Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Osha Neumann, spoke at Surreal Estate

Osha Neumann is in my "Paradise" blog, since he imagined the Paradise that is this world, but is not yet manifest, and tried and tries to bring it about." He said, "We should live now, as though that world is already here."

Here is Osha talking about his large sculpture work on the shore of the San Francisco bay, at a reclaimed landfill, called Albany Landfill.

Synchromystically, since I didn't know before I posted here. The site which deals with the wild spit of land that sticks out in the bay, is called bumsparadise.com.

Osha spoke about his time as a "Motherfucker" and read from the book he wrote about those time, a few nights ago at Surreal Estate, an intentional community in Morgantown Bushwick Brooklyn. Osha is so "lovable and charming," as honestly characterized by those close to him - and that appears evident, even in a brief meeting...so it's difficult to imagine him as a rabble rouser though he was and probably still is.

Joe Friendly will be putting a taping of this event on MNN - Manhattan Neighborhood Network, in the near future.

e=mail announcement ofevent as Introduction+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Please help me spread the word!!!


Osha Neumann, one of the founding members of the 1960's Lower East
Side anarchist group the Motherfuckers, will be speaking at the
Surreal Estate in Brooklyn this Sunday (February 1st) at 7p.m.
Reading from his book Up Against the Wall Motherf**ker: A Memoir of
the '60s, with Notes for Next Time he will talk about his involvement
with the street gang that forced its way into the Pentagon during a
war protest, helped occupy one of the buildings in the Columbia
University takeover, and cut the fences at Woodstock to allow
thousands in for free, among many other feats of radical activism and

The Surreal Estate: 13 Thames St. (2ND FLOOR) Brooklyn, NY 11206

This event is FREE and for the COMMUNITY!

Inexact and suggestive-only notes of Neumann's lecture.
rents made up able, onthe Lower Wast Side ....Able to have free stores, crash pads.
surreal estate has the same flavor

angry artists we.. artist's would do something against the war.
whatever they did, was against the war
meetings of anti-war artists. art's week.

printed up posters which had photograph from Vietnam..wasn't a clamp down upon Media presentation of war images, as they do today vis a vis Gaza and iraq

Girl running down street, screaming..
"Thou shalt not kill" banner
went to St. Patrick's cathedral, cardinal Spellman, chief,....of the Vietnam war. whatever we did was all blessed because of the fight against godless communism

so they went and decided to disrupt the Mass at St. Patrick's.

stood up to unfurl their posters. but they were infiltrated.

each of them had a security guard standing right next to them as they tried to unfurl the banner.
and were taken to the tombs. [prison downtown in NYC]

Need to transform the world
total imaginative transformation of he world.
that was on the agenda.
horror was in our face.. going on and on..

we were all potential cannon fodder..

will we either kill or be killed, or go to Canada.

sense we were transforming ourselves and transforming ourselves.
who knew where this was coming from

skinny rice farmers were beating the beef eating Americans. We identified with those.. National Liberation Front.

It felt like "they were us" but they were wildly different from us.

It was very charismatic. the motherfuckers formed out of this.

Being on the LES our job was to organize and politicize the hippies.

part they did not know: " you could not just drop out" you would be smashed for that"
Peace was somewhere in the future. For now there would be a struggle.

gun barrels on guns put flowers... that's cool.

broke thought the lines of he Pentagon.. we got inside of the Pentagon,,, but were beat back.

our version of the "Flower Power" was the "flower Power" of thorns.

Poem by Leroy Jones, Baraka, Poem was how they got their names.

all across the country their were ghetto uprisings. was police shooting or misconduct.. in the light of that Barak, wrote a poem, called "Black People"

"motherfucker" was the word of the year at that time. we identified with Amira Baraka, Newark burned. that poem was read and he was blamed for the riot.

Waiting for the guy to write the poem, before they do what they do? But the jury bought it.

We chose a word intentionally which could no be said on the TV,

We believed we'd just be co-opted. We were perfectly happy they could not say our name.

We took that name partly so it could not be spoken on TV

We saw ourselves as the defenders of the hippies and we should defend them from the police.

We would call for a demonstration aka riot, ring in patrol boards, run to our office and crank out flier calling for another riot protesting the fact we'd just been busted.

Appeared before a specific judge upteemth time.. "u r incorrigible, rap brown and...Hitler, you have to get out of here."

mainly white guys, men, based on LES.

Called ourselves after and "affinity group" came from a Spanish anarchist affinity group

Key Ben Moraya, was key person in group.. Italian street kid.

very intellectual German Jewish intellectuals. Franz Neuman, step-fater ws Herbert Marcuse, Frankfurt School, not aligned with particular Marx/ Freud, "Eros and Civilization" Marcuse argues with Freud that the level of repression necessary for civilization was not necessary.

that appealed to the movements of the 60's became and intellectual father figure for the movements of the 60's [Marcuse]

Ben was hooked on heroin and jazz musician, busted sent to jail, went cold turkey in jail, went back to jazz would go back to heroin, gave up jazz for painting. hung out with Murry Bookchin, and Julian beck and Judith Melina. That was where he
opposition t

street gang with analysis..what we presented.

