Home / Sezioni / alter / Beyond Occupy: progressive activists in Europe

facebook-link twitter-link


Registrati alla newsletter di sbilanciamoci.info


Ultimi link in questa sezione

Violence in and by Paris: any way out?
Violence in and by Paris: any way out?
Volkswagen deserves its day in criminal court
La lezione di Solone, che Schaeuble non ha imparato
Α hundred researchers from the European University Institute express solidarity with the Greek People
Actually existing Europe
Maledetto lavoro

Beyond Occupy: progressive activists in Europe


One year ago, the early days of Occupy Wall Street reached the front pages of mainstream media. The occupation of Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan gave a new impetus to a wave of worldwide protests. Starting in the Arab world, it then took root in Spain with the “Indignados” camps and assemblies that further extended to various European countries along with camp protest in Israel. In its turn, Occupy Wall Street inspired camps and actions in dozens of US cities and all over Europe, from London to Moscow. However, the indignados and Occupy may only represent the tip of the iceberg. Beyond their highly mediatized mobilizations and behind the scenes of institutional politics, vibrant progressive citizens’ initiatives and movements have developed across Europe and the western world and constitute active poles of subterranean politics.
These citizens and activists share an opposition to the way national governments and the EU deal with the economic crisis. They provide alternative meanings to the crisis and reclaim a more democratic society. Their strategies, actions, concepts of social change, movements and democracy however vary considerably, to the point that some of their discourses and tactics may appear contradictory. Some citizens want to build stronger democratic institutions; others don’t trust elected representatives any more and promote a change that starts at a local level and in daily life. The interviews and exploratory empirical fieldwork conducted in six European countries[1] under the heading of the “Subterranean politics project” coordinated by Mary Kaldor and Sabine Selchow[2] (2012) pointed to four main cultures of activism[3] that animate this progressive sector: occupation/direct participation, local and ecological transition, expertise and advocacy, movement building and protest mobilizations.