The “Wretched” of Oakland

SOC 331: Foundations of Sociological Theory

There’s growing talk of the “splintering” of Occupy. Like other social movements, Occupy is divided between reformists and radicals.  Anarchists or anarchist principles have been particularly influential in shaping the radical strain of Occupy.   Recently, attention has focused on the rift between “anarchists,” specifically “black bloc anarchists,” and the broader movement. Journalist Chris Hedges seems to have ignited the debate by denouncing “black bloc” anarchists as the “cancer of Occupy,” as “criminal” elements out to “hijack” and “destroy” the movement.  Hedges and others have identified the Oakland occupation (aka the “Oakland Commune”) as the national bastion of the “Black Bloc.”  There was a slew of rebuttals, the magazine Adbusters even suggesting the black bloc is more like the “soul” of Occupy. A common theme in the criticism was the “colonialist” underpinnings of Hedges’ claims.  This text from OLA AntiSocial Media,  “Colonizer: A Postcolonial Reading of Chris Hedges” serves as…

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