Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies (Mar 2012)

#Occupy: Strategic Dilemmas, Lessons Learned?

  • David J. Bailey

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 1, no. 5
pp. 138 – 142


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What is #Occupy? For William Connolly, it is ‘better described’ as ‘the 99% movement’ (Connolly, 2011). But even this is potentially too narrow as it refers only to those explicitly adopting the 99% slogan. In the UK, the ‘Uncut’ movement has arguably gained more traction. Outside of the Anglo-sphere, we witness the Spanish indignados , and the General Strikes in Greece, along with related demonstrations in Syntagma Square. There is, then, on the one hand a narrowly-defined #Occupy movement, and on the other hand a more broadly defined movement seeking to challenge – through popular mobilisation, direct action, and/or civil disobedience – the austerity measures that are being introduced in the wake of the post-2007 global economic crisis. In each case, we witness the strategy of occupation as a means of highlighting popular dissatisfaction; of presenting an illustration of the disruptive potential of the dissatisfied; and of prefiguring modes of social organisation preferable to those being opposed. If we focus too narrowly on the #Occupy movement as the form of mobilised, extra parliamentary, resistance to the current restructuring of advanced industrial democracies, then there is a risk that we lose sight of the broader movement of which this is a part.