[I] really wish people would stop using the word ‘occupy’ to describe ‘radical’ protest actions. I’ve lived in occupied territory, and all that word makes me feel is fear. Words have meanings, and when I hear the word ‘occupation’ I think of soldiers shining flashlights into my parents car, profiling my dad for being dark & foreign, bomb blasts rocking the streets and checkpoints on the way to school. Think before you speak – it’s not the right word for what you are trying to do, and it actively excludes a lot of people who might otherwise want to be involved in your action.
Given the history of the country I live in, which exists on occupation, and given the fact that the person I love deeply left his home because of occupation and all that came with it, yeah this.
I actually thought that the term ‘occupy’ wasn’t very favorable, considering the history of its use that implies violence… I suppose they meant it as a word of empowerment, to ‘take what is ours, our land, as tax paying and legal citizens of this nation’. Nonetheless, with an awareness for the continuing injustice on Aboriginal communities, it is not so simple to elude its meaning as empowering to those that are supposedly oppressed, when one is aware of the history of its use by the oppressors. –sackados
HEY PEOPLE, HERE’S A BRIGHT IDEA: Why not learn what the word “occupy” means in the context of radical politics before you denigrate the long and vibrant tradition of “people’s occupations” in this country and elsewhere around the world.
STOP WORD CLOUDING THE LANGUAGE
Have a nice day.
With the exception of bomb blasts rocking the street, this sounds like modern day America. I guess it’s fair to say that I live in occupied Los Angeles and the protest movement is a peoples occupation rather than a governmental occupation.
I hear both sides of the argument. The term “occupation” is something that’s been in the lexicon of resistance movements against capitalism for at least decades, with factory and university occupations being important actions taken within such struggles. They represent very real and meaningful blows against the bourgeois elites, or as isolated events a very symbolic stage in building a movement.
For example university and factory occupations in the French uprising of the 60s and Argentinian factory occupations. The act of occupying a space and denying it’s productivity from the ruling elites, claiming it for the workers struggle, is an attack that cannot be underestimated. This is why I have hesitations towards the effectivity of the Occupy Wall Street movement on a functional level of anti-capitalism, ignoring broader commentary about it’s inclusivity of PoC which is also very valid. I don’t really see how what’s happening at the moment is progressing into something bigger and incorporating it into a genuine workers’ struggle. At the moment it seems to be a very large, jumped up martyrdom campaign to get people arrested and feel like they’ve been part of something for a month or two. Which while nice is a far cry from being a material attack against capitalism.
With that said I’m far from against trying to incorporate a less offensive term into the lexicon. Perhaps dis-enclosures? Where the process of capitalism creates enclosure: it sections something out of the subject, alienating it and the process involved in it from their person. The act of dis-enclosure thus broadens the scope of how we can view occupations (for example the creation of the clock represents an enclosure of time, where before we measured time in how long it took for us to physically do things yet minutes and hours are abstract and alienating of the self) and also hopefully is less offensive. It also better represents the idea of reclaiming something from capital, denying it’s productivity for profit and realising it’s value for the society rather than the bourgeois.
Just my two cents. I don’t think there’s any call to be arsey when people say “that word has negative connotations, please don’t use it?” when the purpose of such a movement is to radicalise and mobilise everyone. There’s no need to exclude such people, and simply changing the name doesn’t lose the rich heritage that the action holds.