The spring was a bit underwhelming for the occupy movement, but the activists that saw an opportunity to coalesce in late 2011 remain active. What we have witnessed is a return to the origins of the movement which began with a diversity of groups arriving with tents to make a political statement about socio-economic inequality, a theme that resonated with most Americans until they were turned off by the tactics and the lack of definition that never emerged.
The leftovers, the remaining “occupiers” that are not known for a studious grasp of politics, issues or organization, have basically proven they are incapable of furthering the movement. For the most part, the activists have returned to their roots, the organizations that existed prior to the occupy brand becoming a valuable commodity.
The sharpest of the “occupiers” understand this. After extensive interviews with the promise of confidentiality, it is obvious that the scraps of organization that remain are the domain of a few that are rarely, if ever, involved in any aspect of activism.
The demographics have evolved to a point where thoughtful, mature individuals with experience and skills are nowhere to be found except at a rally or demonstration carried out under the auspices of occupy. Even then, their numbers have dwindled due to the behavior of a few adolescent kooks that have little understanding of the primary message.
After observing this shift and trying to analyze the cause, it is apparent that lack of knowledge, along with typical adolescent indulgences, has cost the movement much of its momentum. The predictions of massive demonstrations beginning in the spring have not materialized for some very good reasons described in previous posts.
So where does that leave “occupy” in relation to those that see it as inherently political? The answer is nowhere because occupy has subtracted itself from the political dialog and concentrated on spot-protests that range from vegan diets to environmental causes. It seems to be grasping for definition but its structure will not allow for it because it has no mechanism to articulate much of anything beyond slogans scrawled on signs and chants that can become mind-numbing after sufficient repetition.
Without endorsing any group or philosophy, I couldn't help but notice the long list of supporters of the 99Spring group (menu link on home page). Collectively these groups have a lot in common, but they obviously do not condone violence or vandalism; the seminars were aimed directly at the problems that surfaced in late November 2011 and continue to plague occupy events.
Having said that, it is also indisputable that this spin-off group, borrowing its name from occupy, is bought and paid for by MoveOn which, along with most of the other supporters listed, endorse political candidates like President Obama and make no effort to conceal that fact.
An opinion piece, allegedly authored by a member of Anonymous surfaced in October, 2011 suggesting that occupy should become a political party. The knee-jerk reaction was no way, but there is support, perhaps more as the realities of an election season become more apparent. To wit, when people have to decide who to vote for if they intend to vote at all. Indications are that turnout will be low as many political writers are already focused on the lack of distinguishing factors between the candidates.
We just saw the iconic Richard Lugar defeated in a primary by an inmate courtesy of disgruntled voters that are signaling their disgust with the menu of candidates, especially incumbents. This would have been unthinkable ten years ago, but it may be a harbinger of the weirdest election season in American history. Resentment, the type that seeps into the public consciousness as knowledge of systemic problems (corruption) spreads, will play a big part in the outcome of many races in 2012.
The natives are restless and they are probably offended as well that their elected leaders have aimed their authority and legislative powers at civil rights and privacy. Many have surmised and written that this cascading loss of individual rights is directly connected to the cozy relationship between financial services crooks and their regulators.
People seem to be waiting for some kind of evidence that their government officials are protecting their interests instead of those that crashed the global economy in 2008; the same people that spend billions to influence elected representatives and also demand taxpayer funds to compensate for their failures and criminality.
In short, the game is rigged, more and more people coming to that realization, most assuredly aided by the protests that began on Wall Street in September of last year. But while occupy struggled with internal problems and its lack of definition and organization, others continued to do what they do best, which is to articulate and educate.
I could make a list of at least twelve writers that do more for the occupy movement than all the committees and assemblies combined. That is because popular support is necessary for change, a concept that was lost on some of the demagogues that pried their way into occupy, then corrupted it. They wanted occupy to join them. Most never did.
Election year 2012 promises to be an anomaly. The exit of Richard Lugar must make a lot of glad-handing, money-grubbing legislators nervous, and they should be. Polls showing less than 10% approval must have been considered when governmental paranoia caused them to go on the attack against their own constituents.
None of the significant legislation this year has dealt with economic issues that undermine the economy; the issues that most Americans are forced to deal with daily. Almost all of the newsworthy congressional activity was clearly intended to strip Americans of their liberties and make sure their resentment doesn't spread further.
But it will, because information wants to be free and those that control the levers of power understand this perfectly. So now all we can do as watch as the military prepares to become part of civilian affairs, intelligence gathering (spying), and even law enforcement strategies designed to suppress the natural resentment of the populace, and of course, the message and the messengers.
These are dangerous times. All of the internet-based accounts that I have been obliged to use have been attacked and corrupted. This morning another distributed denial of service attack was launched on this site. It appears that e-mails have been blocked, perhaps intercepted, and account settings are routinely changed by external sources. There aren't that many suspects, but some of the attacks are rather sophisticated, the sort one would expect from the natural enemies of the message.
Normally I would try and tie all of these observations together, then present them as a working theory for the purpose predicting some sort of outcome. But if the Lugar defeat is any indication, the only thing predictable about the upcoming election is that it will take place on schedule, and surprisingly enough, I've yet to see any planning on the part of occupy protesters that relates to it.
Be assured, the writer will keep a close eye on how all this unfolds, and more importantly, how all these divergent interests operate within the traditional electioneering format; the same format that many Americans have forsaken, preferring to do their lobbying in the streets. Others have chosen to engage in the articulation process.
Be assured that is the objective of this website (globalrev.org), despite the powerful enemies that have lined up against the message and the messenger.