The Occupiers: The Making of the 99 Percent Movement

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First by the tens, then by the tens of thousands, protesters filled the streets and laid claim to the squares of nearly 1, towns and cities, until, one by one, the occupations were forcibly evicted. Painting a vivid picture of everyday life in the square through the use of material gathered in the course of two years of on-the-ground investigation, Gould-Wartofsky traces the occupation of Zuccotti Park—and some of its counterparts across the United States and around the world—from inception to eviction.


He takes up the challenges the occupiers faced and explores the ways in which occupied squares became focal points for an emerging opposition to the politics of austerity, restricted democracy, and the power of corporate America. Much of the discussion of the Occupy phenomenon has treated it as if it lived and died in Zuccotti Park, but Gould-Wartofsky follows the evicted occupiers into exile and charts their evolving strategies, tactics, and tensions as they seek to resist, regroup, and reoccupy.

While it started out as peaceful resistance, Occupy Wall Street led to government surveillance, riots, abuse, and the arrest of about 80 persons -- many of whom were dismissed with cases proven to be arbitrary or baseless. What lessons we have learned from this important grassroots movement that spread in smaller degrees to as many as cities across the United States?

Although some maintain that no concrete results were achieved that the movement was just an idea with no real strategy , others assert that OWS forced a major national conversation and led us to rethink policies and practices -- such as increase in minimum wage; review of student debt; and steps toward climate change. Looking back on the past three years and with the presidential election looming, we continue to question and assess.

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An Oral History of Occupy Wall Street | Vanity Fair

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A Reading from The Occupiers: The Making of the 99 Percent Movement.

All Posts View Comments. Jennifer Govan. Join us in calling for an end to police repression of protests in New York, and to support the ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstration. I will not submit to this system.

Students, Workers, and the Making of the 99 Percent Movement

I am here with no fear. The occupations had a powerful demonstration effect on union members and leaders alike, showing that a broad-based movement for economic justice, powered by direct action and radical democracy, had the potential to change the political equation for working people. Young people face high unemployment So we all get together, and who knows?

This might become a movement.

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Four days after the battle of the Brooklyn Bridge, we would catch anotherglimpse of the Occupy-labor alliance in action. From the triumphal arch of Washington Square Park down to the steps of the Foley Square courthouses, the signs of the times were on vivid display, inscribed on squares of cardboard and strips of fabric.

In the same square where the U.

And labor! Shut the city down! The march also reflected the changing profile of the American working class. There were tattooed teamsters from Local , but they were of many races, ethnicities, and sexualities.

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They stood side by side with their counterparts from Local , sharing slogans, small talk, and cigarettes. Yet for all the multiplicity of personal narratives and political missives on display, there was also an unprecedented coherence in some of the signs I saw and the chants I heard that day. As that identity was projected onto a national screen, it would lend labor a new source of solidarity, the occupiers a new seal of legitimacy, and the American left a point of unity long absent from the political scene.