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The World Tomorrow : Occupy -Episode 7 Full link Video
« on: June 02, 2012, 16:25:19 PM »
The Julian Assange Show: Occupy Movement (E7)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8JJo1RrgVc&list=UUpwvZwUam-URkxB7g4USKpg&index=7&feature=plcp

Published on 29 May 2012 by RussiaToday

The Occupy movement has united hundreds of thousands across the world to fight social and economic inequality. In the latest edition of Assange's very own interview programme Julian Assange meets with prominent Occupy activists who say their collective efforts target global institutions.

Julian Assange Show - official video page: http://assange.rt.com

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Re: The World Tomorrow : Occupy -Episode 7 Full link Video
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 16:26:28 PM »
Press Release: 

Episode 7


Alexa O’Brien is a New York activist and citizen journalist. In 2011 O’Brien started the #USDayofRage campaign, calling for reform of the US electoral system. The campaign eventually fed into the #OWS movement. As a direct result of her #USDayofRage campaign, O’Brien has been subject to harrassment by US authorities, and is a plaintiff in the Stop The NDAA lawsuit, recently securing a temporary injunction against the indefinite detention provision in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. O’Brien is providing unparalleled, in-depth coverage of the Bradley Manning hearings on her website, alexaobrien.com.

 
David Graeber is an American anthropologist based at Goldsmiths, University of London. Graeber is the author of Debt: The First Five Thousand Years, a historical monograph on the use and role of debt in historical movements and revolutions. A veteran of anti-globalization protests since the turn of the century, Graeber was an original participant in the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, and is credited as its intellectual spokesperson. Since then, he has become one of the foremost spokespeople for the movement, and its most prominent theorist.

 
Naomi Colvin is the driving force behind UK Friends of Bradley Manning, an advocacy group that has been winning significant publicity for the plight of alleged U.S. whistleblower Bradley Manning in the United Kingdom. Colvin has since become a key activist and regular spokesperson for the Occupy London group, articulating the general goals and principles to the wider public in television and radio interviews. She has published in the Guardian on both Occupy and on the Manning affair.

Aaron Peters is a doctoral candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London. Peters writes on social movements in the context of the internet, and has been one of the most insightful commentators on the major mass movements in recent years. A student activist, Peters is both a keen analyst of and a participant in the mass movements sweeping the world. Peters is a co-editor of Fight Back!, and a regular writer on openDemocracy.net.
 

Marisa Holmes is an activist and independent documentary filmmaker. Holmes was an original participant in the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, sleeping overnight from the beginning at Zucotti Park. On Day 8 of the demonstrations, she was forcefully arrested by the NYPD for peacefully and lawfully videotaping in public. Holmes is a prominent spokesperson for the movement, and has been interviewed widely about the goals and aspirations of Occupy.

Links to Networks Hosting the Show
RT  English
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RT  Russian
RT Spanish
L'Espresso Italian

http://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/episode-7.html

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Re: The World Tomorrow : Occupy -Episode 7 Full link Video
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 16:27:42 PM »
Transcript

00.36

Assange
Welcome to a special episode of the The World Tomorrow. Normally I do this from my location under house arrest but today because of the number of people involved in the Occupied Movement, um, we have decided to do it here in the old Deutche Bank of London which is controlled of friends of Occupy. We have Marisa Holmes from Occupy New York. Alexa O’Brien from Occupy in New York and US Day of Rage. Aaron Peters from Occupy London. Naomi Polvin from Occupy London and David Graeber from Occupy New York.

01.12
Assange
So, I want to split this programme into sort of two parts. The first part, so I want to understand how Occupy came to be, um, sort of people who were involved, the political background for organising it, and conducting its affairs and spreading it. Um, and then look into where it is going to go.

01.35
Assange
David, where do you think this movement came that eventually caused the occupation of Zuccotti Park and then spread out to the rest of the United States.

01.46
David Graeber
Well I think there has been a sort of global movement that, I mean I guess it started in Tunisia and sort of swept across the Mediterranean: Greece, Spain. Um, so it’s really the same movement that hit America. And a lot of people from Greece and Spain who were involved in the very early days and even before the occupation of Zuccotti Park and we were putting it together. So, I, I think there is a sort of global ferment.

