Tag Archives: Occupy Movement

Occupy Wall Street, five years on: fire in the dustbin of history

There’s a feeling common among everyone I know from the weird, wild, fast-moving political days of 2011. It’s a feeling of having somehow gone down the wrong trouser-leg of time.

Five years ago today, the Occupy movement began in Lower Manhattan. Thousands of activists took over New York City’s Zuccotti Park, a square of semi-public land suspended between Wall Street and Ground Zero, and declared their intent to stay. Their goals were broad enough to appear incoherent: nothing more or less than total change to the political narrative, with jobs, healthcare, education and debt relief as transitional demands. The sheer gall of it started a global conversation about income inequality that continues to this day.

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Posted by on September 21, 2016 in Reportages, Revolution



What a Band of 20th-Century Alabama Communists Can Teach Black Lives Matter and the Offspring of Occupy

On the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking history, Hammer and Hoe, author Robin D.G. Kelley discusses the lessons Alabama’s forgotten black communists can offer today’s activists.

Source: What a Band of 20th-Century Alabama Communists Can Teach Black Lives Matter and the Offspring of Occupy

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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in North America


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The Time Is Right for a Palace Revolution

Tariq Ali is part of the royalty of the left. His more than 20 books on politics and history, his seven novels, his screenplays and plays and his journalism in the Black Dwarf newspaper, the New Left Review and other publications have made him one of the most trenchant critics of corporate capitalism. He hurls rhetorical thunderbolts and searing critiques at the oily speculators and corporate oligarchs who manipulate global finance and the useful idiots in the press, the political system and the academy who support them. The history of the late part of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century has proved Ali, an Oxford-educated intellectual and longtime gadfly who once stood as a Trotskyist candidate for Parliament in Britain, to be stunningly prophetic.

The Pakistani-born Ali, who holds Pakistani and British citizenships, was already an icon of the left during the convulsions of the 1960s. Mick Jagger is said to have written “Street Fighting Man” after he attended an anti-war rally in Grosvenor Square on March 17, 1968, led by Ali, Vanessa Redgrave and others outside the U.S. Embassy in London. Some 8,000 protesters hurled mud, stones and smoke bombs at riot police. Mounted police charged the crowd. Over 200 people were arrested.

via ZCommunications » Tariq Ali: The Time Is Right for a Palace Revolution —

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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in Revolution


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First we take Athens, then we take Berlin? Syriza’s victory and the twilight of Neoliberalism

As in the famous photograph of the Parthenon, the peoples of Europe are indeed rising up – even if the KKE, which hung those posters, has singularly ruled itself out of taking any part in the remarkable confrontation with the Troika its one-time comrades in Syriza are now engaging in.

Across the continent, there is quite rightly a huge wave of hope at seeing that there is an alternative to simply taking our neoliberal medicine and watching as work, education, health, democracy and common decency are hacked to pieces by our increasingly-indistinguishable rulers.

Leaving aside the many possible partial analyses – of the history of German occupation, British military support for the postwar assault on the Greek resistance, NATO’s support for the regime of the colonels, the splits and reorganisation of the Greek left after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the corruption of Greek social democracy, the twisting of arms and breaking of mandates to ensure Troika rule, the perverse effects of bleeding money out of the economy, the rise of “solidarity economy” in response to the destruction of the welfare state, the wave of workplace occupations, the radical Greek diaspora abroad and so on – how can we understand “the movement as a whole”?

via First we take Athens, then we take Berlin? Syriza’s victory and the twilight of Neoliberalism —

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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in European Union, Revolution


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The Left Can Win

Spain’s newest political party is also its most popular. With roots in the 2011 indignados movement (also called the 15-M movement), Podemos emerged in January with a petition launched by a few dozen intellectuals. In May’s European Parliament elections, just months after its formation, the leftist party captured 8 percent of the vote. It is now the second largest political party in Spain by membership and the largest in the polls. Even the Financial Times admits, “the new party appears to be on course to shatter Spain’s established two-party system.”

via The Left Can Win —

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Posted by on December 16, 2014 in European Union


