that’s a quote from an OWS student activist w/r/t labor unions, in my latest print story for the village voice.
Everyone involved in the creation of Occupy Wall Street, from Graeber to the editors of Adbusters to New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts, has been astonished by its success. The world of American left-wing activism, populated as it is by an unwieldy mix of progressives and pacifists, civil libertarians and Marxists, idealists and pragmatists, is often riven by disputes and mutual misunderstanding. What’s notable about Occupy Wall Street is that it was born not in spite of that tendency but because of it. For his part, Graeber doesn’t attribute the success of the occupation to its planners but to luck, timing, and the pervasive mood of anger and disillusionment in the country: There are few jobs, the political process has ground to a halt, and as individuals and as a nation, we’re drowning in debt.
Graeber’s problem with debt is not just that having too much of it is bad. More fundamental, he writes in his book, is debt’s perversion of the natural instinct for humans to help each other."
Did your parents know where you were? Had they been worried?
My arresting officer called them about four hours after I was taken into custody and told them I was safe and O.K. Yeah, they were very worried and at first they were extremely angry at me. They said it was “anger produced of fear” — you know, not wanting their son in jail, wondering if it would affect my college applications."
— my interview with Ben Koatz, a 17-year-old Stuyvesant senior who was arrested on saturday.