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Meet the participants…

Steven Weber, in The Success of Open Source (Harvard UP, 2004), comparing open source communities to modern religious communities, commented, ‘It is the leader who is dependent on the followers more than the other way around … – the primary route to failure for them is to be unresponsive to their followers.’ So we open this space for understanding participants better with a special feature from the openDemocracy archive on ‘Square thinking since 2011: Tahrir to Barakat’:


“We have managed to draw the Algerian regime into a confrontation with its own people”

Sidali Kouidri FilaliSidali Kouidri Filali is a 35 year old civil servant and blogger who has chosen to campaign with Barakat to « defend his country ». He estimates that this time, the Algerian regime, trapped in its own “cocoon”, will not survive the contestation:  an interview.

The new Balkan revolts: from protests to plenums, and beyond

The current wave of protests in Bosnia may represent the birth of true activist citizenship. These movements discover new forms of collective organisation and explore the most fundamental questions for any society, namely social justice and equality for all. What happens in Bosnia will not stay in Bosnia.

The constituent assembly of the commons (CAC)

This bottom-up lawmaking project is an opportunity for us to reflect on the role the law can play as a strategy of struggle and resistance against the neoliberal policies of commodification and privatization. 

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.

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.

Uniting States of Americans: Are we the 99%?

Internationally, we should all be concerned by how the unifying discourse of the 99% occludes important differences amongst political, economic, and socially disaffected peoples that the OWS brand can never fully capture.

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.

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.

J14 and the movement for social justice in Israel

Israel's J14 protest movement is a new breed of movement in search of a society which has a mature accommodation with its diversity. The priority given to social problems over cultural issues can be traced back to anthropological and moral principles that lie at the heart of Zionism. But its critique of the many distortions created by the pull of national sovereignty has thrown up a new definition of occupation. 

A promise from Occupy London: this is only the beginning

Yesterday night, the eviction of the tent city at St Paul's Cathedral, the symbolic heart of Occupy London, got underway. Here is a statement published today by the occupiers.

Clearing Zuccotti Park: the strange resilience of democracy with a thin skin

The occupation of Zuccotti Park was only the visible tip of a movement whose significance and power goes well beyond the tent city. The next moves of the movement need to remember the nature of the symbol they are building. The author's 2c: they should virtualise while spreading physical meetings to many ad hoc locations

Batman in Wall Street

The sub-Hollywood spectacle of the new Batman film - being shot in Wall Street - provides a striking contrast to the unheroic determination of the protesters in Zucotti Park.

Greek protest in Syntagma Square: in between post-politics and real democracy

Syntagma Square is a political response to a highly polarised political establishment that has repeatedly failed in recent years to meet the demands of the body politic.

We have broken the silence: Fresh from Madrid, a member of the Communications team of the 15 May Movement

This interview with Beatriz Pérez took place in the early morning of Thursday 26 May in English with additions from an interview she gave to radio Una linea sobre el mar (thanks to simultaneous translation by Mayte Carrasco). It was checked and finalised by Beatriz on Saturday 28 May.

Egypt, Bahrain, London, Spain - Tahrir Square as a meme

Certain tropes of struggle are spreading mimetically between movements against poverty, corruption and austerity measures. The Tahrir Square meme has been taken up across Africa, the Middle East and Europe, with its latest incarnation in Puerta De Sol in Madrid this week

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