02.06
Assange
Alexa, you were involved in this US day of Rage back in May 2010. Do you see that as the time of going into sort of, um, the transition from cyber space to meet space or is there some earlier analogue?

02.25
Alexa O’Brien
Oh I, I think definitely I mean I look at OpBart and er smaller swarm activists. Social media and the, er, transformation in the organisation of media also has played a role in the last year, um, in Occupy Wall Street.

02.44
Assange
It’s clearly…clearly there was a feeling merging from the Arab Spring…

02.51
Aaron Peters:
I mean this is very rarely alluded to – 2008 Egypt gets the World Bank’s number one kind of reform and country in the developing world and in terms of in their liberal reforms Egypt was unbeatable in North Africa and the Middle East from the World Bank and the IMF’s point of view. The bigger, the bigger kind of phenomenon that’s going on here is that after the 2nd world war the nation state is broadly seen as the kind of repository of democratic accountability. Now, since the late 1970s that has been going away and in some places it never existed, right? But that’s now a global phenomenon. We now recognise that public policy outcomes aren’t happening at the national level and that policy makers aren’t actually the ones who are in national parliaments they are elsewhere and the ones that are dictating policy aren’t any way accountable or you know they are not democratic representatives. And, that’s a global phenomenon. And that’s in India, that’s in China, that in the US, that is in the UK.

03.41
Alexa O’Brien
We don’t even just have a global financial crisis we have a global political crisis because our institutions are no longer functional.

Aaron Peters
Yeah exactly.

03.48
David Graeber:
And this is one of the point of the global justice movement which is that there are these sort of newly created administrative mech… global planetary political mechanisms….

Assange
Like the WTO

David Graeber:
Like the WTO, like the IMF…the people at least in places like the US weren’t even supposed to know exist, um, but were in fact governing the world. I mean there is the first really effective planetary bureaucracy which is created in the name of the sort of free market ideology which is supposed to stand against it, beaurocracy, but in fact exactly the opposite. Thus, the revolt is always in the name of democracy because that’s the thing which is obviously lacking. The financial crisis just brought it home. Um, especially in the matter of debt I think where you know it became very clear that the debts of the big players could be completely renegotiated by these, through these global mechanisms but yours can’t because your politicians are beholden to them and not to you.

04.35
Assange
So, I want to get right down into sort of the practical genesis so this is sort broad things happening in the background. But, if we go back to this, some of the key sort of ingredients in Occupy New York. In our research we see these, aahh, we’ve got the 99% but actually the phrasing wasn’t, We Are The 99%, it wasn’t just quite right and then there was you know these little sort of groping forewords in presentation skills that eventually coalest into something.

05.10
David Graeber
It’s a beautiful example of the collective process. I think I threw out like why don’t we do something of 99% and someone else, I think some Spaniards, said we the 99% and then I believe Chris, er, set up this tumbler page well he put in the ‘are’, so it was like actually different people contributed each word but it just came together beautiful.

05.30
Assange
Naomi, have you seen that sort of, that iterative process. Something has erected it wasn’t born as a burst of inspiration in just one person’s brain, it seems to have been something that actually has evolved through all these processes.

05.43
Naomi Colvin
I think that’s right. I think there are identifiable different streams which feed in to Occupy and Occupy is almost a galvanising movement when people are doing actually quite different things realised they can cooperate together and create something that is really extraordinary. If you want to look at Occupy London specifically, the trigger is clearly the example from Occupy Wall Street, the idea that um this extraordinary thing could happen on the other side of the Atlantic, it is somewhere you would never expected to be possible and so therefore you have to do something in London. Um, you also have feeding into what has happened elsewhere in Europe over the past year. What happens in London is not possible without um the example of what happened in Spain. It’s really a moment when everything comes together.

06.30
Assange
How much did the Indignados movement in Spain practically feed in in terms of logistical support or bodies on the ground um for Occupy New York?

06.39
Marisa Holmes
Well, there were many members of the Indignados that were actually in New York for one reason or another leading up to September 17 when they came to the early general assemblies and you know gave us the foundation and the context for what we were doing. So, we learnt a great deal from them.

