Wednesday , 28 June 2023

(now there was an insurrection)

Photo Credit: TheUnseen011101 –, Public Domain,

As a prison abolitionist solitary confinement of JanuarySixers weighs heavy on my heart but also on my pride. Calling a riot a insurrection is so dubiously political. After the Occupy camps were swept by Obama in conjunction with major city mayors it was proof of how scared this foundational movement made the neoliberal establishment. In the wake of scrubbing OWS off the google sphere FaceBook also enacted its pay model to replace the landscape that made Occupy possible. After the RussiaGate conspiracy justified Hillary Rodham Clinton’s loss to a gameshow host. FaceBook started restricting anything that can be construed as political after that. Occupy was apolitical by credo as were we never endorsing any candidates.

I think anyone involved in any mass movement expects it to succeed. Biden’s campaign promise of student debt cancellation echoes the demands of zuccotti park. While the language of Occupy has been commodified by the DNC I think the insurrection language would have been more freely used by occupiers. I for one wished for radical change that the Obama administration had not delivered. The definition of radical might have differed but it was a common sentiment amidst #OWS influencers. It’s well documented that the greater left uses Occupy as an anthem while at the same time condemning the JanuarySixers for being less sophisticated.

The logic progression after #OWS camps were swept was prison abolition for me. I was late to the protest on BLM because life had become too complicated for me to keep up with news. I ended up in Detroit where the corruption of police had reached monumental proportions. The constant reminder cemented that the project of abolition as one with enough legacy to succeed. If we are to accept that our prison system is an extension of the slavery system then we must not allow the DNC to deliver a commodified version of prison abolition. That means litmus testing values when they apply to the opposition.

One of the reasons why #stopthesweeps is a subject that is dear to me here where I live in San Francisco. Why I support the Coalition on Homelessness here correlates with the heartbreak of watching Occupy camps swept in a coordinated fashion across the country. But yeah, to be honest we were insurrectionists, we meant peaceful overthrow of a deceptive presidential regime. I personally benefited from this election bingo stemming from the post 9/11 gi bill and expansion of the VA. However, the education I received made me less arbitrary.

We should aspire to safety for everyone especially for dissidents with the wherewithal to hit the streets. Jacob Chansley, the qanon shaman, is a Navy veteran and while I do not believe in his cause I think he has been wrongly imprisoned and abandoned because he became a meme. We should be ashamed of ourselves for making an example of that kid who was obviously duped by some psyop. Solitary confinement is abhorrent especially to someone vulnerable enough to fall for QAnon drops. I’ve yet to see any veterans organizations claim this guy — many veterans were swept up by Ron Watkins and the paper red wave.

I was not in the capital but I watched the riot live so Tucker Carlson’s release security footage drop didn’t change my mind. I always believed that it was a riot and not an insurrection. However, the videos how Chansley being walked around by multiple security guards does not match his 4 year sentence. In the modern age insurrections don’t look like the JanuarySixers. They look like OWS. Modern protest movements are peaceful. Especially with modern crowd control weapons. Society of Spectacle has done it again.

Chansley, who says he is a practitioner of ahimsa, an ancient Indian principle of non-violence toward all living beings, was not accused of assaulting anyone. He was diagnosed in prison with transient schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

About karololesiak

Karol Olesiak is a poet, writer, and activist. He is a graduate of Eugene Lang Liberal Arts College at The New School and an MFA from The University of San Francisco. As a Navy sailor, he commissioned the USS Ronald Reagan, navigated the straits of Magellan, and served in the Persian Gulf. In 2011 Karol headlined The Bowery Poetry Club in New York. That same year he became a staunch supporter of The Occupy Wall Street Movement and became entrenched in the Occupy network of affinity groups. Karol was one of the founders of He became an antiwar activist in 2010 and has written many political essays. He has been translated into Spanish. Karol's poetry has been incorporated into cinematography and sound art.

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