The first article I took a look at this week was titled, “The ‘Occupy’ Movement: Emerging Protest Forms and Contested Urban Spaces” written by Judy Lubin. I did not pay a whole a lot of attention to these movements when they were going on. It was not until a few months, even a year after until I started to realize what was the purpose of the movements. According to the Lubin, “The Occupy Movement represents the evolving nature of contemporary social movements.” If you recall, the protestors would protest by taking to the streets and would occupy them. The cause behind this was due to the housing market collapsing. People’s homes were being foreclosed and people were frustrated with many of the big banks.
So how does this relate to urban politics? One of the criteria we talked about in class was the idea of is this politics of the state or politics in the state. In my opinion the Occupy movements as a whole could be seen as a national movement or politics of the state. But I truly think that they are politics in the state. Each movement had different messages. One might be concerned about income equality or record corporate profits. Another criteria we talked about are how this affects everyday life. This criterion could also circulate to the previous example. One cities everyday lifestyle may be concerned about on issue compared to another city. So like I mentioned above you can make an argument for whether or not it is apart of urban politics, but if I had to choose I would say the Occupy movements deal with politics within the state.
The next article I looked at took a look at an ethnic neighborhood in Toronto. The article refers to the term “gentrification”. I had to look up the definition of the world, but it basically means the restoration of run-down urban areas. So this article talks about how there has been little consideration of how gentrification will affect the ethnic neighborhoods in Toronto. The article also talks about the pros and cons of gentrification in the Portuguese neighborhoods in west central Toronto. After seeing the results of the study the article talks about how most of the respondents of the study agreed that the “long-term viability of Little Portugal as an immigrant reception area with a good supply of low –cost housing in doubt.” So how does this relate to urban politics? Obviously this is going to affect the everyday lives of those who live in Little Portugal. They wanted to take these evaluations and use them in order to influence and change attitudes of those who lived in Little Portugal. The study also looked at settlement patterns of the Portuguese. Finally, the whole idea of gentrification involves restoring run-down properties in an urban area. That is urban politics. We can see this idea of using urban politics in trying to figure out how to use relief money after a major storm strikes a community. So this story and the Occupy movements deal with politics within the state.