As Kenyan public space continues to be transformed by increasing militarization–soldiers with guns roam our malls in increasing numbers, a small but telling sign; and those traveling on public transport are now subject to new screening procedures–I am keeping a close eye on “Occupy Everywhere.”
Two very compelling must-reads:
Lili Loofbourow, “The Livestream Ended: How I Got Off My Computer And Onto The Street At Occupy Oakland”
Michelle Ty, on what makes a “general strike”
1) To deny the legitimacy of a movement on the grounds that it does not make (practicable) demands is to deny political praxis the right to theoretical reflection.
Such a view restricts politics to the smaller realm of practical activity, then falsely asserts their coincidence. Although the occupy movement is often ridiculed for being directionless, it would seem even more absurd to insist that people are entitled to make feasible demands, yet denied any say over what constitutes feasibility. Popular politics should be permitted to devote itself to something that is not strictly immediately practical, but would actually be able to determine what the limitations of practical activity are (an assessment of aims, means, method).
It also might be added that, as in the moment of articulation, something is lost in the very act of definition. Something is lost when the constitutive power of people is constituted in discursive prescriptions and a set of norms. The point is perhaps most easily made by appealing to that experience, which you no doubt have had, in which something is felt yet remains unspoken. That moment of bringing to words what had before only existed, spread out like a mist, does confer upon something a new reality but also robs it of what it might have been.