[Not Actually On] Sunday Reading [Because It’s the Last One of the Old Year]

by zunguzungu

Small Occupy Movements Across the Country Accumulate Victories

In a recent study called “Diffusion of the Occupy Movement in California,” UC Riverside researchers surveyed 482 incorporated towns and cities in California and found that 143 – nearly 30 percent – had Occupy sites on Facebook between December 1 and December 8. According to the study, many of the small and medium-sized towns are active with likes, posts and events on their Facebook pages. For example, the town of Arcata has about 17,000 people and 2,950 subscriptions on their page. “The Occupy Barstow website proclaimed that Barstow is ‘about as far from Wall Street as you can get.’ But the Barstow occupiers probably did not know that there were also Occupy actions in Weaverville, Idyllwild, Calistoga, El Centro and many other small California towns, even in very remote areas,” write professor of sociology Christopher Chase-Dunn and graduate student Michaela Curran-Strange. And the majority of Occupy cities are not in the Northern, more liberal, part of the state. They are almost equally divided between the north and south. “The north-south finding is interesting because most people believe that the political culture of Northern California is much more Leftist than that of Southern California,” Chase-Dunn and Curran-Strange write. “Our findings suggest that this is no longer true, at least as indicated by the propensity to establish Occupy sites.”

Louis Godfrey’s survey of Occupy Wall Street footage (via):

“the occupation of space is what is at the very heart of the Occupy movement, to use public areas – parks, plazas, university campuses – as the primary tool of redress, by asserting that they are commons. The concept of the commons is, according to Peter Linebaugh in The Magna Carta Manifesto, “The theory that vests property in the community and organizes labor for the common benefit” – an idea that dates back to 1215 at Runnymede and the limitations placed on the power of King John. The commons are more than just public spaces, but they are those liberties – trial by jury, Habeus corpus, etc. – that are essential to the individual use of those spaces with agency and purpose. The antithesis of the commons is the commodity. Ever increasingly our public spaces are serviced and maintained by private entities, and open to general use in highly regulated increments requiring prior approval, and often for monetized purposes. Accordingly, officials now view public spaces as they do any asset that can be commodified, and deploy law enforcement to protect them accordingly. “The insanity of the commodity arises from its inherent contradiction or double bind: on the one hand it is useful, convenient, or commodious, on the other hand it is bought and sold for profit and gain,” Linebaugh writes. “Guile replaces plain dealing.”

All the best of 2011 lists I happened to come across: