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Some thoughts on the Occupy Movement (#occupy)

    The struggle to put democracy back into democracy is the Occupy movement’s goal. It is the only way to put controls on the spin doctors who are the so called 1% and it involves all the people and groups who are being short changed because of corporate manipulation. Consequently the occupy agenda may come across as a little vague (one of the main criticisms of the movement is lack of clearly defined issues or agenda). To my mind the foregoing is very much the specific agenda of the Occupy Movement. This agenda allows for a wide range of participants (it embraces participation of people of all walks of life). Environmentalist, feminists, economists, lawyers, etc can work together and develop resolutions and policies in an honest and transparently democratic manner. At some time an articled document may come out of this or not. That is not the point of the exercise. The point is to put the finger on abuses and push to restore honesty to the political system.
     The Occupy camps are an important symbol, going back to the Arab Spring occupations or gatherings. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is the beginning. It does not tackle a countries behavior but a world wide systemic behavior. In solidarity, and to show that it is an Occupy the World action, groups have sprung up every where. They work on local levels with the same objectives as first voiced at OWS. The camps, even though not an essential definition of the movement certainly are the iconic manifestation the Occupy Movement is recognized by. They form a practical asset in as much as they accommodate general assemblies and all other manners of meeting and strategizing. Home base so to say. Information, workshops and educational projects are available at many of the camps. On top of that the camps that I know of provide help to members who need help in the larger community, like homeless and hungry members of our society, and provide safe havens in as much as the occupiers can make it possible. This help often is used as an excuse to criticize the camps as being unsafe. Even though occupiers defend their camps, it does not matter if some of the camps, or many of the camps, or all of the camps go by the wayside. Then alternative ways of occupying may be developed. No Camps does not mean No Occupy.
     One of the practicalities of a somewhat revolutionary movement is that it will be attacked and we have seen that in every country with occupier activity. If this would not be the case there’d be no need for the movement, since everything then is honky dory already. Attacks mean police or army coming into the picture. Police and army can handle violence much better than non violence. As we have seen they have even infiltrated movements to cause that sort of mischief. So for the sake of both endurance and PR, success for the movement comes through total non-violent action. There are workshops teaching non-violent mind sets and behavior. At most Occupy sites these are available and encouraged.
     The future as always is hard to predict. The people involved however are dedicated and capable. There are many talents, and modern technology allowing immediate communication over long distances is a boon. Some people support the movement 24/7 and others due to their personal commitments help in as much as they have time and ability. The Occupy Movement is not so much a revolution as it is a critical look at the democratic system and what needs doing to make it true democracy. I was just thinking about the term ‘true democracy’ and remembered back to when Thatcher was re elected. A corporative conspiracy in England at that time caused flying prices to go so low that many of the financially under privileged in that country could not stay home. On election day those many who would have voted against Thatcher were holidaying outside the country. Needless to say that prices went back to normal right after the election. Unbelievable but true. Ever since that time we vote, but the outcome is always the same. No matter who gets voted in, life gets a little more difficult for more people. As far as change goes, novel and not so novel ideas are debated in camp as well as on line and political parties or movements with alternative views are being checked out. A platform exactly formulated could come out of it but this is not necessarily so. A push for transparency and people power (rather than corporate power) is the bottom line and the Occupy Movement has the talent necessary to affect real change in the political economic set up.
     On Facebook put occupy in the search box to find out more of the minute to minute happenings and on Twitter put #occupy in the search box.
     Additional reading or listening material:

About Joseph de Lange

Before retirement worked in art galleries, a photo studio, offices, and the trades. Don't travel much anymore but still photograph. For the past 5 years 95% of my photography is done with the phone. My prediction for big cameras: DSLRs and their beautiful lenses and even the smaller mirrorless cameras will be mostly a historical footnote in the not too distant future.

One response to “Some thoughts on the Occupy Movement (#occupy)

  1. Pingback: Comments by Salins to Occupy Seattle – Nov 19 2011 « Democracy for Vancouver

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