Why Occupy calls for “Sanctuary”

Nathan Schneider at Waging Nonviolence:

If Occupy Wall Street is in some sense, as Adbusters’ initial call to “Occupy” stated, “a Tahrir moment,” consider Egypt as well. There, the major days of action were Fridays, fueled by the gatherings in the mosques, even despite restrictions imposed on the speeches of state-controlled imams. Protesters prayed en masse before advancing police vehicles. Unions were eventually the decisive force, threatening to halt the country’s economy on the movement’s behalf. After Mubarak’s fall, the revolution’s future depends on those resurgent political organizations strong enough to rally people against the military’s bid to retain its hold on power.

“Sanctuary for Assembly,” reads one of the banners that protesters carried on D17. “Assembly,” of course, is the movement’s insistence that it needs physical, in-person, public, outdoor spaces to conduct its experiments in direct democracy. This is the method by which Occupy has caught fire in communities throughout the country. It’s familiar. But the word “Sanctuary” is something new, with winter just a few days away. It’s a cry, a plea, for the institutions which uphold the way of things to no longer stand aside, but to join in making the rupture grow—to radicalize, and to occupy.

Read the full post here. Nathan Schneider and others at Waging Nonviolence have been writing about Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement since the beginning of September. Follow all of their coverage here.

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