Occupy Time

Jason Adams’ piece in occupying time presents an interesting idea that the Occupy Movement is not only the gathering of people in a space to make their presence and unsatisfaction with the system known, but also the use of time to make their voices heard.

He cites the example of the Seattle WTO protests, and discusses how the people involved in that movement were able to successfully force the cancellation of the conference. Since, as Adams proposes, time is not money, but instead money is time, they were able to force the opposers hand by simply occupying time. In this situation, occupying time included disrupting the meetings of global capatilism simply by flooding the area with a huge amount of people. The inability of people to easily cross through the protests created a barrier to getting work done, and time loss was money loss.

What Adams is trying to say is that Occupy does not need to be an occupation of space, but needs to be a fluid movement that recognizes that the individuals making up the protests have different perceptions of time. Adams writes “While Occupy may be “occupying together,” this “together” is not simple and it is not “one.” An unemployed middle-class worker may not be extremely inconvenienced by gathering in a space for an indefinite amount of time, but others who support the movement may not be able to participate as fully because they must work within the system they are so unhappy about being a part of. This point-of-view is also brought up by Adams, and he mentions the previous activists calling into work sick or taking the day off in order to disrupt the normal day-to-day of the workplace environment in order to get a point across.

For me, the most interesting argument that Adams brings up is that “multiplicity should be valued more than unity, just as dissensus should be valued more than consensus.” I think a lot of times movements lose sight of the fact that multiple people, while unified under a single idea, have different opinions of the idea they are supporting. Dissensus, more often than not, provides the foundation for starting discussions on how to proceed with a movement.

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