The American Spring: Where Does Occupy Go From Here?
The most common conversation to be heard among those working within the Occupy movement is about where the movement will go from here. The frustration that has been caused by the lack of adequate reporting, and the dissemination of misleading and erroneous information by the mainstream media, has only exacerbated the need to move ahead and affect concrete, demonstrable change through a clearly articulated message and the actions that such a message will dictate.
As the initial stage of the movement, the symbolic holding of public spaces, seems to have come to an end, the movement needs to mature into an Occupation of the entire public/political arena forcing out the current establishment that has been enabling the exploitation of the 99 percent by the 1 percent (a symbolic ratio that can be argued as 98 percent v. 2 percent, or, perhaps more accurately, something closer to 99.999 percent v. 0.001 percent). This is not to say that the occupation of public places has, or should end, just that it needs to become part of a multi-level strategy with a diversity of tactics.
The main focus of the news coverage has been which camps/occupations have been swept out by the police, how brutal those sweeps were, and how quickly the occupiers were able to reorganize, reoccupy, and expand their encampments. In many cases the draconian actions of local politicians, and the police that do their bidding, have served only to energize the movement and rally greater support to the cause. But, the cause itself has received little attention and is often combined with large doses of uninformed commentary and biased punditry to form a confusing slurry to be served up to the masses.
The greatest challenge to the Occupy movement in America is establishment activism. As Occupy encampments became victim to police raids, many occupiers were left wondering what they were to do next. Establishment activists have been all too ready to offer them a role withing their existing agendas. The danger in this is that, despite the good causes these establishment activists may be involved in, they are working within the system that Occupy is meant to fight against. The methods and tactics of these establishment activists enable the very system that that the movement was meant to counter.
The other problem that is created by this, is that the American Occupy movement loses it’s global perspective. Becoming caught up in local, state and regional issues pulls the movement away from the global movement to remove the power of the 0.001% that control our plant, it’s resources, and our governments. The challenges we face are global. If we seek national or regional solutions we will not fix the problems that plague us. The causes may be good, but unless the Occupy movement in America remains part of the global movement with the singular objective of removing the power of those that exploit and enslave us, it will achieve nothing more than tweaks and reforms and will suffer the same fate as past failed movements that have allowed themselves to become domesticated and part of the establishment.
“Get the money out of politics!”
“The global population is not the chattel property of an elite few who hoard our wealth and resources and have purchased our political establishments in order to control and exploit us!”
“We are all equal shareholders on this planet. We are not the exploited tenants and servants of an elite minority simply because of the accident of our birth, or theirs!”
Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oakland, and Occupy DC, both have detailed declarations that expound on these sentiments and include much more detail, nuance, information, and explanation to support both the strength of their conviction and demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of the issues that plague our planet.
The singular message contained in these statements of “No More,” and ” Enough is Enough,” is pretty simple. And, to many of the occupiers, more than just a message. They’re a call to action, a mission statement, a sentiment that concludes with, “and we’re not going to take it any more!”
While the media has been doing their best to ignore the true strength of the movement, and politicians have been alternating between squirming under the pressure of the looming accountability they will be forced to endure and their uncontrollable desire to ingratiate themselves to a movement gaining political capital faster than the Federal Reserve can print the money they live for, the Occupy movement is already metamorphosing beyond what they all loved to characterize as a youthful temper tantrum in the nation’s parks. Younger, sharper, and nimbler minds than the stagnant thinking that has plagued our nation’s capital are developing strategies, building alliances, accessing resources, and taking aim to change not only the political landscape in America, and across the planet, but emancipate the global public from the programmed thinking that has enabled their enslavement.
As the Occupy Movement concludes what it hoped would be the ‘Winter of Preparation’, the newly articulated relationship of autonomous issue-based cooperation threatens a combined strength that will usher in the expected ‘American Spring’ with a force that may dwarf the petty and distracting issues of a national election year, and bring focus to the global struggle of the peoples of the world for emancipation from a tiny, elite, greedy, predatory minority.
While left-wing political groups have also struggled to establish a relationship with the Occupy movement due to the hubris of their wildly erroneous presumption that the movement actually supported the Wall Street friendly Democrats, and their offensive attempts to capitalize on the popular support of the movement by including the vocabulary of the Movement such as ‘Occupy’ and ‘the 99%’, into their election strategies, many left-wing human rights, equal rights, civil rights, and social/economic justice groups have found common cause with the Occupy juggernaut. This issue-based federation of autonomous movements will have the power to challenge the foundation of the system that enables our exploitation.
As the police and politicians alike celebrate the destruction of tents and the displacement of peaceful protesters from public spaces in the middle of the night, something beyond their abilities to destroy in a matter of moments has grown strong. While they focused on tents and tarps goals were being identified and action plans developed.
General Assemblies will become something people will begin to see in their local communities, their schools, their Universities, and the places where they work. Rather than only parks being occupied to make a statement, homes facing foreclosure are being occupied and families returned to them from the streets. Public buildings that have had their budgets cut, and their services to the community interrupted, may be occupied, revitalized, and returned to the people whose resources were used to create them rather than ‘privatized’ and sold for pennies on the dollar to the moneyed benefactors and cronies that purchased our politicians their offices.
The Occupy Movement will not, and can not, be silenced. It is not something that was artificially created, it was the natural response to something that has been imposed on the people of this country, and the people of the world, for far too long. It is the reality that they, the 1 percent, the 0.001 percent, created that is the real genesis of the Occupy movement. Their greed. Their cruelty. Their exploitation.
The people of the planet will have their voices heard and their demands addressed. As the Occupy Movement around the planet develops the same common strength as those natural allies in America are in the process of doing, the next phase of the movement will create a groundswell that will set the stage for the redefining of the global political and economic norms that have enslaved us all.
The Occupy movement isn’t about putting people in spaces and keeping them there. That was just a symbolic demonstration of commitment, and a way to start the conversation we all need to be having. The Occupy movement is about emancipation. Phase II will be starting soon. It’s time to Occupy everywhere.