This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement

This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement

Sarah van Gelder

Language: English

Pages: 96

ISBN: 1609945875

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

We Are the 99%

The Occupy Wall Street movement named the core issue of our time: the overwhelming power of Wall Street and large corporations— something the political establishment and most media have long ignored.

But the movement goes far beyond this critique. This Changes Everything shows how the movement is shifting the way people view themselves and the world, the kind of society they believe is possible, and their own involvement in creating a society that works for the 99% rather than just the 1%.

Attempts to pigeonhole this decentralized, fast-evolving movement have led to confusion and misperception. In this volume, the editors of YES! Magazine bring together voices from inside and outside the protests to convey the issues, possibilities, and personalities associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

This book features contributions from Naomi Klein, David Korten, Rebecca Solnit, Ralph Nader, and others, as well as Occupy activists who were there from the beginning, such as David Graeber, Marina Sitrin and Hena Ashraf. It offers insights for those actively protesting or expressing support for the movement—and for the millions more who sympathize with the goal of a more equitable and democratic future.











and hats, though they did not seem to have been “mobilized” but

has become a source of protection and subsidies for Wall Street. No wonder there isn’t enough money left over for education, repairing roads and bridges, taking care of veterans and retirees, much less for the critical transition we need to make to a clean energy future. The system is broken in so many ways that it’s dizzying to try to name them all. This is part of the reason why the Occupy movement hasn’t created a list of demands. The problem is everywhere and looks different from every point

policies; the lack of jobs. A list of specific demands would make it easier to manage, criticize, co-opt, and divide the movement. Instead, Occupy Wall Street is setting its own agenda on its own terms and developing consensus statements at its own pace. It’s doing this in spaces that it controls—some in parks and other public spaces, others in union halls, libraries, churches, and community centers. On the Internet, the movement issues statements and calls to action through Twitter, Facebook,

Instead, leadership is broadly shared, and leadership skills are being taught and learned constantly. What’s more, the autonomous groups within the movement that plan and carry out direct actions of all sorts are extremely difficult to contain. By choosing the targets of their actions wisely, they can further draw attention to institutions whose behavior calls into question their right to exist. When the legitimacy of large institutions crumbles, it is often just a matter of time before the

challenges like climate change, overfishing, and massive inequality. 15 CHAPTER 1 HOW OCCUPY WALL STREET REALLY GOT STARTED ANDY KROLL M onths before the first occupiers descended on Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, before the news trucks arrived and the unions endorsed, before Michael Bloomberg and Michael Moore and Kanye West made appearances, a group of artists, activists, writers, students, and organizers gathered on the fourth floor of 16 Beaver Street, an artists’ space near Wall

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