Beyond Occupy: progressive activists in Europe
Geoffrey">http://www.opendemocracy.net/authors/ge ... l#Geoffrey Pleyers 8 October 2012
Subjects:http://www.opendemocracy.net/countries/eu" rel="tag" title="">EUhttp://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/11638" rel="tag" title="We have been running a longstanding debate on the future of Europe. There is also the specific issue of the crisis of the Euro. Amidst the financial and economic chaos engulfing Europe, openDemocracy sets up a platform to debate the democracy of tomorrow. Here, we host a discussion on all aspects of the current crisis, visions for the future and lessons from the past.
European citizens have been left out of summits whilst being fed demagogic promises. European institutions have been ignored by national leaders and mistrusted by their citizens. With surging nationalistic populism and member states’ divisions threatening the very existence of Europe, we ask: can Europe make it?
A public civil sphere to discuss, question, and re-invent the European project
The ‘Can Europe Make It?’ platform hosts the continent’s voices of activists, politicians and commentators engaged in imagining another Europe. Building the European public sphere, one article at a time…
For all of our articles, follow us on Twitter.">Can Europe make it?http://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe ... -in-europe" rel="tag" title="
Subterranean politics in Europe
Mary Kaldor’s team at the LSE, working with partners across Europe on new political parties and public protests, is finding that all of these phenomena share not only opposition to austerity, but also extensive frustration with politics as currently practised. The team reports in a series of articles for Can Europe make it?
You can read the original study here.">Subterranean Politics in Europehttp://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe ... nting-left" rel="tag" title="Shutterstock/Patrimonio Designs Ltd. Some rights reserved.
How to recreate an European Left as the credible alternative to the neo-liberal failure and the mainstreaming of the far-right? Like Dr Frankenstein's creature, it has to be rebuilt from what already exists - including the heritage of socialism, the lessons of social democracy and the innovation of new modes of organisation and protest.">Reinventing the Lefthttp://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe ... upy-europe" rel="tag" title="">Occupy Europe!http://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe ... /europe-20" rel="tag" title="Shutterstock/Silver Tiger. All Rights Reserved.
An openDemocracy debate for new initiatives in institutional design, and a space to identify the trajectory, promise and pitfalls of new types of identity and forms of governance for Europe 2.0.">Europe 2.0http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom ... ons/occupy" rel="tag" title="What is the 'Occupy' movement? Is it a movement, even, or a tactic? Why are there no substantial and coherent demands, and is this an aspect itself of the desire to achieve real democracy? Are its beginnings in the call by Adbusters to 'Occupy Wall Street' on September 17th, 2011, providing the catalyst to Occupations in over 95 cities across 82 countries in the following winter? Or can we trace the movement back to the Arab Spring, or further still, to Tiananmen Square?Wherever its origins, today the call to occupy is resounding across the globe. 2012 is the year to 'Occupy Everything', but what will this mean? Already we are seeing the use of the&nbsp;latest technologies to grow democracy anew and experiment with forms of social and political organisation, the awakening of a networked generation disposed to take power into their own hands, the struggle to find economic alternatives in the face of the failure of market fundamentalism, the resistance against austerity and the dominance of a global political elite intent on maintaining their grip on power, whatever the cost. From Athens to California, Glasgow to Egypt, people are re-evaluating the kind of world they want to live in, and the kind of life they want to lead. They are not appealing to their governments for change, but forming publics to be the change they want to see.OurKingdom has explored the birth of Occupy through its Networked Society debate, on the way in which new technologies are transforming how we communicate, deliberate and organise. In this debate, OurKingdom will work with openDemocracy to document and analyse the growing Occupy movement, helping to strengthen its voice and hoping to be part of Everything.See our page of communiques from occupations and protests around the world. ">Occupy!
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http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/140% ... 0%20SP.png" alt="" style="margin-left: 5px;" align="right" width="130">Occupy is part of a wide range of subterranean
movements that explore ways to
complement representative democracy and empower citizenship. 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.
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
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%5B1%5Dhttp://www.opendemocracy.net/geoffrey-p ... p#/a#ed_cl# under the heading of the “Subterranean politics project” coordinated by
Mary Kaldor and Sabine Selchow%5B2%5Dhttp://www.opendemocracy.net/geoffrey-p ... p#/a#ed_cl# (2012) pointed to four main cultures
of activism%5B3%5Dhttp://www.opendemocracy.net/geoffrey-p ... p#/a#ed_cl# that animate this progressive
sector: occupation/direct participation, local and ecological transition,
expertise and advocacy, movement building and protest mobilizations.