What is the 'Occupy' movement? Is it a movement, even, or a tactic? Why are there no substantial and coherent demands, and is this an aspect itself of the desire to achieve real democracy? Are its beginnings in the call by Adbusters to 'Occupy Wall Street' on September 17th, 2011, providing the catalyst to Occupations in over 95 cities across 82 countries in the following winter? Or can we trace the movement back to the Arab Spring, or further still, to Tiananmen Square?

Wherever its origins, today the call to occupy is resounding across the globe. 2012 is the year to 'Occupy Everything', but what will this mean? Already we are seeing the use of the latest technologies to grow democracy anew and experiment with forms of social and political organisation, the awakening of a networked generation disposed to take power into their own hands, the struggle to find economic alternatives in the face of the failure of market fundamentalism, the resistance against austerity and the dominance of a global political elite intent on maintaining their grip on power, whatever the cost. From Athens to California, Glasgow to Egypt, people are re-evaluating the kind of world they want to live in, and the kind of life they want to lead. They are not appealing to their governments for change, but forming publics to be the change they want to see.

OurKingdom has explored the birth of Occupy through its Networked Society debate, on the way in which new technologies are transforming how we communicate, deliberate and organise. In this debate, OurKingdom will work with openDemocracy to document and analyse the growing Occupy movement, helping to strengthen its voice and hoping to be part of Everything.

See our page of communiques from occupations and protests around the world.

From Facebook movements to city square movements

Use of the internet has not led to a predominance of virtual actions and movements over mobilizations in ‘physical space’. On the contrary, since 2011 the occupation of urban public spaces - and more particularly symbolic spaces - has been a major feature of these movements.

Spain’s Marches of Dignity, 22M, 2014: not anti-politics

The marches continue the collective resistance that has galvanized Spanish civil society since the 15-M occupation of the Puerta del Sol, but which is rooted in a long tradition and practice of autonomous politics of resistance and civil disobedience in Madrid and around Spain over the past decades. 

When anarchism goes pop

In current protest culture the estranged ideologies of anarchism and progressive populism are coming together around a critique of the neoliberal “corporate state” and a new imaginary of mass insurgency.

Joy arises, rules fall apart: thoughts for the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street

In these moments of rupture, people find themselves members of a "we" that did not until then exist, at least not as an entity with agency and identity and potency. New possibilities or the old dream of a just society emerge and shine.

A public for democracy: overcoming mediated segregation in Turkey

In this context, “Gezi”, as a synonym for all the places in Turkey where protests and citizen forums have sprung up, is not as much about solidarity as it is about the albeit tentative discovery of common-ness through the very defence of the commons.

Between global and local: a new dialectic of political expression for the twenty-first century

Three weeks into the ongoing protests in Bulgaria, the Sofia office of the European Council on Foreign Relations invited Kerem Oktem and Dimitar Kenarov to participate in a discussion named “After Taksim: What happened in Turkey?” This is an account of the conversation that ensued on the meaning, specificity and implications of the protests in Taksim, and Sofia.

‘We can’t be content with running alternative coffee shops, while leaving the global financial system to our opponents’

Funded by their sympathisers in business and corporations, the neoliberals worked at promoting that programme, slowly but surely, to people in a position to put it into practice. Lots of people feel helpless and powerless in the face of neoliberalism because they are helpless and powerless.

'Sorry for the inconvenience, we are changing the country': Brazil

In the last month, Brazil has joined the growing number of countries whose civil society has gone to the streets to start large demonstrations. Why did it happen? Who are the protesters? What do they want? What were the main reactions? These are some of the important questions.

The fight for the square - Tahrir, Sol, Wall Street, Taksim

“The fight for the square is turning people into something new, whatever one thinks of what can happen after…”, a conversation with Annalena di Giovanni.

‘We are all in this together’: a civic awakening in Bosnia-Herzegovina

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, a seemingly trivial administrative issue ignited an unprecedented movement of civic resistance across the country's old dividing lines. Understanding the message of defiance was directed against them all, politicians tried the old trick of 'divide and rule' – only to be ridiculed by protesters.

Occupy Wall Street has some questions for Taksim Square

In interview, Müştereklerimiz, “The Network for Our Commons” argues that the really invisible flag, here in Taksim Square, is that of “our resistance, and the power we can have when we get together on a common ground to reclaim a different way to live together.” 

The boundaries of Israeli unity

Two years ago, the rallying cry was "The people demand social justice", which was more open ended, proving its tenuousness in the question of Palestinian solidarity.

 

The only socialism we will ever know?

Looking for signs of life and the difference that was made, surely that dreary grey oblong could not have been the spiritual home of the 99%? But it was and it did.

Not fearing to be liked: the majoritarianism of contemporary protest culture

While the anti-globalisation movement and before it the new social movements tended to cast themselves as minorities, the wave of Occupy or “take the square” movements have made a crucial point of wanting to be the majority of the people, as most evidently manifested in Occupiers’ claim to being the 99%.

Occupy a narrative

One year on, the Occupy movement is but the shadow of its former self. Whatever happened to the 99%?

Beyond Occupy: progressive activists in Europe

Occupy is part of a wide range of subterranean movements that explore ways to complement representative democracy and empower citizenship. Some citizens want to build stronger democratic institutions: others don’t trust elected representatives any more and promote a change that starts at a local level and in daily life.

Experiments in democracy and diversity within the Occupy Movement(s)

Horizontal democracy attempts to ensure equality by embracing diversity and conflict. Within these political structures, diversity is not a problem that needs to be resolved: there is no narrative of uniformity, no shared identity (national or otherwise) and no predetermined ideology.

Los Indignados: a movement that is here to stay

The retreat of national politics in the face of the imperatives of the global financial markets is returning politics to the streets. 

Uniting States of Americans: We are the 99%!

A year ago this month, 'the 99%' changed the discourse of US politics. But did this call to action for 'American Revolution’ issued by the Occupy Wall Street movement change politics itself? In this first of two multimedia articles, filmmaker and academic Cynthia Weber, introduces us to a range of impressions and reflections in the field.

The Spanish dilemma: a blessing in disguise?

Spain’s crisis is not one of public debt per se. It is of private debt being transformed into a national burden.

Debating “the commons” in post-socialist Bulgaria

The absence of solidarity with other causes and the persistence of neoliberalism in Bulgarian protests against the Forestry Act underline the need to adapt our understanding of "the commons" to new contexts. Neoliberal discourse and developmentalist ideology still control the imaginations of the majority of people from across the class spectrum.

The Progressive Challenge: taking on robber baron politics

The following is taken from the opening speech at the Take Back the American Dream Summit in Washington, D.C., on June 18

Spring in the northern hemisphere?

Six months after police violently evicted peaceful protestors from Occupy camps across the US, activists now see a programme of local engagement and international coordination as central to advancing their movement.

Goldman Sachs and hard work

Since trucking deregulation began under President Jimmy Carter, trucking rates are no longer set by the federal government, but by companies like SSA Marine, who can avoid paying benefits if their truckers are not classified as employees

15M - Towards real-time democracy

A year after the revolution of the indignados in Spain, the 15M movement promotes novel solutions to boost democratic participation.

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