Not Just One Voice

Some Occupiers meeting for sandwiches after.

Since apparently some who opposed the Occupy NH break-off over the gun issue have attempted to point the finger at a few more outspoken Occupy NH participants, we have posted here some of the comments and statements of solidarity concerning the break-off decision:

Read the Declaration of Occupy Wall Street that Occupy New Hampshire resolved to stand in solidarity with.

We welcome you to submit your statement, we will transfer this over to the Occupy website once we have re-established one.

Why I decline attending the Occupy NH GA.

This issue of gun toting yahoos has gotten out of hand. I was a police officer from 1977-1980. I open carried a Smith and Wesson 357 magnum for purposes of protecting myself and the community from gun toters who would use them for their stated purpose. I trained and know how to use it for those purposes.

I equate the notion of carrying any such weapon on a bright and sunny Sunday to pure arrogance. Arrogance carries its own punishment. What goes around will always come around. An innocent teenager was killed in Florida last winter by this same arrogance. George Zimmerman is going to get what he deserves. I will not acknowledge this sham!

- Michael A. Joseph

The Choice for Occupy

As a gun owner and outspoken advocate of an armed population, I would like to clarify that my opposition to the Free State Project (an umbrella term I will use to represent all FSP, Anarcho-capitalists and related ideologies) does not rest upon their insistence that they will bring guns to the statehouse today.  My rejection of their twisted ideology is systemic and my call for them to be ejected from the Occupy movement in NH is without qualification.

The “gun issue”, as it has become known is but a convenient porthole which we can use to inspect and criticize the greater movement.  The fundamental insistence on the primacy of individual sovereignty will forever cause the group to reject making their individual wishes secondary to the community.  It is because of this fundamental tenet that the FSP can never stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

There are no solutions to the problems of the world we live in today which do not involve the combined work and sacrifice of all people toward the progress of humankind.  The degree of that sacrifice must be democratically determined by all people (and by people alone) and cannot be voluntary or subject to the trump of any individual.

It is for this reason that Occupy New Hampshire must not call for “change”, but must call for specific and pointed change that confronts and combats the myriad abuses of rampant greed and selfishness in our society.  It is praise for this selfishness, which Ayn Rand called “rational self-interest” which sits at the heart of the Objectivist worldview that informs modern Right-Libertarianism.

It is self-evident that a revolutionary movement cannot succeed by including those who disagree with the aims of that movement and who work against those aims.  There is no “common ground” in these circumstances because the mere inclusion of members of this ideology in the steering of that movement will limit the scope of that movement and prevent it from reaching its revolutionary potential.

For this reason, if Occupy New Hampshire does not issue a statement which sets itself clearly on a path opposed to selfish and abusive individualism, I can no longer participate in Occupy New Hampshire.  This will not be because I will abandon the movement, but because the movement will have abandoned solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, a worldwide movement of people struggling against greed, and the historic significance of this moment.

- Shawn Girard

Choosing Nonviolence

Originally I planned on going to the GA but then changed my mind when I saw the various feeds on FB blow up with gun language. I didn’t involve myself in the feeds because of the vitriol; I didn’t want to become a target. But I was convinced by respectful members of ONH to attend and it was the right decision.

Being surrounded by the armed citizenry was terrifying, more terrifying than being surrounded by thousands of police and their weapons of mass destruction, aggressively trained dogs and horses, LRADs, and snipers on rooftops. It more terrifying than being assaulted by the police as I was in Chicago. ONH members comforted me, helping me to ease my fear; not a single member of FSP tried to comfort me, to ease my anxiety. Rather, they strutted with their weapons, some out for all to see others (vaguely) concealed in attempts to intimidate ONH members into silence or compliance (I’m not sure which). Instead of actually engaging in dialogue, they brandished their weapons and dodged eye contact yet expected the peaceful to sit next to the armed as if we were all friends working toward the same goals.

I walked myself out out of imposed circle and sat across the lawn so I could observe from afar. I had to get away because I was afraid of my fellow “occupiers”, that is those who identify as FSP or are formulating that identity, of those with firearms strapped to their hips. I was not afraid in Chicago of my fellow Occupier. I found comfort from them, kinship. I did not find that with the FSPers today. I never have in the decade I’ve lived in this state, no matter how many I’ve met and engaged with Freestaters over the years.

What I saw today, their show of aggression and disrespect was deplorable on the part of the FSPers. Aggression and disrespect are not Occupy traits. I have sadness this occur because, like many Occupiers, I want peace and harmony and to work together building bridges. Whether the FSPers and Occupiers can work together has became moot.

I made my choice. I am comfortable with choosing peace and nonviolence. It is the choice I will *always* make.

- Michelle Cunha

3 thoughts on “Not Just One Voice

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