September 18, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet: Steven Sherman "Is America ready for a Tahrir Square moment?" asked some piece that was circulating about the Occupy Wall Street protest today. Judging by the actual results, I would have to say no. This was the global justice movement without the labor unions or the NGOs. Very young, very white, very countercultural. When I was there--around 3:30-4:30, everyone was busy having 'assemblies' a few blocks from Wall Street. These epitomized what everyone complains about. Everyone speaks, but no one really talks to each other. The same old ideas (DIY, get all the corporations out of your life, peak oil, etc) circulate round and round. Unless you are extraordinarly patient, or like to hear yourself talk, it quickly gets tiring. Surpisingly, if you listened to the 45 minutes or so that I heard people talk, you'd have no idea that there was a huge financial crisis just a few years ago, one specifically involving Wall Street, and the economy hasn't recovered yet. All and all, it did not feel like a mighty force building that could effectively challenge much of anything. On the other hand, I actually do believe the US is ready for something more. In fact, there have been sizable protests in the Wall Street area this year, ones that had much greater racial and age diversity than seemed on hand today. And I'm a little obsessed about the protests nurses held around the country a couple of days ago demanding a tax on financial transactions. That's something the Democrats...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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