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With Occupy Sandy Relief, Occupy Wall Street Becomes a Movement

Occupy Wall Street

When Occupy Wall Street pitched up at Zucotti Park in New York over a year ago, many people, even those of us involved, doubted it would be much more than a predictable street battle with the cops before we were all dispersed and sent home. I had the same feeling a month later when Met officers kettled thousands of us around St. Paul's Cathedral during our attempt to occupy the London Stock Exchange. The following morning, when Canon Giles Fraser kindly asked the police to leave, and announced that the protestors were welcome to stay, that kicked off, for me, months of intense organizing with amazing people, both within and without of, Occupy London. We definitely changed the conversation and made some interesting allies, but concrete achievements are harder to identify.

With Occupy Sandy Relief, Occupy Wall Street Becomes a Movement

By Adam Jung
December 2, 2012
HuffingtonPost

When Occupy Wall Street pitched up at Zucotti Park in New York over a year ago, many people, even those of us involved, doubted it would be much more than a predictable street battle with the cops before we were all dispersed and sent home. I had the same feeling a month later when Met officers kettled thousands of us around St. Paul's Cathedral during our attempt to occupy the London Stock Exchange. The following morning, when Canon Giles Fraser kindly asked the police to leave, and announced that the protestors were welcome to stay, that kicked off, for me, months of intense organizing with amazing people, both within and without of, Occupy London. We definitely changed the conversation and made some interesting allies, but concrete achievements are harder to identify.

Almost fifteen months later, with Occupy Sandy, we see dramatic achievements daily, communities empowering themselves, and a truly organic movement becoming more decentralized, more efficient, more focused, and receiving praise from some very unlikely corners, including The New York Times, Mayor Bloomberg (he's still a asshole though,) Governor Cuomo, and even Glenn Beck's website, The Blaze (that guy is definitely still an asshole.)

The roots of Occupy Wall Street are the anarchist traditions of mutual aid and mutual respect. That each person can contribute value, that most will, and that given the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect them, and the autonomy to act, people will collectively implement the most fair and effective way of delivering the results desired by the community. It's really a simple concept, but one that can be hard to articulate using real world situations. Like many things, you need to experience the benefit of mutual aid, not be lectured about it.

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