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Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied Americaby Carla Blumenkranz
Synopses & Reviews
Mic check! Mic check! Lacking amplification in Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street protestors addressed one another by repeating and echoing speeches throughout the crowd. In Occupy, W. J. T. Mitchell, Bernard E. Harcourt, and Michael Taussig take the protestorsandrsquo; lead and perform their own resonant call-and-response, playing off of each other in three essays that engage the extraordinary Occupy movement that has swept across the world, examining everything from self-immolations in the Middle East to the G8 crackdown in Chicago to the many protest signs still visible worldwide.
andldquo;You break through the screen like Alice in Wonderland,andrdquo; Taussig writes in the opening essay, andldquo;and now you canandrsquo;t leave or do without it.andrdquo; Following Taussigandrsquo;s artful blend of participatory ethnography and poetic meditation on Zuccotti Park, political and legal scholar Harcourt examines the crucial difference between civil and political disobedience. He shows how by effecting the latterandmdash;by rejecting the very discourse and strategy of politicsandmdash;Occupy Wall Street protestors enacted a radical new form of protest. Finally, media critic and theorist Mitchell surveys the global circulation of Occupy images across mass and social media and looks at contemporary works by artists such as Antony Gormley and how they engage the body politic, ultimately examining the use of empty space itself as a revolutionary monument.
Occupy stands not as a primer on or an authoritative account of 2011andrsquo;s revolutions, but as a snapshot, a second draft of history, beyond journalism and the polemics of the momentandmdash;an occupation itself.
"Composed of brief vignettes written by numerous contributors, as well as editors Taylor and Gessen, this volume offers a street level take on Occupy movements across the country. Manissa Maharawal recounts the difficulties in arguing for a change of wording concerning racial inequality in the 'Declaration of the Occupation of Wall Street' — 'to stand in front of a white man and explain privilege to him...It hurts. It makes you tired...Sometimes it is exhilarating. Every single time it is hard.' L.A Kauffman explains the method of 'consensus decision-making' in the General Assemblies, noting that it has been used by activists since the 1970s and practiced by the Quaker Society of Friends for over 300 years. Mark Greif provides a brief history of drum circles and their contentious role in communal living situations; Alex Vitale describes the relationship between police and protesters; and Sunaura Taylor checks in from Occupy Oakland to discuss the challenges of protesting in a wheelchair. Writers from Occupy Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Boston are included as well. The book also features illustrations, photos, and inspiring remarks made at Occupy protests by philosophers Slavoj Ã…Â½iÃ…Â¾ek and Judith Butler, and political activist Angela Davis. This insightful and accessible book is perfect for readers who want to know more about the movement from those involved. Photos and illus. (Dec.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The first book to explore the Occupy movement in depth, with reportage and analysis.
In the fall of 2011, a small protest camp in downtown Manhattan exploded into a global uprising, sparked in part by the violent overreactions of the police. An unofficial record of this movement, Occupy! combines adrenalin-fueled first-hand accounts of the early days and weeks of Occupy Wall Street with contentious debates and thoughtful reflections, featuring the editors and writers of the celebrated n+1, as well as some of the world's leading radical thinkers, such as Slavoj Žižek, Angela Davis, and Rebecca Solnit.
The book conveys the intense excitement of those present at the birth of a counterculture, while providing the movement with a serious platform for debating goals, demands, and tactics. Articles address the history of the "horizontalist" structure at OWS; how to keep a live-in going when there is a giant mountain of laundry building up; how very rich the very rich have become; the messages and meaning of the "We are the 99%" tumblr website; occupations in Oakland, Boston, Atlanta, and elsewhere; what happens next; and much more.
About the Author
Carla Blumenkranz is the managing editor of n+1.Keith Gessen is a founding editor of n+1.Mark Greif is a founding editor of n+1.Sarah Leonard is an editor at Dissent magazine and The New Inquiry.Sarah Resnick is a senior editor at Triple Canopy.Nikil Saval is an associate editor of n+1.Eli Schmitt is a writer living in New York.Astra Taylor is the director of the documentary films Žižek! and Examined Life.Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.Angela Davis is a teacher, writer, scholar, and activist/organizer.JODI DEAN teaches political theory in upstate New York. She has authored or edited eleven books, including The Communist Horizon, Zizek’s Politics, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies, and Blog Theory.Celeste Dupuy-Spencer is an artist who lives and works in New York City.Zoltán Glück is pursuing a doctorate in anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center.Elizabeth Gumport is an associate editor of n+1.Doug Henwood is editor of the Left Business Observer.Christopher Herring is pursuing a doctorate in sociology at UC Berkeley.Svetlana Kitto is a writer, teacher, and oral historian living in New York City.L.A. Kauffman is an activist and organizer.Kung Li is the former executive director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta.Audrea Lim is an associate editor at Verso Books.Manissa Maharawal is a graduate student at the CUNY Graduate Center, a writer and an activist.Thomas Paine was a writer and revolutionary.Marco Roth is a founding editor of n+1.Marina Sitrin was a key member of the Occupy Wall Street movement and is a postdoctoral fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Committee on Globalization and Social Change. She is the author of Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina, as well as editor of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina and coeditor of the forthcoming Insurgent Democracies: Latin America’s New Powers.Rebecca Solnit is the author of 13 books, including A Paradise Built in Hell and Hope in the Dark.Stephen Squibb is pursuing a doctorate in English at Harvard University.Sunaura Taylor is an artist, writer, and activist living in Oakland, CA.Alex Vitale is an associate professor of sociology at Brooklyn College.Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a Professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek, and many more.
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