Sunday, December 11, 2011

Occupy everywhere: Is this (R)evolution?

 The protests  have mushroomed in over 900 cities in 80-plus countries over the past few months. It is difficult to say how or where they originated since it all started in different places at about the same time within months of difference, from the Arab Spring, to Spain's Indignados in May, to, finally, Occupy Wall Street and from there to the 99% camps in cities all over the world. Here is a post by That in Black ink about "how hopeful and positive the movement is".
 According to The Economist, "For many, the main aim may be to have fun. But the protest is also notable for scrupulous adherence to the sort of democratic values that Alexis de Tocqueville, a French chronicler of America, loved. A general assembly meets up to twice a day to discuss proposals from working groups. "
  But these protests are a powerful signal worldwide. Their mere existence shows that people are determined to "think globally" about routes out of this crisis - (BBC news)

Like Camila Vallejo, a Chilean student leader says: "This is a world battle that transcends all frontiers." (The Guardian)

"Change is in the air. It's 1968 all over again. From Madrid, to Rio, to New York, the "occupy" movement is catching fire across the world and has achieved a radical shift in the way we think about our politics. From New York to London, politicians and the police have been bought off to protect corporate interests. They are forcibly evicting the peaceful protesters from public spaces and discrediting the movement in the media as "dirty hippies" and "violent criminals" with no clear agenda. It's not hard to see why they're nervous: the occupiers have sparked a vital battle of ideas, and the corrupt, elite 1% stand to lose everything." (Avaaz)
"What we are witnessing around the world today with the 99% in America, the Indignados in Spain, UK Uncut, the Arab Spring, is directly linked to what took place on February 15 2003. From Wall Street to Wisconsin, from Madrid to Athens, and all across the Middle East, people are rising up to make their voices heard. This is a story of anger, passion and remarkable people striving for justice and democracy. It's a story of huge change happening in our time." (We are many)
 If these topics make your blood boil, like they make mine, you won't be able to wait for the release of 'We are many':  "We Are Many is a documentary about the never-before-told story of the biggest protest in history, on 15 February 2003 The day that saw an estimated 30 million people in over 700 cities around the world, gave birth to a new global social movement. "
* Photos from Occupy Amsterdam (October, November and December 2011), Barcelona's indignados camp in Plaça Catalunya (Early June 2011) and last snippet from Occupy Dordrecht (December 2011).

Post edit :
-Here is an interesting article about the "Occupy" movement in the Mexican context. Sad but true, its title says it all: Indignados si, resignados también. 
-Also, this article, by Immanuel Wallerstein, "The World Left after 2011" is a very interesting analysis on the influence of these movements,  and what it will take to make change happen.  And if you would like to read it in Spanish, here is the translation: :La izquierda mundial despues de 2011,  in the Mexican journal, La Jornada.


  1. I am a bit sceptic about the success of these movements...they remind me of the Asambleas populares that took place in Buenos Aires and other cities in Argentina after the crisis of 2001-2002...

  2. BTW, I recommend you this post (and the blog, in general)

  3. @ Marcela, thanks for the link I am busy reading it right now. The main thing about this movement is that though the reasons for the "protesting" are clear, they do not seem to be giving clear solutions, or can not all come together in pin pointing what it is that they want. But, as I see it, the movement is a symptom that things ought to change and it is a good start for change, for the change that we , as a society want to build. I always think of a phrase I saw in a graffiti, in Barcelona:"molta gente petita en molts llocs petits, fara petites coses que transforman el mon" . (It is catalan I probably made spelling mistakes). Thing is we CAN make a difference in our everyday lives (volunteering, choosing which products and businesses to support and the food we eat...). In the same way, because of that word, used so much in so many distorted ways, democracy, we can actually push our governments for the changes we want, childcare, health, education, sustainable development....

  4. I agree that each of us can make a change. As Ghandi said: Be the change you want to see in the World. What I do not see is that this change will come massively from this movement, I suspect it will fade away somehow...I hope I am wrong!
    I wonder if we still live in real democracies...Governments seem to be completely disconnected from what people want. A change is definitely needed, but we still need to find a way to make it better.

  5. Me gustaría que a tu lista México se hubiera agregado de forma real y no sólo un pequeñísimo grupo que ya se perdió...

  6. @ Zarawitta, si, es verdad, es lo que dice Marcela, es la gran decepcion en cierta forma, que el movimiento simplemente se disipe. Esperamos que vuelva a brotar, que al menos logren hacernos cuestionar a todos los modos, las formas, y buscar algo mejor. Es dificil.... En donde los viste en el DF? En otros estados?


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