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They Can't Represent Us! Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy Book Launch

Join the authors Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini as they launch their new book!

While the excitement around Occupy Wall Street has diminished in the United States, dynamic movements of democratic participation continue to arise across the globe, calling on people to rethink and remake their relationships to each other and themselves.

Video of the lecture held March, 26th 2014 at at the CEU - Central European University, Budapest

They Can’t Represent Us! – New Global Movements and Democracy

They Can’t Represent Us! – New Global Movements and Democracy: Lecture held March, the 26th 2014 at the CEU - Central European University, Budapest

Democracy Is A Process, Azzellini And Sitrin Say

”We’re in a new historic epoch. The world is in movement, societies are in movement,” said Dario Azzellini and Marina Sitrin in their lecture on new global movements and democracy on March 26.

The activist couple have participated in a number of movements and demonstrations all around the world. Sitrin and Azzellini talked about what they found was common in the “second wave of the anti-representational protests” after 2011.

Interview with Dario Azzellini and Marina Sitrin by Anna Belladelli

In September 2011, activists occupied Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, initiating a new wave of struggle against capitalism and unprecedented recession. The impact of the Occupy movement has been noticeable also outside the USA, affecting forms of protests, actions, and language.


Learning from... Caracas

Venezuelan law allows for an entity called the consejo communal (communal council), which empowers citizens to initiate local development projects through neighbourhood-based elected councils. Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler’s film, Comuna under construction (2010), begins with the story of a poor hillside community in Caracas as its inhabitants decide whether they want to organize a consejo communal.

Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy

They Can't Represent Us!

They Can't Represent Us!

How the new global movements are putting forward a radical conception of democracy.

“The movements documented in this volume succeeded in shutting cities down through tremendous shows of force. And when you shut down a city, you can actually stop capital accumulation … Until we start building a truly democratic society, we will continue to see our good ideas co-opted by capital.”

– from the foreword by David Harvey

Here is one of the first books to assert that mass protest movements in disparate places such as Greece, Argentina, and the United States share an agenda — to raise the question of what democracy should mean. These horizontalist movements, including Occupy, exercise and claim participatory democracy as the ground of revolutionary social change today.

Video & Audio:


Comuna Under Construction

In more than 30.000 Consejos Comunales the Venezuelan inhabitants decide on their concerns collectively via assemblies. Several Consejos Comunales can form a Comuna and finally a communal town.
The film “Comuna Under Construction” follows these developments throughout the hillside of the shantytowns of Caracas and the vast and wet plains of Barinas in the countryside.

Is it even possible to bring together state and autonomy?

A Film by Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler

The grassroots of Venezuela

The mainstream media view has it that left-leaning populists are keeping democracy in a stranglehold. Seen from the grassroots in Venezuela, that view is very different. We interview Dario Azzellini, an assistant professor, activist who spends a lot of time in Venezuela, and a filmmaker.

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They Can’t Represent Us! – New Global Movements and Democracy

Kefya! Ya Basta! Enough!

Words shouted by millions against an untenable situation. Simultaneously proposing "Democracia Real Ya! We are the 99!"

Dario Azzellini and Marina Sitrin address the common forms and practices of the "new" movements and their collective journey for radical social change beyond capitalism.

Sponsored by the New College of Florida Sociology Dept.



They Can’t Represent Us! – New Global Movements and Democracy

Dario Azzellini, Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria) & Marina Sitrin, CUNY Graduate Center, New York City (USA)

Self-Organization and Self-Education in Venezuela

Self-Organization and Self-Education in Venezuela

We have organized a Congress here. Why? What reason can there be for artists, the freest, most independent people in society; people who live like "the lily of the field", to come together, organize themselves, and undertake theoretical discussions?> -Asger Jorn (1956)


Workers’ control and workers’ participation – discourses and contradictions in Venezuela

"Pink Tide States: Programs and Realities in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela" (Panel)

The Communal System as Venezuela’s Transition to Socialism

Communism in the 21st Century

"The purpose of this chapter is to explore practices in the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela linked to the idea of a transition to socialism through the construction of communal production and consumption cycles controlled by workers and communities. The envisioned transition combines local self-administrat on and workers’ control of the means of production. The present work concentrates mainly on the experiences of local self-administration.


