Origins and Future of #OWS

Where did the Occupy Movement come from and where is it going?

The following New Yorker article is a good complement to the Bloomberg Businessweek article on David Graeber that I referred to in an earlier blog post It gives more background on how the original Occupy Wall Street idea emerged from Adbusters magazine. It describes some of the de facto leaders who became particularly influential in OWS’s LEADERFUL unfolding. (Note that I believe the adjective “leaderless” misses the whole point of the Occupy movement’s power, which involves inviting anyone and everyone into whatever diverse and often ad hoc leadership roles they have passion or competence for.)

I appreciate the article’s concluding insight that the recently forced evacuations of so many Occupy encampments – particularly the Wall Street one – is stimulating the Occupy movement to shift gears into new form(s) that are currently barely perceived and largely unpredictable. The author helps us see all this through the eyes of the anarchists who have been its visionaries and facilitators. We begin to sense how they can face the uncertain future of their movement with such positive – even thrilled – expectation.

It seems to me that OWS has for months been an inkblot – a Rorschach test – upon which diverse commentators project their individual hopes, fears, judgments and assumptions. I wonder if now OWS is about to become an empty loom upon which diverse actors weave ten thousand strands of transformation that we can only vaguely sense but not fully see. I suspect that loom, being merely an idea and an invitation, will not be readily suppressed.

Blessings on the Journey.


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Pre-Occupied: The origins and future of Occupy Wall Street.
by Mattathias Schwartz
November 28, 2011

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