Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Anti-capitalist perspectives on the Occupy movement

The January issue of Insurgent Notes, an online left-communist journal, is devoted mainly to the Occupy movement, with a lead editorial, reports from Occupy campaigns in six U.S. cities, and an article on "class struggle in the US from the 2008 crash to the eve of the Occupations movement." Here's a quote from the editorial:

"The Occupy movement discovered the remaining central public space as the one place of visibility capable of reaching large numbers of people. 'Making shame more shameful still by making it public' (Marx) was an important part of what OWS and its spinoffs were about, after decades in which so much degradation and rollback had been suffered in atomized silence, buried by the trashy feel-good media and the enforced anonymity of people who suffered increasing job insecurity, the reality or threat of homelessness, ever-more expensive health care or no health care at all, useless diplomas and 'retraining' from dubious fly-by-night educational scams, downsizing, lengthening work weeks and declining real income with two and three precarious jobs, disappearing pensions, skyrocketing school tuitions, arbitrary week-to-week shift changes and scheduling (designed for no other reason than to tire, and demoralize, and fragment any potential workplace solidarity), electronic surveillance, and 'just in time' production methods. Like the Argentine piqueteros who realized the increasing limits of struggle focused on the factory, and expanded it instead to the supermarket, the hospital, the police station and the freeway blockage, OWS discovered a form of militant organization in which a thousand different grievances could be aired and made visible, not least through its often skillful use of new electronic media."

Also check out Hella Occupy!, a pamphlet distributed on December 12th with articles by Occupy activists in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Portland, Oakland, and Seattle. Hella Occupy! was "put together by revolutionaries from across the country. The purpose is to broaden and deepen our analysis of the Occupy Movement, and develop a deeper understanding of its potential beyond any particular city or location."

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