We thought our role was to be... we were going to live within the revolution and to take the risks that were necessary.

risks that the black panther, the Viet Cong were taking.. we should take the same risks. We did not have the right to take less risks than that. Not to back down from confrontations with the police.

Combined that with a way of doing politics that was in no way similar to traditional politics.

As with y'all...Not "Real Estate." "Surreal Estate"

language we used was the language of the imagination

We spoke through the mental callous people live within.

We churned out tons and tons of fliers. for example,

"The streets belong to the people
and the people belong to the streets.

we constantly churned this stuff out. on the streets . fliers.

How we looked to the police. There was a "Red squad" back them. We got their records about the "motherfuckers" contained

Police very concerned about racial make-up of the motherfuckers.

We had a "mayfly" existence. Came on the scene late... went to Chicago 1968, [we did not last] named as un-indicted co-conspirator in the Chicago 8 trials. Got through how week of Chicago unscathed.. then in a car with folks decided to go to a movie. went through a street light. forgot that we had on the floor golf balls with nails under then, to use against police horses. we were in the police station. We pointed out as the one's who had golf balls intended to throw at police. [even that wasn't true as we were leaving the event(s)]

Came back from Chicago , had a memorable, most we had was 16 mm film Group called newsreel, doing political news reals. garbage strike on the LES... piles and piles after just a few weeks. tax on cultural institutions. Upper west side, Lincoln center for perming arts, Chrystal galls marble.

only appropriate to bring garbage form the LES up to Lincoln center and dumped them o the steps of Lincoln Center.

Opera was not protected from garbage.

"we propose an equal exchange. let's exchange one for one... world is our garbage. let's exchange garbage for garbage.

"America turns the world to garbage" threw cow's blood on the Dean Ruck.. they had to dodge the blood.

Bill Grahme...opened the East, make money off of Rock n Roll Fillmore east on 2nd ave. Ticket prices no one on the LES could afford. He was ripping off culture and had to give something back.

Bill Grahm escaped the Nazi-s "you are no going to be able to mess with me" hell's angels didn't scare me. We said, "we're going to shut you down"

Graham scheduled a benefit for the Living Theater, for people who had been busted. We talked to the Living Theater. At end of your performance, we are going to stay there"
So we took over the theater and negotiated with BH to have the theater for one night.

Our rhetoric was beginning to catch up with us. New drugs.. 2 gangs the jokers and the aliens.. they had to fight us for turfs. they fought each others. Things were no going well on the LES. Police were beginning to close in "you can't see this kind of rhetoric. began to feel more like a death trip. "charlie" at one of our demonstrations. dragged into Gem spa st marks place and 2nd. charlie busted out but other one couldn't get away. arms broken tortured, beat on the head. Was never the same again. virtually catatonic for period of time .never recovered. years . whither fell or jumped off a mountain in Yosemite, unknown.

We went to new Mexico. there was a sense that you can't use the words/rhetoric we used.

Hippies, mexico Toas... people migrated.

We found there was something called Land Movement, led by Ekias elianza" his idea was Zapata, thought he's led a Zapata like revolution in northern Mexico.

He wanted to take the land back that had been taken from the Chicano. took over the town, shot the sheriff of the town. national guard was called in,, he was arrested. guys part of that melted into the hills. Inconacarn. guard came back during the day. They wanted to be there is the land thang happened gains. No idea how to live in the country: rustled the cow, use d every part. we had no idea how to tan a skin combined urine and asses. hollowed out a drum.. we couldn't shoot straightway. cult like quality to what we were doing. we were all going nuts.

what i am talking about is a mask
being real about the strength and weaknesses of this politics is what is important for today.

street gang with anaLYSIS.





felt like dropping of the end of the earth

you couldn't have real life outside of it. it was getting out of line. however, everything outside of that felt flatter. that was the way it felt.

have to draw the line between trivialize it and glorify it.

have to walk the line..

everyone lies,, naturally "i am a story teller"

"we demand a society that is not anti-fantasy."

despite my ode to fantasy.. i did not like my fantasies. but i wanted to be liberated from them

[wasn't Bernadette Dohrn as government agent;? .ed}]

three finger...fork salute.. which resonated to the fork in the stomach of one of Charlie Manson's family victims. B Dohrne made that gesture. [~that was how far out of line we had become]

somehow it was considered revolutionary.

we were always accused of being just about "infantile []"

white privileged kids ... you will infantile rebellion..you are acting out because you are angry at your parents.

'What part of that is true?" Deals with that in book.

Parental authority is ...control of the state.

ending subordination of childhood.
out politics was a passion play. over and over we were beaten up. did we secretly Identify with the punishing authority?

repetitively react the dynamics between parent nd child.

reading last part of chapter [?].

denied truth not by developing a....of theory... we believed we were placing ourselves where truth lives.[]

none of the movements threatened the State.

[italics mine .ed]

they were looking at all the things happening at once. when co-option does no work that is when guns and violence comes in.t Panthers death rate.

combining violence and birth somehow. there is nothing more antithetical. than those 2.

