Bulletin N°504


20 October 2011
Grenoble, France
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
In this early stage of revolutionary movement, future paths are entirely uncharted. Nobody is in possession of the proverbial crystal ball. The lines of class struggle appear to be fairly clearly drawn, and the "divide-and-rule" tactics of the ruling class seem to be significantly weakened in light of the monstrous problems facing most of us. I've taken down from my book shelfs the classic copies of Kropotkin, Soboul, and Richard Cobb on the French Revolution. Certainly history does not repeat itself, but this does not mean that we are unable to learn from the past --not to repeat past mistakes.

Peter Kropotkin offers good descriptions of the subtle co-optation of revolutionary principles by the counter-revolution, Albert Soboul gives a classic scenario of the evolutions and devolutions of revolutionary consciousness, and Richard Cobb offers a careful account of the changing role of the police during revolutionary social change. All three historians have much to offer.

The 7 items below capture the electric atmosphere and individual commitments of our times, which are a-changin' . . . .

Item A. is a video clip taken at Washington Square showing 21st-century democracy in action and sent by Francis Feeley to colleagues teaching English at institutions of higher education in Europe [Société des Anglicistes de L'Enseignement Supérieur].

Item B., from The Real News, is a video of Reverend Billy October 17 protest in front of The Bank of America.

Item C. is a proposal from OccupyTogether in support of The Robin Hood Tax.

Item D., from the If Americans Knew Organization, is an update on Israeli/US aggressions against the Palestinian people.

Item E., from Rebecca Vilkomerson at Jewish Voice for Peace is a protest registered against Israel for its attack on democracy.

Item F., from UCSD Professor Fred Lonidier, is the notification of today's movement activities (October 20) in Southern California : Occupy Higher Education at UCSD Thursday October 20 noon.

Item G., from Byron Morton, is excerpts from a photo essay on The Occupy San Diego Movement (10 OPctober 2011).

And finally, from the inimitable John Gerassi, a reminder of what we are all up against in these last days of Monopoly Capitalism.

Wanna learn why our economy stinks? Read a real oldy from Calvin and Hobbes

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Université de Grenoble 3
Director of Research
Université de Paris 10

from Francis Feeley :
Date: 20 & 21 October 2011
Subject: [SAES] 21st-century democracy in the making at Washington Square?

Dear Colleagues,
Below is a home video documenting "21st-century democracy in the
making" at a recent meeting of an OWS group in Washington Square, NYC.
This film might offer some of us insights into another American political tradition.

Also, for a contemporary history of political process within American social movements,
see Adrew Cornell's carefully researched history, Oppose and Propose! Lessons from
Movement for a New Society

Francis Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Université de Grenoble-3
Director of Research
Université de Paris-10



on 21 October 2011

Subject: [SAES] Some of the contradictions --both logical and material-- that Americans are living and seeing during the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Dear Colleagues,
In the classic documentary film on the life and politics of linguist Noam Chomsky,
made by film maker Mark Achbar and entitled Manufacturing Consent (1992),
Chomsky observes that: "since the 1960s, US institutions have not changed,
but movements have had an influence on American culture." The private profit
motive is certainly alive and well, and continues to overcome barriers both left
and right, while the "cultural revolution" of the 60s has been largely co-opted by
a new intensity of consumerism, as is well documented in parts 3 & 4 of Adam
Curtis' film documentary, The Century of the Self.

The burning question today is will the present social movement in the US and
elsewhere, which continues to grow, influence institutional changes in the US
political economy, or will we see only more superficial cultural change --plus ça change,
plus c'est la même chose
? No one knows the answer, but we do know that today's
OWS movement represents many logical, and also material, contradictions.

For your information, here are only a few:

1) We see Madison Avenue mercantile capital striking out against
finance capital in this short Video at OWS :
"Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street"

2) In another short video we find two secular religions at dagger points :
"Reverend Billy, from the Church of Earthalujah, Delivers Sermon at Bank of America"

3) Then there is US military discipline vs. NYPD discipline, as shown in this
short video :
"Marine confronts police at OWS"


4) Contradictions in the US political elites' attempts to defend US corporate interests
at home and abroad, is the subject of this video :
"The Most Powerful #OccupyWallStreet Clip You Will See This Month"

Francis Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Université de Grenoble-3
Director of Research
Université de Paris-10

from The Real News :
Date: October 17, 2011
Subject: Reverend Billy at the Bank of America Protest on Wall Street.

Reverend Billy, from the Church of Earthalujah, Delivers Sermon at Bank of America

from Occupy Together :
Date: 20 October 2011
Subject: The Robin Hood Tax.

   This is a proposal for the general assemblies of the Occupy movement.
   Eight years ago, on February 15, 2003, upwards of 15 million people in sixty countries marched together to stop President Bush from invading Iraq … a huge chunk of humanity lived for one day without dead time and glimpsed the power of a united people’s movement. Now we have an opportunity to repeat that performance on an even larger scale.
   On October 29, on the eve of the G20 Leaders Summit in France, let’s the people of the world rise up and demand that our G20 leaders immediately impose a 1% #ROBINHOOD tax on all financial transactions and currency trades. Let’s send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3-trillion easy money that’s sloshing around the global casino each day – enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world.
Take this idea to your local general assembly and join your comrades in the streets on October 29.

From "If Americans Knew" <contact@ifamericansknew.org> :
Date: 19 October 2011
Subject: Alison Weir speaking in Davis, CA, October 27th.

