Monday, December 12, 2011

Another good backgrounder on the Occupy movement

There is another good background article on the Occupy (Wall Street) movement in The New Yorker by Mattathias Schwartz entitled "Pre-Occupied - The origins and future of Occupy Wall Street." I found the link on the Adbusters web site, so that is about as close to an official endorsement by the movement itself as you could possibly get.
Adbusters also links to an opinion piece on Al Jazeera by David Graeber, the self-described "anarchist" who was instrumental in getting Occupy Wall Street underway on the ground in New York City, entitled "Occupy Wall Street's anarchist roots."
The New Yorker article highlights an interesting perspective on this so-called "leaderless movement":
After the August 2nd gathering, the movement's center of gravity shifted from Vancouver to New York. The protesters planning the September occupation met again, on August 9th, at the Irish Hunger Memorial, near Battery Park; all subsequent meetings were held on the south side of Tompkins Square Park. Early on, they decided to call the organization the New York City General Assembly.
In theory, the job of facilitating the meetings rotated among the eighty or so attendees. In practice, facilitation fell to a much smaller set of people who had experience with the general-assembly process. The leaderless movement was developing leaders. Graeber was among this first rank of equals, as was Marisa Holmes, a twenty-five-year-old anarchist and filmmaker. Holmes is dark-haired and eloquent; she has the parliamentarian's trick of making harsh ultimatums sound palatable, even breezy.
Interesting reading to complement the mind-numbing "We are the 99%!" propaganda-rhetoric of the "protesters" themselves.

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