"Occupy has entered our DNA": Leading up to the People's Climate March, They Can't Represent Us! co-authors Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini talk about a new wave of social movements
"Taxation without repsentation" is a familiar rallying call of protest in the United States. But according to Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini, co-authors of They Can't Represent Us! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy, protest movements in the U.S. and around the world are going beyond representation, and rejecting it in favor of self-organizing and horizontal organizing.
Speaking on the Laura Flanders show, Sitrin and Azzelini talked about "horizontalidad"—a term rooted in Argentinean protest that, to Sitrin represents "People deciding together how they're going to have a conversation...People coming to agreements together collectivley."
Sitrin and Azzelini's book about protest movements is rooted in Latin American protest and horizontalidad, they say, to help suggest possibilities for the newer movements today. While Sitrin and Azzelini say that the U.S. is a behind Greece and Spain in organizing, they have noticed recuperation has taken hold in the U.S.—a way to prevent foreclosures and evictions that amounts to a powerful statement against private property. This past summer, Detroit activists formed water brigades to end the city-mandated shutoffs.
Occupy has seeped into our DNA, Sitrin wrote in a recent op-ed for TeleSur.
"We have accomplished new relationships, reclaiming our relationships to one another and creating new ways of doing things, new ways of being – horizontally and with direct action."
This Sunday's People's Climate March in New York City, a mass protest, represents the latest manifestation of the growing momentum of horizontal organizing on a large scale. While many occupy groups went from squares and plazas back to neighborhods, once again, we have the opporutnity to come together in large numbers. Sitrin said,
"We need to see one another. Partly just to affirm our sense collectivity and our sense of power. But it is also where our power is located. It’s not just because we feel better, but we do have power in organizing collectively.”
To watch Laura Flander's interview with Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini in full, click here.
To read Marina Sitrin's article, originally published by TeleSur English, click here.
For more on They Can't Represent Us!, click here.