Personal reflections on Occupy:
By this point, so much has been written on the Occupy happenings that I hesitate to speak at length on these subjects if only because I see some risk of adding nothing new to an already extensive conversation. However, to attempt: my view would see Occupy protests essentially as militant encampments practicing diverse (usually “non-violent”) insurrectionist tactics, foremost among those something which can be described as “aggressive vagrancy”, this designed to wear down and cut at capitalism through attacks against and defiance of its main pillars: state authority embodied in police forces along with conceptual notions around property itself and how the social rights of those who do not have property should be understood.
The Occupy movement represented the foremost organization of the underclass into a direct social assault front against the bourgeoisie and capitalist state to this point, and for all of its severe flaws probably represents the most important opening of political discourse in decades; Occupy amounted to the inflection point of renewed inertia in the direction toward anti-capitalist revolution in the United States. The especially militant character of Occupy Oakland in context of that city’s history of political organization — particularly the theories of Huey Newton on the determining role of the lumpenproletariat class in overthrowing capitalism — should be noted. Infiltration and brutal destruction of Occupy by the US police state should be understood in terms of its actual significance: capitalist leaders quickly perceived Occupy to be a legitimate threat to their power if allowed to continue. Occupy Austin, where I found myself involved (often in context of the reading group, although I also camped on the steps of Austin city hall for many nights), was of course famously infiltrated by police agents who entrapped demonstrators into committing “felonies.”
My own arrest related to Occupy came in a “trespassing” protest against the structural fascism and social violence embodied in the University of Texas system.
In terms of the actual participation in Occupy by people described as “homeless”, this would appear to be the most direct form I’ve seen of the abused underclass of the United States organizing itself into a form actually at all effectively attacking the repression against it; open defiance of municipal regulations which serve to oppress the homeless being undertaken by the homeless themselves would seem to amount to advanced insurrection. Describing Occupy as “militant homeless riots” would not be unfair and in these terms it represents at least as important of an insurrection in US history as the Stonewall riots; the Stonewall riots themselves should also be reinterpreted in their economic significance — the Stonewall riot was waged by homeless sex workers (approximately the most marginalized element of the entire underclass) fighting directly against police violence that had targeted them hyper-specifically, and had almost nothing to do with the bourgeois “gay rights” movement, or bourgeois “gay community” in Greenwich village, which co-opted the political energy around the riot to pursue its own murky and often reactionary agenda. (As a “homeless riot”, Occupy should be seen as the most clear and direct structural successor to Stonewall.)