Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is part of an ongoing series of pro-democracy protests throughout the United States against alarming trends in social inequality, high rates of home foreclosure and unemployment, and the excessive influence of corporate and financial interests on government. OWS operates as a flexible, “leaderless” organization, without a centralized authority or party affiliation, promoting occupation as a primary form of protest. This essay discusses the significance of the movement’s organization and strategy of occupation for its pro-democracy and wealth redistribution platform. If neoliberal forces of privatization, financialization, and deregulation have dispossessed people of crucial resources, places, rights, and other forms of social wealth, then occupation should be understood as an act of repossession, in which persons or groups take back what they believe should be commonly held.
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Heather Gautney; Occupy x: Repossession by Occupation. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 July 2012; 111 (3): 597–607. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-1596317
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