Urban Politcs, Public Space, and the Youth! Get it!

The two articles I chose to write my blogs on are Lubin’s ‘The Occupy Movement: Emerging Protest Forms and Contested Urban Spaces” and Kallio and Hakli’s “Young people’s voiceless politics in the struggle over urban space”.

            The first article, “the occupy movement” discusses the way the movement started, how it relates to urban politics, and its importance of cities and the use of public space. She starts with how the movement got started, the enormous ever-growing deficit cause many state and local governments to reduce and suspend essential city services. This reduction has lead to millions of jobless and student debt that goes through the roof. Occupy-ists also took ideas from protest from other cities and protests, especially the horizontal structure with general assemblies with no leadership. This lack of leadership was the most effective.

She stresses the importance of public place in cities, in which I believe is crucial in urban politics. In order for a protest to work, one must understand the city and its residents, one must draw on the certain issues and politics that affect that particular city. For example, protesting or campaigning in Detroit, one must draw on the auto industry- its main urban political issue.

            During this financial crisis, cities were the ones getting hit the hardest and the local governments were suffering from the banking crisis. She also states that the world wealth is concentrated in cites, its urban infrastructure is being affected not only by the collapse of the local real estate but by the national deficit as well. Urban politics is all about the claims to your city and the occupy protesters claims of their cities helped boost their efforts.

            The second article, “young people” relates to the previous article about the importance of utilizing a city’s public space for protest, elections, political movements, rallies, etc. this specific article discusses space and its effects on urban politics. It discusses the usage of a public part in a specific city and its access to certain individuals within that city. A public city park issue is directly affecting the people of that city and no one else. This is a prime example of urban politics. The authors go on to state that the ones directly affected were the youth of the city. Although, the youth in this incident did not vocally state their thoughts on this issue, they expressed their political views through non-aggressive actions-, which can be deemed as another form of protesting. Similar to the examples discussed in the previous article, both were non-aggressive acts of politics. By continuing to use the public space without hesitation, it sent a simple message that they objected the new ban and that they were not going to obey the new rule. This was against the will of business, restaurant owners, and politicians as they wished the public space to benefit themselves. This can be connected to the idea of Tragedy of the Commons, where these people are fighting over a set piece of resource to benefit themselves. But that concept is for another day.

            Both of these articles stress the importance of using public space in regards to urban and city politics. These articles also show the impact of the youth in politics as well as just how affect protests and non-vocal/aggressive movements are in urban and national politics.

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