The Occupied Times #16


The August edition of The Occupied Times comes out next Wednesday, with a special focus on disability. We have opened up our two centre spreads to some of the best writers and most committed activists in the UK on issues of disability and serious illness. A comprehensive picture emerges of huge pressures being put on people’s lives as a result of government cuts and corporate sector involvement. We hope to give coverage to a much under-reported struggle and ask: why do activists and the wider left not show more solidarity with such a deserving cause?

News this month covers yet another Olympic farce, successfully resisted evictions at Runnymede eco-village, and an attempt by radical researchers to make resources available to activists.

Comedian and writer Stewart Lee ponders the impossibility of dealing with a virtual, invisible system of finance and calls on “part-time Gandalf” Giles Fraser to conjure up the powers needed for Occupiers to somehow halt the flight of Jimmy Carr and Gary Barlow’s cash before it reaches its Jersey trust fund.

Police violence is a hot topic after PC Simon Harwood was cleared of killing Ian Tomlinson and Martin Eiermann addresses this in a report on deaths in police custody. In the UK, a summer of Olympics masks mulling discontent and growing inequality one year after the riots. Articles by Drs Clifford Stott and John Drury and Ojeaku Nwabuzo warn against abstracting civil unrest from its context.

Features by Nick Mirzoeff, Ann Larson and Eric Toussaint & Damien Millet link climate chaos, bankster fraud and corporatisation to the debt crisis and explore the illegitimate nature of much of the debt we hold today.

OT16 also sees the launch of “How Do You Build A Movement?”, a new recurring feature aimed at starting a conversation between activists, campaign groups and community organisers about how we can build a broad and effective resistance to the neoliberal agenda that has dominated politics for over 30 years. In the first instalment, Adam Ramsay, a Green Party activist and member of UK Uncut, student activist and SWP member Mark Bergfeld, Daniel Garvin of PayUp, and Yodet Gherezghiher of ALARM and Femcells get the conversation going.

Reverend Nemu returns with tales from Buddhafield, where he finds himself surrounded by a variety of heathens. But, the good word must be spread, and spread it he does.

In this month’s Preoccupying – our long series of discussions with eminent alternative thinkers – we interview McKenzie Wark, author of A Hacker Manifesto and Gamer Theory whose work focuses on networked media and intellectual property in an information age.

The Great Debate sees the OT collective argue that The Global Suffragettes’ promotion of a Global Manifesto backed by leading academics is academic in itself and elitist in its conception and scope, claiming to start a “bottom-up” movement from the comfortable playground of a world-class university.

General Assembly returns for a second tour of duty. The General is a militant activist on the front-line of the fightback, and he’s still looking for recruits. GA prepares the grunts, enforcing non-hierarchical, autonomous organisation, and he’s still riled by the Olympics! In the interests of being good and upstanding citizens, the OT collective has drafted an alternative citizenship test to offer to government as they search for an update on theirs. All this can be found on the back pages, as well as the OT horoscope and crossword.

Copies of OT16 will be distributed at events and within communities throughout August, as well as from the shelves of independent businesses across the capital, including Housmans, Black Gull Books, Ray’s Jazz Cafe, Banner Repeater, 56a, The Cockpit and the London Review Bookshop. The full list of stockists can be found on the OT Stockists Map on our website.

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