“Occupy’s” future is looking pretty bleak right now…
by Shayne Felberg
Well, it has been almost a year. After lying low for the winter, the Occupy movement is back. The protests have been going on anew for some time. For those outside of this, with a modicum of political savvy, watching this happen, there have been a number of questions on their mind.
The first is – what happens now? They’ve been out protesting for a while now. This made a lot of waves in the beginning, but the financial industry still doesn’t take them seriously. Believe it or not, there is actually a good reason for this, but we’ll get to that in a few. These protests are well and good, but even those like this writer, who are more left than right are wondering – where the heck are we going from here?
The reason that the big political movements of the 60′s and 70′s never really went anywhere is because they never got beyond people protesting and talking. People were in the street, and a lot of social upheaval was happening, but the question came up there as well – what happens now? Unfortunately for them, nothing did.
There was a chance for real major change across America. The movement had a lot of people with a lot of ideas. They just didn’t go with it. I had a great history teacher in high school who would’ve been in his twenties during the 60′s who said that his generation screwed this one. I have to agree with that.
So, one movement went nowhere because they didn’t mobilize beyond being in the streets and making noise. It’s a year in to the Occupy movement, and there are still protests with another one planned for July 22nd at Prospect Park.
These movements still get people’s attention, but that’s it. This is why Wall Street doesn’t see them as a threat. They get people’s attention while they happen. The police brutally assault them because the cops are owned by the corporate masters who own this country (though to be honest I think a lot of the “police state” ramblings are very much over dramatized at times). That gets media coverage. But once all is said and done, we are still there, still asking that same question.
What happens now?
The next thing is that we are wondering what can be done. Wondering what will happen is one thing, but another important question is – what does this organization have the ability to do? To answer both, the same thing needs to happen.
This group needs to mobilize. The benefit of Occupy is that they are a group with a national presence. What started as a bunch of people on Wall Street has now become a national force. This helps answer the second question. When you have something that is cross-country, you know that you have a lot going for you. That is no small feat. Some could argue that they actually have a global presence, since Occupy protests have been scheduled all over the globe. One cannot argue that they don’t have a national presence.
To answer the first question, they need to mobilize and begin focusing on promoting the right politicians to send to not only Washington, but to their city halls, county seats, and state legislatures. They need to start a grass-roots movement. They need to mobilize the public at large, get a public campaign going, get out and meet people. Instead of having these giant rallies, have community events. Reassure the public of who you are and what you are trying to do. Answer any questions or critical thoughts they might have.
One of the biggest problems I’ve seen is that the public at large doesn’t know how to feel about these people. On the one hand, they represent a point of view a LOT of people have. They are tired of being treated like Wall Street’s dog. They are tired of being the ones who pay for Corporate America’s mistakes. They don’t want to have to live life constantly worrying about their medical bills, their mortgages, or their college loans.
This is a group who represents a huge part of the population. But I also think the specter of the protests of the 60s/70s and the violence that came with them is still with us. Occupy needs to show the world it’s not that way and I know some of you diehard Occupy Wall Streeters on here are ready to say “But all of the Occupy protests have been non-violent”….NO they haven’t. We may not be seeing violence on the level of say…the 1968 Democratic convention….but there has been violence. If you say otherwise you’re ideologically blinkered and part of the problem in this country.
To be a good leader you must first recognize your own flaws and the flaws within your political line of thinking. You must also recognize that it’s not supposed to be “Us Vs. Them” with no in-between or compromise. Compromise is not a bad word.
Sometimes the left will have the best idea and sometimes the right will have the best idea….we need more pragmatists in politics not ideologically pure idiots.
Occupy has to mobilize public support, and through that, they can put real pressure on political America. If they have enough of the public in their corner, and can make the politicians understand that if they don’t play ball, they don’t get elected, there is a chance for some real change for the better. But if they don’t do something soon, they are going to either just fade away, or get consumed by the corporate structure of America, the same way that the Tea Party did.
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