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Defining Occupy

April 25, 2012 1 comment

What I initially thought was weakness in the concept of the Occupy movement turns out to have been perhaps it’s greatest strength and the thing that will make it completely successful. When Occupy Wall Street first took to the streets and spawned a plethora of other Occupations around the country, indeed the world, I watched the confusion it caused to the established order. Politicians were at first afraid to say anything. GOP strategists even warned Republicans not to make negative comments against Occupy because many people were sympathetic to them.

Truthfully I don’t think they knew what to make of it, it caught them by surprise. They had watched uprisings in Tunisia spread to Egypt and then to other countries, but suddenly it had spread to right here on their doorsteps. No one had told them what to think yet apparently.

The Tea Party was strangely silent for a couple of weeks as well. They then came out and did exactly what I expected, tried to portray Occupy as a “left wing” version of themselves.

I was annoyed that Occupy did not do more to define itself. I was worried that this opened a window for opposing forces to continue to define them, painting them in whatever negative light they chose.

In time I began to see the genius of this. Whether intentional or not Occupy had opened a window for other people to identify with them in a positive way. Everyone is angry about something and many of those issues are intertwined with one another, the root cause being the corruption of the current system under which we live.

Suddenly Occupy was not just about Wall Street greed and abuse. It was about political reform, the environment and education, it attracted people who were concerned about the food they ate, one of the most basic things all humans do, eating. Internet and personal privacy came to the forefront as Washington rushed to usher in even more limits on civil liberties. Issues like immigration and workers rights added themselves to the mix. People and organizations who found themselves under attack by the right wing found support alongside Occupy. There was massive blowback against efforts by State and Local governments to crush unions and education. Then Rush Limbaugh, bless his little pointed head, made the incredible mistake of dissing women. Now the feminists joined the fray and more women related issues came to the forefront.

A myriad of other issues now swirl around under the banner of the Occupation. The result of which is creating a cascade effect of various yet connected issues and events that are coalescing together to solidify Occupy into a formidable force to be reckoned with. Many issues and feelings about those issues that have been festering below the surface of our society are now finding expression. The general feeling is that anything that needs changed, will now be changed and that we will support one another to accomplish it. It’s over for the 1% and they know it.

What began as simple rage against the criminality of Wall Street has now become amplified rage at those who have gone unchecked in their disregard and criminality against the rest of us for so long.

There is a resurgence of pro democracy forces on American streets this spring. After a winter when efforts seemed to dwindle and withdraw, there is instead renewed dedication and support for the cause. I liken it to the waters being sucked away from the shore before a Tsunami as it gathers strength and rolls back into land with overwhelming and unstoppable force. The movement has gathered mass and structure and has evolved to define itself. That definition is change. Real change.

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