Our View: One year later, Occupy movement is left vacant
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 00:09
Last Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the conception of the Occupy movement.
Yes, it has been one year since protesters filled Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan to blame money-hungry Wall Street and corporate America for the many problems existing in the U.S.
The Occupy movement divided the nation into two sides, one side being the majority of America or the 99 percent and the other side being the rich or 1 percent.
Coming on the heels of major protests around the globe in both Africa and the Middle East the media fed into the movement’s frenzy. Occupy Wall Street motivated many to take a stand for what they believed in. It sent rally cries that spread like wildfire across the nation.
Many major cities organized their own Occupy chapters, from Occupy Chicago all the way to Occupy Long Beach. Nearly every city was jumping on the Occupy bandwagon.
A year later, however, much of the excitement that the Occupy movement brought has fizzled out.
While the Occupy movement exists in some fashion, it is rarely paid attention to — especially by the media. In fact, the one-year anniversary was really the first big story to come out about the movement in a while.
As to why the movement lost it legs, there is a handful reasons.
First off, much of Occupy’s push was perpetuated by social media. Many people expressed their support for the movement through Facebook and Twitter. While this was a good way to spread the movement’s message, it does not substitute for standing in the street.
Take Kony 2012 for example.
Everyone shared enthusiasm on their Facebook pages, advocating for the movement and demanding that the African warlord Joseph Kony be captured for his misdeeds. Months later, Kony is still terrorizing Africa and most of the western world has forgotten he exists.
A lack organization and solid leadership led to Kony’s remaining free to do as he wants, and that lies behind Occupy’s failure as well.
Many of the Occupy protests were set up by the city chapters, but there was very little connection between the entire movement as a whole.
People would know where to show up to protest — with their signs and Guy Fawkes masks in tow — to start screaming for change. But there was never really any leader(s) making demands or coming up with ideas for change.
The movement was standing on a platform that had plenty of support, but there was no direction. Showing up to protests does not instigate change. After screaming at a protest for a while, there was always a question as to what comes next: where was the list of demands?
For what it is worth, the Occupy movement did inspire many to speak their minds. Sometimes people think protesting does not get us anywhere, but that is not true.
Look at Arab Spring or even into our own history, such as the Boston Tea Party. Protests can have impact. Often too many of us sit back and think we can’t do anything to solve our problems. That’s not true.
A properly run protest that stands for something important can change the world.
The Occupy movement fell short of producing this change.