“Occupy” Movement Won’t Go Away
With apologies to Mark Twain, it appears that reports of the demise of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement might be a bit premature. “Occupy” was on life support and close to flat-lining just a few weeks ago, but it’s now reported that “Occupy” organizers are regrouping and planning new offensives.
Far from dissipating, “Occupy” groups around the country say they are preparing for a new phase of larger marches and strikes this spring that they hope will rebuild momentum and cast an even brighter glare on inequality and corporate greed.
Though still loosely organized, the movement is putting down roots in many cities. Activists in Chicago and Des Moines have rented offices, a significant change for groups accustomed to holding open-air assemblies or huddling in tents in bad weather.
Jumping on a proposal from Portland, Ore., groups in 34 cities have agreed to what they’re calling “a day of nonviolent direct action” on Feb. 29 against corporations they accuse of working against the public interest.
Then on May 1, they will try to persuade thousands of Americans who share their belief that the system is rigged against the poor and the middle class to skip work and school, in what they are calling “a general strike” — or “a day without the 99 percent.”
People on both sides of the “Occupy” philosophy think the “occupiers” have already overplayed their hand, and that the occupations and protests are doing the movement more harm than good.
Some don’t think very many people will respond to a call to stay home from work on May 1, especially since labor unions, which have generally supported Occupy’s message, say they won’t go on strike that day.
And beyond that, Occupy’s utopian calls for democracy and justice may be drowned out by the presidential campaign.