What is the Occupy Movement and Is it Still Relevant?

Posted: September 24, 2012 in anarchy, controversy, peace and love, politics
Tags: , , , , ,

The Occupy Movement is a global movement.  Anybody can take part in the movement, regardless of their political beliefs of social backgrounds.  The idea is that elected officials can no longer adequately represent the population – except the 1% of wealthy donors – so real people need to be the change.  At present, the rich get rich and the poor get poorer, so something needs to be done.  Occupy supporters criticise the fact that the movement isn’t on the news often enough.  Occupy opponents say they shouldn’t be, because they are just a bunch of unemployed drug users.  Let’s take a look at some history first though.

The Poor Taking Over

Haven’t we heard something like this before?  Isn’t the essence of Karl Marx’ theory that one day the lower classes would take no more and that they would then revolt against the wealthy?  Is this Occupy’s essential message?  Communism?  Not necessarily.  Occupy simply want the 99% of good people that are out there to have a voice, to be able to shape their own world and society.  So they are anarchists?  No, not quite either.  They are simply the 99%.  They are Occupy.

What Does Occupy Want?

Occupy wants to start by resisting the oppressive governments that are all over the globe.  The resist abusing power, corporate greed and economic disparity.  Then, once they have achieved their resistance, they want to restructure.  They try to achieve this by leading through example: people getting together either physically or virtually and being a community.  Lastly, they want to remix and make the real changes that the system needs.

How Does Occupy Try to Achieve its Goals?

As the name suggests, Occupy occupies.  They build tents in places where the things they are trying to fight are most prevalent.  They pitch their tents on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, on the Dam Square and on Wall Street.  They then live here and peacefully demonstrate against the institution.  Sounds great right?  There is a little problem though.

Living in tents attracts a whole bunch of opportunistic people who really have nothing to do with the ideologies of the movement.  They just want a tent to live in, food to eat, an audience to sell drugs, and so on.  These are the people that are giving the entire movement a really bad name.  But is this bad name warranted, or have they actually achieved some things as well?

What Occupy Has Gotten Right

One thing that Occupy has really gotten right is its targets.  They know what they are talking about in terms of resisting the 1%.  In doing so, they brought these issues to the table and made more people aware of what is going on in the world.  They have also been able to really open the world’s eyes to the inequalities that happen in the so called “developed” world.  The gap between rich and poor isn’t just big in Africa, Asia or South America.  It is huge in rich and wealthy countries like the USA, UK and Germany as well.  Furthermore, Occupy has allowed people to make a difference, rather than sitting at home getting increasingly frustrated.  No, they haven’t brought down capitalism yet, but they have made people listen and together we stand strong.

The Bad Side of Occupy

It wouldn’t be honest to only sing Occupy’s praise.  There are some bad sides to the movement and these need to be recognised.  There are some reports of Occupy camps being very unsafe, with serious drug abuse and even rape.  Whether or not these rumours are true, or whether they are spread to discredit the movement isn’t entirely clear.  But these worries are there.  Also, they leave one heck of a mess behind when they do get evicted.  And someone has to clean that up, and you can bet your bottom dollar it’s one of the 99% that will be given that job.  They also seem to have lost their memento, which isn’t helped by the fact that there is little press coverage about them now.

Are you for or against Occupy?  Why?  Please share your idea too.

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Comments
  1. nonviolentconflict says:

    “The bad side of occupy” was not well researched, and no mention of police brutality or the 7,500+ arrests against peaceful protesters. If you want resources, links and or articles let me know.

    P.S. Occupy has nothing to do with anarchism or communism. Occupy is against corruption and bailing out failed banks with tax payer funds.

  2. Jo-Lo says:

    Please feel free to place links here to better information. I think police brutality against protesters will need to be covered in a separate article. It is a very relevant point, but it is not a point that has to be made about Occupy alone if that makes sense? Again, links very much welcome.

    In terms of the anarchism or communism, I didn’t suggest that Occupy is either. More so that these sorts of political movements seem to rear up again and again throughout history and for good reason.

    Personally, I am a Occupy supporter 😉

  3. Jo-Lo says:

    Anytime! It is through the knowledge of others that we can enrich our own knowledge 🙂

  4. nonviolentconflict says:

    Definitely* 😉

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