This book is an urgent and compelling account of the Occupy movements: from the M15 movement in Spain, to the wave of Occupations flooding across cities in American, Europe and Australia, to the harsh reality of evictions as corporations and governments attempted to reassert exclusive control over public space. Across a vast range of international examples over twenty authors analyse, explain and helps us understand the movement. These movements were a novel and noisy intervention into the recent capitalist crisis in developed economies, developing an exceptionally broad identity through a call to arms addressed to ‘the 99%’, and emphasizing the importance of public space in the creation and maintenance of opposition. The novelties of these movements, along with their radical positioning and the urgency of their claims all demand analysis. This book investigates the crucial questions of how and why this form of action spread so rapidly and so widely, how the inclusive discourse of ‘the 99%’ matched up to the reality of the practice. It is vital to understand not just the choice of tactics and the vitality of protest camps in public spaces, but also how the myriad of challenges and problems were negotiated.
This book was published as a special issue of Social Movement Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Why Does Occupy Matter? 2. Occupy Pittsburgh and the Challenges of Participatory Democracy 3. How Local Networks Shape a Global Movement: Comparing Occupy in Amsterdam and Los Angeles 4. Tahrir, Here? The Influence of the Arab Uprisings on the Emergence of Occupy 5. The Indignados of Spain: A Precedent to Occupy Wall Street 6. Occupying the #Hotelmadrid: A Laboratory for Urban Resistance 7. Already Occupied: Indigenous Peoples, Settler Colonialism and the Occupy Movements in North America 8. Whose Occupation? Homelessness and the Politics of Park Encampments 9. Collecting Occupy London: Public Collecting Institutions and Social Protest Movements in the 21st Century 10. Israel’s ‘Tent Protests’: The Chilling Effect of Nationalism 11. The Homeless and Occupy El Paso: Creating Community among the 99% 12. Occupy Online: How Cute Old Men and Malcolm X Recruited 400,000 US Users to OWS on Facebook 13. Mic Check! Media Cultures and the Occupy Movement 14. The Free Culture and 15M Movements in Spain: Composition, Social Networks and Synergies 15. Tactics of Waste, Dirt and Discard in the Occupy Movement 16. ‘Occupy Israel’: A Tale of Startling Success and Hopeful Failure 17. The Students’ Rebellion in Chile: Occupy Protest or Classic Social Movement? 18. ‘Why don’t Italians Occupy?’ Hypotheses on a Failed Mobilisation 19. Beyond the Network? Occupy London and the Global Movement 20. Negotiating Power and Difference within the 99% Activist Interventions 21. Occupy—The End of the Affair 22. Walking in the City of London
Jenny Pickerill, John Krinsky, Graeme Hayes, Kevin Gillan and Brian Doherty were the editors of the journal Social Movement Studies during the height of the Occupy! protests. An international and cross-disciplinary collective they were uniquely placed to collate and edit this volume.