Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why it's Time to Occupy the State

Paolo Gerbaudo
Common Dreams

Many Occupy protesters who took to the squares and streets now see electoral politics as the road to real change

Some veterans of the Occupy and indignados movements are considering a turn towards electoral politics. This change of direction reflects an increasing awareness among activists that to change the world we also need to take state power.

Photo: Atomische * Tom Giebel/ cc via Flickr)
Setting up political parties is not exactly what we have become accustomed to expect from radical activists. Yet, this is precisely what some of the participants in the last few years of protest and occupations are now busying themselves with. From Spain to the US, Greece to Turkey, many protesters have been persuaded that to do away with the 1% dominating the 99%, it will not be enough simply to resort to the heroic arsenal of street politics. After taking to squares, many now feel the time has come to occupy the state.

"We believed that, following the street protests, American democracy would have reacted by changing its way of doing things," Micah White, the former editor of the radical magazine Adbusters, credited with the invention of the name Occupy Wall Street, recently declared. "Now we are realising that you also have to win elections, and you have to govern, not just work against the government."

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