Sunday, May 31, 2015

I wrote a chapter ("The State Response to Occupy: Surveillance and Suppression") in this new book, What Comes After Occupy? edited by Todd A. Comer

From the Introduction to the book:

The last two essays described above mined the Internet in order to get a better sense of Occupy’s demographic and organizing shortcomings with the ultimate goal of improving future social movements. Ivan Greenberg, in a complementary fashion, in our final essay on “The State Response to Occupy: Surveillance and Suppression” shows in detail how the federal government and its lackeys also mined social networking in order to obstruct radical politics in multiple U.S. cities. He then argues that “[e]stablishing a thick historical record is vital in order to analyze the movement's strengths and limitations . . . Police and intelligence records can add specificity and historical consciousness about what the movement represented to official power and the threat it posed to remake society.” Greenberg ends by arguing that protestors will need, increasingly, to “occupy surveillance” to ensure an effective politics in the future. Surveillance systems are not coherent, seamless tools of power; we need to locate weaknesses, and find ways to undermine surveillance in tactical ways: “Overall,” he writes, “the new reality of the surveillance society is sobering, and the tenacity of the American state to protect its practices should not be underestimated.” Still, he writes, with the advent of Edward Snowden, a critical movement is beginning to take shape to combat excessive government surveillance of local cities.

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