The Occupy Wall Street protest movement began September 17th, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, New York City. As it grew, the organizers made a point of encouraging participants to take the lead, to bring the issues that they care about to the movement, and to avoid instituting a formal leadership structure. To date, the Occupy movement in New York City has been loosely coordinated by a general assembly, with 89 subgroups of various sorts so far. The Occupy movement, for all its diversity, has adopted the central framing slogan “we are the 99%.”
In less than a year, the OWS has spurred groups and events around the globe who have adopted the Occupy banner. While it is difficult to estimate the size or to foresee how the movement will evolve, it has inspired many of us to reflect on the social movements and grassroots efforts we study, teach about and participate in.
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