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Thu May 24, 2012, 09:46 PM

"What happened to the Occupy movement?" by Arun Gupta at Aljazeera

What happened to the Occupy movement?

by Arun Gupta at Aljazeera

Although media coverage has dwindled, Occupy cells are alive and well all over the United States - and beyond
.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/05/2012521151225452634.html

"SNIP........................................................

Occupy Wall Street was at the pinnacle of its power in October 2011, when thousands of people converged at Zuccotti Park and successfully foiled the plans of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sweep away the occupation on grounds of public health. From that vantage point, the Occupy movement appears to have tumbled off a cliff, having failed to organise anything like a general strike on May Day - despite months of rumblings of mass walkouts, blockades and shutdowns.

The mainstream media are eager to administer last rites. CNN declared "May Day fizzled", the New York Post sneered "Goodbye, Occupy" and the New York Times consigned the day's events to fewer than 400 words, mainly about arrests in New York City.

Historians and organisers counter that the Occupy movement needs to be seen in relative terms. Eminent sociologist Frances Fox Piven, co-author of Poor People's Movements, says:

"I don't know of a movement that unfolds in less than a decade. People are impatient, and some of them are too quick to pass judgment. But it's the beginning, I think, of a great movement. One of a series of movement that has episodically changed history, which is not the way we tell the story of American history."

........................................SNIP"



17 replies, 2513 views

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply "What happened to the Occupy movement?" by Arun Gupta at Aljazeera (Original post)
applegrove May 2012 OP
doc03 May 2012 #1
applegrove May 2012 #2
Fire Walk With Me May 2012 #3
sabrina 1 Jun 2012 #11
truedelphi May 2012 #4
Chathamization May 2012 #5
Fire Walk With Me May 2012 #6
Chathamization May 2012 #7
U4ikLefty May 2012 #8
Chathamization May 2012 #9
daaron Jun 2012 #10
Leopolds Ghost Jun 2012 #13
daaron Jun 2012 #14
Leopolds Ghost Jun 2012 #15
Chathamization Jun 2012 #16
Leopolds Ghost Jun 2012 #17
sabrina 1 Jun 2012 #12

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Thu May 24, 2012, 10:04 PM

1. Looks like it is finished n/t

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Thu May 24, 2012, 10:19 PM

2. No way. Occupy really woke many people up. People liked that feeling of being able to think for

themselves, be free of hierarchies, and that is why so many new people joined. It will survive.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Fri May 25, 2012, 02:52 AM

3. Today, Occupy Fights Foreclosures helped a family with a special needs daughter to

 

beat foreclosure!

How can something that is finished accomplish this? Occuzombies?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002724960

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 2, 2012, 04:19 PM

11. Lol, they wish. They sure tried but failed, thankfully. If anything it is growing. Across

the world. Just because the MSM isn't covering something, and I hope they do not cover it, we have enough media covering it that is way more credible, doesn't mean it isn't happening.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2012, 05:30 PM

4. It took some forty years for the CIA and the

Major RW forces like the Koch Brothers to dismantle our society. So it will probably take yus quite a while to put everything back in its place.

I really like this paragraph:

"I don't know of a movement that unfolds in less than a decade. People are impatient, and some of them are too quick to pass judgment. But it's the beginning, I think, of a great movement. One of a series of movement that has episodically changed history, which is not the way we tell the story of American history."

I hope that at some point the Occupy folks Occupy the Media.

The Main$ream Media is one of the forces that the CIA made sure to infiltrate. We don't get news any more; the drivel we get is corporate propaganda for the most part. With many interesting and necessary stories left deliberately by the wayside.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2012, 04:34 PM

5. Occupy was never that big

One thing that gets overlooked was that the Occupy movement was always relatively small and scattered. It got magnified by the media and really hit a nerve with a lot of people in the country, which was what all the buzz was about. It's unfortunate that the movement has had a lot of trouble really connecting with those outside the movement - even those that want to support it. But there aren't really any progressive groups that are good at outreach (which is why the Democratic party ends up winning by default).

I'm hoping that some movement comes along that realizes the importance of communication, coordination, having deep roots in the community, and concrete step towards long term goals. Not sure if Occupy will succeed at this, but at least they're trying, which is more than most.

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Response to Chathamization (Reply #5)

Tue May 29, 2012, 01:53 AM

6. On Mayday in Los Angeles, the four Caravans joined another huge march at Pershing Square

 

and had a General Assembly of 2-5,000 people (I'm not really good at guessing that sort of thing, but it was Huge, with well over 1,000 Occupiers from around the city). It was wonderful, bi-lingual, extremely positive, lots of cheering, lots of joining-in...and the next GA we had that week? Not a single new person was there. Not one.

A people-powered movement requires people to show up and participate. I don't know what it's going to take. People have to want change enough to join and create it.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #6)

Tue May 29, 2012, 10:06 PM

7. Well, you're right

For example, all of those influential blogs on the left that are always bemoaning the lack of a strong movement never use their soapbox to try to organize such a movement. I used to bring up the discussion in comments a bit, but most people just weren't that interested in what we should do. Now I'm gathering signatures for a resolution to ban direct corporate contributions in my city, and most people rush past without even looking at what it's about.

I've had a change of heart recently about the problem of money in politics. I now see apathy and inaction as the main problem. People may complain about Citizens United, but it wouldn't mean nearly as much if individuals, you know, did stuff.

Still, there's a lot of things Occupy could be doing better. For instance, the communication can be very lacking. When I went down the first time and signed up, they never contacted me. I had to chase down different groups to get in contact and be involved. Even still, I have no point person or persons, and am just floating through with them when I get a chance. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of potential members simply give up.

