Occupy Movement: A hashtag revolution

18 October 2011
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Frankfurt

"You are speculating with our lives!" Protestors at the ECB in Frankfurt, 15 October 2011.
"You are speculating with our lives!" Protestors at the ECB in Frankfurt, 15 October 2011.

The “Occupy” movements springing up around the world are a new form of political participation: the unorganised citizen is calling for an ongoing dialogue with institutions such as political parties and trade unions, from which authority is slowly draining.

It seemed a demonstration of the type we know – a classic street protest. Last Saturday, all around the world, people answered the call for a joint day of protest and came out onto the streets. In Frankfurt in Germany, several thousand walked through the financial district and gathered in front of the building that houses the European Central Bank. The event began and ended with conventional rallies. What was interesting, however, lay in the peacefulness of the walk in between.

What had already appeared on the internet manifested itself in the street in a remarkable manner. Many couples came, especially older ones. Political parties made a poor showing, and there was little evidence of trade unions. Clusters of more than five people were rare. It was a protest of individuals, who emerged from an anonymous society and found each other in a community of strangers.

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