NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Why didn't OWS transform into a political movement?


    Two years later, author & journalist Nathan Schneider takes a look at concrete victories and missteps of the Occupy movement -   September 18, 13
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook


    I support this network as contributors are allowed the time to develop their arguments - CM
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Nathan Schneider is the author of, most recently, Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse, published this month by University of California Press. It draws on his reporting on Occupy Wall Street for Harper's and The Nation. He is also an editor of Waging Nonviolence, a website of daily news and analysis about social justice movements around the world.

    Transcript

    Why didn't OWS transform into a political movement?JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

    Tuesday marked the two-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, the nationwide protest movement which decried economic inequality and now joining us to discuss the movement today is Nathan Schneider. He is most recently the author of Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse, and he's the editor of Waging Nonviolence, a daily news and analysis website about social justice movements around the world.

    Thanks for joining us, Nathan.

    NATHAN SCHNEIDER, EDITOR, WAGING NONVIOLENCE: It's great to be on.

    DESVARIEUX: So, Nathan, can you give us some of your favorite examples of concrete victories of the Occupy movement?

    SCHNEIDER: Well, I think, of course, the biggest victory is what I call in the book a kind of apocalypse. And that word, you know, might strike you as odd for this, but in Greek, apocalypse means unveiling. And I think for our society there was a real unveiling about the depth of economic injustice, racial injustice, discriminatory policing that a lot of people found, experienced through the Occupy movement. And I've met so many people whose lives personally were transformed by this and can't really go back to the way things were before.

    I think our national discourse has shifted. You see this in the elections of--reelection of Barack Obama and in New York of Bill de Blasio. And that's really major.

    DESVARIEUX: So we're essentially talking about changing the narrative, really, over the financial crisis.

    SCHNEIDER: Yeah. And I think it's important to understand that that's only a beginning, and, you know, especially when we look at those politicians. You know, they're adopting the rhetoric, but they're not necessarily adopting the policies that occupiers would like to see. And that's why a lot of people in the movement have been pushing out--you know, a lot of people aren't involved in the street protests today because they're off, dispersed around the country, working on particular campaigns for labor, for environmental justice, all sorts of things that fit into the Occupy vision for society but don't necessarily fall under the name Occupy.

    DESVARIEUX: Okay. And we can't talk about the successes of Occupy without discussing some of the failures. To what extent do you attribute things like internal conflicts, police oppression, or just not having really a clear agenda to the decline of the Occupy movement?

    SCHNEIDER: Well, I think it's important to recognize first that when we talk about the failures of the movement, we're talking first of all about the ways in which the aspirations that the movement put in our minds weren't quite met by it. So in a lot of ways we wouldn't even be talking about these failures if the movement itself hadn't happened and set such high standards for what it might accomplish and such high ambitions.

    But there was a lot of repression. This was a movement that was systematically torn apart by the security state, by the militarized police forces in cities all across the country. This was very clear. It was not only brute force. In meeting after meeting after meeting, there were clear infiltrators who were disrupting the discussions and making sure that no sustainable organizing practices could take hold. That was an incredibly significant problem.

    But I think it's also important to recognize that this movement excelled in creating that rupture and that adrenaline-rush moment of the occupations driven by artists, forcing itself on the imagination.

    And I think we're in a moment now where we have to transition. If this idea is to stay alive, we have to transition into more sustainable forms of organizing that can bring more and more people into the fold.

    DESVARIEUX: Okay. And when the Occupy movement really started, you heard a lot of people comparing it to the Tea Party. And some were even speculating that this movement could transpire into sort of a lefty Tea Party. Why didn't we see Occupy evolve into a political movement or even a third party?

    SCHNEIDER: Well, I think there was really never any intention of doing that. When I was at the planning meetings at the beginning, before the occupation even began, there was a clear turn away from making any demands of power. The decision was reached that it would be much more strategic to build the movement first, that people had to start from scratch and reawaken the political imagination of people. And that's exactly what happened. Nobody was talking about whether to set up a political party or anything like that. And you see what happens when someone tries to do that with the Tea Party: they get immediately inundated with corporate sponsorships and they're unable to make any serious changes to the system.

    I think in some ways it would be more useful to relate what Occupy's aspirations are on the right with the role of churches. You know, Occupy wants to create a political power base in communities. It wants to help people organize for themselves and build power from the ground up. So I think in some ways the religious right, the ways in which churches function is more analogous to what Occupy is aspiring to, and is certainly no less powerful, as we know, in American politics.

    DESVARIEUX: Okay. Sounds good. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Nathan.

    SCHNEIDER: My pleasure. Thank you so much.

    DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Who Bears Responsibility for Civilian Deaths in Gaza?
    Despite Growing International Condemnation, No End to Gaza Violence in Sight
    Reaganism and Thatcherism were Intellectually Dishonest - Heiner Flassbeck on Reality Asserts Itself (1/5)
    Besieged War-Torn Gaza Experiencing Saddest Eid Since 1967
    Do US Satellite Images Show Russia Firing Rockets into Ukraine?
    Uber: Cheap Ride Alternative or Death Knell for Cabbies?
    Gaza Baker Risks Life Amid War to Provide Bread
    New Senate Bill Fails To Address Root Causes of Central American Migration
    One-Man Show "Mercy Killers" Reveals Dark Side of Healthcare System
    Nigerians Must Defend Themselves, Oppose the State of Emergency and US Intervention (3/3)
    Why Canada Continues to Back Israel Despite Gaza Assault
    UN's Investigation of Israel Should Go Beyond War Crimes to Genocide
    12-Hour Truce in Gaza, Protests in the West Bank
    Al-Aqsa Brigades Open Fire on Israeli Forces at the Qalandia Checkpoint.
    From Palestine to Baltimore, Protesters Demand an End to Bloody Gaza Assault
    Israel Boycott Gains Traction As Gaza Assault Continues
    No Safe Place in Gaza: How Silence Encouraged a Genocide
    Detroit Water Shutoffs on Pause, but Is It Enough?
    Obamacare Subsides on the Line
    TRNN Gaza Reporter's Family Killed in Israeli Assault
    Is Israeli Public Opinion Turning after 700 Palestinian Deaths?
    Big Oil and the Nigerian Frankenstein (2/3)
    Developing Countries' Commitment to Multilateralism in WTO a Stumbling Block for Lead Firms? - Faizel Ismail (3/3)
    Israeli Human Rights Spokesperson: Attacks on Civilians Unjustifiable
    What Is Shaping Global Production and US & EU Trade Policy? - Faizel Ismail (2/3)
    US Courts Defend Rights of Vulture Funds Over Argentina
    Police Brutality and the Failure of Liberal Democrats
    "We Are Going through Hell" - Report from Gaza
    Lack of International Pressure Permits Endless Assault on Gaza
    What is the Doha Round and How Many Livelihoods Hang in the Balance? - Faizel Ismail (1/3)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting