherwise they will not be moved enough to participate.

You have to have, in other words, a tailor made cause to each group you are targeting: in this case youth. An effective strategy is appeal to minors’ inability to live alone, to vote, and to drink. Also be sure to include the bias against teen drivers (as many insurance companies discriminate against adults who have a teen driver by raising their premiums).

These issues apply to the whole spectrum of young people regardless of political affiliation, identity or religious beliefs. Yet, this alone will not bring in young people when many are not immediately interested in such causes. Many youth need a more direct reason to attend Occupy. A reason which relates to them on a fundamental level.

To illustrate I will go into detail.


Oppressed Peoples

  As in any capitalist society (The United States, China, Uganda, Colombia, etc), the ruling class, usually being composes of conservatives, impose White, Christian, heteronormality on the populace through their propaganda outlets (Newspapers, Movies, Television, video games, books and so forth). They do this to divide the working population and redirect energy, which would normally be directed at them, into minorities which pose them no danger.

This is important to remember not only because it is a fact of life but because the bigotry directed towards these repressed social groups manifest themselves as overt discrimination.


Queer Youth (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender):

If you are a Queer person in the United States, Queer meaning non-straight, or heterosexual, than you may find life to be more hazardous than it is for your non-Queer counterparts. Because homosexuals are, in many states, not allowed to Marry, are not afforded protection from discrimination at the workplace or while at school, and are still commonly disowned and killed by their community, it is vital to recognize that the status of the Queer Liberation movement is still In flux.

Queer youth know how society treats them. As you might have guessed, they hate it. They are looking for a path to freedom. If you know your stuff than this provides an excellent opportunity for you to go into the Gay-Straight Alliances at your local schools and colleges to present your thesis for participation in the Occupy Movement.

Relate the Queer liberation movement to the occupy movement. Find connections among the actions which back up your points and push home the point that Queer liberation can be achieved if enough Queer activists join the local occupy movement. Progressive ideas, such as Queer Liberation, can only be started if there are people willing to talk and debate. Inform them that there are plenty of people to debate with and spread ideas with if they attend occupy.


Oppressed Nationalities (Black, Latino, Asian and Arab):

Part of living in America means grappling with our extensive history of White Supremacy. While it is fortunate that we no longer live in a time where the Ku Klux Klan has a membership of 40million we still, nonetheless, live in an age of unparalled inequalities. In a recent report, the ACLU reported that Hate groups in America have risen by over 60% in the last few years; that is an annual clime of several points every year since 2001.

Adding to this climate of extreme hate is the rabid Islamophobia gripping society. The wake of the 9/11 attacks brought not only years of interminable warfare in the Middle East, and a breath taking expansion of the military industrial complex, but also heightened bigotries and paranoia.

In a moment very reminiscent of the anti-communist Cold War hysteria a great deal of modern American society earnestly believes that Muslims have a concentrated effort to “Take over” America. While such is, of course, the delusions of mad men it has a great impact on innocent citizens who try their best to etch out a living for their family.

Due to this climate, activists of all strips should actively be engaging the Muslim/ Arab community. It is not an exaggeration to say that a great percentage of Muslims do not believe they have allies. Under such circumstances it is not only practical, but humane, to petition this section of society to join the Occupy movement. Much like the Queer population, the Muslim/ Arab minority is also seeking freedom.

A skilled activist should be able to quickly link the overseas wars to Arab/Muslim liberation (AML).  As members of the ethnic group currently being persecuted by U.S imperialism Arabs and Muslims have a vested interest in stopping assaults on their countrymen. Appeal to their desire to live as equals’ unpersecuted and to the fact that an end to the wars would mean a reprieve to local persecution.

Such is said of Black, Latino, and Asian individuals. African-Americans have never been truly free in this country; so great as been their oppression that even the much lauded civil rights movement only challenged the visibility of racism, not the actual entrenchment of it. Asians have, ever since the opening of the Cold War, been associated with Marxist principals and, as such, treated as traitors. Latinos, though also contributing much to the fabric of American society, have been forsworn as a “lesser race” by many neo-conservatives.

With such a monumental amount of racial hate it is remarkable to organize proper equality demonstrations. Yet, with the emergence of Occupy, a platform of pre-made equality has been already organized. All you, the activist, have to do is connect progressive race politics with the very real racist superstructure and you will have a great source of recruits ready to attend with you and hand out materials and debate people.

In dealing with young oppressed nationalities it is vital to hit home the fact that without activism, and the need for elimination of Neo-Fascism, they will not be able to live safely. Extremist currents run deep in American society and can seize power at any moment. Linking employment discrimination to the current recession will be a relatable step that can attract minority youth to a great movement.


Political Ideologies

Now, chances are if you have friends who are politicized and uphold a certain set of ideals they are already going to be at Occupy but sometimes, for whatever reasons, they are not. So your job becomes getting them to occupy.

American media has a way of alienating people from activism. With an overwhelming emphasis on the two conventional parties (democrat and republican) many individuals who hold onto a third party position feel apathetic to become active. This is because the media only ever reports on those groups which empower their interests while many other smaller ideologies become obscured. While this happens the only glimpse the general public has to third parties is when they mess up and something happens. This leads to alienation and restrains people from becoming active as alienation is, by definition, the lack of consciousness.

