Occupy 2.0

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Two years after the Occupy Movement kicked off, a new peaceful protest movement has arisen in its place. Dr Matt Mitchell reports.

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THIS WEEK marks two years since the Occupy movement kicked off at Zuccotti Park.

However, in its place, there is a new peaceful protest movement emerging in America and it is perhaps the most powerful and threatening yet to rapacious industrial capitalism and the elites it serves.

The violent crushing of the Occupy movement, as experienced with other protests over the decades, indicates that protests sustained over time will not be tolerated. Thus there are few meaningful ways in which to peacefully resist the corporatisation of almost every part of our lives. But Americans, seemingly as determined and resourceful as ever (or perhaps just desperate), have hit upon a strategy that seems likely to be the most effective yet.

Aware now that it is impossible to displace the current economic system, the new movement in America aims to undermine perhaps the most important part of that economy, while setting people largely free of dependence on the economy at the same time.

What is this movement?

It is local food production.  People are using whatever available spaces they can find to grow their own food. The rhetoric anticipates the success of this movement in unseating corporate power, with Victory Gardens being planted in San Francisco, along the lines of those grown over 50 years ago during WWII. In fact, local food growing is a proven strategy for creating alternative economic systems.

It was the strategy used by Cuba following the collapse of its economy when the Soviet Union broke up. Faced with starvation and encouraged by the Cuban government vast numbers of small privately run farms sprung up everywhere, on any available space. In a few years, half of the food consumed in Cuban cities was produced by cities and a new economy was born based on organic farming (as there were few petro-chemicals available for fertilizers and pesticides).

I for one am hoping that this new movement provides hope for America, where  many  people are now living in third-world conditions – perhaps once again America may lead the world – but this time away from systems of empire and control, back to localised healthy communities.

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