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Wed Sep 19, 2012, 09:37 AM

What I Learned from Occupy Wall Street


I’ll never forget the moment I got hooked on Occupy.

It was the evening of September 27, my third day hanging out at Zuccotti Park, and one of the first days the media started to pay attention to the fledgling movement. At the time, I was the millennial organizer for Rebuild the Dream, a group Van Jones founded to ignite a grassroots, Tea Party-style uprising against austerity. As a professional organizer, I was skeptical that a small group of scraggly kids in a park were capable of producing any real change.

That evening, Cornel West spoke at the general assembly. “We will send a message: this is the US Fall, responding to the Arab Spring,” he said. Until that point, I didn’t believe this country was capable of a movement like those that rocked the Arab world and later spread to Europe.

Professor West pushed us to imagine that what was necessary was also possible, “We will move step by step to what [Martin Luther King] called a revolution of true values. Don't be afraid to say the word ‘revolution.’ We want a transfer of power from the oligarchs to ordinary citizens.”

Just a few days later, Occupy started spreading like wildfire. I remember sitting with new friends in the media center, feverishly trying to keep track of new occupations as reports flooded in. That lasted a few short hours. We gave up when it became clear we couldn’t keep tabs on the thousands of sites popping up around the country and the world. To build on the momentum, we called for a national day of action on October 15 in solidarity with the M15 Indignados movement in Spain. Two short weeks after we put out the call, more than 30,000 people filled Times Square. The giant ABC News ticker in the middle of the square blared, “Occupy Wall Street Movement Goes World Wide.” ABC got the headline backwards, but that didn’t make it any less exciting.

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Reply What I Learned from Occupy Wall Street (Original post)
xchrom Sep 2012 OP
Fire Walk With Me Sep 2012 #1

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 11:51 AM

1. People still want this unity, this togetherness, this purposefulness.


Then the 1%'s mad dogs came out and beat the hell out of us. We are winning in the courts, however. So the FBI got involved and took political prisoners as it does to any social movement demanding equal or greater rights. But we're still here. This will be a longer revolution than some, but it is ours and we are not leaving!

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