Not Your Academy: Occupation and the Futures of Student Struggles

Schwartz-Weinstein, Zach

"This essay has been tasked by the editors of this dossier with answering what it would mean should the Occupy movement’s contributions to radical democracy permeate contemporary student struggles. This is an interesting, but insufficient, question. Detaching the forms of occupation in the US which emerged in the fall of 2011 from antecedents both in the United States and elsewhere is a messy task, particularly when the discussion centers on student struggles. The acceleration of student struggles in the United States and the return of occupation as a privileged tactic of radical social movements were both underway and interlinked years before the slow transformation of 'Occupy Wall Street' (OWS) from tactical imperative to capitalized noun. However much the Occupy movement drew direct inspiration from Medan al-Tahrir (Cairo’s Liberation Square) and the indignados of Madrid’s Plaza del Sol, OWS’s political language was cribbed directly if unevenly from slogans scrawled on banners, pamphlets, and walls in a series of student occupations of universities in New York City and across California."


Also Published In

Periscope: Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Digital Research and Scholarship
The Social Text Collective
Published Here
October 8, 2013