Are We the 99%?
The Occupy Movement, Feminism, and Intersectionality
Heather McKee Hurwitz
**See PDF above for Instructor's Guide followed by a Student Guide**
Summary of the book:
The protestors that comprised the Occupy Wall Street movement came from diverse backgrounds.
But how were these activists—who sought radical social change through many ideologies—
able to break down oppressions and obstacles within the movement? And in what ways
did the movement perpetuate status-quo structures of inequality? Are We the 99%? is the first
comprehensive feminist and intersectional analysis of the Occupy movement.
Conflicts over gender, race, class, and sexuality issues are crucial areas of infighting and debate
within contemporary activism. Despite cries of “We are the 99%,” signaling solidarity, certain
groups were unwelcome or unable to participate. Moreover, problems with racism, sexism, and
discrimination due to sexuality and class persisted within the movement. Feminists, racial justice
activists, students and other activists responded quickly to infighting and discrimination. They
created innovative tactics and strategies for change. However, other activists left the movement,
created separate organizations and networks, and continued or transformed activism after the
peak of Occupy movement activity.
Using immersive first-hand accounts of activists’ experiences, online communications, and media
coverage of the movement, Are We the 99%? Compares findings from the Occupy movement
to other contemporary and historic, national and global, protest movements. Lessons
gleaned from the conflicts within the Occupy movement suggest strategies for future movements
to avoid infighting and embrace greater diversity and inclusivity.
The introduction provides an overview of the Occupy movement and the research study. Each
chapter provides intersectional analysis of conflicts within the movement about collective
identities (ch.1), framing (ch.2), leadership (ch.3), and feminism (ch.4). The conclusion reveals
lessons for future social movements.