One manner of forcing these people out into the open of activity is to appeal to their romanticized nature of the world. Being young they are more than likely prone to falling for excited and overblown language. Because of this it never hurts to make your event-Occupy-far more extravagant than it may actually be. Though Occupy is a movement and not a revolution, the alienated youth of America will not be able to discern the difference. Since such kids are going to be attracted to the idea of revolution, of changing the world, label occupy as such and fill your words with enthusiasm. They will need such youthful idealism in order to have the resolve to spend days at a time in constant debate mode with individuals whom they have never before met.


Organize, Educate, and Agitate

…should be your battle cry. When heading out into the universities, high schools, and other institutions of learning you might be shocked at the general levels of apathy (though if you yourself attend the institution you will probably be used to it).  Because the Ruling Class has used all their efforts and resources to ensure that only their voice is heard you will find that organizing will be challenging, especially when it is organizing for a countercultural occurrence such as Occupy.  For this you may have to adopt some preliminary tactics before hordes of your peers count themselves as occupiers.



Once you have set foot within your chosen place of struggle, the location in which you will recruit for the movement, initiate your education campaign immediately. Create and copy some fliers. These fliers do not have to be professionally made; just whatever you can make by your own hand. If you have sympathetic artistic friends that can create a well-rounded flier, than all the better (if you lack artistic friends consider asking around the art clubs first). The point is that your flier should convey a message centered on an eye catching design.  Once you have your flier designed go to the nearest library, print store or office and copy an additional 25, 50, or 100 or however much you need for your campaign. When copying, and pending on your flier, consider splurging for color if you have the resources black and white means you are serious, but color means you are dedicated.  You will need an amount enough to cover your place in its high traffic areas.

Take your fliers and plaster them around your location’s high traffic areas (gymnasium, cafeteria, restrooms, hallways, etc). Talk to your classmates about the movement and educate at every turn. When people see your flier you might have many individuals come up to your and ask what this event is about. You can talk to them there but you can also invite them to another popular tactic: the study session.

Since you are in a place of learning, and since many youths are turned off by the word “study” consider changing the name to Occupy 101. Anyways, the “study session” is a short gathering in which you lecture the attendees on the basics of the Occupy movement; history, tactics, goals and so forth will all be points to cover. Undertaking such an effort is something you would do with the hope that your brief question and answer session will be enough to convince your attendees on the importance of occupy.

To host such a meeting try and finding a sympathetic teacher for a room or if all else fails host it at your own house. While a school room is most preferable any location will do. Try and spurge for basic snacks so as to have a snack table: the purpose here, the snack table, isn’t to feed people but to have an innocent looking area to place an information sheet; or, a place to place a sheet where those who choose can leave their name, email address and cell phone number. The more contacts you have, the better.



Organizing your gathered support can either be a sloppy mess of contacts, names, and phone numbers, or you can centralize everything by having a facebook event. With a Facebook event you will have the cyber space covered and have a convenient place to socialize with your contacts.

When making a Facebook page for your event, whether it is the date when you and your gathered group are going to head down to occupy or just an everyday activist action, it is important to remember that you can only do so much: create the event, fill the page with as much information and pictures as you think will attract people, and then go onto plastering your event all over your most frequented local pages. After that, you need to realize that what will happen, will happen.

If you have a low attendance for your event, do not worry. Many people who might attend will not bother in updating their status to you event. On top of this those people who attend might bring families, friends and relatives, so even if you have only a handful of people saying they will attend so as long as those people bring several others your event will be a success.

Ultimately, however, even if a few people came you still must be unperturbed and maintain a high level of energy. Grassroots activism, especially when you are first beginning organizing, isn’t about drawing hundreds of people every time you have an action; it is, however, about making connections ,one at a time, and building communities of struggle.



Anyone who says that Agitating isn’t fun doesn’t have the soul of a troublemaker. For that is exactly what agitating is: troublemaking which benefits your cause. Agitating is not talking and debating, it is both hardcore, shameless really, advertising, as well as solo actions which stir up people’s emotions and incentive to get politically active.

Agitating is when you spread a message to assembled groups in a professional manner. Sometimes this message may not be appropriate for the event; hence the troublemaker label, but such trivialities will not concern a dedicated revolutionary/political activist. Every turn and opportunity you have to lecture masses on your program is a victory in the long run. Use any such exposure to advertise your event and connected affiliates- I.E your Facebook page and any other such online homes.

Solo actions are not large or even organized events, rather, they are individual excursions you take at your own risk to heighten the public awareness of your event. That being said there is no base guideline for what constitutes an agitation, as the term means different things to different people. This is something you will have to decide for yourself. Leafleting, public preaching ( standing on a corner and mindlessly speaking), and speaking at rallies are all examples of agitation yet by far the most effective forms are when you go in to areas where your peers congregate.

