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The University as a Site of Struggle: On Occupying in a Midwest College Town

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The Third Coast Conspiracy

A short reflection on the meaning of democracy and our experience at Occupy organizing at a large “public” university in Michigan.

Occupy Detroit's general assembly meeting Friday evening in Grand Circus Park.

 

The three of us first began organizing together under the aegis of Occupy in 2011 at the university where we work (though we were also involved in other regional/local Occupies). While the GAs on our campus initially drew more than a hundred students, our numbers quickly began to decline and we ultimately turned into a sort of affinity group that, while consistently active, became a closed space with little potential for movement building. Looking back, we remain convinced that universities are an under organized space in anticapitalist struggles but that the dominant organizing models, in particular their emphasis on democracy, require some fundamental rethinking. In what follows, we detail our experience with the GA and sketch out some of the reasons why it failed to serve as…

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