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Is Occupy dead?
17 September 2012 10:06 AM
It all feels a long time ago that the Occupy Wall Street movement erupted, bringing thousands of activists and protestors onto the streets of New York. In fact, today marks the one year anniversary - and the internet is full of deflated comment on the failure of Occupy to keep any significant political handhold. Writing in the Financial Times, Shannon Bond performs an autopsy on the activist dream.
"A year in, Occupy is not a political movement; it remains a loose affiliation of largely autonomous interest groups...While some had hoped it might be a liberal answer to the rightwing Tea Party, resistance within the group to being “co-opted” – by unions, the Democratic party, or wealthy individuals like the founder of Ben & Jerry’s who offered funding – has left Occupy on the fringes."
Part of the problem, says Bond, was a lack of definition. Occupy "embraced those who embraced it, welcoming anarchists, university students, ageing hippies and community activists. Its biggest marches drew thousands, waving signs about everything from debt forgiveness and healthcare costs to the bank bailout and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this diversity, coupled with a commitment to making decisions by consensus, prevented the thousands of voices calling for change from coalescing in to a unified whole."