A Debate between Chris Hedges and the CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective on Tactics & Strategy, Reform & Revolution
Why a debate?
Since Occupy Wall Street took Zuccotti Park in September 2011, there has been a resurgence of social movement activity in the United States. As momentum has increased, age-old questions over tactics, strategy, and goals have returned to the fore.
What is violence? Who gets to define it? Do illegal actions have a place in our movements? This discussion never takes place in a vacuum or on a level playing field; rather, it occurs within the context of a struggle that is already in progress, where every statement has immediate ramifications for the participants. Differing tactical approaches often reflect fundamental differences in strategy and goals.
At the core of these issues is the question:
What are we fighting for and how do we get there?
This moderated debate will feature:
Chris Hedges, Journalist
Chris Hedges is an American journalist, author, and war correspondent, specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and societies. He will speak to the perspectives behind his controversial article “The Cancer in Occupy” regarding black bloc tactics and anarchist participation in the Occupy movement.
B. Traven, CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective
B. Traven will support the case for a diversity of tactics in the Occupy movement and in broader anti-capitalist struggles worldwide, illustrating an anarchist critique of the status quo and a vision of social transformation. CrimethInc. has produced many books and articles, including “The Illegitimacy of Violence, the Violence of Legitimacy,” composed in part as a response to Hedges’ “The Cancer in Occupy.”
Moderated by Sujatha Fernandes, CUNY Graduate Center
Sujatha Fernandes is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of several books on urban politics and culture; the latest is “Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation” (Verso). She has written about the Occupy movement and recent global uprisings for The New York Times and The Huffington Post.
Opening remarks by Sarah Leonard, Dissent Magazine
Sarah Leonard is Associate Editor at Dissent magazine, a quarterly of the Left covering culture and politics. She is also an editor at The New Inquiry, and a contributing editor to Jacobin. She co-edited the Occupy! Gazette with n+1 as well as Occupied!: Scenes from Occupied America. She covered Occupy as a writer and journalist. She is currently editing a special issue on radical feminism for Dissent.