A Look Back On Occupy Wall Street

From Rochester Red & Black:

On September 29th, Rochester Red & Black hosted a discussion about the influences that Anarchist ideals had on the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The talk was led by two authors that have recently written on the subject, Mark Bray and Nathan Schneider.

Writer Mark Bray is a former organizer and press liaison of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as a PhD candidate and a Wobbly. His work has been featured in a number of leftist books and periodicals. “Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street“, an account and study of anarchists in the erstwhile Occupy encampment at Zuccotti Park, is his first book.

Nathan Schneider was one of the first journalists to write about the Occupy Movement at its advent. He attended and covered General Assemblies and marches, acquiring the voices and perspectives of various participants. His new book, “Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse” is a study of the first year of Occupy; of its origin, goals and inertia.

Mark Bray’s analysis of the organizer’s of Occupy Wall Street’s political motivations and how they defined themselves was particularly of interest to us, considering one of our primary organizational goals during Occupy was to influence people, including but not limited to organizers, to think critically of hierarchical authoritarian power structures and modes of organizing. Bray did credit In Our Hearts at two times during his talk as being an effective influence towards that end through our free zines and pamphlets shared through the OWS People’s Library and then later through our Free Literature Table. He also noted that we were the only organized explicitly anarchist local organization that participated in Occupy and gave people a place to plug-in and get involved with existing anarchist projects.

Over two years since the Occupy Wall Street encampment in NYC was dispersed we are continuing to share free anarchist pamphlets in public spaces in large quantities. We also continue to maintain a number of anarchist projects beyond that, such as the Brooklyn Free Store, Grub Community Dinners, and more including our active support of both international and local political prisoners. We are a group that is very open to collaborations with other individuals and organizations be they explicitly anarchist or maybe even just the “anarcho-curious,” as Nathan puts it.

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