Reoccupy the world – an initiative expected to gradually spread around the globe – has begun on April 4, 2014. It’s hoped that the campaign will ignite a global spring for change in future.
The initiative said: “The Worldwide #WaveOfAction begins April 4th and runs through July 4th. During this three-month cycle, people throughout the world will be protesting corruption, rallying around solutions and taking part in alternative systems.”
Anti-corruption activists, according to media reports, have launched the three-month decentralized campaign at Occupy movement locations. Their aim is initiate a “#GlobalSpring” of social, economic and political reform.
The crowdsourced campaign officially has begun at around 16:00 GMT on April 4, 2014.
A statement of the initiative headlined “We Are A Movement Of Movements” said: “The new paradigm will be on full display. Studies have proven that it only takes 3.5% of the population taking nonviolent action to create meaningful and positive change. The #WaveOfAction gives all of us who want change a powerful opportunity to #EvolveSociety.”
The statement expressed hope: “Change-makers all over the world will be engaged … in an unprecedented wave of transformation.”
It said: “We will honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy of nonviolent action and spend the day connecting with allies and strategizing Spring action campaigns. This crowdsourced campaign will become what you, the people, make of it, self-organizing and organically evolving, a new culture will emerge.”
In the manner of posing question the statement suggested: “What are you most passionate about? What are you doing to be the change?”
It said: “Whatever it is, passionately be it in public this Spring. Get together with like-minded friends and have fun with it.”
The statement said: “We have power in numbers. United we are unstoppable. OUR TIME HAS COME!!”
It seems the initiative is a part and continuation of the Occupy movement that is going around the world in many forms.
The initiative hopes to move ahead with its Reoccupy campaign in about 1,000 cities in more than 80 countries. In these countries at least one Occupy movement initiative was organized during the world famous movement.
The hopeful Reoccupy-cities include New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Reno, Orange County in the US, London in the UK, Brussels in Belgium, Brisbane, Queensland, Sydney in Australia, a number of cities in Germany and South Africa, Ontario in Canada, Windhoek in Namibia, Seville in Spain and Amsterdam. It is expected that more cities will join the campaign and more than 1,500 events around the world will be organized.
Still demands of the initiative have not been made specific. There is possibility of emergence of broader demands that are hurting the people in countries.
The demands may include (1) a peaceful world free from hunger, poverty, inequality and debt bondage; (2) a democratic, decentralized world with dignified, decent life for all people; (3) a world free from imperialist war, aggression, intervention and threats; (4) a world free from wastage of resources and arms race; (5) a green world with immediate steps to check climate crisis and environmental and ecological deterioration.
The demands, if the campaign sustains, will evolve and develop further. Specific conditions in specific societies will ultimately determine and specify the demands.
Participation and leadership of groups, parts, layers of societies will also influence formation of the demands as well as possible path and momentum of the campaign. These are questions related to subjective and objective conditions.
But, the spread of the message will not go in vain how little momentum the movement gains. A next initiative will learn from it even it is manipulated or nipped in the bud.
So, the organizers have asked the members of public to spread the word via Twitter with the hashtags: #WaveOfAction #GlobalSpring #ReOccupy #BeTheChange.
The Reoccupy initiative has suggested: “Whatever you are doing to #BeTheChange, get it on video & put #WaveOfAction in the title. Let’s show the world what we stand for!”
It’s hoped that a series of nonviolent tactics “from large-scale mobilizations to small daily acts” will be employed. The actions may include mass gatherings, flash mobs, canvassing, sit-ins, strikes, civil disobedience, defaults, debt strikes, foreclosure preventions, boycotts, and other forms of online civil disobedience.
Recent weeks have experienced protests and demonstrations in countries including Turkey, Spain and Belgium. These were against corruption, austerity measures, unemployment.
Broadly, the protests are against the state of global governance originating in the global economy that robs the common persons. People are robbed of their property, power and dignity. People are robbed of their safety and security. The robbery is part of the dominating politics. The economy that robs people of their economic and political rights, opportunities and accesses is shaping the global politics dominated by global elites.
With exposed incidents of surveillance, interference and regime change the face of global democracy is gradually coming to public view although a type of propagandists are selling the same old gossip of democracy of the few – the elites – without any shame.
These traders of “democracy” even deny identifying the class character of democracy, differences in types of democracy in societies with different history and economy, and they keep their eyes shut to imperialist interventions and to people’s experiment with democracy in societies including Venezuela.
Their sole product for sale and base of analysis is a democracy dictated by market, market’s democracy. It’s in essence authoritarian.
The analysis takes these traders to a blind alley: denouncing a faction of ruling elites while upholding another and denying looking at imperialist role and “forgetting” the basic questions of democracy of people.
The Reoccupy the World carries possibilities of spreading the word: the message of transparency, accountability. Transparency and accountability is not limited to any particular part of a society. These spread to the entire domain of global capital: source of profit, deals and commissions, instigated civil disorders and civil wars, tricks in manufacturing and marketing, robbing the earth. All institutions and organizations global capital sets up, dominates and directs should be under the purview of transparency and accountability. Multinational corporations funding “benevolent” campaigns should also be covered. That will show the moral standing of merchants of transparency and accountability.
The Reoccupy initiative may raise the issue of two moral standings: One is of people and the other is of capital, MNCs and all engaged by capital to sale its politics; one is for progress while the other is the opposite.
With its decentralized character and flexible approach the broad Reoccupy initiative provides the space, where smaller steps, a single photo with a face of discontent or a mail expressing anguish or a small gathering or conveying of a single message or a small community initiative or a cooperative or a learning session or a cultural event or a poetry session, don’t stand meaningless. All the grains of unity among and organization of people are significant. All the messages of people’s interests conveyed to the people are of immense value. Reoccupy may help in attaining unity and building up organization, may spread necessary message.
Farooque Chowdhury is Dhaka-based freelancer.