Marina Sitrin, photo taken at 2012 Left Forum, NYC by rob kall
Marina Sitrin is the author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina and it seemed like all the time when I was at the different Occupy Wall Street locales, the idea of horizontalism came at me, and almost always it was Marina Sitrin as the editor of this book whose name came associated with it. So, welcome to the show, Marina! Now, let me give a little bit more of a bio that I've collected on you. Marina Sitrin is a writer, lawyer, teacher, organizer and dreamer. She holds a Ph.D. in global sociology, and a J.D., that's a legal degree, in international Women's human rights. Her work focuses on social movements and justice, specifically looking at new forms of social organization, such as autogestion, horizontalidad, pre-figurative politics and new effective social relationships.
Rob: Now, let's talk about those banging pots and pans. What's the word that is used for that again?
Marina: Cacerola, a Cacerola is like a big pot. Yeah, so the Cacerolazo is the banging of pots and pans.
Rob: C-a-c-e-r-o-l-a, cacerola, right?
Rob: And this is something that hundreds of thousands of people went out into the streets and did, right?
Marina: Right, and regular people. So many people described this to me. People went out in flip flops. People went out in pajama tops. It was everybody. This was not some kind of activist scene at all. This was just everybody, your neighbor. Well, when millions of people go out in the street, it's a whole other thing.
Rob: Now. I have to say that OpEdnews, the site I publish, probably has published over a thousand articles on Occupy at this point, and I had one reader who would write to me every couple days and say, "Don't forget to talk about banging the pots and pans."
Marina: Really? Were they from Argentina? That's interesting.
Rob: I don't think so, but she must have known about it. Did you see that happen at all with Occupy?
Marina: I didn't see it in New York - I think it happened a few times in San Francisco. It might have happened in other places. One of the remarkable things about Occupy Movement, their movements, is that it's in so many locations, and all over the country. So, it's quite possible that it's happened in hundreds of towns, and we don't know about it.
I find out every day (and I feel like I'm pretty informed). I'm very deeply involved in Occupy. I have Google Alert. That's Direct Democracy. And I've had it for a few years. And after Occupy, I would get one or two alerts about where Direct Democracy was mentioned at some blog or some article, maybe once a week. And now I get an alert every single day that has 15 articles and 20 blog posts, and I don't know how many more; So much information. And regularly there I find out about Occupies that I've never heard of, towns that I don't even know where they're located--in what state, or if they're in the United States, and I feel like I'm really informed and I make it my -- it's what I'm about, to be informed about this movement. And yesterday I found out about this teeny place in Oregon, and before that it was a place in Southern California I'd never heard of that was inland. Just doing interesting assemblies, or having popular education, or the kinds of things they're doing. So, it's quite possible that there's lots of people banging pots and pans. I just think the movement is so large and so diverse.
I learn every day about people who are kept in their homes and evictions are prevented. A lot of time it's just neighbors helping neighbors. It's pretty amazing.
Rob: It really has gotten very big and very diverse, in spite of the efforts to break it down and beat it up, and the occupation of the locations - It seems like that part of the phase is mostly over.
Marina: The occupation where people sleep in the plazas, you mean?