Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America

Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America

Sarah Leonard

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1844679403

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In the fall of 2011, a small protest camp in downtown Manhattan exploded into a global uprising, sparked in part by the violent overreactions of the police. An unofficial record of this movement, Occupy! combines adrenalin-fueled first-hand accounts of the early days and weeks of Occupy Wall Street with contentious debates and thoughtful reflections, featuring the editors and writers of the celebrated n+1, as well as some of the world’s leading radical thinkers, such as Slavoj Žižek, Angela Davis, and Rebecca Solnit.

The book conveys the intense excitement of those present at the birth of a counterculture, while providing the movement with a serious platform for debating goals, demands, and tactics. Articles address the history of the “horizontalist” structure at OWS; how to keep a live-in going when there is a giant mountain of laundry building up; how very rich the very rich have become; the messages and meaning of the “We are the 99%” tumblr website; occupations in Oakland, Boston, Atlanta, and elsewhere; what happens next; and much more.

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t-shirts. There was at least one anarcho-hassid—a subculture until then unknown to me—waving a small red-and-black flag. The grievance was seemingly directed at the absence of incident. True: Were one to compare it to the clashes with riot police, or the 700 arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge, it was an uneventful march. Nothing much happened. The group had formed out of the Liberty Plaza encampment, heeding a fellow protester’s call to march. When they passed us heading south on Church Street, my

Street’s defiant style of nonviolent protest has consistently clashed with the NYPD’s obsession with order maintenance policing, resulting in hundreds of mostly unnecessary arrests and a significant infringement on the basic rights of free speech and assembly. The origins of this conflict can be found in the rise of public disorder in the 1980s and NYPD’s embrace of order maintenance policing in the 1990s. The 1980s witnessed an explosion in public disorder on New York’s streets. The city was

was serious but also light-hearted. One person suggested that universal care centers be established in former post offices, once the USPS folds. Another objected to full employment as a demand, saying that Americans already work too much. In the middle of our discussion, we debated why it was problematic to make a demand, how in order for a demand to be meaningful, one must have some power to leverage. Someone asked if we could demand that our list of demands be published in Harper’s. As we

Skyway Malaysian restaurant on 11 Allen’s ground floor as random stragglers waiting for a Chinatown bus watched on. “Down with gentrification!” they shouted in Chinese. Their signs read things like: “Greedy landlords, shame on you!” Black members of Picture the Homeless spoke about being foreclosed upon—“we all have a right to our homes!”—and their words were translated rapid-fire into Chinese. (The Bronx-based organization has also recently begun to provide some services to the homeless folks

around him; “down in front,” people called out, and everyone sat down. Then most of them stood back up. A shot of Michael Moore sitting in a director’s chair, in a dark, possibly empty park, surrounded by a couple of security guards: apparently this does not make for good television. We’re live, someone said, and a boy standing behind Moore waved at the camera. People held their phones up the air and took pictures, like they do at concerts. Meanwhile, on the other side of the park, the General

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