Originally, I was going to write a blog about how less-than important the whole Occupy movement was, especially in Canada.
But then, I did a little bit of research. It didn’t take much for me to see that the Occupy movement wasn’t just this thing going on in North America.
The movement started with Occupy Dataran in Kuala Lumpur back in July. Now, it’s pretty much on every populated continent, in every major city. Like the Occupy Wall Street movement, I haven’t heard anything about these other global protests.
Fortunately, when Occupy Wall Street started, a friend on Facebook was updating people of what was going on. It was weeks later that I finally heard something on the mainstream news.
After that, it exploded, as if after one new organization was allowed to broadcast what was happening, the rest slowly got on the band wagon.
Although the purpose of the Occupy movement ranges from economic equality to human rights and various other causes that aren’t getting recognized by those in power, in American, it has focused mostly on more and better jobs, equal distribution of income, bank reform, and a reduction of the influence of corporations on politics. All valid points, considering the majority of the country’s wealth is owned by about twenty percent of the population.
In Canada, where things haven’t been good, but definitely not as bad as in the States, the focus of the Occupy movement up here has been somewhat vague. The only news we hear about them is taking up space on public lands, getting arrested, and at least one person who has died while camped amidst the Occupy encampments.
The ideals and attention that the Occupy movement has garnered has been worthwhile. In the States, where unions have serious clout, they have been behind the movement on Wall Street, although I suspect it’s more about unionized workers getting laid off or cut backs that the union helped inflate during prosperous times. Besides that, like I said, all of their points have been valid and needed serious attention.
The down-side is that time is on the mainstream’s side. The longer the Occupy movement sit around in their camps, the less important their causes become. Other news stories will come along and slowly push them to the back burner. They may never go away, but it will become like background noise.
The people who have to pass by their camps, their tents and such, will become less and less sympathetic towards their cause. From the beginning, I’ve heard of homeless people, and drug addicts joining the cause just because they’ll have a place to stay. Homeless people who are homeless because of financial strife have a right to be there and have their voices heard. Homeless people wo are there because they are part of a criminal element, drifters, or there because of a self-destructive life-style or persona, don’t help the movement. They just reveal the hap-hazard, rag-tag feel and existence of the movement.
Many have compared the Occupy movement to the 60’s peace movement, calling them hippies. The description somewhat apt. The only difference is that the new century hippies use social media to get themselves organized and coordinated. Everything else seems the same. Both groups were made up of disenfranchised youth and those unhappy with the state of the country. Both also have a large number of people who are just floating along with a cause that they may believe in, but in the end, they will use their iPhone to find the local Starbucks to pick up a latte expresso crapacino before heading back to their dorm room that their parents or the government pay for.
The Occupy cause or movement or ideal, whichever you prefer, is a worthwhile. But their current method to get it across to people isn’t going to work, unless they take it to the next level. Extreme, perhaps violent social unrest, risking their lives for what they believe a la the Arab Summer. Unfortunately, not only would a lot of unarmed college kids get killed, but their cause would be given a new name, terrorism, the favorite nickname for group or organization that goes against the mainstream.
The other path would be impossible because of the political system the United States has set up. The Occupy movement would have to either take over the Democratic party, or start their own political party. If they truly want to change the system, they have to become the system and change from the inside, once they get some power.
But many of those people would never let some of their ideals slide just to play in the mainstream so they could get their cause into the public process. That is why idealism and politics, as they are now, will never work together. There are too many people using leverage to get what they want, not caring about the betterment of others or their country.
Until the mentality of those in power changes, causes like Occupy Everything will end up Occupying Nowhere.
But, I am a dreamer. One can always hope.