This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement by Sarah Ruth van Gelder

This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement by Sarah Ruth van Gelder

Author:Sarah Ruth van Gelder [van Gelder, Sarah Ruth]
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Published: 2011-11-03T16:00:00+00:00

“Diversity of tactics” is a form of political disobedience par excellence, since its emphasis on autonomy rather than authority represents a direct contradiction to the kind of order that ordinary politics presupposes.

“Don’t mistake the COMPLEXITY of this movement for CHAOS,” warns one of the many handmade cardboard signs at Liberty Plaza.

If it is true, as I’ve come to think, that a “diversity of tactics” has been meaningfully practiced by the Occupation movement even while remaining nonviolent, then traditional definitions of the phrase are in need of revision. Rather than merely granting permission to use violence, respecting a “diversity of tactics” is in its own right a robust approach to conducting resistance—and one that is arguably all the more powerful when it remains non-violent. This was highlighted in the part of Naomi Klein’s recent speech at Liberty Plaza that earned the loudest applause:

Something else this movement is doing right: You have committed yourselves to nonviolence. You have refused to give the media the images of broken windows and street fights it craves so desperately. And that tremendous discipline has meant that, again and again, the story has been the disgraceful and unprovoked police brutality…Meanwhile, support for this movement grows and grows. More wisdom.


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