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Monday, July 28 2014 @ 07:20 AM CDT

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From occupation to reconstruction

Occupy Wall Street

Ever since I wrote a book about Occupy Wall Street, I’ve often found myself being asked, “What happened to Occupy, anyway?” Now, more than two years since the movement faded from the headlines and in the wake of French economist Thomas Piketty’s best-selling diagnosis of economic inequality, the urgency of the question is mounting, not diminishing. The answer is also becoming clearer: The networks of activists that formed in the midst of 2011’s worldwide wave of protest are developing into efforts to create durable economic and political experiments. Rather than focusing on opposing an unjust system, they’re testing ways to replace it with something new.

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The cybernetics of Occupy: an anarchist perspective

Occupy Wall Street

In 1963, in the British journal Anarchy, a short debate took place on the relationship between anarchist forms of organization and organizational cybernetics. Organizational cybernetics, for those unfamiliar with the term, is often defined as the science of communication and control in organic, mechanical and social systems. While the term might suggest images of high technology and even cyborgs, etymologically it is derived from the Ancient Greek word κυβερνήτης (kyvernítis, or kybernetes), which means ‘steersman’ or ‘pilot’, and referred to the steering of a ship.

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Class, “Identity Politics” and Stigmergy: Why We Don’t Need “One Big Movement”

Occupy Wall Street

In any case, calls for One Big Movement, united around a simple common platform with the broadest possible appeal, are fundamentally wrong-headed. This is essentially the same argument that the old establishment Left — some of whom proudly call themselves “verticalists” — have made against the horizontalist direction the Occupy movement has taken.

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Injustice visits Occupy Wall Streeter

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street demonstrator Cecily McMillan has become collateral damage of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's relentless policing of the group and its protests. And the grotesque unfairness could continue on Monday when the 25-year-old faces a sentence of up to 7 years in prison in a case that also underscores a blow to the right of dissent.

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20 on the Right in Occupy

Occupy Wall Street

In my Public Eye article “The Right Hand of Occupy Wall Street,” I detail many of the issues related to right-wing and conspiracy theorist participation in the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement—including the false attempts by the mainstream right-wing media to “smear” all of Occupy as antisemitic.1 I also show how genuine Far Right—as well as conspiracy and right-libertarian—elements were drawn to Occupy by its critique of finance capital, welcoming of everyone, ambiguous categories (such as “the 99%” and “the 1%”), and use of franchise activism. Partly because of the original “smear,” many progressive activists simply refused to acknowledge the presence and extent of right-wing involvement in Occupy.

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Cop elbowed in eye by Occupy protester repeatedly mentioned wrong eye in testimony

Occupy Wall Street

A cop who was elbowed in the eye by an Occupy Wall Street activist in 2012 repeatedly cited the wrong eye when testifying in front of a Manhattan grand jury, it was revealed Friday. On cross-examination, defense attorney Martin Stolar read from minutes that revealed the cop, Grantley Bovell, previously said multiple times under oath that the wrong eye was injured. Bovell could not answer why he spoke about an injury to his right eye, rather than his left.

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NYPD Testifies In Trial of Cecily McMillan, Occupy Wall St. Protester Accused of Assaulting Cop

Occupy Wall Street

On Friday, the trial of Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan began, more than two years after she's accused of assaulting NYPD officer Grantley Bovell during a March 17, 2012 demonstration at Zuccotti Park. Jury selection took the better part of a week, as both sides had difficulty finding jurors who didn't have opinions about the Occupy movement. Testimony began late Friday; this morning, court was almost immediately interrupted when supporters of McMillan entered the courtroom wearing pink paper hearts on their lapels. After the hearts were confiscated by court security, Officer Bovell finally took the stand for the first part of his testimony, telling the jury that McMillan deliberately elbowed him in the face as he was trying to escort her from the park.

