From the December Youth Uprising to the Rebirth of Urban Social Movements: A Space–Time Approach


The December youth uprising in Greece took on a new form, one that has generated in its turn other uprisings and new kinds of social and radical urban movements. Led by a broad spectrum of people of different ages and socio‐economic backgrounds, it became the call for the ‘right to the city’, conceived as the right to free space and free expression, especially for the young who live in cities that have been designed to accommodate neoliberal capitalist expansion. This essay discusses the manifestations of globalization that the uprising attacked. It shows that the targets of the uprising were the symbols of neoliberal consumption and consumerism, especially in the rich city centres. It then discusses the novelty of this uprising in terms of its organization, networking, composition and resources, and the means it used to further its goals. It further describes how it differs from, and has transcended, previous social movements and has influenced, and will continue to influence, subsequent ones. It concludes that the new urban movements go beyond simple rejection and confrontation in order to enter into the collective creation and radical changes of space and of everyday life in the city.