The (Im)mobilities of Mutual Aid

Occupy Sandy, Racial Liberalism, and the Making of Insurgent Infrastructures


  • William Conroy Independent Researcher


Occupy Sandy, emergency (im)mobility, racial liberalism, infrastructure, climate change


This article provides an analysis of Occupy Sandy – a New York-based activist organization that was formed in response to superstorm Sandy in October 2012 – in order to demonstrate what we might learn from its emergency (im)mobilities. Specifically, it suggests that the praxis of Occupy Sandy draws attention to the notion that American racial liberalism is best understood not through the binary language of personal mobility and immobility – or motility – but rather through an infrastructural grammar. That is, American racial liberalism is best understood as a mode of governance that enables and obscures radically unequal relations to infrastructures of production and consumption – and circuitries of resources and investment – under racial capitalism. Finally, this article argues that Occupy Sandy, and its myriad forms of movement and emplacement, can help us find a way toward an insurgent infrastructure beyond racial liberalism, one predicated on and productive of a radical re-conceptualization of the city and urban citizenship itself.


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How to Cite

Conroy, W. (2019). The (Im)mobilities of Mutual Aid: Occupy Sandy, Racial Liberalism, and the Making of Insurgent Infrastructures. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 18(4), 875–891. Retrieved from