(This is an expanded version of a post I did earlier this week.)
The #Occupy movement, be it in San Francisco, Oakland or elsewhere insists on having “no leaders” to distinguish themselves from The Man, Wall Street, etc. That’s lovely. However, this leaderless movement has created an unintended consequence: we’re no longer talking about issues of economic inequality, democracy, corporate accountability or other Really Big Problems, and how to fix them.
Instead, we’re mostly talking about a movement centered on camping in parks.
While there’s a core group of people who are committed to an Actual Cause, there’s a growing part of the encampments that are only about people wanting to camp in parks and be allowed to do whatever they want, laws and civility and cleanliness be damned.
Mike Aldax’s day with #occupysf made this clear – and that the growth of the “camp” has less to do with people working to bring up issues, and more to do with transients taking advantage of the situation for their own selfish needs (drugs, booze, etc.) Needless to say, this isn’t doing much to expand the people involved to include more of the Actual 99% they claim to represent.
I support the Occupy movement bringing up their issues and forcing people to confront what they’ve been in denial about, but it’s time to apply some creativity. We don’t have to have people camping in crappy tents in a park to continue to force local and national government to deal with the issues mentioned above. They also need to do some (gasp!) self-policing and tell those who are there to cause trouble to fuck off, and work with the police to keep the peace if they want to keep claiming the moral high ground.
The “shock and awe” movement of the initial Occupy movement is over – its time for Act II. Be creative. Don’t repeat the past like a Civil War re-enactment (looking at you, 21st century hippies). Blow minds, not with your funk, but with something that really shows why financial abuses by the few at the top harm the many, and why we who aren’t hipsters, hippies, or Those Not Part of the Left should give a damn.
Oh, and that “human microphone” thing? Cute, but the joke’s over. At this point it just sounds like a Protestant church overrun by angry white kids.
Don’t take my word for it. Here’s some additional insight from those who’ve seen this all before, and make some suggestions, which of course will be ignored by Occupy.
Final thought: How many of ‘em went to vote in the SF Mayoral election, where LITERALLY the “1%” bankrolled a campaign to protect their tax breaks and elect our “Mayor” ?
Oh, right. They were at the camp site.
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