OCCUPY MOVEMENT
     
The spontaneous occupation of Wall Street by a growing crowd of insurgents raises particular questions, especially now that the revolt has been spread further in the United States, Europe and Australia. Is the movement Occupy making protest against dictatorship of the banks and the bad sides of capitalism? Are it means of defence for the crisis - or just the symptom of it? Does it show the power of the people or even inability?

Everyone feels that there is something remarkable happens. But what? The parallels are not not of the air: Tea Party, Arab Spring - and of course, the French Revolution passed by. Actors, journalists and thinkers hastened to join the insurgents, as the excitement itself was exciting enough. You have to be there, even if you do not know exactly why. Participating is more important than winning.

Something similar was also thought by the Slovak turbo-thinker Slavoj Zizek: he addressed the crowd on the spot, dressed in a revolutionary red t-shirt. But his speech was strange careful. It contained more warnings than slogans.
Beware of the romance of the revolt. What matters is what will happen when you get home. There was the attention of the world, but there must be something done. The message of the protests was, according to Zizek, "We are allowed to think about alternatives".


Space to
think about alternatives - that's not how the stormers of the Bastille were called. Due to the tame message you see already how today the idea of revolt is marked by skepticism and doubt. We know the ideological disillusionments of the baby boomers. It would be wonderful if the Arab Spring would succeed, but you are blind of optimism to believe it - in a society without strong social institutions, support is seeked among ethnic and religious identities. You saw it in Yugoslavia, you saw it in Iraq. There is no reason to think that the situation in Tunisia and Egypt will be different.

How can you revolt if you do not believe in rising? Shocking to the banking crisis of 2008 was that very little changed. We saw many bankers with deadpan faces make a bow to the stage, but their attitude was unaffected. They were still in their bubble. That makes angry - and it is this anger that you see by Wall Street Occupy movement. One is too civilized to take a firm line with the bankers. But behind that polite behavior lies a nagging inability.
Some critics of neoliberalism hurried ashore to the street to claim their right . It is unfortunate that their sharp criticism of the past decade has remained on the sidelines and did not brought n oteworthy influence on the system. There was no strong movement emerged to attack the system itself.
People stucked in an academic discourse and academic debates or organized recreational events. But really trying to organize, really intervene in the system, stranded by a fatal lack of practical commitment. It stopped with outcries. That is exactly what Zizek is afraid of. It is the fear that everything what is advocated where you stand for, even in times of crisis, does not get no hands and feet.

B. Heijne, NRC 15-10-11)

FINANCIAL TIMES (wrote 18 January 2012 on Origins of the Occupy movement:

The Occupy movement began in the middle of last year, after veteran US counter-culture activists tried to take over lower Manhattan, making a stand against what they saw as the overweening influence of corporate interests, particularly bankers.

In September hundreds of demonstrators descended on New York, setting up camp in Zuccotti Park. The Occupy Wall St movement spread to cities across the world, railing against those it believed had grown rich while visiting economic hardship on “the 99 per cent”. The movement has inspired campaigns as far away as Nigeria. In London, several hundred protesters targeting the nearby London Stock Exchange in October pitched their tents outside St Paul’s. In December the City of London Corporation moved to evict them, arguing that they were obstructing a public highway.

The occupation has stirred controversy at the cathedral, which briefly closed its doors to the public for the first time since the second world war. Top clerics have resigned over the efforts to remove the activists, who have withstood the winter in tents bedecked with placards demanding reforms to the global economic order.

The Occupy protesters joined the November 30 strikes in the UK, which saw a dispute over public sector pensions become a lightning rod for opposition to the austerity policies of the Conservative-led government. A small group, Occupy activists among them, stormed the London headquarters of FTSE-100 miner Xstrata, denouncing the chief executive’s pay package.

In the US, the protesters had their cause partially endorsed by the White House. Joe Biden, vice-president, said in October, “The core [of the protest] is: the bargain has been breached. The American people do not think the system is fair, or on the level.” However, in November authorities in the US and Europe moved against the Occupy protesters, closing the Zuccotti Park tent city. On Wednesday, the High Court granted an action by the City of London to evict the protesters from St Paul’s.

Several dozen of the protesters, who describe themselves as “the have-nots against the have-yachts”, made the short walk from St Paul’s to the court to stage a colourful demonstration outside during the hearing. One placard quoted Voltaire: “It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” Activists expect occupations to continue at another camp in London’s Finsbury Square and a squat, known as the Bank of Ideas, in a former UBS office close to the City. Some St Paul’s veterans have already switched to those sites. Back at St Paul’s after the ruling, protesters vowed to fight on with an appeal. Some took heart from the influence their movement appears to be having on mainstream politics, citing David Cameron’s recent broadside against “crony capitalism”.