Over the last couple of days most of the Occupy movement camps have been dismantled across North America. So, what did they achieve?
I think the answer is nothing. Really. The movement has faded. What’s left are a bunch of desperate people looking for any way to be heard. They are the fringe.
I think that the governments, local and otherwise, and the police have learned that they need the media on their side. The occupy movement started by getting the sympathy of the general population, and the media. There was plenty to say about the 99% and how wealth has been distributed unfairly. Everyone gets it. But the media wants to sell papers and boost ratings right?
Once the more desperate members of our society took over the tents, ate the food, tried to stay warm, and get some medical attention, it was only a matter of time before the cameras captured real poverty, and people with addictions and mental issues. Why not join the movement if they have heaters, food, blankets, and shelter?
Eventually you have irrational, desperate people getting their 5 minutes of fame, the media treats them like they are the representatives of the movement. But they aren’t of course. But it is all that is needed to discredit the message. “Look at those bums! Why don’t they just go get a job?”
The same thing would happen at events I protested at while in university. The cameras would film the balaclava wearing anarchists causing trouble, and it would ruin the message we were trying to get out in the first place.
This is why I think that for real change to occur, our economic and political systems need to change. Much like the credit unions’ slogan, People before Profits, compassion needs to be the main crux of our society. Not economic development, and globalization. Many people call this revolution. How it is done peacefully is still unknown. Sit-ins, camping in parks, and the leaderless occupy movement are not going to effect change. The general public will just get bored and go back to work. Here are a few words by a “fake” Noam Chomsky Twitter account that seems to put a lot of these sentiments in 140 characters or less.
What do you think went wrong with the Occupy movement?