06.54
David Graeber
There were even Egyptians there. I mean we got emails from Egypt saying I’m going to New York specifically to be there for this particular action. So, I think also in terms of the iterative learning process, I can say for myself personally that watching what was going on in Europe about how you scale it out, that information out for occupations, um, was definitely directly taken from that particular movement.

07.17
Assange
Naomi, in Occupy London there was a street sign put up Tahrir Square in front of St Paul’s Church….

07.26
Naomi Colvin
One of the most, one of the most photographed signs. I have no idea who put it up but um, but yeah um, I would say there was clearly people identified what they doing quite strongly with the inspiration of the Arab Spring. In terms of practical bodies on the ground, it’s the European movement which feeds in much more to London just because where we are.

15.17
Assange
I’m interested in this because I’m interested in a particular branch of philosophy about technique and the domination of technique that regard… whatever we try and do politically in one direction or another, we have to do it efficiently if it is to win. And to do it efficiently we have to adopt efficient techniques. And so, everyone regardless of which that they are going in starts to adopt efficient techniques and in the end it is the techniques, um, the techniques that win. David.

08.15
David Graeber
I think part of those techniques though is not just the um social media but there’s been a tradition for at least since of the 70s of creating new forms of direct democracy, of facilitation consensus, of decentralisation, of decision making that is deeply practical and in a way is there’s a kind of a synthesis whereby it defines itself against the way you act on social media. The kind of synergy so on the one hand your spreading information of certain kinds of social media but at the same time there are these deeply personalised new forms of democracy and that traditions, the fact that we had that to drawn, the people knew how to do facilitation and institutions like the People’s Microphone which had been developed over years that are there to draw on is absolutely critical.

08.59
Assange
This, this mythological culture that visually we’re very familiar with from Occupy – the Human Microphone, Mic Check, it’s a bit of street theatre on the other hand it seems to be practical, general assembly, this hand waving stuff which to me when I first saw I thought seemed terribly sort of effete and ineffectual but I, I can see it if you’ve got a whole lot of people and you want job to hear someone maybe. It’s not, it’s not a bad outcome. Aaron have you studied how these techniques came to be? Were, were there in fact any innovations in terms of technique?

Aaron Peters
Er, so if you are going back to that notion of the meme and the memetics, now there is an argument that has always existed in terms of how humans, er, share identities, how they create new ones, how they internalise them. But the point with these new kind of communicating means that that process is rapidly speeded up. I think there’s genuinely a relationship between, especially among younger people, online practice and offline practice where they’re not er interested in leaders, they not are interested necessarily in profit models. They are interested in the creation of value but frequently it’s the creation of value beyond the profit motive and beyond being coerst to do something. So it is a kind of voluntary, um, voluntary collective action.

10.17
Assange
The techniques in Occupy London were they grabbed from seeing what were people were doing in New York, in Occupy New York, or is it older?

10.24
Naomi Colvin
I think there is a interesting tension between the way consensus works online which it does if you look at how you sort of, how the hive mind situation works; it’s, it’s consensus but in a much less structured form. And, there is interesting tension between that which is a sort of mindset a lot of people came to occupy with, with the way um this tradition, this more traditionally if I can call it, consensus, structured consensus decision making works, works on the ground. And, that’s a tension which I think we explored at Occupy London without fully, fully resolving it.

10.55
Assange
We can see why Occupy wouldn’t have happened ten years ago. We had these protests movement welling up in Seattle and Genera and so on and bang we had September 11 and that was the end of it, um… So, we can see why it wouldn’t have happened ten years ago but why didn’t it happen five years ago?

11.10
Aaron Peters
I think well primarily social movements are around, they are always born out of grievance and a sense of being aggrieved and I think these are simply what’s happening is simply impossible without the global financial crisis. I mean it genuinely could have been the end of capitalism as we know it. We would have had massive problems with distributing food. The problem with complex societies is that when something goes wrong, it goes very wrong, um…

11.32
Assange
So, you think it wouldn’t of happened if it wasn’t for the GFC? That was such a driver…

11.38
Aaron Peters
Because they are tent cities in the states that aren’t within the occupy movement; they’re people who are simply homeless, um, so that’s, that’s the political symptom as much agency.

