Troubling stories of the end of occupy : feminist narratives of betrayal at occupy Glasgow

Eschle, Catherine (2018) Troubling stories of the end of occupy : feminist narratives of betrayal at occupy Glasgow. Social Movement Studies, 17 (5). pp. 534-540. ISSN 1474-2829

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    Abstract

    This article offers a feminist take on the question of why Occupy camps closed down, in the form of a narrative analysis of interviews from participants in Occupy Glasgow. In response to the emergence of an activist discourse emphasising the role of external forces in camp closure and the existence of a longer-term legacy in terms of individual and community politicisation, I build here on feminist interventions that point instead to serious internal problems within the camps and thus to a more limited legacy. Interrogating the plotting, characterisation and denouement of interviewee narratives, I show that feminist participants in Occupy Glasgow characterise the trajectory of the camp as a tragedy, attribute responsibility for the camp’s demise to co-campers and sometimes to themselves, and present the outcome of Occupy Glasgow as limited, and in some cases even traumatic. This raises serious questions about the culmination and outcomes of Occupy in Glasgow and more generally, and indicates the extent of the hard work remaining if future mobilisation against neoliberal austerity is to be more inclusive and sustainable. The article closes by considering the theoretical implications for the wider question of why movements come to an end.