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#OccupyWallStreet: An Interactive Toolkit

The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to gather momentum. While experts grapple with what exactly the movement represents, we offer an interactive toolkit to help you make up your own mind.

by Guillaume Dasquié On October 10, 2011

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À propos de l'auteur

Journaliste et écrivain, il est l'auteur de cinq ouvrages, principalement des essais et des livres d'investigation touchant les questions géopolitiques et la raison d'État. Il a également publié des enquêtes dans Le Monde et Libération.

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The Occupy Wall Street movement, like its European cousin the September 17 Movement, along with the 15M movement, cannot be reduced to a few flashpoints of protest against global finance. For several sociologists and historians of contemporary democracy, they ultimately represent political movements in their own right, capable of bringing forth ideas that one day could be adopted by society as a whole.

A new cycle must…open in the life of democracies, as crucial as the emergence of universal suffrage in the 19th century and the establishment of the welfare state in the 20th century. Nowadays our democracies require a broader base, another way of understanding them and improving their significance. They must be reinvented.

These are the words of Pierre Rosanvallon, a professor at the Collège de France, and researcher into the origin of the new conditions of democratic legitimacy in the 21st century.

According to Rosanvallon, these days the act of having elections or parliamentary debate is representative of only one part of the political arena where democratic legitimacy is created. From now on alternative areas & issues, which are passing traditional political actors by, will give rise to the emergence of new demands and proposals which quickly benefit from democratic legitimacy, without the need for an electoral process. This is the case with these demands aimed at profoundly reforming the international financial system.

These movements have already been baptized by the researchers. Manuel Castells, an expert on the sociology of networks, describes them as “insurgency movements”. Their strength lies in the relevance of their demands, combined with their methods of communication. For Castell:

Mass media changed democracy a long time ago. But now individualised mass media (the ability for every citizen to become a medium themselves, most notably via social networks – Ed) is changing the nature of power relations within society.

Movements like Occupy Wall Street reflect deep aspirations. Their impact and power to provoke change is likely to grow and grow. Below then are some of the ways to follow the movement “on the ground”, via the various networks that they make use of.

The website of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

A map of mobilisations.

A live video feed from Zuccotti Park.

Follow the movement on Twitter. Hashtags: #OccupyWallSt et #OWS

Follow the movement on Facebook.

Website of the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street.

The Occupy Together website, which gives an overview of all the latest movements happening worldwide.

We Are the 99%, a blog which collects testimonials from around the US, and an interview with the blog’s creators.

The Wikipedia page of Occupy Wall Street.

Occupy Wall Street on Reddit.

The Occupied Wall Street Journal on Scribd.

Slavoj Zizek speaks at the Wall Street protest site.

A list of slogans found on protest signs.

A beautiful video about micro-communities formed during the occupation, from nurses to cigarettes-rollers:

Right Here All Over (Occupy Wall St.) from Alex Mallis on Vimeo.

The Daily Show examines the media’s treatment of the movement:

Posters from Occupy Wall Street :

Ballerina on the Bull
Campsites on Wall Street
Anonymous at Wall Street
A fistful of arguments

Adbusters Storify – Daily Updates :

Photo Credits: Flickr CC eqqman, shankbone, blulaces. Marion Boucharlat

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