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Wednesday, July 23 2014 @ 03:05 AM CDT

David Graeber looks at the Occupy movement, from the inside

Occupy Wall Street

Just open a window or turn on the TV — the same old civilization is rotting all around us. Budget cuts, police shootings, endless and ever-broadening wars, the climate in full-scale, almost-end-times spasm, a Congress of hand puppets yelping on about the manufactured crisis of the moment, a president whose answer to every crisis is More of the Same. Analogous situations have, over the last four years, lighted the streets on fire in Britain, France, Spain, Ireland, Latvia, Italy, Greece, Chile, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria, to name a few.

David Graeber looks at the Occupy movement, from the inside

By Ben Ehrenreich
Los Angeles Times
April 19, 2013

"It's a difficult business," writes David Graeber, "creating a new, alternative civilization."

Just open a window or turn on the TV — the same old civilization is rotting all around us. Budget cuts, police shootings, endless and ever-broadening wars, the climate in full-scale, almost-end-times spasm, a Congress of hand puppets yelping on about the manufactured crisis of the moment, a president whose answer to every crisis is More of the Same. Analogous situations have, over the last four years, lighted the streets on fire in Britain, France, Spain, Ireland, Latvia, Italy, Greece, Chile, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria, to name a few.

There was, in 2011, a brief exception to this sad form of American exceptionalism. Remember Occupy Wall Street? On Sept. 17 of that year, 2,000 people filled New York's Zuccotti Park. A few hundred stayed the night, and the night after that. "We are the 99%," they declared.

The slogan caught on. Soon, the crowds were swelling to the tens of thousands. Police attempts to contain the movement — with pepper spray, beatings, mass arrests — only helped it to spread. Within weeks, there were occupations in more than 500 American cities and towns: In California, not only in Los Angeles and Oakland but also in Riverside, Torrance, Fresno....

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