Occupy Spring

After an American Autumn, the Occupy movement moves into the spring of 2012 and the start of an election year.

Are there borders for the 99 percent?

“The world is not worthy of words,” wrote the Mexican poet Javier Sicilia last spring after his son, Juanelo, was murdered by asphyxiation as yet another victim of the raging drug war. “They have been suffocated from the inside / just as they suffocated you,” Sicilia concluded. Then he put down his pen and abandoned…

September 12, 2012

Occupy’s ‘bat signal’ tries to keep the movement in spotlight

In the back of a large white van parked on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, across from the mansion that houses the Russian consulate, Lucky Tran sits hunched over a laptop. Two members of Tran’s team are positioned nearby, ready to document what comes next in photo and video. “I’ve scouted the area,” Tran says, his…

September 10, 2012

Occupy Wall Street as psychotherapy

In its first year, Occupy Wall Street was called a “movement of movements.” Some likened its broad reach to an octopus. One person described occupied Zuccotti Park to me, wistfully, as a “city on the hill.” Then again, over dinner with organizers of the National Gathering in Philadelphia this July, I heard OWS compared to…

September 9, 2012

People power challenges nuclear power with nationwide demonstrations

Occupy Nukes demonstrations were held in towns and cities across the United States on Monday, marking the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Approximately 140,000 civilians were killed by the bomb, code-named Little Boy, while hundreds of thousands died later of cancer, and thousands more inherited birth defects. Nothing before…

August 7, 2012

Global movements mean global solidarity, even in Israel

A couple of weeks ago, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an article of mine — some thoughts and suggestions for the Israeli social justice movement from the perspective of someone involved in Occupy Wall Street and connected to Israel and Palestine from afar. I received a lot of feedback from that letter, and it prompted…

July 18, 2012

With September 17 anniversary on the horizon, debt emerges as connective thread for OWS

“ONE, we are the zombies! TWO; we are indebted! THREE; this occupation is… om-nom nom-nom…” Playfully infusing a familiar Occupy Wall Street chant with the mindless noshing of zombies, last month around 100 costumed protestors undertook a small but significant “Night of the Living Debt” march around the New York University campus and Washington Square…

July 13, 2012

How OWS’ ‘anti-market research analyst’ helps the movement go viral

The idea for Occupy Wall Street began with an email and a hashtag that spread around the Internet. Once the Zuccotti Park occupation began, it captured national attention through photos and videos that spread online, and new occupations followed. Over the course of the past year, the movement’s visibility has risen or fallen in large…

July 1, 2012

Fragmented unity at Philly’s upcoming Occupy National Gathering

Since the end of 2011, when police shut down most encampments, the Occupy movement’s future has been uncertain. Without the long-term occupations that gave the movement its name, where would participants meet and make their presence felt? Would the movement be able to sustain itself without these rallying points? Would it release policy demands or…

June 26, 2012

OWS receives first jail sentence at behest of Trinity Church

On Monday, June 18, seven Occupy Wall Street protesters were convicted for trespassing on property allegedly owned by Trinity Wall Street, an Episcopal church and powerful Lower Manhattan landlord, during an action on December 17 of last year. An eighth defendant, Mark Adams, was convicted of trespassing, attempted criminal mischief and attempted possession of burglary…

Radical mental health in Occupy — open minds and open source

There is a problem of diagnosis in just about any resistance movement: Either the status quo has become psychologically unhealthy, or the resisters are. On some level, the answer is usually both. Yet a prevailing stigma against talking about mental illness means that neither side of the conflict will admit to its own ailment, or…

June 13, 2012
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