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Occupy London: The Radical Bite Is Dulled

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Posted on Jan 21, 2012
AP / Lefteris Pitarakis

A London High Court judge ordered the eviction of Occupy London’s tent camp from the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral last week.

Like the flickering, “ironic points of light” that W.H. Auden described during another age of worldwide despair, once-brilliant Occupy encampments across the globe have dimmed in the face of eviction orders and internal social tension. Occupy London, now “a network of mutual support for the lost and destitute”—as New Statesman columnist Laurie Penny puts it—is no exception.  —ARK

Laurie Penny at New Statesman:

Three months on, this is what the Occupy movement looks like: a network of mutual support for the lost and destitute, with anti-capitalist overtones. The Bank of Ideas, an abandoned building owned by the Swiss banking giant UBS and transformed into a space for art sessions, lectures and late-night discussion on the future of the free market, is one of four sites squatted by London’s branch of the movement. The occupations began with the encampment on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, which has just lost its battle against eviction at the Royal Courts of Justice, and branched out to Finsbury Square, and an empty magistrate’s court on Old Street. As other world cities have seen similar protests violently evicted by local police, the occupiers of London have clung on through a winter that has seen the nature of the camps change profoundly.

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By do over, January 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

“There are different ways of being on the streets, and all of them are political. “

During the intense debate about the direction of Occupy, occupiers chose to go political.  Then they lost.  Had they remained social and built the foundations of a new society in ways that do not divide people, then they would have succeeded. They failed to grasp the true meaning of decentralization.
______________________________
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Richard Buckminster Fuller

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By gerard, January 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

grokker: Thanks for pointing up the Riverside Church meeting.  I had missed it, though I’ve been keeping fairly good track nationwide. Frankly, I expected more from both Trinity and St.Paul’s. Though they made some of the right noises, they didn’t really respond adequately considering all their resources and prestige.  Somebody from among the elites needs to talk economic turkey to the elites, somehow.  Why isn’t that happening?
  Whatever happened to the voices of those 40 or so million/billionaires who were going to help everybody out six months ago? And I don’t mean paying more taxes only, or donating to more charities only.  I mean participating in a national movement for something resembling legalized, official, compulsory social justice, where everybody has a place to live and food to eat at a subsistence level, and where no child is living in a car or a shack under a freeway. Seems like the very least we could do if we are going to pretend to be human beings.  And of course stop warring and stop killing
the natural world.
  Most of us know this is a very minimum call for change we can believe in, and it can be done.  Why don’t we do it? Because not enough of us really want it to happen and too many think it can’t be done. It’s almost entirely a failure of will and of spirit, not of resources and abilities.

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By grokker, January 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

From this story it sounds as if this group is in stuck mode - a victim of their own longevity. For an idea of what other elements of OWS are morphing into, visit:
http://owsnews.org/  There are bright signs on the horizon, especially concerning the move to get money out of politics.

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By gerard, January 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

The regrets we are feeling ought to be about our own failings and weaknesses, confusions and uncertainties, not theirs!

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