Comuna Under Construction

LatinAmericanFilmFestival presents:

Comuna under construction

a film by Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler, which follows the developments in the barrios of Caracas and poor rural areas of Venezuela as people combine to build people power from below.

Imagine a world without bosses

Imagine a world without bosses. This week we discuss examples of workers who run their own workplaces through workers control. Interviews with Alexis Adarfio, from the Workers’ University in Ciudad Guyana, Venezuela; Immanuel Ness, City University of New York, Brooklyn College; and Dario Azzelini, Johannes Kepler University in Austria.

- See more at:

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Direct Democracy Under Construction: A Conversation with Dario Azzellini

In this episode of Forms of Life, host Nato Thompson speaks with documentary filmmaker, writer and political scientist Dario Azzellini about community organizing and social movements.

The Communal State: Communal Councils, Communes, and Workplace Democracy.

The particular character of what Hugo Chávez called the Bolivarian process lies in the understanding that social transformation can be constructed from two directions, “from above” and “from below.” Bolivarianism—or Chavismo—includes among its participants both traditional organizations and new autonomous groups; it encompasses both state-centric and anti-systemic currents.


Comuna under construction, 2010, 96 min., Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler

Wednesday June 19th, 2013, 17:30 -20:00, FACT Liverpool

Comuna under construction, 2010, 96 min., Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler, showed in the frame of

PILAS (Postgraduates in Latin American Studies) Conference 2013

LEFT FORUM 2013 | June 8, 2013 | Pace University, New York, USA

Venezuela Beyond Chávez II: The Grassroots Perspective

We want to examine what the death of Chávez and the actual situation means for Venezuela from a grassroots perspective of the activists and social movements that have co-created the Bolivarian Revolution of the past 14 years. What does chavismo without Chávez mean for them?

Dario Azzellini, CUNY Graduate Center and Johannes Kepler University Linz
Sujatha Fernandes, Queens College
Alejandro Velasco, New York University

An Interview with Dario Azzellini

Workers Control and/or Worker Cooperatives?

GEO: Dario, your co-edited book, Ours to Master and To Own, Workers Control from the Commune to the Present, presents a rich variety of worker control initiatives. These have taken place not only in Europe, but in Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, the USA, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, and other countries. Can you clarify for us what these examples have in common, and what you see as their importance?


Overcoming marginalization through self-administration: A case study of the Venezuelan Consejos Comunales

RC21 CONFERENCE 2013 - Resourceful cities - 29-31 August 2013


Venezuela Beyond Chávez II: The Grassroots Perspective - LEFT FORUM 2013

Left Forum, June 7-9, 2013, Pace University, New York City


Occupying Language - LEFT FORUM 2013

The book Occupying Language is an open conversation. Through it, we invite you to join us to explore insurgent movements that have been organizing in Latin America over the past twenty years, and to connect key concepts and language from those struggles with what is new and beautiful in the social relations being created by people’s movements in the United States today. There are of course many similarities with preceding forms of organization and mobilization, especially with the movement for global justice of the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Alternativa 2013: Till tomorrow! Ideologies of city planning and the tactics of dwelling

Professional preview: May 23, 2013


Latin American Social Movements 14 Years Later: Experiences and Perspectives since 1998

April 26th-28th, 2013, Historical Materialism Conference, New York City 2013
New York University, Silver Center, 31 Washington Place, New York, NY

Sunday, April 28th, 2013, 4pm-6pm, Session 6, panel C
Latin American Social Movements 14 Years Later: Experiences and Perspectives since 1998

Panelists: Marina Sitrin, Dario Azzellini, and Ximena García Bustamante
Chair: Greg Wilpert

What Next, Venezuela? A Roundtable Discussion

President Hugo Chávez was larger than life, stirring hope and controversy while helping to change the political trajectory of Venezuela and Latin America. His death raises pressing and difficult questions: what will become of his political project at home? What are the prospects for regional integration in his wake? How will the United States respond to a post-Chávez landscape?

Listen to the audio of the panelists answering these questions and discussing other topics related to the Venezuelan transition at the roundtable discussion that took place at NYU on March 13.

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