The Occupy Wall Street Movement

October 14, 2011

John Nichols, writing in The Nation, provides a nice analysis of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. My only criticism is that Nichols seems to understand it as mostly an American movement. Wall Street may be, as he says, the right target for Americans to address, but Wall Street is ultimately just a part of something broader, something that has no geographic boundaries, namely,  global capitalism.

Laurie Penny, speaking on Democracy Now, said that: 

“What I found fascinating, being at Wall Street, is how similar it is to protests that I’ve seen in London over the past 6 months. And I’ve talked to activists from Spain and elsewhere who’ve said that this is exactly the same thing, just a slight cultural differences. … It’s really, really, very similar and it’s striking to me how much this seems to be not about America or about any individual country, but about a global uprising. You’ve seen from below, really with no real clear direction, but a kind of defined sense that something needs to change. ” 

Similarly, Naomi Klein, also in an interview on Democracy Now, pointed out that:

“The slogan, “We won’t pay for your crisis,” started in Italy two years ago and it spread to Greece and it spread to France and it’s really been globalized. That, to me, is—-that and we are the 99%—-is really what’s bringing people to the street. It’s inequality, but, more than the inequality, the injustice of the most vulnerable people having to pay the cost of the crisis for the rich.”

It seems that Penny and Klein are right in seeing Occupy Wall Street, not as an American phenomenon, but rather as the American chapter of a larger movement that is spreading globally, which is what it will have to be if it stands of chance of bringing about the changes this planet needs. 






Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Democracy Now