WASHINGTON, September 25, 2012 — Occupy Wall Street or anyplace else is no longer relevant. It just celebrated its first anniversary last Saturday. Celebrated is too strong a word. People in the media noticed it had an anniversary and showed up as did the cops who sometimes appeared to outnumber the protestors. However, basically Occupy gave a party and no one came.
And Here Is Why:
About six months into the Occupy Movement, many people and especially activists such as I was for years in the Women’s Movement, kept saying, OK, OK, marching is nice, occupying and sit-ins get publicity, your signs are great, your message of the 1% vs. the 99% resonates with the public, but it’s not enough. You must put your passion into action.
Take a page from the Tea Party folks, if you don’t want to listen to old time activists from the anti-Vietnam movement, the Civil Rights campaign, or the Women’s Movement. It’s not enough to march around and wave signs saying “We Are the 99%” and get on the front page of newspapers or on network news.
What Occupy Had to Do and Didn’t
1. You needed to organize yourselves into a cohesive organization that has leaders. You can’t all be leaders.
2. You needed strategy. That means setting a goal beyond resisting the police from removing you from where you have camped.
3. You needed spokespeople to keep the message unified. Besides shouting the 1% has stolen this country and down with banks and Wall Street, what is it you want?
4. Define your goal. Slogans tell us what you are against. Now you needed to tell us what you want done to make change happen.
5. You should have lobbied both houses of Congress. You want a sit-in? Do it in the office of your representative or in all of their offices.
6. You wanted to change the dynamics in Washington, then do what the Tea Party did, get yourselves candidates to run. But that means having a platform they can run on, one that voters can relate to.
A Movement That Fizzled
You had a great shot of doing something, but you blew it. Turned out that when the weather got cold and your camps came down, you went on hiatus. Then spring came and Occupy did not once more flower. Finally this fall, to mark the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street camp-in at Zuccotti Park, you reappeared.
But not in the thousands you promised. Sadly, only a few hundred showed up. Apathy was the sentiment of the day of one-time supporters. There were the usual chants and some arrests and a return for a few hours to Zuccotti Park, but basically Occupy has fizzled. And it has only itself to blame.
Occupy turned out to be a movement with no direction, which is a shame because at one time it had a chance to be the conscience of the nation. While Occupy did give us a nice slogan — “We Are the 99%” — it didn’t do much else.
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.