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Fighting Dirty
September 24, 2012 5:28 PM   Subscribe

Tactics of Waste, Dirt and Discard in the Occupy Movement: a photo essay by Max Liboiron, The essay was intended as part of this academic article (free download, for now) on the same topic, situated within the emerging field of "discard studies", but copyright permissions led to it being published on the Discard Studies blog.
posted by Rumple (21 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dunno about other cities, but in SF, it's pretty impossible to tell the Occupy protesters from the actual homeless people. In fact I suspect a lot of the protesters are just homeless people with signs.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:42 PM on September 24, 2012


Hippies Literally Filthy Say Media
Punching Encouraged: "May Dislodge Dirt, Knock Sense In"
posted by DU at 5:59 PM on September 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


This was a recent Facebook status I saw from someone I know who works in downtown SF: "I hate homeless people masquerading as protesters".

One of the comments on that status was "Talk Conservative to me".
posted by MattMangels at 6:11 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was really struck by the photos of the removal of the Occupy camps at the time, with how enormous the piles of crap were. I mean, there was more crap in these temporary political encampments than you might find in a well-established refuge camp. It says something about our society, definitely, though probably not much about Occupy.
posted by Forktine at 6:18 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The original free-thinking political intent of The Occupy Movement was awkwardly merged with the ongoing problem of American Homelessness, and both refer to essential social inequalities. Part of the reason the homeless peasants are revolting is because they do not have access to the sanitary facilities which most of us take for granted. This photo essay addresses these issues.
posted by ovvl at 6:19 PM on September 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Discard studies"? Is that a thing?

(I hope to hell it isn't a college major anywhere.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:39 PM on September 24, 2012


Sure it is, Chocolate Pickle.

It's called "Anthropology" and sometimes "Civil Engineering".
posted by notyou at 7:17 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The photo essay makes it pretty clear that this is not exactly a statement about dirty hippies, homeless scavengers or consumer culture - there was a deliberate attempt by authorities to destroy whatever personal property they could find at the camps, thus transforming it into trash.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:18 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Archaeology is, in large part, discard studies
posted by Bwithh at 7:19 PM on September 24, 2012


I'm still reading, but this is really interesting to me. One of the recurring refrains from Oakland officials was that the Occupy Oakland camp was unsafe and unsanitary, that everyone had to go away so that they could "replant the grass".
posted by oneirodynia at 7:38 PM on September 24, 2012


Dunno about other cities, but in SF, it's pretty impossible to tell the Occupy protesters from the actual homeless people. In fact I suspect a lot of the protesters are just homeless people with signs.

Maybe that's because the police drove off every single person who had options other than sleeping in front of the Federal Reserve building.
posted by bradbane at 7:43 PM on September 24, 2012


The photo essay makes it pretty clear that this is not exactly a statement about dirty hippies, homeless scavengers or consumer culture - there was a deliberate attempt by authorities to destroy whatever personal property they could find at the camps, thus transforming it into trash.

I mean, I can understand why people sometimes comment without RTFA, but now colour pictures are too much to browse through?
posted by KokuRyu at 7:53 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chocolate Pickle, haven't you ever heard "Garbage in, garbage out?" What happens after it goes out? Someone should know how to handle it.
posted by MattMangels at 8:16 PM on September 24, 2012


Oh hell I have been all through this before. I have previously written on MeFi about my local Occupy Wall Street's "sustainability committee" (it probably should have been called Sanitation). It's now a year later and I still don't think I can make people understand what it was like. This essay only touched the surface of the problem.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:07 PM on September 24, 2012


It's easy to see (or at least to imagine one sees) a link between the deliberate painting of OWS protesters as "dirty," the conservative propensity for disgust, and the notion of psychological priming. Those darn liberal media elites, eh?

I think this may be the most telling single image of all.
posted by Western Infidels at 9:28 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


My arrest at Occupy Wall Street
posted by homunculus at 10:41 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is ironic that the powers that be fear the Occupy Movement as a revolutionary movement attacking the institution of property, but the repression of the movement often involves widespread confiscation of the personal property of Occupy protesters.
posted by jonp72 at 8:46 AM on September 25, 2012


Here's a good example of just how well the ows=filth message has propagated:

Last Monday myself and a small gathering of my fellow OWS working group showed up in the early morning dressed in very professional, stylish clothes since our mission was to join in with as many small tactical direct actions as possible. We would be hopping in and out of multiple key disruptions that were taking place in targeted intersections, then going civilian each time the police moved in in order to disappear and pop back up in the next location.

I was wearing a fitted blazer, tasteful make-up and a sleek hair bun. Two of the men I was with were dressed in exquisitely tailored suits. I should mention our working group is largely comprised of people who work in the fine arts industry- working art critics, historians, professors, curators, writers, etc. These people were not wearing costumes, these are the clothes they wear when they are invited to serve on panels, jury exhibits, and otherwise rub elbows with the 1%.

Anyway, one of our very well-dressed members was spotted holding a small "occupy" sign down by his side as we all made our way across a sidewalk a few blocks away from the commotion by a couple of banker types.

Did they yell "Commie Traitors" or "Move to Europe" or "Where's Your iPhones, Hipsters?"

No. No they did not.

This is what they yelled at us:

"TAKE A FUCKING SHOWER!"
posted by stagewhisper at 7:54 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Even "STOP RAPING PEOPLE!" might have made more sense
posted by stagewhisper at 7:56 PM on September 25, 2012


The Plot Against Occupy: How the government turned five stoner misfits into the world's most hapless terrorist cell
posted by homunculus at 2:22 PM on September 26, 2012


In other Occupy news: Occubaby is born! The young woman pepper-sprayed by police and her medic lover have a healthy daughter
posted by homunculus at 3:25 PM on October 9, 2012


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