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Columbia Law School

Occupy Wall Street

Law and Philosophy

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Political Disobedience, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2012

Political Disobedience, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The political phenomenon that was born in Zuccotti Park in the fall of 2011 and spread rapidly across the nation and abroad immediately challenged our vocabulary, our grammar, our political categories – in short, our very language of politics. Although it was quickly apparent that a political paradigm shift had taken place before our eyes, it was hard to discern what Occupy Wall Street really represented, politically. It is time to begin to name this phenomenon and in naming to better understand it. So let me propose a term: political disobedience.