‘The Year of Dreaming Dangerously?’ Protesting, occupying and resisting.

‘They are dismissed as dreamers, but the true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are, just with some cosmetic changes. They are not dreamers; they are the awakening from a dream that is turning into a nightmare. They are not destroying anything, but reacting to how the system is gradually destroying itself.’ (Zizek, 2011)

The protests of the Occupy movement galvanised public support from a range of sectors, moving beyond the traditional protest dynamics that involved those from working-class backgrounds. As a reflection of the extent of the problems that ensued resulting from the financial crisis of 2007/08, Occupy captured a latent disaffection in the public consciousness; a sense that people had become entirely powerless. The financial and corporate excesses that led to the collapse were the ideal catalyst for a social movement. Indeed, the cumulative effect of years of steadily increasing social and economic inequalities – added to the uncertainty and instability of advanced capitalist societies – necessitated a tough response from civil society. Continue reading