Belabored: The Legacy of Occupy Wall Street, with Ruth Milkman and Nastaran Mohit

Belabored: The Legacy of Occupy Wall Street, with Ruth Milkman and Nastaran Mohit

Though the occupation didn’t last long, it shaped many subsequent campaigns and movements, including in organized labor.

Occupy Wall Street protestors in Zuccotti Park on October 10, 2011 (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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When Occupy Wall Street emerged a decade ago in a tiny park in the Financial District of New York City, it was met with skepticism among some activists. But as the occupation persisted and eventually spiraled into a global protest movement, that cynicism began to yield to inspiration, even for seasoned activists and organizers. Though Occupy didn’t last very long, its enduring afterglow has shaped many subsequent campaigns and movements, including some leaders in the labor movement. In this second installment of our two-part series on Occupy, we discuss the movement’s ramifications for organizing and class consciousness in New York and beyond, with Ruth Milkman, labor scholar at the City University of New York’s School of Labor and Urban Studies and co-author of a landmark study on the participants of Occupy Wall Street, and Nastaran Mohit, Organizing Director of the NewsGuild of New York.

In addition to our in-depth interview, we cover the latest developments in the campaign to unionize meal-kit giant HelloFresh, and the conclusion of the Nabisco strike.

This episode of Belabored is part of a collective of podcasts brought together to explore the legacy of Occupy, in light of its ten-year anniversary. The producing partners for this project are the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s New York office and The New School’s Milano program. You can also hear analysis on Occupy’s impact from The Dig and more of your favorite podcasts. We encourage you to learn more and listen to the other episodes at RosaLux.NYC/Occupy.

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Sophie Peel, Nabisco Strike Ends After Majority of Bakers’ Union Members Across US Approve New Contract, Williamette Week

Alex Press, Nabisco Workers Are on Strike in Three StatesJacobin

Jaya Saxena, The Largest Meal Kit Company in America Could Be the First to Unionize, Eater 

Lauren Kaori Gurley, HelloFresh Workers Unionize to Improve Brutal Working Conditions, VICE 


Ruth Milkman, Stephanie Luce, and Penny Lewis, Changing the Subject

The Hand That Feeds

Ruth Milkman, Stephanie Luce, and Penny Lewis, Did Occupy Wall Street Make a Difference?, The Nation

Michelle Chen, Labor Movement Rolls Into Wall Street Occupation, In These Times

Chen, Immigrants Occupy! Broadening a Movement Culture, Common Dreams

Chen, Imagining a Just Recovery from Superstorm Sandy, In These Times

Chen, Occupying the Big ScreenThe Progressive Magazine

Sarah Jaffe, What Sandy Wrought, Part 1Rewire

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