11.49
Assange
David, um Occupy sort of simmered for a while for the first week or ten days or something until there was violence.

David Graeber
Mmm. well yes…

Assange
I mean police violence but non the less violence and violence is sort of what is an effective marketing mechanism. Hollywood movies are full of violence.

12.16
Alexa O’Brien
I mean I was there and like you know living in the park for the first week so I can attest to the fact that we didn’t simmer, um, we protested all day, all week, you know, we occupied Wall Street, we went, you know, the opening bell and the closing bell every day, um, we had two general assemblies a day, we were, you know…

12.36
Assange
None the less, the media reportage just wasn’t there and it really kicked in once there was violence.

12.40
Alexa O’Brien
I mean I suppose what our aim was never to, you know….

12.44
Assange
I’m suggesting that maybe it should be based upon the experience of this event. That maybe actually in provoking police violence is something that really should be done if you…

David Graeber
We don’t really have to provoke anything, it’s going to happen.

Alexa O’Brien
We did not provoke police violence, we took a direct….

13.03
Assange
Making sure you can record police violence.

13.04
Alexa O’Brien
We took a non violent direct action. We went and we occupied a square so we could have a general assembly and started to talk about the world that we wanted to live in which we saw as completely antithetical to the world we were currently living in and the structures that governed it. So, yeah I mean I guess by being there and by exercising directly democratic process we were apposing a threat and so the police had to respond.

13.30
David Graeber
I mean there is nothing that terrifies the American government so much as the threat of democracy breaking out in American. They are sure to react violently.

13.38
Aaron Peters
The day that Occupy LSX, I was outside the main kind of quadrant of police right and I think I counted about 20 vans and I mean I’ve seen this enough times now. I heard the dogs coming out. I’ve seen the full intelligence teams, they’ve got their cameras there. Okay, this is now where they beat the living daylights out of everybody, and there’s no media here and they know that if they don’t stop it today, this could very quickly gain traction…

14.02
Assange
Naomi, you were the coordinator for Bradley Manning campaign. It was actually a rather interesting and unusual connection between the number of people who were in some ways bound up with supporting WikiLeaks or Bradley Manning, um or Anonymous and the Occupy movement but, Bradley Manning was made an example of. He wasn’t just arrested and then everything was kept quiet. I mean he was made a prominent example to act as a disincentive, um, because authority needs, er, to give prominent examples of what happens to people who are alleged to have disobeyed authority in order to keep authority. Um, these TV scenes of protestors on the receiving end of violence, in the weak position in relation to violence, do you think that that is also over the longer term setting an example, a negative example?

15.00
Naomi Colvin
Well, there’s a couple of things in there. I think the first is what was happening to Bradley in Quantico, um, he was being very badly treated over there; you know, the UN special rapporteur has come out and finally said. In terms of media representations of conflict, I think it’s, you know, without doubt that the coverage of you know what happens in the early days of New York, those were the, those were the pictures that went around the globe. They weren’t, it wasn’t mainstream media that they came from, it was citizen media, it was live stream so… and I think there’s certainly a degree to the presence of media and the fact that something ins happening in full view of the world which is a really important thing that has happened with, with Occupy being, you know, documenting itself all the time, it is kind of an important inhibiting force.

15.45
Marisa Holmes
I mean if it wasn’t for livestream and it wasn’t for our own social media teams then we wouldn’t have gotten into the mainstream press. We pushed the dialogue in a really important way.

15.54
Assange
Alexa, talk to me about the rule of law and occupy?
It was one of the demands of the US Day of Rage and seems to be rule of law due process.

16.03
Alexa O’Brien
Absolutely. I mean I think that at the base of any kind of… in the case of the United States a democratic republic or at least it is said to be a democratic republic there are several institutions, there’s the civic square, there’s the press and there’s elections. And when those things are in the hands of people, the institutions sort of find their health you know because they check each other. I think, um, in terms of the rule of law, I mean my own experience, er just if once citizen, one dollar, one vote so to speak, is so radical it has me written up in Australian security mag, I’m tied to al-Qaeda and I’m getting private messages from other security contractors that have relationships with the FBI telling me that you know be careful you’re, you’re somehow connected to Al-Qaeda that tells me immediately, it is an intimidation tactic, you know, essentially.

