Just a reminder, people!!! The next meeting of Occupy Utica will be Monday March 10, 2014 at 7 P.M. at the Cornerstone Community Church. We discussed meeting more frequently in the near future, but people’s schedules did not allow this as of yet. Remember!!! The group decided to change our venue at this time from the Other Side to the Cornerstone Community Church in Utica (500 Plant St, Utica, NY 13502; behind the Dunkin Donuts at the Oneida Square Roundabout on Genesee Street).

We will also be getting together on March 12th at 7 P.M. at Cornerstone to discuss Pedagogy of the Oppressed along with the Mohawk Valley Freedom School and other community members. The book can be read online in PDF form at this link: you at the meeting!


Dear community member,

Rev. Jeff McArn, Chaplain of Hamilton College, has initiated a Community Book Read and discussion on the topic of mass incarceration in America. These discussions are based upon the work of Michelle Alexander author of The New Jim Crow, the book which all of us will be reading. There are two groups underway on the Hamilton campus.


You are invited to join a Utica reading/discussion group to be held at the Refugee Center at 7PM on March 12 and 26th. Attorney Michelle Alexander will speak on the Hamilton campus April 17th during this spring semester. With your registration an e-book can be made available to you, free of charge, and there are a few hard copies available as well.

Michelle Alexander’s new book offers a new understanding of the continuing problem of race in America. Just as the institution of slavery ended and the brutality of the KKK developed to establish Jim Crow segregation and the further economic exploitation of Black Americans, in the same way, the waging of the War On Drugs, exclusively in poor Black communities has created a new Jim Crow society.

The pervasive conviction of Black men with drug felonies in the American judicial system tacitly relegates them to second class citizenship status where their right to vote, ability to hold certain jobs, acquire school loans or receive scholarships for higher education, visit with their children, the right to serve on a jury and access to housing are all greatly diminished. The impact upon the Black family has been disastrous.

The cultural construct which has established this racial caste system will be discussed through a discussion guide provided by the Unitarian Universalist Church with an ultimate intention of dismantling the same.

Please join us for this important community conversation for two sessions in March and a joint session to convene all community book readers after Attorney Alexander completes her remarks on April 17 at Hamilton College.

Please contact: if you are interested.


The French monthly publication Le Monde Diplomatique published an article about Occupy Utica in its January edition. According to Le Monde’s website, the French leftwing publication, which has seventy-two editions in twenty-seven languages, reaches an estimated 2.5 million people worldwide. The editors of the paper selected the article on Occupy Utica from fifty other articles from the book recently published by AK Press We Are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation.

This publication comes at a time when Occupy Utica activists are strategizing over grassroots organizing in the community, with talk of launching a Freedom School, fighting for tenants’ rights and working with others to open a community organizing center. Although the Occupy Movement does not have the bite or momentum it did in its early days, and was suppressed by the FBI, many groups like Occupy Utica are still active across the US. Occupy Sandy Relief, Occupy our Homes and Strike Debt / Rolling Jubilee are some of the major campaigns launched out of Occupy that are still humming with activity.

The article can be viewed in the AK Press book We Are Many, available at, or can be read in Le Monde Diplomatique. As the article states, “It is in small cities like Utica where the real power of a social movement is measured and where parallel grassroots power can thrive.” Perhaps the editors of Le Monde picked up on that and decided to share it with the world.

Brendan Maslauskas Dunn

This is part of the article in French

Pendant ce temps, à Utica

par Brendan Maslauskas Dunn, janvier 2013

Loin de se limiter à l’île de Manhattan, le mouvement Occuper Wall Street s’est répandu à travers les Etats-Unis, y compris dans de petites villes — telle Utica, Etat de New York — où il a revêtu un visage bien plus revendicatif.

« Utica partage le destin de la plupart des petites villes de la Rust Belt [la « ceinture de la rouille », c’est-à-dire les Etats du Nord-Est industriel]. Jadis centre économique florissant — présence d’une industrie textile et de General Electric, en particulier—, elle a été, au cours des cinquante dernières années, désertée par la plupart des grandes industries ; sa population fut divisée par deux. Désormais, les principaux employeurs sont des prisons et un centre de distribution Walmart. La ville n’est plus que l’ombre d’elle-même. Le capitalisme n’a pas été tendre avec elle, mais Occuper lui a insufflé de l’espoir.

« Utica n’a pas, loin s’en faut, de tradition protestataire, mais quand le mouvement Occuper est apparu au beau milieu d’une nuit, (…)

On the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, AK Press is releasing a book that captures many stories from the front lines of the Occupy Movement, including our very own Occupy Utica. A book launch will be at Bluestockings Books in the Lower East Side of Manhattan on Saturday, September 15th and a few of us will be down there for the celebration.

We have all been swept up by the momentum of the Occupy movement. We have seen the results of years of organizing in different communities come together in ways that few could have imagined, bolstered by the scores of people who have left the comfort of their daily routine behind and taken to the streets. Yet as a movement so overflowing with new social and political actors, we lack the framework we need to help us all to understand what a social movement is, to understand how change has happened in the past, to understand what this moment means and what this movement makes possible.

We Are Many is a reflection on Occupy from within the heart of the movement itself. Examining key questions—what worked? what didn’t? why? how? is it reproducible?—the authors and activists in this collection point toward a movement-based framework for future organizing. Heavily illustrated and annotated, We Are Many is a celebration of what worked, and a thoughtful analysis of what didn’t.

Contributors include: Michael Andrews, Michael Belt, Nadine Bloch, Rose Bookbinder, Mark Bray, Emily Brissette, George Caffentzis, George Ciccariello-Maher, Annie Cockrell, Joshua Clover, Andy Cornell, Molly Crabapple, CrimethInc., CROATOAN, Paul Dalton, Chris Dixon, John Duda, Brendan M. Dunn, Lisa Fithian, Gabriella, David Graeber, Ryan Harvey, Gabriel Hetland, Marisa Holmes, Mike King, Koala Largess, Yvonne Yen Liu, Josh MacPhee, Manissa M. Maharawal, Yotam Marom, Cindy Milstein, Occupy Research, Joel Olson, Isaac Ontiveros, Morrigan Phillips, Frances Fox Piven, Vijay Prashad, Michael Premo, Max Rameau, RANT, Research & Destroy, Nathan Schneider, Jonathan Matthew Smucker, Some Oakland Antagonists, Lester Spence, Janaina Stronzake, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Team Colors Collective, Janelle Treibitz, Unwoman, Immanuel Wallerstein, Sophie Whittemore, Kristian Williams, and Jaime Omar Yassin.

Praise for We Are Many:

We Are Many brings together a chorus voices straight from the trenches of the Occupy movement, offering an honest, open series of self assessments and thoughtful critiques, and opening numerous windows into what might lie ahead. If participatory social movements are to learn from Occupy and continue to evolve, then this book is a firm step in the right direction.” —Gan Golan, co-author of Goodnight Bush and The Adventures of Unemployed Man

“It is all too rare that in the process of creating the movement and living the moment, participants and thinkers step back and ask the most pressing questions. This book is an important step.” —Marina Sitrin, author of Horizontalism