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June 28, 2017

Archives:

14 Year Old Child Bride Facing Death Penalty for Murdering Husband -

Saturday, November 29, 2014

BREAKING: New Coal Disaster In West Virginia -

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

U.S. Hostage Freed by Colombia’s FARC Rebels (Video) -

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here’s Why The Zimmerman Verdict Matters -

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BREAKING! UK Government Spied On Allies At TWO G20 Summits (Video) -

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Swiss Support Tougher Asylum Legislation as Refugee Numbers Spike -

Monday, June 10, 2013

American Woman Killed in Syria Fighting for Terrorists, Syrian TV Claims (Video) -

Friday, May 31, 2013

CO2 in the Air Reached its Highest Level in Human History -

Friday, May 10, 2013

Terms of the New Abortion Bill Agreed by Irish Cabinet -

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston In Lockdown As Manhunt Intensifies -

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Dead, Dozens Injured After Boston Marathon Bombing -

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fast Food Workers in New York Stage Surprise Strike -

Saturday, April 6, 2013

N. Korean Rhetoric Provokes Missile Shield Deployment -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts from Meiktila Massacre -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sudan to Free All Political Prisoners -

Monday, April 1, 2013

A New Free Press In Burma Juxtaposed With Genocide: The World Will Be Watching -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pressure Builds to End Ethnic Violence in Myanmar -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Activists Demand Action As Further Genocide Looms -

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cyprus Reaches Last-Minute Bailout Deal With EU -

Monday, March 25, 2013

Myanmar Muslims Brace for Possible Genocide -

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Occupy Convergence: The New Face of Activism?

“Occupy has had to do a lot of soul searching…”

That was the response by Occupy New Hampshire organizer Ryan Glen Hirsch, when asked about where the Occupy Wall Street movement is and how it has evolved since its hay-day in 2011. I met with Ryan in Manchester on Tuesday, to discuss the upcoming “Occupy New England (ONE) Regional Convergence (no acronym necessary)” event, scheduled to take place at the end of the month.

As I readied my materials to take notes on the conversation, a packet of small black and white leaflets is slid across the table towards me. Along the top the headline read “New England Power Convergence,” with circular badges denoting Occupy New England and their affiliated groups.

Logos for various political and social activist groups populated the lower corner, with the words “Activism Academy, Environmental March, Solarfest Music Festival” printed boldly beside them. I thumb through the stack, before fitting one into the back of my notebook.

Sitting in a smokey social club, discussing politics and revolution with this now veteran social justice activist, the whole affair felt much like what one might imagine the old days of speak-easy underground politics and radicalism might have been like. This, but for the LCD TV airing a Red Sox showdown against the New York Yankees in ultra high definition and the absence of any imminent police bust-up.

Hirsch, 29, works as an IT specialist with a shipping company in Nashua. But for the past three years, he’s taken on another role as a senior organizer with the Occupy New Hampshire (ONH) movement, as well as becoming a Steering Committee Member with the NH Green Party. In 2011, Hirsch made headlines for delivering a “mic check” to President Obama during an event in Manchester, as part of ONH’s “Occupy the Primary” campaign.

But since the end to urban encampments and regular confrontations with police, Hirsch explained  that the Occupy movement has been forced to change its stripes in many ways. Focusing largely on more local and regional issues, much of the modern Occupy movement exists as an activist network, with factions and issue groups, collaborating and organizing online to plan demonstrations and other actions.

Following Hurricane Sandy, Occupy New Hampshire and other Occupy factions, lead by activists from New York and New Jersey, came together to form “Occupy Sandy,” a relief effort to make up for and highlight what the state and federal governments lacked in terms of response to the disaster.

In an effort to build upon and to feed the relief effort, which is still ongoing, as well as in the hopes of revitalizing the populist grassroots movement, Hirsh and others throughout New England have come together to organize the “Convergence.” A three day intensive activist summit which is scheduled to begin on April 26th and run through the 28th. The convergence will play host to a myriad of regional and nationally recognized activist groups, including:

The event is scheduled to coincide with the University of New Hampshire’s “SolarFest,” which for the first time will host regional activist groups in promotion of progressive causes.

With the first day designated for a meet-and-greet, including a pot-luck dinner, hopes are high that the networking opportunities afforded to activists will prove fruitful. Amongst the fare, in a curious and somewhat poignant donation, “Me and Ollie’s” bakery has agreed to provide day old bread to accompany other donations which are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The second day will primarily focus on teach-ins, during which experienced activists will host classes on modern activism, ranging from unionism to electoral issue advocacy. On the third, in addition the Solarfest activities, a ceremonial dance exhibition is planned by Idle No More, which will either follow or prelude a march and litter pickup in downtown Portsmouth.

These actions and coalitions come about as the new face of the Occupy movement begins to emerge. Within the Occupy’s ranks, many who had previously dedicated themselves to organizing full time, have since stepped back and taken on more general coordination and coalition building efforts. When asked why the need for the change in strategy and organizing, Hirsch joked:

“Occupy was defeated by jobs.”

(Photo from dissidentvoice.org)

Nicholas Goroff (30 Posts)

Nicholas Goroff is a writer, activist and political consultant from Manchester, New Hampshire. He studied Criminal Justice and Political Science at Hesser and Saint Anselm Colleges and went on to pursue an impressive, if not unusual career in political and non-profit operations. He has organized with unions, managed field campaigns and phone banks, lobbied for non-profits and run opposition research and investigation operations. He was an active participant and writer within the Occupy movement and maintains contacts with active members. He has been a regular news commentator with the AEN Blogtalk Radio Network and has been the subject of both Backslash magazine and Connecticut Wits columns for his private political satires. He now writes for The Progressive Press, covering political and social stories from his home in New Hampshire.