17.00
Assange
David, Occupy with that word came to world prominence as a result of Occupy in New York, but it spread over the United States. Can you describe a bit this spread, er, of Occupy over the continental United States?

17.13
David Graeber
It was remarkably quick. I was flabbergasted. I was astounded. Um, because you know you dream of these things happening but you never really think they are actually going to happen. Um, I would say in three weeks we had something like 800 occupations and granted some of those occupations were just one guy with a sign but a lot of them weren’t, um, a lot of them were large camps of people in places like, you know, Missoula, Occupy Saskatchewan in Canada, this remarkable outpouring and it happened very very quickly.

17.49
Assange
I want to get on to, to, space so why is it important to occupy a space at all..

Naomi Colvin
Um….

Assange
Why not just stay at home? You’ve got your rolladex, you’ve got your friends, you’ve got your social networking, why not just coordinate from behind the scenes – isn’t it a bit of waste of time to pitch up tents and you can’t do things efficiently?

18.11
Naomi Colvin
Um well it’s, it goes back to the question about why online movement move offline at all, I think there is a natural human need to communicate face to face and actually it is much more profound. I think working online you’re sort of, it is about coordinating autonomous individuals to do things and you have some feeling that you’re part of a community of people that feels the same thing, or is concerned about the same thing but it is nothing like being, you know, being in a space of say, everyone is there and willing to, you know, and wanting to talk to each other because it is actually recreating the kind of society which people wish existed all the time.

18.46
Alexa O’Brien
I think it is also an experiment of to see how far you can push, er, your engagement with, you know with in the civic space meaning you know when civic space is the curb between the Chucky Cheese and the Wal-Mart, er, which it is in the United States in a lot of cases and a lot of even small towns, there is a need to create a publicness that is not private, er that is not related to one’s job even, that is, is, the we, the we that comes together that deals with Carlisle buying our water or whatever it might be.

19.20
Assange
But David, does the space have to be contested? I mean everyone could go out into, into the redwoods of California, um.. In fact, the G8 has been moved off to Camp David, er, it seems in order to achieve just that effect.

19.41
David Graeber
I think yes, um I think there has been for the last 30 years there has been this systematic assault on the notion of community and, and, and the idea of the imagination of political imagination. And this is a way of reclaiming both at the same time. So, I think that idea of taking something back is critically important.

19.57
Assange
Is it, is it a demonstration of sovereignty in literal terms of an area of land? We physically control through our political decision this space which you do not control….

David Graeber
Absolutely and that is what critical about it. I mean it’s a dual power strategy. I mean we are talking about force. Um, we are not talking about legalities, they are not talking legalities and neither are we. Either might deploy one as a weapon um but what we are saying is this is our space, this is our… we’re the public, this is a public space, um, we’re going to take it and that’s simple act of defiance is enormously creative. I mean everything follows from that and everything else we’ve done has been from the fact that we start out without accepting the terms of the existing order and with the will to imagine a new one.

20.47
Assange
in the domination of that physical space, in creating your own little mini state at Occupy which is I think the correct term when you physically control an area of land when you have the monopoly on coercive force, um, you started to erect certain structures about how to deal with each other and how to coordinate with each other and certain methodologies for dealing with the police, for dealing with opportunists within the Occupy movement, for dealing with crazy people, for dealing with the garbage. Um those Methodologies that you came up with for political decision making and practically dealing with things, do you see them as a blueprint for dealing with wider society or are they methodologies that are simply for, or mostly for, um dealing with the particular problem at hand which is how to occupy a square.

21.49
Naomi Colvin
I don’t think we ever did have the monopoly of force within Occupy and it would have been a lot easier had we done that in actually negotiating, you know, what you do in this situation where, sort of, you know any disruption that may happen actually you don’t, actually you don’t have the power of coercion you have the power of persuasion, you have the power of showing what, you know, what the majority of people in that, in that space think but ultimately no you don’t have coercion and that also is you know is an education.

22.19
Assange
You’ve got a disruptive person in there or they’re a mad person , they are ruining it for everyone, um, what do you do with them? What do you do with them in Occupy? How do you get rid of them? Do you call cops?

