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Occupy by Noam Chomsky

Published: May 1, 2012

Since its appearance in Zuccotti Park in September 2011, the Occupy movement has spread to hundreds of towns, cities, and college campuses across the United States. To date, more than 6,500 people have been arrested in 111 US cities, a number that grows daily. By early 2012 it was cliché to say the movement had shifted the national conversation — it has.
For some it’s the economy. For others, it’s something deeper. Through relentless organizing and ongoing civil disobedience, the movement now occupies the global conscience as its influence spreads from street assemblies and protests to op-ed pages and the corridors of power. From the movement’s onset, Noam Chomsky was there, offering his voice, his support, and his detailed analysis of what’s been going down and what might be done.

From the movement’s onset, Noam Chomsky has supported its critique of corporate corruption and encouraged its efforts to increase civic participation, economic equality, democracy, and freedom for the 99%.

Through talks and conversations with movement supporters, Occupy presents a crystallization of Chomsky’s latest thinking on the cornerstone issues, questions, and demands that are driving ordinary Americans to protest.

Chomsky presents his latest thinking on the core issues, questions and demands that are driving ordinary people to protest. How did we get to this point? How do the wealthiest 1% influence society? How can we separate money from politics? What would a genuine democracy look like? How can we create new institutions to increase freedom and equality for all? Following the old course, says Chomsky, isn’t going to work. He argues that if we continue to follow the model of growth set for us by the 1%, we’ll be like lemmings walking off a cliff. The only alternative is to get involved and fight for a better future. If not now, when? If not us, who? Features photography by Alex Fradkin and Stanley Rogouski, art by R. Black, a “what to do if you get arrested guide” by the National Lawyers Guild and a tribute to Howard Zinn.

Noam Chomsky is emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

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