It has been through my participation in Occupy that I’ve first come to feel my citizenship, not in the narrow national sense, but in a broader sense of intentional political subjectivity in the world. Through my adult life I’ve voted, … Continue reading “On Fear, Theory, and Acting Anyways”
Authored by Hannah Chadeayne Appel
As the New York Occupy movement goes on, it also spreads out. 16 Beaver, Charlotte’s place, and the Atrium of 60 Wall Street (now home to General Assemblies), remain nodes in the occupied downtown real estate network, but the overwhelming … Continue reading “Revolutionary Expertise?”
Sometime in early October I showed up to an OWS organizer’s meeting at 16 Beaver Street. 16 Beaver, like 56 Walker or Charlotte’s Place, is one of these magically anachronistic spaces in lower Manhattan that feel like something out of Patti Smith’s Just Kids — free space for art, activism, and organizing, embedded in some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Of course, to label these spaces “anachronistic” is to cede to capital its totalizing power.
I didn’t realize how claustrophobic Wall Street’s Liberty Park was until I arrived at my home Occupy in Oakland. Rather than the jumble of tarp-covered shelters that grew and morphed rhizome-like through Liberty Park, Occupy Oakland’s colorful tents felt positively … Continue reading “We interrupt this dispatch … Occupy Oakland and the General Strike!”
If you have spent anytime with Occupiers, you have seen people (sometimes by the thousands) hold their hands above their heads and wiggle their fingers. Jazz hands? Cult sign? Known as “twinkling” when it expresses a positive sentiment, the hand … Continue reading “The Ritual of General Assembly and the Bureaucracies of Anarchy”
In her 1966 book Purity and Danger, anthropologist Mary Douglas famously explains dirt as “matter out of place.” Dirt does not index an objective category of pathogens or pollutants she suggests, but rather the designation of “dirt” indexes a contravention to a social order, and by extension, its boundaries.
“Mic check!” The shouted exclamation punctuates the days at Occupy Wall Street (OWS). A lone voice yells it from somewhere in the crowd, soliciting the hoped-for response, “mic check!” yelled back by all within earshot of the initial call. Often the response is weak the first time around. Maybe the caller is surrounded by people new to the movement, who aren’t yet familiar with the rituals, or don’t yet feel comfortable making them their own; maybe the voices around her are tired, from so many days and weeks of the people’s microphone. But with a second, often more insistent call, “mic check!” the surrounding voices rise in response, “mic check!”
Occupy Wall Street’s numbers have swelled to thousands here in New York City, not to mention the Occupy Together Movement across the country. At the October 10th General Assembly meeting–held every evening at 7pm–the kitchen announced that it serves 2000 people free food every day. The Occupied Wall Street Journal is in its second edition, with the first also translated into Spanish.