This will be no less than heresy to some of my politically progressive friends who consider them new-era heroes but after watching the protests yesterday, I am now completely convinced the Occupy Movement is an utter failure.
The first responsibility of any political candidate or movement is self-definition, providing answers to the following questions: (1) Who am I? (2) Why am I here? (3) What am I going to do or advocate? (4) By what means?
Examples of movements that did this well? Anti-Apartheid in South Africa, independence in India, Moratorium to end the Vietnam War here in the U.S.
The Occupy movement? Hates corporate capitalism and greed. (Hates greed. Really? How do you feel about sloth? Lust?) Wants to do something or other in pursuit of undefined social and economic “justice.” Camps out in city parks. Performs street theater and drum circles. Wastes precious media time engaging in pointless and fruitless arguments about police tactics, which is not the point of the movement. At least, I don’t think it is.
Occupy’s sole concrete result has been reflected in recent reports that some Wall Street firms are working to refurbish their public images. More work for PR firms; great accomplishment.
That some still consider the people of the Occupy movement heroes of the working class puzzles me.
Want to see what a real hero of the working class looks like? This is Jack Balestreri (below), the last living person who worked on building the Golden Gate Bridge, the construction of which cost 11 lives. Balestreri passed away last week at the age of 95. The Occupy movement had plans to shut the bridge down yesterday, in protest of something or other, but decided against it at the specific request of the Bridge’s union workers, preserving, for the moment, the work and sacrifice of real working people, like Jack Balestreri.
2 thoughts on “Heroes? Please.”
A lot of the visible Occupy stuff is now either self-aggrandizing egotists or paid provocateurs leaning towards inciting violence. What you don’t see is the huge number who are purposely not visible, working on policy. Yes, policy, that dull, non-photogenic ingredient that eventually can lead to real change.
On May 2, I got a press release on behalf of an indie band offering to show me a video of their performance at OWS in New York. I can just imagine how the friends of mine who aren’t particularly interested in fame through the Occupy movement would react to that. Probably much like I did: clicked delete.
Hang on; I think something’s happening. But I think we’ll have to wait until after the election to see it.
Disclaimer: I have no actual inside knowledge, just a strong hunch.
Thanks, Ed. I’m a patient person. If you say so, I’ll wait.