How do you reconcile? we thought we'd live within the revolution. we were riding a wave. creating a wave by surfing on it. we thought it would never stop. we were less on top of it than we thought. It was riding us.

there is technological capacity to feed and house the world, if it was used right.

[correct "moment" for this re-visioning of Neumann's past, in context of world economic melt-down]

to liberate our imagination.. material base for that is here now.

[what is holding 'us' back?]

Cut of from that by the Institutions.

Be realistic. demand the impossible.

Reality was that this "impossible" was the real.. [More real than the actual.]

What is really real is the Lie is preventing the rupture that would cause what ... really could happened

the very radicalization cut us off from what we were trying to gain.

present is not what it should be. many people are stuck in their lives. how come we are here and they are there.

How do we spread that, without compromising the vision.

we had this revolutionary fervor that did not count as a revolution.l

then we had this counter- revolution of 40 years.

They are the ones who have been in power for 40 years.

"the shift" did not put a change in capitalism on the agenda.

people are still waiting around for Obama to fix capitalism

bail out the banks, [yet Obama is] committed to wars.

There is a myth that capitalism is free or does not need the support of the state. That is how it operates, however. Capitalism needs the constant support of the State.

culture shift was a shift to eroticism.. they took that to make their commodities more attractive and to bind them to the consumer.

We can't be free until the world is free. but we can do the little things. we do to act as though it is there today..

[gives some 'props' to Surreal Estate]
Living communal..giving up you own little private life.

Danger of co-option by the powers that be...underestimated by the "motherfuckers"

"co-option " is sinister..l. question..how do we get around that?... there is no aesthetic that can't be co-opted?...

[not true...dirt... "they will not give you a job" Laia says that dirt will keep you from being co-opted]

liberalization of society makes society much more seductive" co-optation has given the consumer culture it's pizazz.

There may be limits to what can be co-opted?... hip hop and rap... examples.

have to keep producing form the outside and link it to a radical practice.

Culture can not be de-linked to acts of resistance.

uU[sing eroticism to get people to buy, [Joe Friendly mentions, "Wet and Wild" commercial which was invented by one of Nixon's henchmen named Haldeman]

When the society has fewer taboos, fewer acts are perceived to be radical.

[style, not substance, can be co-opted]

How not to get stuck in your own little group.

Don't forget those who can not live as we do.

["Did u disown militancy" asks Laia} ]

Media: "motherfuckers" "have things changed with the Media?" more vibrant counter- cultural media, plus the World Wide Web .

channels around mainstream.

Problem with that is:
People that are already part of our group will seek it out. others may not.
of course, *use the media, ubrt be aware of it.

militancy..disentangling... "if we re militant we have to be self-aware, otherwise you will get trapped"

I can't run anymore. I continue to get arrested. I still believe in civil disobedience. IN new years' day in oakland, baRT system. there was an altercation in Oakland. BART police pulled people off train. lined them up {6 or 7 black kids] In this world of cellphone cameras almost nothing escapes recording. One guy there, took one police person pulled him away from the wall and punched him forced him down face down on the subway platform they pulled his hands up behind his back. one of the cops stands up and pulls out his gun and shoots the man in the back. he is lying on his back on the cement. man is killed.

We have the cellphone..tried to confiscate the cellphone camera. organizing happens. nothing happens. cop refuses to five a statement to internal affairs. resigns from police force. walks around. is not arrested.

demonstration in protest of this. folks march on BART station. up and down the street busting up police car.. over 150 are arrested.

everyone is making statements. District attorney decides the man need to be tried for murder.

demonstrators should've have done this. [and they did] it's entirely appropriated.
they [those who do these things and allow them] should know. if they do this kind of thing, it is not going to be business as usual.

the people who are injured and who need to protest, are not stake holders. The people who express that..are he people who are going to be injured by the system as it stands.

good protesters
. / write letters. petition.. meetings with council members.

"bad protectors" are needed.

there will be a whirlwind otherwise.

[We need?] institutions that do not stop the energy but contain it. [ Allow it to work?]

electoral politics..you talk with people. [~so there is virtue in it. though it may not accomplish much on the bigger scheme, or at least has not]

waves of people not making it because of this financial crisis.
Need to know:
"Ur not at fault.
it's the system. it's not you."

You want the neighborhood/community to look a Surreal Estate and say:

"they may look funny and act funny. but they do cool shit. they do good things."

how do you pull that together? that can be done. more and more people are going to need food.

yes, you need food. because the system is messed up.

give the food. and give the message.
[peeps are ashamed for needing food]

i think we can do that. I think there are huge possibilities.

The problem with inventing things anew [ as my group attempted as I document].. continuity was broken. we saw nothing good with the old left.. split with left. split in movement too

[~split creates weakening?]

people wanted to think about system and do it in the context of action

Port Huron statement
.. serious attempt to think about situation and world [they] we] are in.

"Derivative /leveraged buy-out.. wish I understood this."

"never come across as though you know everything. it's always a surprise. we are always going to be a surprise. no one has predicted collapse of capitalism."

[population changes
35 million 1865
133 million 1929
305 million 2009

why present economic crisis may be different?]

"I am constantly moved by heroes in daily life."


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