Occupy America Occupy America

Issue No. 1

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Issue One: Counter-Attacks

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This first issue of Occupy America is called “Counter-Attacks.” Oftentimes critiques fall short, failing to provide viable alternatives. This issue examines alternatives that attempt to structure society in a more just manner.

Our extended feature is Leo Zimmerman’s article, which unearths contradictions at the heart of Occupy Baltimore and examines them in light of the Occupations in general. Leo lived in Occupy Baltimore from its founding to its dissolution. From his unique perspective he suggests difficulties Occupy faced as well as new ways of coming together.

Prashanth Kamalakanthan examines how Occupy is regrouping. Turning from the tactic of occupying public space, Prashanth argues the 99% can find a common tie in debt resistance, which exposes the inequality at the heart of our current system.

Nate Gorelick turns to Canada to find a recent example of a massively successful Occupy style protest against tuition hikes. The protest ballooned into a people’s referendum on austerity measures and saw solidarity triumph over the 1%, as government officials resigned in disgrace.

My own article examines participatory budgeting, a horizontally democratic method for allocating government funds that is beginning to catch on in the United States. I argue that participatory budgeting offers a unique way for activists to engage the state productively while retaining a critical distance, offering the possibility for more systemic changes in the future.

We hope you find this issue engaging, and thank you for your time.


Bobo Bose-Kolanu

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“Us vs. Them” vs. “us vs. them”

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The Occupy movement used a narrative of we the people struggling against them the elite: 99% against 1%. This story began with the people coming to occupy Wall Street, the headquarters of the wealthy. Some demanded reform, calling on Washington to slow down New York’s unchecked financial activities. Others wanted to change the capitalist system   …Continue Reading

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Strike Debt: A New Organizing Energy for Occupy

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From Los Angeles to Philadelphia, overnight raids on Occupy encampments and mass arrests of protesters late last year highlighted the reality of police repression in America but also hinted at the possibility for a new chapter in Occupy’s young history. Occupy Wall Street captured the world’s imagination last year by uniting the left under the   …Continue Reading

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Student Protests in Quebec Successfully Fight Back Against the One Percent

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The provincial government’s troubles began when it announced that it would increase university tuition 82 percent over the next five years, or $254 per year. The ensuing student strike quickly mushroomed into a general protest against the increasingly corporatist ideology of the Quebec Cabinet. The local campaign involved both students and faculty from post-secondary schools   …Continue Reading

Participatory Budgeting NYC Materials. By Daniel Latorre. Licensed under Creative Commons

Participatory Budgeting: Towards Militant Citizenship

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On one side, protesters aligned with truth, justice, and freedom (or danger, disorder, and violence). On the other, police aligned with repression, inequality, and fascism (or order, rule of law, and safety). In the middle, a barricade divides the two. This somewhat romantic picture of Absolute Good and Absolute Evil underlies many assumptions we have   …Continue Reading