Joyce L. Arnold: Liberal, lesbian, Independent, equality activist, writer. At TaylorMarsh: Liberally Independent, including the Two Parties series, and Queer Talk
In regular “Occupy” posts, I’ll provide updates of developments regarding Occupy Wall Street, which has gone well beyond Manhattan, and the U.S. Mostly it will be by way of links and highlights, though this initial post will provide a kind of “round-up,” and so is longer.
OWS, and the bigger movement it’s sparked, could fall apart for any number of reasons, including because there are some powerful people who do not want this to be successful. It could be co-opted – I’ve seen the “Serious People” arguments that it’s time for the grown-ups to step in and bring some expertise and “organization.” It could fall apart.
Or not. It could continue growing, evolving, spreading. That some of the “Serious People” don’t get what’s happening just might be one of the best indications that Occupy, which has already created room for conversation not provided by the “Serious People,” including MSM, will play a very significant role in bringing about real change.
Even the NYTimes is noticing that conversation. Protest Spurs Online Dialogue on Inequity:
What began as a small group of protesters expressing their grievances about economic inequities last month from a park in New York City has evolved into an online conversation that is spreading across the country on social media platforms.
… more than 200 Facebook pages and Twitter accounts have sprung up in dozens of cities during the past week … .
Some 900 events have been set up on Meetup.com, and blog posts and photographs from all over the country are popping up on the WeArethe99Percent blog on Tumblr from people who see themselves as victims of not just a sagging economy but also economic injustice.
One of the best places to find current information is at Occupy Together. At about noon today, the number of cities in which some Occupy related actions are occurring / scheduled was at 1099.
OccupyWallSt points to growth just in NYC:
Liberty Square has grown exponentially over the last three weeks. It is time to form a second General Assembly in Manhattan. We expect more to follow.
The Occupy Wall Street Press is up and publishing. Today’s reporting included:
Last week two assholes were caught on video at Occupy Wall Street saying profoundly awful, stupid things about Jews, one of whom was consistently heckled and challenged by those around him.
On Friday night, around one thousand … Jews assembled for Yom Kippur services in the very same place to express solidarity with the demonstrators’ shared ideal of repairing the world. …
Stay up-to-date about radical Jewish happenings at occupations in your local community. Follow @occupyjudaism or like us on Facebook.
Via AlterNet, there’s also “Occupy the Hood”: Black Protesters Start Chapter to Educate, Diversify OWS:
This week, Colorlines reported on the top six American cities in which blacks and Latinos are living in poverty that rivals that of the Great Depression. If there was ever a time to rebel against Wall Street, it’s now. Yet many have observed that the OWS proceedings have been largely white, or at the very least devoid of the kind of diversity that makes New York City great. Now, two Queens men hope to change that by starting Occupy the Hood—a solidarity group that means to educate poor blacks and Latinos as to why a successful OWS will have the most significant impact on their communities.
And then there’s this from Gay City News Queer Voices in Zuccotti Park:
The banks might still be too big to fail, but the protests against them have become too big not to notice. …
And in the midst of it all, gay voices were present, too, putting LGBT issues into the broader context of opposition to corporate greed and unchecked Wall Street power.
The organizing at OWS includes the People’s Library. You can check it out here. The collection includes a Children’s Books section.
There’s an Occupy America site at flickr, where you can read posts by individuals from around the nation, as well as see photos, posters, etc. One post, by WilliamBanzai7, concludes:
The sooner we all stand up and openly say enough is finally enough, the better we will all be.
Via AlterNet, Sarah Jaffe cites the NYTimes article I mention above:
‘As the Occupy Wall Street protests spread from Lower Manhattan to Washington and other cities, the chattering classes keep complaining that the marchers lack a clear message and specific policy prescriptions.
The message — and the solutions — should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention since the economy went into a recession that continues to sock the middle class while the rich have recovered and prospered. The problem is that no one in Washington has been listening.’
(Jaffe writes) That’s not an op-ed contributor to the U.S.’s paper of record – it’s the official editorial page, coming down solidly on the side of the ‘99%,’ the protesters … .
In that NYT piece, Jennifer Preston writes:
Mark Ghuneim, founder and chief executive officer of Trendrr, said the (OWS related) Twitter conversation was producing an average of 10,000 to 15,000 posts an hour on Friday about Occupy Wall Street ….
‘The conversation for this has a strong and steady heartbeat that is spreading. We’re seeing the national dialogue morph into pockets of local and topic-based conversation.’ …
The protests, though, are more than a youth uprising. The protesters’ own problems are only one illustration of the ways in which the economy is not working for most Americans.
Another good source for OWS news is, Al Jazeera. From US activists have lost trust in politicians:
… the protesters are not focused on the US’ traditional political system or politicians.
‘We need to dictate the policy up, not policy being dictated down,’ Jesse LaGreca, a protester on Wall Street, told Al Jazeera.
‘We will be the leaders, and if there’s any politicians who wanna support us in passing policies that we support, then that’s the best we (sic) to about gaining our support.’ Katie Davison, another Wall Street protester, agreed.
‘A candidate is sort of the old way of doing things,’ she said. ‘We’re looking for a new way of doing things that is more participatory and more meaningful. What that looks like we’re still figuring out.’
What a concept – change the focus, and look to “the people” to set the agenda; and be willing to say, “we’re still figuring out” how things will work and look, rather than pretending to have all the answers, and that they are THE answers.
OWS is a start, not a finish. It’s a very good start, more successful than Corporate USA, including the DC Electeds, ever imagined could happen.
On this date, October 9, when John Lennon was born, 71 years ago, I can’t resist: Imagine.
(Photo via Occupy Together )