Occupy the New Year: The Occupy Movement in 2012 and Beyond

While Occupy encampments across the nation are dwindling in number, shutting down, or being evicted by police, discussion has risen within the movement about what happens next. What does the movement focus on this coming year? What tactics should be used? What issues should be addressed?

Although I am not officially a participant of the movement (yet) I have watched it from the sidelines starting at day one. One distinguishing feature that sets this movement apart from others such as the Tea Party is that I believe it serves as an umbrella movement for many issues and activists. Some may argue that this is a bad thing, that Occupy may become too bloated and fizzle out without any real objective in mind. I don’t believe that to be the case. With the movement having a big tent approach to its issues, it is allowing for more participants and more voices to come through. Although the Occupy encampments did a tremendous job of putting the movement in the public spotlight and highlighting the heavy handed tactics used by police, the encampments can only go so far and do so much in engaging public interest. We need to take a bottom up approach by working locally, within our communities to increase our strength and have our demands heard. This approach should be two fold: first, work on issues that are unique to those communities and second, still focus on the issues that are of national interest as well. I believe this will increase interest among a large number of people. Also, it is time to discuss what the end result of this movement should be. What, after everything and said and done, will we want to have achieved?

In my personal opinion, if we want to enact real change for our country we must dismantle capitalism. It is not synonymous with freedom. Freedom is not subjecting yourself to a boss (master), whose orders you must follow. If you don’t, you could lose your job which in turns means lose of wages which leads to a loss of livelihood and security. We must ask ourselves if this is really freedom. I think we all know the answer to that question is no.

This opinion is one that is shared among many within the movement but is not as mainstream as it should be. I see many saying “Occupy Wall Street is not anti-capitalism, it is anti-greed”. Both go hand in hand, capitalism is a system that rewards selfishness and arrogance. You can’t be anti-greed and pro-capitalism. It is the cause of the pretty much everything this movement is protesting. It’s time we address the problem at its root.

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