Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, October 31, 2011

OWS in a comparative context

Peter Whitehouse, who teaches at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL, suggests this blog post by Kusha Sefat, a Doctoral Student in Sociology at Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, as a discussion starter for considering the Occupy Wall Street protests in a comparative context. Sefat has suggestions for the OWS protestors based on his observations about the green protests in Iran. Your students can evaluate them and see if they can come up with suggestions based on other countries' experiences with protests. Get them to pay attention to the context within which the protests occur.

Top 10 ways OWS can Excel: Counsel from Iran’s Green Movement
Following the disputed Presidential election in Iran, our Western compatriots gave many suggestions on combating state oppression. Various tactics and strategies were devised for Iranian protesters… It seems that most of those recommendations were ineffective within Iran’s particular social and political context. It may be worth outlining some of the tactics that were in fact useful to Iranian protesters…
  1. Pick a color to represent your movement
  2. Have an all-inclusive strategy
  3. Demonstrate peacefully
  4. Be rigorous
  5. Be creative
  6. Record protests with your mobile phones and send to television stations
  7. Send your footage of acts of violence committed by the police to foreign television broadcasters
  8. Write, “I am 99%” or “OWS” on all dollar bills that you circulate
  9. Do not let politicians co-opt your movement
  10. Write arguments and op-eds that aim at the logic of the system

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.
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