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The Occupation Edition

The Hot Seat

Notes from the Editor's desktop

In the early weeks and months of 2011, the Arab Spring erupted, surprising, inspiring and delighting millions of people around the world. Who would have thought that popular uprisings could overthrow the regimes of Tunisia and Egypt? Who knows who’s next to topple in the “Arab Awakening”?

 

Now, almost a year later, the Occupy Wall Street movement has carried on the awakening, and in a way that may prove much more sustainable, and harder for NATO to bomb.

 

And while the movement is still in infancy, the criticism of its leaderless, almost formless nature is misplaced or even pernicious. Political movements, no matter what stripe, take time to find cohesiveness.

Despite some hand-wringing about Occupy Wall Street's supposed lack of focus, it does have a simple-to-understand message that fits neatly on a bumper sticker: "We Are the Other 99 Percent."

 

What matters most is that the American middle class---and increasingly unionized workers, the poor, and even members of the military---has awoken. Our own Arab Spring might have just begun. 

 

Of course, there are important questions, which X-Ray’s deep politics columnist Stephen James Kerr poses in this issue. Is a better world possible? Stephen would say “yes”, but there are some burning questions that we need to ask ourselves, and the Occupy movement, in order for us to find our way toward that better world.

 

Reporting from the heart of Occupy Wall Street, Alternet.org writer and editor Kristen Gwynne reveals what life is really like at Zuccotti Park (hint: it’s complicated and inspiring).

 

And the legendary progressive journalist and host of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman, looks at how OWS can and should influence the Obama Administration, which, as it turns out, looks an awful lot like an expansion of the Bush Era.

 

Another well-known journo, John Pilger, looks at the fate of Julian Assange and the current state of the US war against him and whistleblowers like Bradley Manning, while X-Ray “godfather” Ted Rushton wonders what Barack Obama’s License to Kill looks like.  

 

Enjoy, and as always, please let us know what you think.

 

Cheers,

 

David Julian Wightman

Publisher slash editor

davidjwightman [at] xraymagazine [dot] ca

Cover art is a poster created for Occupy Wall Street by Eric Drooker (The New Yorker, Howl)

UPDATED (Friday October 14): Since publishing this issue yesterday I have come across Naomi Klein's incredible speech to the crowd at Liberty Plaza/Zucotti Park on October 6. It's an amazing speech, and I've decided to reprint the text here in X-Ray. 

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