Website on global south and decolonial issues.

occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street: Carnival Against Capital? Carnivalesque as Protest Sensibility

While some commentators and journalists have dismissed Occupy Wall Street as carnival, lawmakers and police officers did not miss the point. They reached back to a mid-nineteenth century ban on masking to arrest occupiers wearing as little as a folded bandana on the forehead, leaving little doubt about their fear of Carnival as a potent form of political protest. New York Times journalist Ginia Bellafante initially expressed skepticism about ‘air[ing] societal grievance as carnival,’ but just a few days later she warned against ‘criminalizing costume,’ thus changing her condescension to caution as she confirmed the police’s point: masking can be dangerous, Carnival is serious business.

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