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.