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TMC at Left Forum

Interview with Frances Fox Piven - Professor, Actvist, Left Forum Board Member

by Geordie Gwalgen Dent

TMC at Left Forum

New York - NoteThis interview took place a few hours before the reoccupation of Zuccotti Park, the site of the original Occupy Wall Street, by hundreds of protesters.  The 'reoccupation' was a very uncoordindated and chaotic event with a heavy police presence.  Police cleared the park approximately around midnight with 10-20 protestors being arrested.

The TMC interviewed Frances Fox Piven - a professor and activist originally born in Calgary Alberta.

Toronto Media Co-op: So...who do you represent here at the conference...yourself, your university?

Frances Fox Piven: I'm here representing myself and am a member of the board of the Left Forum.  We plan the conference.

TMC: Why do you come here every year and why are you involved with Left Forum?

FFP: I come every year and have come for a long time. I come because I’ll see a lot of people who are friends and comrades and I’ll hear what we have to say and they’ll hear what I have to say…I want to hear what they are doing what they hope for and why they’re here.

TMC: Do you see Left Forum mostly as a networking opportunity?

FFP: It’s a networking opportunity to learn what people are thinking, reading and doing.

TMC: How important do you think Left Forum is for the leftist community?

FFP: Well, it’s very important in movement development that people have a sense that they are part of a ‘many’ and a larger collective and on occasions like this…not just the big demos and not just the World Social Forum and not just the other big conferences…but all taken together we get a sense of what our movement is. 

TMC: Do you feel that this conference is focusing on Occpuy at a time when the Occupy movement is waning?

FFP: Occupy is not waning.  People who say it is going down have a near sighted microscopic view because historical events like Occupy don’t just explode, they have 10-15 years of endurance.

In that time there are a lot of punctuations and interruptions and at each one [these people] say the movement is over…they said the same thing in 1962 in Georgia.

I think with the end of the physical encampments, it had to move out of the parks and encampments, and into the neighbourhoods, workplaces and schools…it’s doing that.  I mean not everything works, but it’s still going.

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