David Graeber
We don’t do that…

22.38
Marisa Holmes
Actually we’ve been using a combination of things, um de-escalation, mediation and non-violent communication have been the modes of dealing with conflicts within the party.

22.48
Assange
So David, if push comes to shove at the end, I stay there, you’re fucking rules don’t apply to me, I want to drum when I want to drum, I want to talk when I want to talk, I want be naked when I want to be naked – don’t you need your big guys to turn up at some stage and go, look buddy, come on, you’re ruining it for everyone, piss off.

23.07
David Graeber
There are many ways to put pressure on people.

[laughter]

Assange
Such as?

23.16
Marisa Holmes
So with the drummers for instance, I mean we had an assembly where we talked about the drummings situation. We just negotiated it within the realm of the assembly.

23.28
Alexa O’Brien
There certainly are conflicts and tensions that are natural to human beings in groups within Occupy. It is not like the space that Occupy creates suddenly is like a utopia, because it isn’t.

23.38
Assange
Aaron, at the end don’t you need a mechanism, a process to deploy cohesive force?

23.43
Aaron Peters
Er, it’s er, practically it’s a question that needs answering, of course…

Assange
God, you guys are so uncomfortable with this, it’s great.

23.54
Aaron Peters
No, I don’t, I… go to a decent , decent…this is a general kind of existential question…

Assange
Well you might have put them in psychotherapy for ten years….

Aaron Peters:
I don’t incline to that personally.

Assange
Well put them in psychotherapy for ten years but in the meantime you’ve got someone in your god damn camp causing a problem.

David Graeber
There have been people who have been banned from meetings and like that, that has happened but…in a way we’re, we’re trying to delicately move around some issues that perhaps we don’t want to talk about so much or which is intentional subversion. There were attempts to sort of dump people on us, um, there were, you know, at some point the police were taking recently released prisoners and taking them buses to the park and saying hey there’s free food here, um, it isn’t just that these sociopathy just naturally appears if you have people in a camp. There was a very directed attempt to try to subvert us and give us the choice between you know either beginning overwhelmed or kind of turning into a social welfare model where we take care of these people which is another thing that started happening.

24.58
Assange
How did Occupy London, er, prevent pathological, social grifters, er, who were very glib in their words, er, good at telling one thing to one person, another thing to another person, spreading rumours and sewing decent from rising up to the top? Or has it?

25.20
Naomi Colvin
well [laughter] I think…

25.25
David Graeber
Right and if it has a top it is very easy to do but if it is a horizontal movement it is really quite hard. I mean there is only so much damage a sociopath can do. I mean this is what I always say about anarchism when people say what about, what about you know people who just don’t care about anyone else and who are selfish jerks and I’ll say well yes but at least they wont end up in charge of armies, um [laughter], which they do here you know. Really only so much damage like such a person can do if they don’t have a structure where they can start dominating rising to the top. One thing I actually agree with William F. Buckley, he once said that I’d rather be governed by the first three hundred names in the phone book then the people currently running for congress – I agree. They would probably do a better job.

26.12
Assange
But I mean in the end what, however we govern ourselves we have to be able to be competitive with those that would seek to govern us another way.

Alexa O’Brien:
Absolutely.

26.20
David Graeber:
That’s why an international movement is so important and that is what we’re seeing. I mean there’s a feeling out there that the enemy is becoming increasingly globalised and the only way it can be challenged is by global movements so in that sense whether states are competitive with one another is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Assange
Aaron?

26.38
Aaron Peters
So we have got the biggest transformation global political economy in terms of stuff going to South, South East Asia with all this debt I mean it is only going to end one way, like clearly the West is over, like it is just apparent to everybody but public policy makers in the West.

[laughter]

Aaron Peters:
It is just abundantly evident, I don’t think it is really clear….

David Graeber:
Not clear they don’t really know too.

Aaron Peters:
Well we started talking 1989 moments and money not coming out of cashpoints, people laugh at you, it’s pretty obvious that the party is over.

David Graeber
It only makes sense that the 1% is going to try to grab all the cookies if there are less cookies to grab, um, but it seems very unlikely if you look at it historically that they are going to end up with them.

END CREDITS