Occupy Interstate: A Call to Action The American people suffer from a kind of blindness or amnesia, in which praise for the armed forces and the security state become the sole form of patriotism. The military industrial complex, under the pretext of exporting democracy, has violently subverted governments around the world while eroding civil liberties in the so-called "homeland." Politicians, both "conservative" and "liberal," have pressed the free trade agenda, which lowers wages while eliminating labor and environmental protections. The fossil fuel industry has run amok, collapsing entire ecosystems and local economies with impunity, indeed, in collusion with the surveillance state apparatus. Immigrants and the poor, especially people of color, are criminalized as they seek some modicum of economic security. Meanwhile, whistleblowers and dissenters are labeled as traitors, placed in legal limbo between states or in extra-legal detentions. Assassination without trial has become a normal feature of American foreign and domestic policy. Anything recognizable as "democracy" in America has disappeared, leaving only a playground for billionaires and their cronies in the ranks of government, the media, and academia. Resistance has become necessary for the survival of human and non-human life on the planet. One of the bright spots of the last decade has been the Occupy movement, which held Zuccotti Park in the throes of the financial collapse, in the midst of the bailout of large predatory banks at the expense of average Americans. Occupy raised the issue of income inequality in a serious way for the first time in many decades. Although the encampment in Manhattan was raided and cleared and thousands were arrested in similar actions around the country, the movement changed the national conversation about global capitalism. Its decentralized, participatory structure provided a model for the momentum to continue in different forms as the struggle for racial, economic, and environmental justice continues. To that end, a new iteration of Occupy now asserts itself, one that will not be easily diffused by the militarized police. The prime target runs throughout every major city in the country and through rural areas from Atlantic to Pacific. By taking hold of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, Occupy Interstate will force the United States government and its corporate sponsors into some kind of accountability for their crimes against humanity and non-human nature. The ubiquity of the Interstate Highway, its very form of efficacy, will be turned against it as activists stage slowdowns around the country on the 13th of every month. The Interstate Highway System should be targeted. Its creation, under the guise of national security, encouraged the growth of the suburbs and car culture. Building the Interstate highways eviscerated communities of color in urban areas and shut down local businesses in downtown areas. It has led to a disastrous food system, with long supply lines that assure maximum waste of resources, not to mention the proliferation of nutritionally poor fast food conveyed by impoverished workers. The highways have diverted resources that might have been used to build public transit, as well as thoroughfares for walking and biking. They have cut through natural areas, leaving no migration routes for wild animals or large tracts of wilderness for human use. This massive network of roads is legally off limits to cyclists and pedestrians, a serious curtailment of liberty in itself. Even when used as intended, the Interstate Highway system claims thousands of lives each year: these unfortunate accidents are predictable and preventable. The Interstate can be occupied with or without breaking the law. Activists can simply drive the minimum legal speed on the 13th of the month, in a coordinated but dispersed effort to impede traffic. A cardboard box accidentally left in the roadway can block traffic for hours: a coordinated effort would be far more effective. A full spectrum of businesses and industries would be affected. Public transit and surface roads would see increased traffic. Walking and cycling would see an uptick. The effort could be publicized with spontaneous street fairs. Local businesses would be supported in tandem with the Occupy Interstate monthly event. Measures should be taken to assist workers adversely affected by the slowdown, while businesses and leaders who attempt to curtail the slowdown should become secondary targets, as should overzealous law enforcement officials. The monthly event ends when a broad, informal process calls for a cessation. It is beyond the scope of this document to give a list of demands: such a list should arise from the activists themselves. However, a few suggestions are in order. Moneyed interests must be removed from politics. This can only be accomplished by a general ban on campaign donations and a system of publicly-funded elections. A punitive tax must be placed on fossil fuel use, with the proceeds used to finance alternative energy development. The practice known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" must be placed under a national-level ban. No new fossil fuel infrastructure, like pipelines and refineries, should be approved. "Defense" spending should immediately be cut by three quarters, and the money given to finance free public education and healthcare. Surveillance systems in corporate or state hands should be dismantled and steps taken to restore privacy in physical and virtual spaces. The prison industrial complex must be dismantled and mass imprisonment ended. Land must be returned to native people and wildlife. The rights of women and minorities must be upheld. One need not agree with all of these aims in order to participate: only a desire for real "hope" and "change" is necessary. The ruling class will not allow for radical change via gradual accrual of reforms. Reform, if anything, only benefits those who write the rules, that is, corporate interests and their lobbyists. Lacking a responsive government, the people must once again take power into their own hands and inflict pain until change occurs. Revolution has been delayed too long, and continued demurral deadens the soul of each individual living under the system. The earth itself cries out for its defenders to arise and take control. People of conscience can only maintain their humanity by engaging in concrete acts of dissent, even at great risk to their property and persons. The time has come to begin a new round of protests that will leave to our children a society of openness and possibility, a community oriented towards the common good or "general welfare," in which all people and non-human creatures can live sane, happy, and healthy lives.