Six months after police violently evicted peaceful protestors from Occupy camps across the US, activists now see a program of local engagement and international coordination as central to advancing their movement.
Global economic and political systems continue to be delegitimised in the eyes of many, as communities are squeezed by the ongoing manifestations of the global financial crisis. While mainstream political forces attempt to absorb and deflect citizens’ dissatisfaction, activists within popular protest movements, rather than merely venting anger, are beginning to offer alternatives to the status quo.
In 2012, the Arab Spring appears to have become mired in sectarian conflict, repression and infiltration by religious fundamentalists, but non-violent direct action remains an effective tactic for movements in other parts of the world. Recent national and regional elections in France, Greece and Germany, saw voters reject parties advocating a continuation of economic austerity policies that cut government spending and services in order to service national debt, while in Spain the Indignados returned to the streets in their tens of thousands.
In the United States, the Occupy movement consists of no central organisational structure but is composed of independent collectives in various cities covering a variety of issues. Read the rest of this entry →