What is the Occupy Movement?
When it comes to the occupy movement, you either “get it” or you don’t. Most people who don’t get it want those of us in the movement or are sympathetic to the movement to define it for them. They want to know what our demands are (like this is some sort of hostage negotiation), they what to know what it’s all about (Alfie?) They want to fit it into a single frame of reference with which they are familiar.
There is a problem with that.
The occupy movement doesn’t fit into any one or maybe even one hundred frames of reference. It is so much more.
Recently I posted this as a response on a message board.
HIM: Without a reasonable goal you can’t hope to attain it–this applies to anything, not just protests.
ME: Maybe a “goal” is to get people to wake up, stand up, and “to stand astride history and say ‘Stop!'”
Maybe a “goal” is to get people to reconsider their basic assumptions about how society should be engineered (yeah, I said it)
Maybe a “goal” is to demand first from our institutions that they be moral and humane and dedicated to relieving an ill-served humanity.
Maybe a “goal” is to make sociopathy a bad thing once again.
Maybe a “goal” is to bring people together in empowering community not keep them apart in cells of isolated individualism.
Maybe a “goal” is to “speak the truth and shame the devil”
Occupy isn’t just about banks; isn’t just about unemployment or under employment; isn’t just about beating drums and camping out and being all radical; isn’t just about disaffected youth; isn’t just about government being a wholly owned subsidiary of business; isn’t just about the Koch brothers; isn’t just about Citizens United; isn’t just about collective bargaining rights; isn’t just about the 101 things any one member could tell you over a beer on cool autumn evening; but it is about all these things and a whole lot more.
Occupy is about
• Asking the church how can it preach a prosperity gospel based on investment in environmental destruction, resource depletion, debt, poverty wages, and slavery?
• Asking the university how it can teach that knowing where a decimal point goes on a statement of profit and loss is more important to know than the answer to the question of evil in the world
• Asking the press how can it cover an election as though it was a horse race and pay little more than lip service to the systemic problems that these same politicians are elected to correct
• Asking the artist when did derivation replace imagination, cynicism replace passion and mindless repetition replace authentic voice
• Asking the various and sundry human rights organizations, labor unions, political parties, associations of conscience, etc. when exactly did you stop speaking for us and started speaking to us on behalf of the powers that be who would oppress us
We have questioned the basic assumptions of our institutions and our society and found the answers given wanting. It is no longer enough that our representatives simply fix our individual problems within the system, but we must FIX THE SYSTEM so we won’t keep having problems.
Occupy isn’t about fixing just a broken wheel, but about redesigning the vehicle, building new roads and questioning the purpose, course, and final destination of the journey.
— Delthea Simmons
Delthea Simmons is a self-described community organizer, “professional agitator and power walker for the PEOPLE.” She is involved in the burgeoning Occupy Wilmington NC movement.
Sometime today, in a blaze of creativity, she posted this on the OWNC’s Facebook page. It isn’t the be-all end-all of “defining” the Occupy movement, but it not only puts a bit of salt on that elusive bird’s tale, it helps define the movement’s ethos. And it barely mentions banks.
shared from The Daily Kos