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FBI Ordered to Justify Shielding of Records Sought About Alleged ‘Occupy’ Sniper Plot

Occupy Wall Street

A federal judge has ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to give her a better explanation for its refusal to turn over information to a student researching an alleged plot to assassinate “Occupy” protest leaders in Houston.

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Occupy, Solidarities, and Social Movement Creation

Occupy Wall Street

I am often asked, usually in a pejorative tone, “What has Occupy even accomplished?” As a sociologist though, these questions make me wonder “How do occupiers accomplish anything? How are projects made? How are they spread? Under what conditions are they successful? What do failed projects have in common?”

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Two Years After the Eviction of OWS, Here's 5 People Keeping the Movement Alive

Occupy Wall Street

It was a cold night in late January 2012. The New York subway doors opened and a tall, dark-haired, 30-ish young man dressed entirely in black—leather jacket, jeans, and boots—stepped into the car. Hanging from his backpack were an orange plastic bullhorn and a small drum; tied on top was a thin sleeping mat.

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2 years later, Yates raid remembered

Occupy Wall Street

It was two years ago when members of activist group Occupy Everywhere, as well as other groups of protestors, overtook the abandoned Yates Motor Company building at 419 W. Franklin St. Today the building still sits empty on Franklin Street — a point of contention to many of the protestors. According to a memorandum Police Chief Chris Blue sent to Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil in February 2012, there were approximately 65 to 75 protestors in and around the building the night of the incident on Nov. 13, 2011. In the memo, Blue said protestors were planning to hold down the building indefinitely.

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Occupy Sandy: One Year Later

Occupy Wall Street

In order to fill the vacuum, Occupy Wall Street activists quickly mobilized on the ground. At one point, Michael Premo, one of the volunteers, estimated the recovery effort included 2,500 volunteers, 15,000 meals and 120 carloads of supplies sent to recovery sites.

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Occupy Wall Street Undercover Cop Outed After Road Rage Incident

Occupy Wall Street

Wojciech Braszczok is a Detective (for now) in the exclusive NYPD Intelligence Division & Counter-Terrorism Bureau, who worked undercover gathering intelligence and keeping tabs on Occupy Wall Street and related protest movements. Within Occupy he went by the name “Albert” or simply “Al.” He was a regular though somewhat quiet presence at OWS meeting and marches, as well as the Occupy Sandy mutual aid relief effort response to Super Storm Sandy last October.

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Two Years After Occupy Wall Street, a Network of Offshoots Continue Activism for the 99%

Occupy Wall Street

Nathan, you write in the beginning of the book, you say for nearly two months in the fall of 2011 a square block of granite and honey locust trees in New York’s Financial District, right between Wall Street and the World Trade Center, became a canvas for the image of another world. Two years later how has that canvas been preserved and what are some of the activities that the Occupiers are now involved with?

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Occupy’s Legacy: A Massive Burbling of Possibilities

Occupy Wall Street

I’d like to propose a toast to Occupy Wall Street, which celebrated its second birthday this September 17 with protests, marches, puppet shows and ballet lessons atop the Financial District’s iconic Charging Bull.

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Searching for Sustainable Models of Activism, 2 Years After Occupy

Occupy Wall Street

While economists are celebrating a tenuous recovery five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, this week’s U.S. Census Bureau report on poverty provided a sobering statistic: 15 percent of Americans are poor, a number that has remained the same since last year. It seems recovery is for the rich; the well-being of poor Americans does not enter into the equation of how we measure national wealth.

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Your Sentiment is not the Collective Truth, and The State is Only One of Many Enemies

Occupy Wall Street

“After the Crest II”, a recent article about Occupy Oakland, is framed as an objective historical “analysis”. It narrates a specific series of events that were momentous and emotional for some people, and that were followed by “a process of grief” lasting 1 1/2 years. For us, this is a highly biased and emotionally inflected account that does not represent our experience. For the authors of ATCII, there is one narrative, one set of wonderful things, one set of bad things, one sorry state of post-movement mourning. No doubt anyone who tries to tell the story of Occupy Oakland will have their own version that others will contest.

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