We are all hearing and seeing the Wall St protests. There was even a march in downtown Chico, California.
So…here’s my take on the “Occupiers”. First, we have all been complaining about the big banks, foreclosures, homelessness, lack of jobs, lack of healthcare, and an increased influence by big corporations in our government. This movement is the physical reality of all the grumbling that has been going on for the last few years. The Tea Party first grew out of this grumbling. Now the Occupy Wall Street or Boston, or San Francisco or Seattle or Eugene has started and is growing. An article in today’s paper by Jocelyn Noveck of the Associated Press who went to the NYC protestors and spoke with a 66 year old retired teacher taking part in this protest for the first time in her life. 3 weeks ago the protestors were mostly young people camping on the streets. Now it has expanded into an umbrella movement for people of varying ages, life situations and greivances…some of them 1st time protestors. They are mostly on the left of the political spectrum and they hold the view that the majority of America (the 99%) is not getting a fair shake. Beyond that there is a diversity of age, gender and race—due to union support and social networks. Experts say the role of social networks (tweeter, facebook, tumblr) is the most effective organizing tool.
This movement does not have the same concrete goals as the anti-war marches, the civil rights marches, the marches for votes for women, etc. For now, it’s a lot like the internet—leaderless, spaceless. If you want to hear from people taking part, you need to go to Facebook. Moveon.org (I worked with them to try to defeat Bush for President) is also a big part of this. The goals will bubble up.
Think of it as the liberal left’s answer to the Tea Party. They were pretty amorphous when they started. I am just glad to see people taking to the streets, the internet, and the media. In Portland, the Mayor and the police will march with the Portland Occupiers today. Amazing…