Author Archive

Occupy Research at Facing Race

Occupy Research is at Facing Race in Baltimore – check out this panel tomorrow at 11am!


Where is the Color in Occupy? Race, Class and Gender in the Occupy Movement


Kate Khatib, Editor, AK Press
Christine Schweidler, Research Director, DataCenter
Maria Poblet, Executive Director, Causa Justa :: Just Cause
Janée Woods Weber, Program Officer, Everyday Democracy

When a Canadian magazine, Adbusters, issued the call last summer to Occupy Wall Street, no one could predict the response that would follow.  Many have pointed to the lack of race-explicit analysis by the Occupy movement and the domination of white middle class participation.  Organizers of color involved with Occupy discuss how race is manifested in their city and how Occupy can lead with a race-explicit analysis.

“We Are Many” by AK Press includes Occupy Research survey summary

We’re happy to say that “We Are Many,” the edited Occupy volume by AK Press, includes a summary of findings from the Occupy Research General Demographic and Political Participation Survey (ORGS). Please read more about the book from editor Kate Khatib, then order your copy ASAP!

ORGS data facet browser


We’re pleased to announce the release of the Occupy Research General Survey (ORGS) facet browser. You can use this tool to drill down into the more than 5,000 responses to the Occupy Research General Survey.  For example, you might like to know about the survey responses of occupiers who are from California, and have been to a camp “many times”. Or responses from people who donated money, food, or goods, and also attended a general assembly. Select as many facets of the dataset as you’d like, and share your findings via unique links to your set of selections. Enjoy, and please tweet/share using the hashtag #occupyresearch! The ORGS facet browser is by Charlie de Tar.

Click here to try it out.

Notes and outcomes from the Occupy Research Convergence, London

Check out this amazing collection of documentation from the recent Occupy Research Collective convergence! It’s a “post convergence data bomb.”

30th June, London, Occupy Research Collective Convergence


30th June – Convergence on Activism & Research Ethics

Occupy Research Collective Convergence (ORCC): Activism & Research Ethics

10:00-17:00 Saturday June 30th – Pearson Building, University College London, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 6BT (enter from Gower Street).
See here for directions.

Are you researching Occupy or contemporary social movements?
Are you involved in Occupy or other forms of activism?
Are you interested in using research to take action towards creating other possible worlds?
Are you keen on research which respects activism?

This one day convergence will focus on the ethics of researching within-and-beyond the Occupy movement. We would like this to be the beginning of an ongoing conversation about the ways in which research can complement, inform, challenge and present social movements and radical politics.

This convergence aims to provide an open space in which to share ideas about the ethics of Occupy, activism and research. The agenda is fluid and will be finalised collectively at the start of the day, but themes might include:

The ethics of Occupy and the role of critique in activism.
Activism & institutional relationships; within and against the neoliberal university.
Consensually researching consensus-based movements; research for/research about; approaching (re)presentation.
Participatory methodology; research dissemination and freedom of access; radical publishing; militant research; collaboration and mutual aid in research.

This Convergence is being organised by the Occupy Research Collective. We are an open network of activist-researchers working within and around the Occupy movement. We aim to bring together a broad variety of research and researchers, from students and academics, to social and community researchers working outside academia, to unofficial researchers – anyone interested in thinking and doing research for the sake of activism, knowledge or other purposes. We want to experiment with alternative, collective ways of doing, disseminating and collaborating on research and publishing, helping to counter the increasing neoliberalisation of the university and research environment, and finding new ways to support each other as radical researchers.

In the meantime please join the email list (below) to start sharing and discussing readings. If you have any questions, you can contact us:

By email:
At our website:
And by joining our mailing list, at:

Please distribute this call out widely through your friends, colleagues, activist networks, or university (ask your school admin to forward it to all students!).

OccupyResearch at the International Communication Association

Today @desconcentrado and @schock are both talking about work linked to OR while participating in the Occupy@ICA preconference at the International Communication Association meeting in Phoenix, AZ. You can follow along with the hashtags #ICA12 and #OccupyICA.

Occupy Research panel at re:publica

re:publica 12

Sasha Costanza-Chock from MIT’s Center for Civic Media and Christine Schweidler from DataCenter will be presenting on the Occupy Research Network at re:publica in Berlin this week. Check out the panel description below, or jump directly to the conference schedule.

Occupy Research: Research by & for Social Movements

Knowledge can be used to build and maintain, as well as to upset, power! Chris will discuss the open Occupy Research network, research justice as a framework, and plans for the future and the critical role of this work in building more powerful social movements. Sasha will propose a shift away from platform-centric analysis of the relationship between social movements and the media towards the concept of social movement media culture: the set of tools, skills, social practices, and norms that movement participants deploy to create, circulate, curate, and amplify movement media across all available platforms. Both will share key insights based on mixed qualitative and quantitative methods, including semi-structured interviews, participant observation, visual research in multiple Occupy sites, and participation in Occupy Hackathons, as well as the Occupy Research General Demographic and Political Participation Survey (ORGS), a database of the characteristics of approximately 1200 local Occupy sites, and a dataset of more than 13 million tweets with Occupy related hashtags.

Trying to extract demographic data from twitter


June Po and Renan Escalante joined us for the afternoon of the second day. They were trying to get demographic data from twitter feeds, specifically the r-shief #f29 dataset, initially by looking for keywords that could be linked to race/ethnicity. For example, they began by looking  for “Black,” but found that this approach mostly returned false positives (eg Blackberry). Their next step was to try and look for co-occurence of ‘race’ and ‘Black,’ but that didn’t work either. The third approach they tried was to look for hashtags with terms related to race, but that didn’t produce many results either. In the future they’re thinking about other approaches: for example looking at twitter usernames, looking at RT networks, and so on.

Photos from #occupydata hackathon 2, day 2

Photos from #occupydata hackathon 2, day 1