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October 07, 2011

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Chris Ruth

How can you be hesitant to say "we" when the movement bills itself as "the 99%"??

Chris Ruth

Sorry, I guess your point was that the vagueness of the thing is what makes you hesitant.

Douglas Lain

Seems like the only way to steer this in a radical direction is by saying "we" and working with other radicals to influence where this goes next.

Hyphy_republic

I agree with the person who commented on we and the 99%. I wouldn't analyze the dynamics of the movement, their strategies, etc. Its the emerging rhetoric that everyone can and should be looking at. When a group asks the media and public to define it as representative of everyone making less than 350k, then those whose message isn't being heard should be as vocal as possible. The problem is, they're not being vocal, not that they shouldn't be vocal. So far there's very little being picked up by the media that seems inclusive of poor people, working class and people of color. Sure, foreclosures and debt are a big issue, but one that affects working class people least. They're trying to pay for their apartment rent. To my knowledge, there's very little public commentary on how hard it is to stay in your apartment. That's been hard for decades now, but not on anyone's radar nationally.

Alain

Hi Jodi

I wanted to let you know I have attended the Occupy Minnesota gathering hear in Minneapolis. And though it is disorganized, chaotic and messy - it is inspiring. I have attended a general assembly and it was awesome. Of course, there were anarchists in attendance and they objected to the formation of committees which they considered hierarchical and authoritarian (I am not kidding)- but otherwise it was direct participatory democracy in action.

I am not sure if these folks have enough people committed to maintain an occupation long term like they do in other cities, but I will try and support them in the small ways I can. Even my 11 year old was inspired to march!

Keep up the good fight! All solidarity and love to the 99%.

Jodi Dean

Thanks for the comments. The reluctance I voice in the post about saying "we" is just because I haven't been at one of the occupations yet. I agree that saying "we" and trying to push together with others in the direction I think we should go is the best way to think about it.

The point about expensive apartments is important--it also connects directly to the foreclosure crisis since high rents and no money ARM mortgages were one of the things that trapped people into debt. Had there been affordable apartments, that would not have happened. Likewise, the entire cult of property ownership pushes against apartments, locking folks into patterns of consumption and entrapment that could be somewhat avoided by renting. Someone (a politician? a mogul?) said something like folks with mortgages don't strike.

Alain--so exciting!! Given the years of our discussions here, your comment is the biggest glimmer of hope I've seen, an opportunity for change, collective agency, forming alternatives and seeing a common power being born is incredible!

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