What Will It Take?
Sale of Z Videos
Criminalization of Dissent
American Civil Liberties
Gaza Boats Seized
Wasting $13 Million
What Happened to Children First?
Bruce E. Levine
The Student Debt Bubble
Nicolas J.S. Davies
The Obama Doctrine
The Power Couple
Laurence h. Shoup
Bread and Roses
The Monopoly of Manipulation
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
An interview with Arundhati Roy
Sitting in a car parked at a gas station on the outskirts of
GUPTA: Why did you want to visit
Do you think that the Occupy movement should be defined by occupying one particular space or spaces?
I don’t think the whole protest is only about occupying physical territory, but about reigniting a new political imagination. I don’t think the state will allow people to occupy a particular space unless it feels that allowing that will end up in a kind of complacency and the effectiveness and urgency of the protest will be lost. The fact that in
At the same time, occupying public spaces did capture the public imagination. Why do you think that is?
I think you had a whole subcutaneous discontent that these movements suddenly began to epitomize. The Occupy movement found places where people who were feeling that anger could come and share it. That is extremely important in any political movement. The Occupy sites became a way you could gauge the levels of anger and discontent.
You mentioned that they are under attack. Dozens of occupations have been shut down, evicted, at least temporarily. What do you see as the next phase for this movement?
I don’t know whether I’m qualified to answer that because I’m not somebody who spends a lot of time in the
Your essays, such as “The Greater Common Good” and “Walking with the Comrades,” concern corporations, the military, and the state violently occupying other people’s lands in
I hope that the people in the Occupy movement are politically aware enough to know that their being excluded from the obscene amassing of wealth of U.S. corporations is part of the same system of exclusion and war that is being waged by these corporations in places like India, Africa, and the Middle East. Ever since the Great Depression, we know that one of the key ways in which the
You’ve written about the need for a different imagination than that of capitalism. Can you talk about that?
We often confuse or loosely use the ideas of crony capitalism or neoliberalism to avoid using the word “capitalism.” This model of U.S. economics packaged in a carton that says “democracy” has, in the United States, resulted in 400 of the richest people owning wealth equivalent [to that] of half of the population. Thousands are losing their jobs and homes, while corporations are being bailed out with billions of dollars.
The whole privatization of health and education, of natural resources and essential infrastructure is so twisted and so antithetical to anything that would place the interests of human beings or the environment at the center of what ought to be a government concern.
What would the different imagination look like?
The home minister of
That is why we must pay close attention to those with another imagination: an imagination outside of capitalism as well as communism. We will soon have to admit that those people, like the millions of indigenous people fighting to prevent the takeover of their lands and the destruction of their environment—the people who still know the secrets of sustainable living—are not relics of the past, but the guides to our future.
It’s so much a reversal of what you see in
What do you make of the term “occupation,” which has now been reclaimed as a positive term when it’s always been one of the most heinous terms in political language?
As a writer, I’ve often said that, among the other things that we need to reclaim, other than the obscene wealth of billionaires, is language. Language has been deployed to mean the exact opposite of what it really means when they talk about democracy or freedom. So I think that turning the word “occupation” on its head would be a good thing, though I would say that it needs a little more work. We ought to say, “
Around the country, many occupiers we’ve talked to seem unable to reconcile their desires about Obama with what Obama really represents. When I talk to them about Obama’s record, they say, “Oh, his hands are tied; the Republicans are to blame, it’s not his fault.” Why do you think people react like this, even at the occupations?
So it’s also a failure of the imagination?
It’s walking into a pretty elaborate trap. But it happens everywhere and it will continue to happen. Even I know that if I go back to
So this inspires you, as a novelist, the movement?
Well, it comforts me, let’s just say. I feel in so many ways rewarded for having done what I did, along with hundreds of other people, even the times when it seemed futile.
Arun Gupta is a founding editor of the Indypendent newspaper. He is writing a book on the decline of American empire for Haymarket Books. Michelle Fawcett contributed to this article. She and Arun Gupta are covering the Occupy movement nationwide for Salon, Alternet, and other outlets. Their work is available at occupyusatoday.com.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.