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Is Occupy Wall Street Fetishizing The Public Square?

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Is the Occupy Wall Street movement fetishizing the spaces that they occupy? Are they defining the movement based on place rather than the many, many other powerful elements and symbols the movement has developed as it has birthed and evolved?

At almost all the occupied territories I've visited the words fetishize or fetishizing have been used. 

The dictionary definition of fetishizing is " Have an excessive and irrational commitment to (something)."

It's not a word that one encounters in ordinary conversation, but it seems to be routinely used in general assemblies and conversations  among people in the Occupy Wall Street locales. I've heard it repeatedly used at almost all of the occupied territories I've visited. 

A number of anarchist blogs talk about "fetishizing" non-violence, using the term to attack the idea of non-violence as an unreasonable obsession. It seems that if you use the word fetishize to attack an idea you don't have to engage in supported or reasoned argument against the idea. 

On the other hand, the word is used here, in an Occupy Toronto interview with Justin Podur uses the word in a different way. 

"A lesson from other movements is that you don't want to fetishize how to do things. The only things non-negotiable are the main, basic principles. And how you fulfill those and what methods and tactics you use are up for grabs."

So I ask the question, "Is the Occupy Wall Street Movement fetishizing the occupying of public squares, parks and plazas?"

There's no doubt that the occupation of highly visible, central locales can be very effective in terms of visibility and getting media coverage. And staying in one central place is creating community and a new way, even a new paradigm of relating, of taking care of each other. 

But today, there's news that last night, riot-gear clad police cleared Occupy Atlanta from Woodruff Park, using an 11 PM curfew ordinance as an excuse. 

Friday night, when I was attending the general assembly at Occupy Philly, there was animated discussion of whether or not to move across the street to another area, because the city had construction under contract for part of the area where Occupy Philly is currently occupying. 

It may be that the location of the occupation is a key factor in making an occupation successful. 

Or, it could be that that what are most important elements are: 

-the direct actions that come from occupied territories, 

-the community that is built and maintained, 

-the relationships developed.

-the positions that are established by General Assemblies, 

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Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

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Good questions but at this point, I don't think it... by Pam Ladds on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 10:32:50 AM
The 1% ("They are not necessarily the same players... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 1:48:53 PM
it is you who claim to be the 99% (which of course... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 8:12:04 PM
Sometimes you have something intelligent to say. O... by Rob Kall on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 6:56:37 AM
Mr. Codger from China does not like the OWS. he ... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 8:57:40 AM
On average - only 48% of Americans who are eligibl... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011 at 12:56:00 AM
"It took everyone to get the country into the st... by Jim Arnold on Saturday, Nov 12, 2011 at 7:12:10 AM
which I don't--just who would you say I represent?... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 11:17:22 AM
indeed though many among the poor dont see voting ... by zon moy on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 11:34:45 AM
... Let's go a step further to say that Rob Kall e... by David Kendall on Saturday, Nov 12, 2011 at 1:34:20 AM
OWS has both. And it has become the pattern of old... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Nov 12, 2011 at 9:12:46 AM
!... by Paul Repstock on Saturday, Nov 12, 2011 at 10:02:56 AM
There is a substantial amount of psychological inf... by Doc McCoy on Saturday, Nov 12, 2011 at 11:30:27 PM
Do your homework. Dr. King never took anything 'to... by David Kendall on Sunday, Nov 13, 2011 at 2:08:28 AM
It isn't pertinent to compare a movement forged by... by Jim Arnold on Sunday, Nov 13, 2011 at 6:56:40 AM
Maybe we should set up a Free Speech Zone nea... by Faith Carr on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 10:52:55 AM
To fetishize, as Rob says, is an excessive and irr... by Ed Martin on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 12:23:30 PM
is that everyone clamored for law and order - unti... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 8:14:37 PM
Many Americans oppose beating peaceful protesters,... by Jim Arnold on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 8:58:13 PM
First, the Tea Party people all secured permits to... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 10:13:59 PM
Your characterization of teaparty actions -- shout... by Jim Arnold on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 4:52:11 AM
While some of the Tea Party's goals supported the ... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Nov 13, 2011 at 10:37:19 AM
> Tea Party people did not believe that "civil ... by McMicah on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 8:57:04 AM
"The best example of a fetish is the Republican ir... by Maxwell on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 3:57:37 PM
...Dr. King fetishized non-violence?  Anarchi... by Terry Adcock on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 1:32:02 PM
  In a world where protest is crushed and o... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 1:43:55 PM
The Occupy movement is an ongoing spectacle that r... by Robert Johnson on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 3:09:41 PM
We are famous for them. But we don't need to "feti... by steve windisch on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 3:13:31 PM
"So I ask the question, "Is the Occupy Wall Street... by Rixar13 on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 3:26:59 PM
"So I ask the question, "Is the Occupy Wall Street... by Rixar13 on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 3:27:54 PM
must be determined by the different conditions fro... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 3:43:30 PM
I definitely share your concerns, Rob, though I wo... by Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 3:55:38 PM
Confession. I have not visited any occupied square... by robert wolff on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 7:12:41 PM
Occupy Atlanta has been harassed at Woodruff Park ... by Amanda Lang on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 7:38:44 PM
Occupy..., the word alone, is big power. &nbs... by Brian Giffin aka Talkswithants on Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 at 9:59:13 PM
Fetish is the word for a physical object which act... by David Chester on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 2:29:22 AM
Rob, A fair point to raise; however don't forge... by Herbert Calhoun on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 4:03:59 AM
Rob,I think it's vital that occupations remain pub... by Jim Arnold on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 5:08:27 AM
A more important *principle* is at stake, as manif... by Andrea Ploscowe on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 2:42:14 PM
I heard an NPR (which, I agree with recent article... by Maxwell on Monday, Nov 7, 2011 at 3:46:38 PM