Can Occupy Continue Beyond Occupation?

Occupying The Sidewalk

Occupy The Streets or The Stream?

Sami Grover, frequent sustainability blogger on TreeHugger.com, wrote an article arguing Occupy tactics should far beyond just physical occupationof public spaces.

Certainly it seems unlikely that the movement would have grown with such ferocity had it not quickly and successfully created a physical presence in cities around the world. But as the weeks turn into months, many communities are asking how long the protests will continue, and what happens next. In Bristol, for example, protesters are planning a public meeting to discuss their tactics, and appear to be willing to move on from their city center camp ground if an alternative space can be found. Meanwhile talks between Occupy LA and the mayor’s office seem to have broken down, despite early signs that the city might offer cheap office space and a community garden in exchange for protesters dismantling their tents.

OccupyEducated seeks to help bring the physical occupations to reach the virtual world everyone shares — facebook, twitter, forums — and then use their new, shared knowledge to spark real-world action.

Where do you see occupy going from here – physically or virtually — as of today?

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Comments

  1. Eric says:

    Protesting is not going to be enough. They’re going to fight back. This is the world we live in, and these are the hands we’re given. Use them and let’s start trying to make this a place worth living in and fighting for!
    Start the second revolution already! What could be the ramifications? The lives lost?

  2. Sarah says:

    I want to take issue with the phrase “virtual world everyone shares.” The power of the virtual, social world is going to be key in making big shifts in the way our country does government. Of that I’m sure we – the people who have already made it to this site – can all agree. However, it has some serious disadvantages that I feel we – the fbookers, tweeters and forum commenters – don’t appreciate often enough.

    First, access. Everyone is an overstatement. Sure, 245,000,000 is a lot of people with access to the internet. A lot a lot a lot. But consider several things. First, this number (pulled from the CIA World Factbook) includes people who might go on the internet once every couple of months. Realistically, people who are only engaging with the virtual world four to six times a year are not going to be participating in the movement and dialogue happening on the web. But even if we counted everyone within that figure as a potential participant in a sustained virtual movement, it isn’t enough in my opinion. A movement by the 99% and for the 99% cannot leave more than 21% of Americans out. This would be especially backwards given those people are likely to be the most disenfranchised population and deeply affected by unjust policy and practice in our government. Sure, the issue of participation is not solved by physical occupation/presence, but the notion that the virtual space is a catchall for humanity is not – yet – true and I think we would do well to keep that in mind.

    Second, preaching to the choir. With all the smart suggestions for what I might want to see next that twitter, facebook, youtube, and every major news source for that matter make, I am basically spoon-fed my opinion. I read a bunch of articles by smart people who agree with me, and I repost those things to all my friends who mostly agree with me and then we talk about, in the comments of my post, how smart we all are. This is flawed. We will not be able to reach the people who fundamentally agree with us but think we have no demands and so aren’t serious. We will not be able to reach the people who thought it was over. We will not be able to reach people who completely disagree with us and will do everything they can think of to stop us. Again, this is not automatically solved by physical presence somewhere; however, there is something to say for being in people’s way. Sami Grover does make a good point that being in people’s way can become detrimental, but we won’t get anywhere if we don’t require people to confront the issues.

    Fundamentally a movement about a multiplicity of voices will not be served by shutting people out. Moving entirely to the virtual to do the work, have the conversations, share the knowledge and experiences that “spark real-world action” will leave too many out of the process. And the process is one of the most important pieces of this movement.

  3. BeatrixK says:

    I am lucky enough to live in a college town. Though i dont attend this college, the professors have always been very accommodating to the local citizens, and allowed us access to their lectures. Lately, many professors who had never made themselves available for public lecture before, have very loudly “come out” of their academia closets and opened their doors. Overwhelmingly, the topics of the their lectures have been aimed to educate, not just their tuition paying students, but more specifically to OCCUPY. I have recently attended lectures about the economy, our recent supreme court decisions, permaculture, history of social and civil movements, a bottom-up, top-down solutions panel, and exciting to me personally, the local chapter of the League Of Woman Voters held an organizational discussion on the Citizens United Decision. i noticed at this meeting that as the discussion wore on, that many of these members and citizen participants had not just a familiar tone, but they too were using a very familiar and comforting vernacular; the language of an occupier. words like “general assembly” “solidarity” and “consensus”..phrases like “wealth inequality” “point of process” “mic check”, pretty sure i also saw some twinkle up action down front, but i could have been dizzy from the shock i was in….point being, if we are looking for the next steps to take, i can say with all confidence, many people and groups out there are willing to point us in the right dirrction.

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