Sorry, Occupy

occupy sandyU want to take this opportunity to apologize to my friends in the Occupy Movement to underestimating the movement’s resilience.

I have said, both publicly and privately, that the Occupy Movement has transformed the discourse of contemporary American politics, and begun a process of reversing a thirty year trend toward greater inequality and concentration of wealth at the top, but I was skeptical that the Occupy Movement itself would be a vehicle of that transformation.

Rather, I thought that its activists would spark and join forces with other movements for change at the neighborhood, city and national level, rather than being a primary instrument for those changes themselves. I saw Occupy as something that radicalized a generation- but not as something with organizational resilience in and of itself

Well, Sisters and Brothers, you proved me wrong. The transformative role that Occupy activists have played in coordinating relief to the hardest hit victims of Hurricane Sandy has shown me that the Occupy networks that survived the evictions were much stronger than I realized. The movement to the neighborhoods which followed the evictions, apparently, did not dissolve the movement or change it into something entirely different.

mark naisonIt made the movement more multiracial and connected it more closely to the lived realities of working class Americans without totally dissipating the original spirit or the networks that created the Occupations.

In any case, America, Occupy is BACK. And this is a good thing given the complete absence of discussion in this election campaign of some of the most important issues that Occupy raised before its encampments were evicted.

Mark Naison
With A Brooklyn Accent

Posted: Wednesday, 7 November 2012

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