Building alliances for the long haul

The original of this note was posted in the Outreach Strategy conversation of Occupy London’s online bulletin board.

Thinking of Occupy as a force of prefigurative politics would open the possibility of scaling some of our consensus principles up to the level of inter-movement alliance building.  What  might that look like?

For example, we don’t need to have every stream of the broader movement commit to the specific goals and philosophy of all the other movements; it would be sufficient if we could agree with them on a loose set of common objectives, such as:

• respect for nature
• radical egalitarianism in social relations
• institutional arrangements based in some sense of common interest
• democratic administrative procedures (as opposed to the monetised shams that now exist)
• labour processes organised directly by the producers
• daily life as the free exploration of new kinds of social relations and living arrangements
• mental conceptions that focus on self-realisation in service to others
• technological and organisational innovation oriented towards the pursuit of the common good rather than supporting militarised power and corporate greed — (The Enigma of Capital, by David Harvey)

Of course, those points are just examples and we don’t have to use Harvey’s language. The key idea is to encourage and support our allies to develop their own core statements in a process of direct democracy (if they have not yet done so.)If we can do this then the second stage would be to open the dialogues or multi-logues with them that are necessary to keep the movement alive, not only for the weeks or months to come but for the years (or even decades) ahead – whatever is needed  to transform society.

Does that make sense to anybody?


Tags: ,

Categories: Academics, Identity & Strategy


Subscribe to our Social Profiles

2 Comments on “Building alliances for the long haul”

  1. December 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    As far as I can see Building alliances is an integral aspect of the movement if we consider ourselves to be the creators of a new model of society rather than another protest movement.

    The work of building these alliances should be a task which is now possible to achieved and ready to be accomplished since there is already a massive network of organisations around the world dedicated to social and environmental justice. Four years ago activist and social entrepreneur Paul Hawken made an inspiring speech about this emerging global phenomenon. Watch it here:

    This new global network is does not see salvation in any one ideology dominating, it sees salvation in diversity.
    In as much as Occupy replicates this respect for diversity and is able to harness it constructively it will be a natural and organic interface for the creation of alliances with these Civil Society organisations. As the article above states these alliances can become the new sustainable structures of our future society.


  1. 12 Actions to Create a Wish a Reality | Imagine the Spirit - December 16, 2011

    […] Building alliances for the long haul ( […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: