October 04, 2011

n+1: Notes From an Occupation Wednesday, September 21 Astra: All these people complaining the occupiers don’t have a clear agenda, a criticism that goes back to the Seattle WTO protest (and maybe beyond). Economic justice is the point. Doesn’t their being on Wall Street say that? There is plenty of Tax the Rich and get corporate money out of politics messaging going on. That’s part of the “We Are the 99 percent” frame that the protesters are actively pushing. It’s annoying that one topless lady can distract so many reporters, and also that 400 other people can’t or won’t just tell her to put a shirt on. Friday, September 23 Astra: It’s a very youthful event, and perhaps naive in a lot of ways, but I’m happy they’re doing it. That said, I’m always a bit irritated by the incessant emphasis on the youthfulness of the demonstrators, which is a way of infantilizing and dismissing them (silly kids, they’ll grow up and get over this dumb protesting stuff!) and also lets older people off the hook. Shouldn’t we all be out there, railing against the vampire squid? The fact is there are plenty of older people at “Liberty Plaza,” a good number of retirees mingling with the recent graduates. Our society, and the left especially, has this strange idea that young people are the revolutionary vanguard (In his famous “Letter to the New Left” C. Wright Mills made the case that youth had replaced the working class as the “historic agency”; Theodore Roszak calls this...
Declaration of the Occupation of New York City | NYC General Assembly As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies. As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known. They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses. They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization. They have profited off of...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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