Archived entries for occupywallstreet

“we don’t want to occupy the territory, we want to be the territory”

A link that has been more widely made has been between OWS and The Coming Insurrection (2009), a pamphlet written by The Invisible Committee, a French insurrectionary anarchist group. Glenn Beck has hysterically attacked The Coming Insurrection, indicting it as the inspiration for OWS and the international upheavals that preceded it, from the Greek protests of 2010–11 to the UK student movement of 2010 and the Arab Spring. (The latter was first acknowledged as a source of inspiration by the occupiers themselves). The pamphlet proclaims that “we live under an occupation, a police occupation,” and states that “we don’t want to occupy the territory, we want to be the territory,” thereby reversing the rhetoric of occupation (as in the (Un)Occupy Albuquerque movement). It casts a pessimistic light on a state of de facto capitalist colonization of the world.12 Since the eviction of OWS and other encampments, the need to de-territorialize the occupationist strategy and “be the territory” has never seemed more urgent.

via Occupy Wall Street: Carnival Against Capital? Carnivalesque as Protest Sensibility | e-flux.

The Language Experiment (Occupy Wall Street: Carnival Against Capital?…)

Artists have also answered the call to action. Peter Rostovsky and Lynn Sullivan organized The Language Experiment with about twenty other artists who came together under the name Build the Occupation. First performed on Halloween and then reiterated on N17, the group dressed in orange pie charts and 99% glasses. They held signs (at first handwritten, then printed with a font designed by Steve Robinson) bearing words in the fashion of refrigerator magnet poetry, with reference to Daniel Martinez’s Whitney Biennial piece “I can’t ever imagine wanting to be white” (1993).7 Taken together, the performers formed living sentences, the written equivalent of the “human microphone,” the occupiers’ signature voice amplification technique. These occupation builders delivered collective messages that were permutable at will, if within the range of a carefully chosen consciousness-raising vocabulary.

via Occupy Wall Street: Carnival Against Capital? Carnivalesque as Protest Sensibility | e-flux.

disgruntled farmers disguised themselves as “Indians,” dressed in “calico gowns and leather masks”

New York’s law dates back to 1845, when lawmakers tried to quell uprisings by tenant farmers who "used disguises to attack law enforcement officers," according to a later U.S. Court of Appeals ruling. A dip in the price of wheat left many in debt to landowner Stephen Van Rensselaer IV.

After Mr. Rensselaer moved to evict tenants, disgruntled farmers disguised themselves as "Indians," dressed in "calico gowns and leather masks" and attacked agents of the landlords. The court papers said the tactics adopted by these rebel groups ranged from "tarring and feathering" to murder, including a sheriff.

The law was amended in 1965 to prevent masked gatherings of two or more people, with a significant exception: "a masquerade party or like entertainment." It received substantial attention in 1999 when, on the basis of the law, the city rejected a request from splinter group of the Ku Klux Klan to hold a masked protest in Manhattan.

via Rare Charge in Protest – WSJ.com.

Occupy Wall Street: Carnival Against Capital? Carnivalesque as Protest Sensibility

While some commentators and journalists have dismissed Occupy Wall Street as carnival, lawmakers and police officers did not miss the point. They reached back to a mid-nineteenth century ban on masking to arrest occupiers wearing as little as a folded bandana on the forehead, leaving little doubt about their fear of Carnival as a potent form of political protest. New York Times journalist Ginia Bellafante initially expressed skepticism about “air[ing] societal grievance as carnival,” but just a few days later she warned against “criminalizing costume,” thus changing her condescension to caution as she confirmed the police’s point: masking can be dangerous, Carnival is serious business.

(…) However, the carnivalesque—as a medium of emancipation and a catalyst for civil disobedience—is alive and well, and these contemporary carnivals have retained their rebellious potential.

(…)But it was French situationist Raoul Vaneigem, in his book The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967)9, who fueled the May 1968 student movement with what could be called Carnival liberation theory. Presciently, Vaneigem wrote that “a strike for higher wages or a rowdy demonstration can awaken the carnival spirit,” and “revolutionary moments are carnivals in which the individual life celebrates its unification with a regenerated society.”

via Occupy Wall Street: Carnival Against Capital? Carnivalesque as Protest Sensibility | Claire Tancons | e-flux.



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