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Hong Kong Visions

On the morning of November 6, strung out from a long transpacific journey, fighting jet lag but feeling revved by a mixture of caffeine and adrenaline, I set out to walk the two miles that separated my hillside University of Hong Kong guesthouse from the Admiralty district. As I walked, I kept looking into the distance expectantly, eager to catch my first glimpse of the barricades and tents that would tell me I was finally seeing firsthand evidence of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement, which I had been tracking closely from afar since it erupted in late September. When they finally came into view, though, I had an unsettling thought. What if, after I had spent so much time reading reports about it and seeing images on screens, there wasn’t much of a payoff? What if there were no insights to gain or even novelties to appreciate seeing it up close? Much about the scene that stretched out before me in Hong Kong’s financial district seemed oddly familiar: I expected to see tents of just those shapes and colors. Devoid of vehicles, the streets ahead looked nothing like they had when I last saw them 18 months ago, when they had been filled with passenger cars, trucks, cabs, and buses. Still, I felt a strange sense of déjà vu. After coming all this way, I fretted, would there be nothing to surprise me?

via Hong Kong Visions | The Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Asia, Revolution


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From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Central: The Case of Hong Kong

SOMETIMES IT SEEMS as if every time Occupy has been declared dead in one place, it crops up somewhere else. From Nigeria to Turkey, Brazil to Bosnia, and most recently, now, Hong Kong, where a sudden and unexpected revival of “Occupy Central” — the movement that set up camp on the ground floor of the HSBC headquarter in Central in 2011 in solidarity with the occupation of Zuccotti Park in New York — has paralyzed the city for over a week.

via From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Central: The Case of Hong Kong | The Los Angeles Review of Books.

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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Asia, Revolution


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Trees, Forests and the Future

Today’s news: widespread war, generalized austerity, global warming, energy depletion, cyber snooping, drones…

Today’s response: many commentators and protestors making a compelling, convincing, comprehensive case, in words and deeds, for getting beyond the trees of the details to the forest of the causes.

Of course the commentators and protestors describe national hysteria and imperial agendas, the public commons made commercial, fare hikes, festering massive unemployment, huge cutbacks crippling education, health, even provision of water, vicious redistribution upwards, unrelenting thermo records fueling storm chaos, databases that coerce as much or more than truncheons, and the machines and winds of war – plus ubiquitous government intransigence about it all, corporate celebrations of it all, and police violence defending it all.

via Trees, Forests and the Future —

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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Revolution


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They Can’t Outlaw the Revolution

RIKERS ISLAND, N.Y.—Cecily McMillan, the Occupy activist who on Monday morning will appear before a criminal court in New York City to be sentenced to up to seven years on a charge of assaulting a police officer, sat in a plastic chair wearing a baggy, oversized gray jumpsuit, cheap brown plastic sandals and horn-rim glasses. Other women, also dressed in prison-issued gray jumpsuits, sat nearby in the narrow, concrete-walled visitation room clutching their children, tears streaming down their faces. The children, bewildered, had their arms wrapped tightly around their mothers’ necks. It looked like the disaster scene it was.

“It’s all out in the open here,” said the 25-year-old student, who was to have graduated May 22 with a master’s degree from The New School of Social Research in New York City. “The cruelty of power can’t hide like it does on the outside. You get America, everything America has become, especially for poor people of color in prison. My lawyers think I will get two years. But two years is nothing compared to what these women, who never went to trial, never had the possibility of a trial with adequate legal representation, face. There are women in my dorm who, because they have such a poor command of English, do not even understand their charges. I spent a lot of time trying to explain the charges to them.”

via Chris Hedges: They Can’t Outlaw the Revolution – Chris Hedges – Truthdig.

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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in North America, Revolution


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The age of dissent

In 2012, after the beginnings of the Arab revolutions, Paul Mason, editor at BBC’s Newsnight programme, wrote a book called “Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere – The New Global Revolutions”. Mason pointed out that social neworks, a newfound sense of self-reliance, and a disjuncture between the young and an old political order are ushering in a new age of discontent.

He may well be right. Today, while the Arab world continues with its political somersaults, the street in Thailand, Ukraine, Brazil and Turkey and elsewhere is alive with protest. Foreign Policy magazine has put together a timeline highlighting that demonstrations have indeed significantly increased globally over the past 20 years.

Why are people going out on the street to address their woes? It’s an act of courage and determination that can land you in jail, one far more difficult than simply casting a vote in the ballot box. What has changed?

via The age of dissent – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Reportages, Revolution


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