Instant history: Occupy movement book to be released this December.

Profits from the book by Writers for the 99% will go to the protest movement.

The progressive press OR Books has announced the publication of an instant history of the anti-capitalist protest: Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action that Changed the Course of America. It is written by Writers for the 99% who do not claim to officially represent the movement, but actively support it and have come together specifically for this project. Copies of the book will be available on 17 December- the three month anniversary of the movement's beginnings in Liberty Square, downtown Manhattan. All profits from the book will go to the occupation.

Colin Robinson, co-publisher at OR Books, spoke about the book's aims:

It's a tremendous challenge to produce a worthwhile book in such a short space of time. But Occupy Wall Street is an action of historic proportions and we believe it's important to create at least a first draft of that history as it is occurring. In assembling the book we will do all we can to respect the transparency and non-hierarchical structures that are the hallmark of Occupy Wall Street. We're making no claims to be creating the authorized version of events, that's impossible at this point. But by bringing together first-rate interviewers, writers and editors, we believe we can tell a story of the occupation which describes its extraordinary achievements and encourages their spread across America and around the world.

The book will also cover the movement's structure and organisation; chapter headings include the general assembly, the kitchen, the medical centre, clean-up and education and empowerment.

Other writers have joined together in support of Occupy Wall Street and the global Occupy movement by signing an online petition. It lists over 1000 names, including Salman Rushdie, Michael Cunningham and the Director of Digital at The Onion, Baratunde Thurston. Read more on this here.

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“The Hole-Up”: a poem by Matthew Sweeney

“You could taste the raw / seagull you’d killed and plucked, / the mussels you’d dug from sand, / the jellyfish that wobbled in your / hands as you slobbered it.”

Lying on your mouth and nose
on the hot sand, you recall
a trip in a boat to the island –
the fat rats that skittered about
after god-knows-what dinner,
the chubby seals staring up,
the sudden realisation that a man
on the run had wintered there
while the soldiers scoured
the entire shoreline to no avail –
you knew now you had been him
out there. You could taste the raw
seagull you’d killed and plucked,
the mussels you’d dug from sand,
the jellyfish that wobbled in your
hands as you slobbered it.
You saw again that first flame
those rubbed stones woke in
the driftwood pile, and that rat
you grilled on a spar and found
delicious. Yes, you’d been that man,
and you had to admit now you
missed that time, that life,
though you were very glad you
had no memory of how it ended.


Matthew Sweeney’s Black Moon was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Prize. His latest collection is Inquisition Lane (Bloodaxe).

This article first appeared in the 21 July 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The English Revolt