Here's the answer: we're going interplanetary now. Step one is occupying the moon. (Don't be fooled by the fact that Newt Gingrich suggested it; he's on our side.)
Kinda puts scuffles over tents and plazas and info tables into perspective, huh?
Many of you probably heard that I was briefly detained on Wednesday, December 7 after Occupy San Francisco's camp was raided. I ended up on the wrong side of a police barricade that went up seconds after I got to Justin Herman Plaza, and then there was a three-hour waiting game while the police dithered around and finally left. Those three hours were alternately very calm and informative, and very. . .exciting, when the police decided to beat a protester to a pulp for no apparent reason. But during the rest of the time, when there was nothing to do but sit around a tent with our arms linked, we started talking and blue-skying ideas about what to do with the movement now that there was no camp to keep things centralized.
I've been in contact with a number of them for things like bank closures and flash food tents and street theatre. (That goth funeral/LARP thing that shut down Market three weeks ago? That was a bazillion gothy/kinky protesters I met through a Death Guild guy who was barricaded in with me. We're so goth, we're black bloc.) We have a listserv, we bounce ideas off each other, and every so often we meet in Wicked Grounds and plan out logistics.
Recently someone sent out an email jokingly saying, "We should occupy the moon!" Next thing I know someone tells us their cousin in South Carolina is a staffer for Newt Gingrich, and that Newt Gingrich is actually secretly a huge supporter of Occupy who's basically been trolling the Republican Party for the past twenty years. (There's a reason he's been leading the charge to pull the rhetoric farther and farther to the right; he's trying to bring on a backlash of epic proportions, and Occupy is just the tip of the iceberg.)
I won't bore you with a blow-by-blow of the negotiations and meetings and behind-the-scenes crap, because I'll be here all day and I need to get to Caltrain so I can house manage. (Also, I signed a few NDAs that don't let me identify too many of the stakeholders.) Suffice to say that after all was said and done, Occupy Oakland is going to be launching the first of many Occupy shuttles taking protesters and organizers to the moon to start building a colony. It launches tomorrow, during the supposed building occupation.
(What, did you really think we expected to hold a building for more than a few hours? Make no mistake, the entire Bay Area's armed forces are going to be gathered in Oakland trying to stop us from taking over an abandoned building. Which is perfect, because they won't be watching when we launch our shuttle.)
There's been opposition to this plan, of course. A lot of organizers say that Occupy's main constituency is the 99% on the ground, and we should stay here and not go 238,857 miles away. Other people say that we can make a greater impact once we don't have to worry about complying with any city's or country's ordinances, and we'll of course stay in contact with working groups on the ground. Omar's got a good blog entry on it weighing the pros and cons here. I'm just annoyed that I've got to wait until the next shuttle leaves from Occupy LA in March before I can go up, since I've got to house manage this weekend.
So, yeah. NASA, get ready: we are legion, we do not forgive, and we do not forget. Expect us.