Occupy Wall Street, and its offspring in my locale, Occupy Oakland, have not gone away. And though it is winter, and activity has died down a bit, we still have major actions frequently, like just this week when the Oakland Police Department arrested 400 protesters in broad daylight.
So why haven’t I been talking about it?
The short answer, I suppose, is that I meant to, and then I got busy. Which is a terrible excuse in some ways, and a perfectly legitimate one in others. I don’t consider myself a journalist, and so when I got a full-time job at the beginning of November, and then when the madness of the holidays descended, etc, keeping up with being a part of the discussion fell by the wayside for me.
I think, also, that I am waiting for spring.
Things are still happening- I was there in Oscar Grant Plaza on October 25th with my sister and husband in response to the raid on Occupy Oakland. The Port of Oakland shut-down on November 2nd was an unparalleled success with tens of thousands of citizens, from women with strollers to old folks waving flags, marching to the port. And the actions have continued.
And yet… most of the camps have been closed down. There is a sense of quiet. Though Oakland, with the privilege of its temperate weather, has gone on, I know many others have not been able to. I don’t see this as a problem, really- it’s a resting point. My poli-sci teacher used to always say that, if we got nothing else out of his class, we should remember to Never Invade Russia Unless You Can Win Before Winter. This seems similar- the movement is resting, gathering its strength and its resources, and I fully expect that, come spring and summer, it will gain momentum and show the world what change can be.
In the meantime, Oakland fights on. If you’re interested, follow the journalists actually in the field- Susie Cagle (@susie_c), Gavin Aronsen (@garonsen) from Mother Jones magazine, Joshua Holland (@JoshuaHol) from AlterNet, John C Osborn (@bayreporta) with the East Bay Express, and Quinn Norton (@quinnnorton) who has done an amazing series on Anonymous (Part 1/Part 2/Part 3).
For the interested, a series of links I’ve found interesting-
A really great article about why the baby boomers don’t get the Occupy movement.
An irreverent (and somewhat profane) but disturbingly accurate explanation of how the generation of Occupy got screwed by previous generations.
Huffington Post- UN Envy: US Isn’t Protecting Protester’s Rights
About, and how to get involved with, the Occupy Protest Chaplains.
Op-ed from November about the Occupy Movement.
Article about the Occupy crackdown in multiple cities, and the mayors of those cities’ role in it.
Tikkun article about praying with our feet.
An article about the very disturbing media black-out during the eviction of OWS from Zuccotti Park.
A blog post about the strategy of Occupation.
And, semi-related, an open letter to Newt Gingrich from the Pastors of Poor Children.
And while we wait for spring, while the movement gather its resources and makes its plans? Well, in Oakland, the cry goes on- “Hella, hella Aquapy!”