Episode

9/17 10 Years On From Occupy Wall Street: A Pivot Point In 21st Century Activism w/ Astra Taylor & Heather Digby Parton

September 17, 2021

It’s Casual Friday! Sam and Emma host Astra Taylor, co-founder of the Debt Collective and author of the recent book Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions, to discuss the 10-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Then Sam and Emma are joined by Heather Digby Parton, proprietor of Hullabaloo and contributing writer at Salon.com, to wrap up the week in news. Astra, Sam, and Emma dive into the start of the Occupy movement, ten years ago today, as a response to the call issued by Adbusters and the failure of the US Government to provide any reciprocity or repercussions for the 2008 financial crisis. Astra reflects on the initial general assemblies and working groups that worked to determine why they were there and what their demands should be, as well as the skepticism that they’d last beyond the first night with the mass police presence in NYC. They expand on this discussion, exploring how the role of police brutality served to somewhat bolster the public view around the movement and helped jumpstart the spread of the movement well beyond just NYC or even the US, even serving to turn the political tide against the Clinton neoliberalism. They discuss the diversity of ideology in the movement, even if it was driven by an anti-establishment ethos, and how that served to help create this open and strong picture of the 99%, before wrapping up with how the movement was eventually forced out of Zuccotti Park and looking at the lasting impact on the progressive left Occupy ultimately had.

Then Digby comes on to chat about what we have learned from the CA Recall, particularly in terms of boosting turnout by running against Trump no matter the election, and she, Sam, and Emma also cover the role of the centrist Dems within he general infrastructure shenanigans going on in Congress. Then in the Fun Half, Ronald Raygun calls in to chat about pegging tactics and Sam’s wood, Jake from the Bay Area talks appealing to liberals, Ben Shapiro struggles with California not being Texas, and Clarence Thomas offers some incredibly weird words on the new role of the SCOTUS, plus, your calls and IMs!

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Read Astra and Jonathan Smucker‘s piece in New York Magazine “Occupy Wall Street Changed Everything” here.

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