New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Occupy Love

December 19, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Current Events, Guest Author, Politics

Lessons in Brutality and Compassion from the Protest at the Port

by Rev. John Helmiere

{Author’s note: As my story continues to be read, may we not forget the exploitation of the port truckers and that the kind of violence I experienced is primarily enacted upon people of color.  I appreciate the energy this piece has generated but acknowledge that my social status allows my voice to be amplified.}

Last Monday evening, I was brutally beaten by my brothers on the Seattle Police force as I stood before an entrance to Pier 18 of the Seattle Port, wearing my clergy garb and bellowing, “Keep the peace! Keep the peace!”

An officer pulled me down from behind and threw me to the asphalt. Between my cries of pain and shouts of “I’m a man of peace!” he pressed a knee to my spine and immobilized my arms behind my back, crushing me against the ground. With the right side of my face pressed to the street, he repeatedly punched the left side. I was cuffed and pulled off the ground by a different officer who seemed genuinely appalled when he saw my bleeding face and my clerical collar. He asked who I was and why I was here, to which I replied, “I’m a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe another world is possible.” He led me shaking to a police van where began a 12-hour journey of incarcerated misery. (more…)

Re-Occupy Public Space

December 14, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Keith McHenry, Politics

A Modest Proposal for a Coordinated Effort in Honor of MLK Day

by Keith McHenry

The occupation movement is the most important movement of our lives. I get calls everyday from average middle Americans asking how they can help, calling to say they are so proud of everyone, some even coming to tears expressing that we just had to succeed.

As Naomi Klein wrote on October 7, 2011, in an article titled “Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now,” the need to keep the occupations going is crucial: “Occupy Wall Street, on the other hand, has chosen a fixed target. And you have put no end date on your presence here. This is wise. Only when you stay put can you grow roots. This is crucial. It is a fact of the information age that too many movements spring up like beautiful flowers but quickly die off. It’s because they don’t have roots. And they don’t have long term plans for how they are going to sustain themselves. So when storms come, they get washed away.” (more…)

The Hope of Occupy

December 09, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Current Events, Economy, Jan Lundberg, Politics

Bank and Land Occupations — It’s Not Over Yet, by a Long Shot

by Jan Lundberg

Occupy Santa Cruz has had in three days three major setbacks. Perhaps they were fruitless attempts to set back the movement.  The last one in the series, that the police moved to pull off on Dec. 7, is the eviction and dismantling of the tent city of Occupiers (and previously homeless folk) downtown at San Lorenzo Park by the river.  [Update: the tent city was partly abandoned by dark on the 7th, and the police came in after 7 AM the next day, arresting five people.] The police and their backers might think they are on a roll. This report shows this thinking would be flawed. (more…)

Occupy Ourselves

December 06, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Politics, Randall Amster

With Peace in Our Hearts and Power in Our Hands

by Randall Amster

In just a few short months we have reached a point of near saturation in which the modifier “Occupy” has been applied to almost every sphere of our beleaguered political economy. Not every such application has been equally useful, but for the most part the intended meaning of the word has come through in the sense of prying open the inner sanctum of the dominant order, contesting its authoritarian workings, and agitating for new processes based on the burgeoning tenets of egalitarianism and sustainability. The incisive cultural gaze spawned by #occupy has been cast toward every sacred shibboleth of modern society, and the ripples are palpable.

Yet in the process there has been more external consternation than internal reflection. The machinations of the 1 percent are what have largely brought us to the brink of social and ecological demise, so the primary thinking goes. The ruling class has consolidated their power, skewed the benefits toward themselves, passed the burdens onto the rest of us, and continually demonstrated the illegitimacy and inherent tyranny of their reign every time force has been used on peaceful demonstrators. They have done this and are still doing it, and we must confront their wanton ways with diligence and imagination. (more…)

Occupy Peace

December 01, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, David Krieger, Politics

Expanding the 99 Percent to Encompass the World

by David Krieger

The Occupy movement is demonstrating its durability and perseverance. Like a Daruma doll, each time it is knocked off balance it serenely pops back up. The movement has been seeking justice for the 99 percent, and justice is an essential element of peace.

For decades, our country has been in permanent preparation for war, spending over half of the total annual discretionary funds that Congress allocates on “defense,” our euphemism for war. World military expenditures exceed $1.5 trillion annually, and the United States spends more than half of this amount, more than the rest of the world combined.

The United States has been engaged in wars around the globe, from Korea to Vietnam, from El Salvador to Nicaragua, from Serbia to Afghanistan, from Iraq to Libya. In all of these wars, many in the 1 percent reap financial gains. (more…)

Everybody Get Together

November 30, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

The Challenge of Unity Amidst Economic Crisis and the End of Growth

by Jan Lundberg

An error of the Occupy movement might come back to haunt us all after possible short-term victories. Identifying and vilifying the extremely wealthy class is not a solution in itself. While it is important to realize the truth of income disparity and address its causes, no one seems to have a realistic program to take back almost all the wealth of “the 1%” and reorganize society to share it.

In my previous essay I showed how today’s inflated, vast monetary wealth is false and will disappear, and that it cannot be redistributed under our form of economy when its entire foundation is sinking. A political solution for eradicating gross inequity is too late for successful reform, without overhauling the culture, when collapse is in charge and “nature bats last.” (more…)

The Significance of Place

November 29, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Guest Author, Politics

Why Tents (Still) Matter for the Occupy Movement

by Jen Schradie

Last week, I responded to a 4am text and went down to the Occupy Oakland site to support the encampment during yet another raid. I saw the sunrise over various police agencies dismantling Occupy Oakland tents. That evening, I marched back at sunset with other protesters to take back the plaza. The night before, Denver and Portland authorities moved in to take down local occupy encampments, and a swat team stormed an Occupy group’s takeover of an abandoned building in Chapel Hill. The next day, I watched a livestream of the destruction of Occupy Wall Street’s tents.

But protesters have not given up on tents. On the day of a strike at, the University of California-Berkeley in response to police brutality, the Occupy Cal and Occupy Oakland movements converged with a full-sized tent on a large stick as the symbol of the union, and the movement. (more…)