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Occupy StrategyLab

occupy-wall-street-0Originally Published in We Are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation, a book published by AK Press in September 2012.

Reform vs. Revolution

The question of whether movements should fight for reform or revolution is not a new one. It pops up in any time period where people think it’s possible to win one or the other, or both. Thanks to Occupy, the question is on the table again, in this new political climate.

A friend once told me – if you’re struggling to choose between two different options, and you just can’t make up your mind, don’t bother: Just have both. I think he might have meant it in terms of something smaller, like which flavor ice cream to order, but I think we can use that thinking about reform and revolution as well – and many revolutionaries of old have come up with similar answers (Andre Gorz is a good place to start if you are looking for further reading).

Published in Occupy StrategyLab
Thursday, 26 April 2012 21:50

A Practical Guide to Co-option

Gazette-coverAlso published in Occupy! #4. Occupy! is an OWS-inspired gazette, published by n+1.

Almost immediately after a small band of activists first occupied Zuccotti Park in September of last year, many in the movement started expressing concern about potential co-option by more established and moderate forces. These concerns have become more central in 2012, an election year. Wariness is certainly warranted. But angst about an over-generalized sense of co-option may be an even bigger problem. We cannot build a large-scale social movement capable of achieving big changes without the involvement of long-standing broad-based institutions. OWS should actively and strategically forge relationships with many of these institutions, while preserving the role of OWS as an "outsider" force.

Published in Occupy StrategyLab

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