The general assemblies also seem to be...not the best way to get people involved. Occupy groups that have fewer meetings, and tend to meet outside of the main Occupy area, seem to work much better (at least for me). For a lot of people, even meeting once a week for a few hours can be difficult (especially if they're new to politics). They won't go for daily assemblies, especially if the topics are far removed from what they're interested in (though I think the daily GA's have mostly ended?).

I have seen people at Occupy get better with things. Now I'm actually in occasional contact with some groups. I see more of an interest in concrete steps and connecting to the community. The focus on camping has diminished. I hope Occupy will continue to get better and to thrive, because at the moment, there aren't a whole lot of other groups doing much. They (we?) are at least trying.

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Response to Chathamization (Reply #7)

Wed May 30, 2012, 02:08 AM

8. What city do you live in?

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Response to U4ikLefty (Reply #8)

Thu May 31, 2012, 08:02 AM

9. Washington, DC N/T

N/T

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 11:50 AM

10. For me, General Assemblies are the problem -->

 

not something to be proud of. Pure (horizontal) democracy is nothing but mob rule, and in the case of GAs, it quickly degenerated into "The biggest bully with the loudest voice and most free time wins." Most of the problems this nation faces are too big for a mob of activists to do more than shout and wave signs about. Certainly it is almost impossible to make any informed decisions as a group, when the basic organizational structure is utterly incompatible with extended research and debate about complex issues.

The best thing Occupy could do to become effective (which I DEFINITELY WANT) would be to immediately abandon GAs and all the juvenile finger-waving and blocking and have real substantive debates that tear an issue to shreds before reassembling the pieces into a coherent policy position, then stating that position emphatically.

That's something we could stand in solidarity with. Until that happens, I for one will never attend another GA. They're awful! Unbearable! Not inspiring, they're a crowd and I can't stand crowds.

Want new blood? You had me, Occupy - I was there in my city in mid-October and kept coming back until the GAs and bullies got to be too much. Fix that, then come back and ask again.

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Response to daaron (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 07:15 PM

13. The issue is that you need some form of GA for Occupy to work. What would you suggest?

I am involved in such an effort. PM me if you have any ideas.

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Response to Leopolds Ghost (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 01:52 PM

14. My suggestion is to show our gov't -->

 

how we would like to be governed. Why not model GAs on local government? Majority rule, quorum - it would also function as a civics lesson for all the political noobs, and help get more involved in local government while maintaining solidarity with a national progressive movement.

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Response to daaron (Reply #14)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 02:20 PM

15. There are many possibilities.

I like the idea of a GA as it was designed to function. Most GA's don't actually function along those lines.

As for modeling it after local government, I'd agree if not for the fact that I live in a very progressive community and even there I've seen how corrupt and unresponsive local government has gotten. People who tend to get elected have a top-down mentality -- "the people who I answer to don't have time to participate -- they expect me to work for them" and those people are always the wealthiest homeowners and businessfolk. Even in a blue city. (Especially in a blue city, since the real estate economy is stronger there and many city councils have become divisions of the development planning board, not the other way round). Heck, that's why I got involved in politics and got upset in the first place.

There's no tradition of participatory (direct) democracy in the US at the local level outside Vermont. Many people are actively against it.

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Response to Leopolds Ghost (Reply #15)

Fri Jun 8, 2012, 09:32 PM

16. The Problem is Lack of Participation

I think people wrongly assume that the problem is the structure of representative democracy. The problem is the lack of participation. People seem to assume that direct democracy somehow holds back on ambitious people seeking to rule others. The thing is, those people exist in every system, and they will take control in every system unless people participate and are willing to keep an eye out for the power seeking types. If people do this, then there shouldn't be a problem with representative democracy.

Direct democracy tends to work very well in small groups, but can get very messy with larger groups. I think small groups of individuals that then have a representative or spokesperson to connect with the larger groups works really well. It has the benefit of allowing discussion without being overwhelmed, giving individuals a manageable network when they first join, and a way to communicate with the whole.

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Response to Chathamization (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 9, 2012, 09:46 PM

17. Yes what really gets my goat are the groups that insist on imposing litmus tests on getting involved

And many of them are old lefties who feel that the movement needs to be steered back in the direction of their preexisting efforts. I've met some of these people before occupy and many of them really are organization junkies who insist on control of any effort they participate in... to the point where some of them start up competing GAs and little private groups in order to avoid a properly accountable spokescouncil setting. One can't have a representative spokescouncil without participatory, open and welcoming committees / neighborhood occupy councils or community GAs. I tried to get involved in one committee where, after a couple meetings, I asked what I could do to get more involved and was stiff-armed by the unannounced "leaders" of the committee, who told me that if I wanted to have a say in a subcommittee, I should "come to every GA and get known". When I told this to a general organizer (one of the truly committed, quiet-leadership types) he groaned and said that isn't how it's supposed to be in those subcommittees... But the people running the committee in question were old school labor lefties and probably answer coalition.

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Response to Chathamization (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 2, 2012, 04:24 PM

12. Really? You know it is a Global Movement don't you? One of the biggest movements

in the past several decades. In fact, it was not expected to spread beyond NYC in this country or to last more than two months at least.

But so many people joined it as it struck a chord with the people, it rapidly spread across this country, and despite the unprecedented efforts by a massive law enforcement 'counter movement', it is not only still here it is growing and will grow.

How big was the Civil Rights Movement when it started? This is ONLY the beginning and what a beginning it was. We know how successful it is because of the brutal response to it.

It has deep roots in many communities, I think you should not post about a topic you appear to not know much about, until you learn about it.

Maybe we can help you here, if you questions, ask them.

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