Occupation’s Definition – One Month In.

Soon I think I’ll need to take a break from all of these Occupy Wall Street writings, at least for the reader’s sake, but until I find better things to write about or start doing my work for school in a timely manner, I’m going to keep going this way.

It is one month into the occupation of Zuccotti Park and I feel that all that has really changed is the definition of the word “occupation,” and not in a positive way.  Today I actually read the list of 13 demands and realized that the definition has most definitely shifted to be automatically associated with this protest.  The short-term memory of this society has lost sight of the actual occupations occurring around the globe, specifically Iraq and Afghanistan (who knows if Libya or Yemen will be added to that list when Predator Drones stop being effective).  There is no mention of these occupations within the preliminary demand list of the pseudo-neologistic occupiers.  This is quite possible one of the biggest failures of the OWS protests to this date (other than the entirety of their tactics).

Before this set of protests, the word occupy didn’t mean just sitting around and chanting or playing in a drum circle.  Occupation was a military term (believe me, I think it can and will definitely return to this definition) and occupation didn’t imply a passive, nonviolent thing.  Occupation was a negative term which implied rampant death and destruction of an innocent Other by a world superpower.  Well…those implications don’t really matter anymore, now do they?  What do we get when we hear “occupation?”  Oh, it’s that young person movement that’s down on Wall Street making such a hullabaloo.

Now why should we fucking care about this shift in the term?  Well, if you haven’t noticed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been and continue to be back page news stories.  After about a month after their beginnings they were shoved away from the American limelight outside of various catastrophes.  This is why they have been able to continue for such a long time without consistent protest.  The reason that people were outraged during Vietnam was because of a constant media presence which has never manifested itself under the Bush/Obama tag team on the Middle East.  This protest has led to this negative shift in definition and has further alienated the soldiers and civilians which have never truly had the media spotlight.

The protests should never even have been called occupations because they aren’t.  These are inhabitations, but I guess that term isn’t as flashy.  Why get so bent out shape for the sake of the protest’s name, you may ask.  Well that’s what it will be called in the history books and the words that are used will never be exactly the same as they were.  Occupation will regain it’s military power of death and destruction, but neoliberals will have a new little shit to throw out there in order to show either their own “militaristic” side or the way they are pacifying militaristic terms….both of those are fucking horrible ideas.

Good night everyone.  I hope I got you angry enough so you can’t sleep and instead write your own blogs about how you either don’t like parts of OWS or how you don’t like what I have to say.



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2 responses to “Occupation’s Definition – One Month In.

  1. are you advocating violence as an effective means of dissent?

    • This depends on your definition of violence. I think that OWS has been co-opted by language and theories that they don’t actually believe in. As we define it today, violence is an all-encompassing idea that involves anything that threatens the human “life.” In a capitalist system the work, wages and property owned by a person (and also in this system, remember, the person can be a corporation) are actual extensions of their body violence against any of these is equated to physical violence.

      Personally I do not believe in physical violence. I don’t believe in the taking of another person’s life or harming people physically. I do believe that economic and symbolic violence are effective means of dissent. They require strategic and tactical follow-through but can be largely effective. For instance, I think it would be more effective if the OWS people were to block the doorways of the NYSE one day and attempt to shut it down. This would be seen as a form of violence in this capitalist world since it threatens the individual’s being and the system’s being.

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