The Occupy Movement

814 Words4 Pages
The book, The Occupy Movement Explained: From Corporate Control to Democracy, by Nicholas Smaligo is part of the Idea Explained series, the author offers a thorough and impassioned yet at sometimes biased look at the Occupy Wall Street Movement (OSW). Smaligo attempts to explain the formation and political//social basis for the Occupy movement, diagram how its leaderless and demand less structure functioned, offer a rebuke to some the criticisms and misconceptions of the OSW movement and to analyze the lasting legacy of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The Occupy Movement Explained is a unique look at social movement offering the authors own experience and passion, in a addition to a variety of different peoples own experience with or critique…show more content…
The book argues that the mass media fundamentally misunderstood what the Occupy Wall Street movement was trying to accomplish and therefore misunderstood the methods, that a lack of one demand or leaders was not due to disorganization or political immaturity, but represented the very core of what the movement was trying to realize. Smaligo asserts that it was vital for Occupy not to have just one demand, because a single demand could never fully encapsulate the needs of everyone within the “99 percent;” instead, the movement focused on a list of grievance releasing the Declaration of the Occupation of Wall Street (a list of their grievances) and a flowchart illustrating the connected nature of their shared grievances. The book also analyzes the movements complicated relationship toward capitalism and violence and sexual assault. Lastly Smaligo demonstrates the lasting impact of the Occupy movement, how it brought the discussion income inequality and the American Police State into the mainstream political discourse, how groups like Occupy Our Homes and Occupy Sandy continue the movements message and work, and that the hope and sense of community that the movement instilled has lived on past the movements…show more content…
Nicholas Smaligo personally participated in the Occupy Movement and says in the preface, “Though it probably doesn’t read like one, it is, more than anything, a love letter.” The book though at times does read like a love letter, with Smaligo rebuking almost all critiques include a number of incredibly valid one such as the issue of sexual assault, painting an almost utopian picture of the movement. The author’s passion for the movement is also a strength for the book because it offers a unique view of how a member of the movement viewed the movement in its aftermath, it also allows his own rebukes to a lot of the criticism of the movement which were fostered by the mainstream media. Overall, Nicholas Smaligo’s book, The Occupy Movement Explained: From Corporate Control to Democracy offers a detailed look at the Occupy Wall Street Movement, tracing its sources, analyzing the criticism of the movement, and focusing on how Occupy was a new kind of social movement and its
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