26 March Debate - Occupy the City, of course!
Cooperation with a City's political leadership could be an effective tactic for Occupy. Population in cities worldwide is already over half of humanity. This figure is growing daily. Therefore, control of the population of cities is the key to control of the Planet. (This, of course, assumes democracy of some sort becomes dominant.)
As the recent Occupy demonstrations have shown, the current political structures are not only undemocratic, but, in general, the only way people can assert their will is through physical manifestation. (Vote with your feet.) This realization makes contestation in and for the city the only real option for Occupy. I argue here that city officials are therefore our natural allies in resistance to the State.
The nation-state is a recent governmental innovation. It has existed in its role as the dominant holder of physical territory for only about a few hundred years. Even now the city as a form of government continues to be dominant in some areas. Somalia is one example. The city is in practice dominant in many weak states. Parts of Greece have become free of State power of any type, since the Police have lost control and don't enter those areas. In the US, cooperation between police and local populations is non-existent in many areas. Thus, while the Police may continue to control the Area physically, when a crime is committed, no witnesses - not even the victim - will supply them with information that could lead to a conviction. As the state becomes more and more discredited, its effective control of the city will decline.
Since this Tactic would undermine state power, city leadership would gain influence if it succeeded. Therefore, we can expect support from the city's political establishment. In fact, in a few cities Occupy has received the blessing of city leadership already. Local political leaders are more vulnerable to influence by their population than, the often remote, State leadership. While money can influence local elections, volunteer support can be crucial to political success. This is likely to make city politicians more amenable to demands from Occupy.
Within the EU, the European Commission is another potential ally of Occupy. The Commission has been promoting the industrial development of Regions in Europe. This increase in power of the Regions incidentally aids the Commission in its continuing power struggle with the States. The Copenhagen - Malmoe Region is one that has received significant funding. The funding as been delivered, in part, to ease cross-boarder (Denmark-Sweden) cooperation. The different legal frameworks in the two Countries, however, continue to complicate the lives of cross-border commuters and others.
Ideally, the Copenhagen - Malmoe area would become a single City. A mid-range objective of Occupy could be to transform the Area into a "free city." A free city would be completely managed by its own political leaders. Leaders that are responsive to a (directly) democratic decision-making body. These Leaders would try to eliminate all barriers, such as bridge tolls and so on that effectively split the City.
While it is premature to attempt to exclude the State from exercising power over the City and its residents, a dramatic demonstration of this demand could be made in connection with the planned May 12 Strike Actions. In Southern European cities, one form of protest has been mass refusal to pay fares on public transport. Activists simply lock toll booths open or help people climb over barriers so they can travel for free. The question is whether Occupy Malmoe and supporters from other Occupy Sites in Sweden can overwhelm the control systems and come to Copenhagen on the morning of May 12th.