In one year, the Occupy Movement has done quite a bit. Let’s do more together.
September 16, 2012
Nationally, I know enthusiasm for the Occupy Movement is less than what it once was, and for many good reasons. But it has been an undeniably culturally transformative phenomena, that has already changed the world, that coincides with a period of escalated protests, escalated organizing (nationally and internationally), unprecedented international solidarity, and potential for even greater unprecedented international solidarity. It has been a vehicle for changing the world and struggles to continue being that.
What the movement is up against is a corporate-media-machine that will not allow the public to be dazzled by the protests a second time, that has had a year’s practice in talking about the Occupy Movement in the most dismissive and dismantling way possible. But in the age of information, in the age of easy access to direct-sources of photography and video and personal accounts of protests, the corporate-media-machine is also facing an uphill battle in maintaining their credibility while trying to purposefully mischaracterize facts and information.
And the repressive police forces and city-governments around the country are also fundamentally challenged by the swelling crowds of protesters, the jails aren’t built to hold all of us at once (not yet anyway) and although their power often seems massive, it is ultimately finite and challengable by thousands.
One year ago, when the movement started, we hadn’t started this blog, and the two of us who run this blog could have been described as progressive Democrats at best. Our personal stories are two of thousands whose political consciousness has been projected down the rabbit-hole of ideas and political philosophy over the last year, specifically because of the Occupy Movement. And as we move forward to the one-year anniversary tomorrow, and as we push on this next year, trying to discover and create new ways to interact with technology, in order to help organize and build sustainable long-term communities of political resistance, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that the impact of this movement is still in its infancy. Yesterday, at the pre-one-year-anniversary crowds at Zucotti Park and Washington Square Park (where we stayed for most of the day) I had the opportunity to see and speak with many people who are working on a whole host of ambitious projects, inspired by the movement, targeted at transforming cultural consciousness and building organized bodies of resistance, some of which WILL develop and WILL be impactfull. The left is growing. There are more anarchists and communists and socialists than there were this time last year. All the fractured socialist parties are swelling, anarchist collectives are multiplying, more people know what fracking is. More people embrace democracy and reject its opposite, capitalism. More people believe in the power of direct-action. More people are understanding intersections of oppression. Consciousness is changing and is infecting the minds of many. Even if we haven’t won the greater masses, we’ve won over a new wave of energized and capable leftists who are in the front-lines of doing just that.
And what we’re building is (and has to be) so long-term in its focus, that our impact will be undeniable. Being with hundreds of other dedicated world-changers reminds me of our fundamentally transformative potential, reminds me that a new world really is possible, that we really can defy all odds, and inspire change, and slowly (and sometimes in those special transformative moments, rapidly) add to our numbers, one by one and many by many, change the political consciousness of those all around us.
If you’re in the New York area (or anywhere else that’s doing one-year anniversary demonstrations), come out to the one year protests, feel the energy, remember what’s so inspiring about this movement and join us once again - this time a little wiser, a little more knowledgeable, a little more experienced and capable than last time. If you’re capable of making it out, you need to make it out - it will recharge you and inspire a re-dedication to transforming the world that’s entirely necessary. We need you to join us, because if not you, then who? You’re the one whose reading this and you’re the reason the world will break through the destructive cycle of capitalism.