Back in East Germany, within the German Democratic Republic, professional agitators within the Socialist Unity Party, would routinely walk into factories, farms, and other places of production and preach revolutionary doctrine. While you, as a young person unconnected with the Working class, I would not recommend brazenly walking into a factory and begin to preach about your cause. Yet such isn’t what is being advocated. You must find your youth equivalent of factories; skateboard parks, schools, libraries, game and hobby shops, boys and Girls clubs, video arcades, where such still exist; are all potential places of recruitment.

Agitating in such areas you will have to be cleaver and use language, tactics, and ploys that resonate with your audience. In other words, it would be a poor choice to go into any of these areas and immediately start talking about Occupy. Your mission as an agitator isn’t to be a preacher: it is to connect with others and stir up some energy. Ease your way into conversations and gradually work towards the goal of political works; align your message during a segment of talk which connects with something close to them. A skilled agitator will be able to steer the conversation into such realms without it being obvious.


Well, such is the inside trade on attracting your friends and other young people to the Occupy movement. Use what you have learned here well

The Queer Project Report #3


Earlier this week North Carolina finally passed its revolting “Amendment 1” which has outlawed all homosexual marriages. The bill passed 58-42% and despite the fact that after the ballots were counted many North Carolinians expressed that they didn’t even know what tehy were exactly voting for, the bill will still pass to be law. Such a travesty is only the latest in a string of defeats this week as soon after word spread that the Colorado Civil Unions bill was filibustered by the GOP. This shameful act was preceded by word that another teen, Ryan Nash (15) committed suicide.

Obviously it has been a depressing week for the Queer community. With the only bright spot being Harry Reid’s announcement that the Democrats might soon begin to consider repealing the defense of marriage act, many activists have pushed forward with the endless organizing required to back such a task; in North Carolina activists took to the streets to begin their efforts to repeal Amendment 1 while back in Colorado a special session house session was called to try and revitalize a new effort to bring back the Civil Union bill.

To many outside of the queer community these events would seem troubling. Yet, when one understands that the history of Queer Liberation is written via such gains and setbacks, one realizes that the only way forward is through resistance by any means necessary. The founders of the early Gay Liberation Front knew this and so they embraced radical socialist doctrine; the first leaders of the Mattachine Society were communists as would be many other strugglers. It is through these ideologies that brought about the change we see today but it is also the reason why the Ruling Class is currently attempting to strangle the movement by any means it can.

Such efforts didn’t work in the 40’s and it won’t work today. I have faith that today’s youth, though terribly oppressed by bullying, have the capacity to overthrow their passivity and engage their obvious class foes with a revolutionary tenacity unseen for decades. For this will be the end result of such oppression, as history as shown, when people are enslaved revolution becomes a moral authority.

The Queer Project Report #2

Let’s first begin with the trial of CeCeMcDonald. Last we left off I had explained some about her situation: how she was attacked late one night by four white assailants and by the end of the night two of them lay dead. Well, though only a week has passed quite a lot has happened. During her trial CeCe plead guilty to a reduced manslaughter charge; a sentence which will carry an incarceration time of 41 months in prison.

Reasons of which CeCe accepted the plea deal are rather obvious to see: bigotry. With a court of her so-called peers obviously unpleasant to her situation (the judge here, in an incredulous statement, ruled that CeCe’s attacker’s Swastika tattoo was not a sign of his transphobia while nor was his several prior convictions of violent assault; the judge ruled this while also stating that CeCe’s supporters could not wear “Support CeCe” shirts while in court), and none of them, to my knowledge, being Transgender themselves, many people would have done the same as CeCe when faed with a potentially much heavier sentence.

Under bourgeois democracy this is what humanity has been reduced to: pleading for mercy after nearly being murdered by fascists. Queer people of color are safe nowhere. This is not only present in CeCe’s case but also in the case of Brandy Martell. Brandy, who was a Transwomen, was found shot to death early last Sunday morning. Investigators managed to piece together that Brandy’s attackers assaulted her once they discovered she was Transgender.

So it appears that the theme lately has been race; that pointless societal construct built out of economic plunder. It not only has been race but it has been how said construct factors into oppressed communities. Well, here is another story that will boil some blood.

One might have heard of the North Carolina struggle over Gay Unions, how the conservative monsters are attempting to do away with any trace of partial equality. Well, recently it has been revealed, by his own wife no less, that NC Amendment 1 was drafted by Peter Brunstetter in order to “protect the Caucasian race.” A splendid show of how White Supremacy fits into anti-gay nuclearism. Only in the twisted minds of these ultra-nationalists could homosexual civil unions threaten heterosexual procreation.

Speaking of procreation, on April 27th GOP member Sandy Adams introduced an alternative bill, HR 4790, of the “Violence against Women Act.” What is different about this bill? Well, it is largely the same as its processor except for that it leaves out protection for Queer couples. Wonderful, right? What do you do when those pesky women get their way? Well you draft a bill in which you take a potshot at queer people, that’s what!

As usual the end result of all this hatred is death. This week was no different, unfortunately. For earlier this week, Gay Northern Utah teen Jack Reece took his life. Queer organizers in the state have called it a tragedy but remain sober as, in their own words, “This happens at least once a week.”

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