October 26, 2011

Violent crackdown on occupy protesters in Oakland, California Police violently attacked hundreds of demonstrators in Oakland, California Tuesday evening, one day after clearing out the Occupy Oakland encampment, with several injuries reported. Protesters attempted to retake the plaza, which they have dubbed Oscar Grant Park (Ogawa Plaza). Decked in riot gear, hundreds of police fired volleys of tear gas canisters and used bean bag guns and flash grenades against the unarmed protesters, who numbered in the thousands. Children, the elderly and disabled were among those trapped in the teargas clouds. Police helicopters patrolled overhead. (Some videos of the police violence were available. See Tear gas thrown at Occupy Oakland and Police fire tear gas at protesters) A reporter from the East Bay Express, an independent weekly newspaper, tweeted at about 7:45 p.m local time, “Tear gas fired into crowd… People on the ground with head wounds near 15[th Street].” There were reports of at least one demonstrator critically injured. The violent crackdown is being carried out under the orders of Democratic Party Mayor Jean Quan. Quan is one of a number of Democrats who are overseeing the escalation of repressive measures against occupy demonstrators. The actions in Oakland come a couple days after Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former White House Chief of Staff for Obama, ordered the arrest of 150 demonstrators in Chicago. Police actions were also underway Tuesday evening in Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; and Cleveland, Ohio. Police began surrounding the Atlanta encampment at around 11:00 p.m. local time, then moved in to clear the park...
Premediation: 40 Days in the Wilderness: Premediation and the Virtual Occupation of Wall Street Given the biblical implications of 40 days and nights, this is as good a time as any to add my voice to the swelling chorus of academic analyses of #occupywallstreet. Nearly two weeks into the occupation of Wall Street I had suggested in an initial analysis that no matter how the occupation turned out it was already successful insofar as it had premediated the occupation of Wall Street and other occupations across the world. In particular I argued that “Insofar as premediation generates potential or virtual futures as a way to mobilize individual and collective affect in the present,… #occupywallstreet opens up paths to potential futures in which the occupation of Wall Street (or the political occupation of other sites) is actualized.” 40 days into the occupation, I want to develop this claim further to argue that it is precisely its virtuality, its resistance to making specific demands or adopting a platform, that makes #occupywallstreet successful and that will keep it growing and thriving. The virtuality of the movement is evident in its very name, which calls for the occupation of Wall Street even while not occupying Wall Street per se. The occupation of Zuccotti Park is near Wall Street, but Wall Street, both literally/geographically and figuratively is not actually occupied or really occupied. It is, however, virtually occupied, as Times Square has been, as Chicago or Los Angeles or the London Stock Exchange have been, and so forth. While some veterans of earlier protest movements have argued that occupation...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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