After the Occupy Wall Street "People's Library" was brutally dismantled by the police, Paolo Mossetti of Through Europe asked some of his favourite writers, activists, and academics to help him compile a list of books that would recreate, though only virtually, the library's shelves. Here is the first part, with contributions from Gayatri C. Spivak, Franco 'Bifo' Berardi, Gustavo Esteva, Bill McKibben, Tadzio Muller, Clare Solomon and John Zerzan.
The second part of the reading list will be online next week.
Andrew Ross, reviewing Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America, Verso's new book of essays and reflections on the Occupy movement, thinks we may be looking forward to an American Spring, or at least a resurgence in grassroots activism across the United States. In the meantime, he suggests we take advantage of the lull in antipathies to assess the impact and lessons of OWS.
Occupy! reads, according to Ross, "like a series of diary entries – on-the-ground vignettes, testimonials of events, and snap analysis of where it might all be heading." It's a good starting point, then, to pull apart the complex tangle of ideologies, grievances and ambitions that make up the movement. Unsuprisingly for an urban movement of predominantly young people, Occupy has been adept at creating its own media outlets. But perhaps incoherence is programmed into the ideological structure of Occupy–Carl Wilkinson, writing for the Financial Times, certainly thinks so, claiming the "essays, diaries and sketches...reflect the protest's freeform nature and lack of coherent message."
The Occupy Movement hinges, according to Sukhdev Sandhu's survey of new books borne from it, upon a war of words as much as any type of direct action. In doing so, it has inspired a wave of written provocations, communiqué and other literary responses to this upsurge in popular, media-savvy dissent.