The purpose of an occupation is to occupy
April 19, 2009
It may have value as a tactic, a form of leverage, a means to an end – but to overlook the value of the act itself is to damn us to mere pursuit of a goal on the horizon, and deny us the ability to realize the potential right at our feet.
Capitalism rests on the monopoly of space. It commands the distribution and function of every inch, turns it into property and real estate and hands it upwards through political strata, clings to the sanctified ownership of abandoned buildings while record numbers of families live on the streets. Those who labored to build, it denies the right to experience.
When we seize space for ourselves, we do so in an attempt to turn that on its head. What was once private property, on which we could either trespass or be reluctantly permitted, becomes separated from – and therefore necessarily in direct opposition to – the system that private property serves.
When the walls around you and the floorboards beneath you and the light and the acoustics all belong to (and are actively controlled by) someone else, how can you honestly be said to move freely? Conversely, reclaiming any of that space that capitalism so desperately wants for itself is freedom of movement in its truest form.
People are occupying everywhere, forming gaping holes in the physical world as defined by capitalism, carving out space of a nature that is both brand new and timeless. Action provokes reaction. Sometimes reaction only elucidates the reason for the initial action, or even reinforces its necessity. We hope for a chain reaction just as much as this was already part of one.