Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Has Occupy Accomplished

By Fuzzyone

A friend with whom I have been debating the merits of the Occupy movement asked me what I thought about this New Yorker Talk of the Town piece by Jane Mayer.  In it she discusses the campaign that led to the delay, and one hopes eventual abandonment, of the Keystone XL pipeline.  At the end of the piece she has a condecending reference to the Occupy Movement:
Yet the Occupy movement could do worse than to learn from the pipeline protest. The difference between the focussed, agenda-driven campaign fought by the environmentalists and the free-form, leaderless one waged by the Occupiers, the historian Michael Kazin says, is that the environmentalists grasped the famous point made by Dr. King’s political forebear, Frederick Douglass: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
But Mayer, of whom I am generally a fan, misses a fundamental point. She notes that on November 6 12,000 people encircled the White House to protest the pipeline.  The turn out exceeded expectations and was far more than participated in earlier protests at the end of August.  Mayer does not explain the difference and while she rightly lauds Bill McKibben for organizing the anti-Keystone actions, she neglects to mention this: before the November protest McKibben sought the support of the Occupy Movement and that the very environmentalists leading the protest were also aligned with Occupy.  (A McKibben piece on the issues appeared right here back in October.)

This is, in part, the impact of the Occupy Movement.  It has awakened, energized and empowered people who are frustrated by the way in which big money has shut them out of decision making in this country and that awakening has the potential to revitalize activism in this country.  Energy may need direction to have its fullest effect, but first you have to create it.


BunBun4life said...

well, several people were murdered, and others were raped. THAT'S an accomplishment I guess. Also one rape victim said that when she reported the rape to the 'occupy security' they did not want her to report it to cops. They don't want any bad press, so they try to get the victim to 'mediate' with the rapist (?) I'm serious. And they offer the victim and the rapist information on where they can go for 'counseling' yeah right.
Oh yeah and some people just died there for different reasons, plus it gave people with warrants a place to live or hide.

I'm not saying it didn't accomplish nothing...but it was something worse than nothing.

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