Trouble viewing this email? Read it online
Israeli violence

Dear Friends,

We are writing to let you know about an upcoming event featuring our Executive Director, Alison Weir. If you or anyone you know lives in the area, please spread the word and bring friends, relatives, neighbors or colleagues. This is an excellent opportunity to inform people who are new to the issue, skeptical or uninformed.

Date: Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011

Time: 7-8:30 pm

Location: Davis Library
315 E. 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616
Library: (530) 757-5593

Description: "The UN & Palestine: What's Really Going on?"
Alison Weir will discuss the current Palestinian bid for UN membership, the Obama administration's attempts to derail it, and little-known aspects of the original 1947 UN action on the region.

(We realize that many of you may have no connection to this area, but we have included all of you so that we don’t miss any who do have such connections – or even who may be planning to travel to that area. Thanks for your understanding.)

Thank you for your support and your commitment to peace and justice.

If Americans Knew
Mailing Address:
3020 El Cerrito Plaza #157
El Cerrito, CA 94530
Phone: 202-631-4060

Please check out our Quick Links below :

Tips for Organizing Events

Educational Materials

Work for Justice

Our Mission

Like us on




from Rebecca Vilkomerson :
Date: 20 October 2011
Subject: What, what, what are they so afraid of ?

Dear Francis,
Maybe you know Cecilie Surasky, "Jewish Voice for Peace" Deputy Director. She's smart and tireless, passionate and committed. And, without a doubt, she is one of my heroes.

Turns out, I'm far from the only one that thinks so. A young rabbinical student and member of JVP's Rabbinical Council nominated Cecilie for the Jewish Federations' Community Heroes Award. We knew what nominating someone like Cecilie means for our movement: recognition of the many many Jews, young and old, who support equality, democracy and human rights for Palestinians and Israelis.

We let folks know about Cecilie's nomination on Twitter and on Facebook, just like the competition organizers suggested.  And Cecilie was steadily running in 9th or 10th place in the voting among thousands of nominees. We couldn't have been more proud­or more excited about her moving on to the semi-finals as part of the Top 10.

And then...suddenly...she was gone. In what can only be considered an act of fear and discrimination, the Jewish Federations of North America removed her nomination.

I wish I could say I was surprised. But, sadly, I'm not. This is what happens when you speak the truth with and for the hundreds of thousands Jews and friends in this country and beyond­those of us who are not represented by the large Jewish institutions, the self-appointed spokespeople­and, apparently, gatekeepers­of who belongs in the Jewish community.

It's certainly not the most important issue we're dealing with. But it is so indicative of the attempt to engineer what is acceptable to talk about, think about, and care about in the Jewish community that we just can't take it sitting down.

Standing up is what we do. It's what Cecilie does, it's why she was nominated, and why she was winning.

Will you join us? Please, add your name to our letter to the Jewish Federations of North America. Tell them that even if they try to silence us, they will not succeed.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS. Check out what Cecilie herself wrote about her deleted nomination:
"Getting banished by the Jewish Federation on Yom Kippur."

From Fred Lonidier :
Date: 19 October 2011
Subject: Occupy Higher Education at UCSD Thursday October 20 noon (planning).

Dear All,
Thanks to everyone for helping spread the word and planning to show up at the rally and assembly on Library walk on Thursday October 20 at noon. For those that want to help RUN the rally and assembly, we are meeting as a group at the library walk location at 5:30 on Wednesday to make a final plan and preparations (with respect to handouts, etc.).

The primary purpose of the rally and assembly is to raise awareness about Occupy San Diego and the Occupy Wall Street movement. The heart of the process is the People's Assembly (being used to organize the committees and General Assembly of Occupy San Diego and Occupy Wall Street). But we will have a lot of work to do to raise student awareness about both these issues and the process being developed to address them, in a very short demonstration. Here is a provisional idea for the program:

0. Mic check. (promptly at noon) Description of the following agenda:
1. Factual description of the origin of the OWS and OSD movements (in connection with Egypt, Spain, Greece), including a timeline up to the present. Brief questions. (5-10 mins)
2. Factual description of the list of grievances of the OWS movement, recently endorsed by the GA of OSD. Brief questions. (5-10 mins)
3. Factual description of the People's Assembly process, and consensus-building as it originated in Spain, is being used in OWS and OSD. Factual description of handsignals being used at OSD GA. Brief questions. (5-10 minutes)
4. Model of the process, an attempt to achieve consensus on expressing support for the OWS and OSD movements. (5-10 minutes)
5. Open Agenda, stack, etc. E.g. Motions to meet again as a group (or not), to set up local committees (or not), to adjourn. (15-? minutes)

Because I organized the overall event, I have assumed the role of moderator, and so will take charge of items #0 and #3. I will also plan to moderate #5, with the help of stack-keepers, time keepers, etc.

But we need people to volunteer for items #1, #2, #4, and for the non-moderator roles of #5.

If you are willing to take charge of this section (and so to prepare a handout if necessary, speak before the crowd, and take questions) please respond to this email and show up to the meeting on Wednesday at 5:30pm. More than one person can do items #1-5.

Also let us know if you are interested in doing so, but cannot make the Wednesday at 5:30 meeting.

In solidarity and with thanks,
Monte Ransome Johnson

from Byron Morton :
Date: 10 October 2011
Subject: The Occupy San Diego movement.

Occupy San Diego

Occupy San Diego.5

Occupy San Diego.1