Occupy’s next frontier:

Foreclosed homes, says Salon.

To read more about Occupy Goes Home, go here. The cool thing is they can raid encampments, but they can’t stop the movement. Sitting in the pews at Fourth and Forest church of Christ, we would be reminded by speaker after speaker that the church wasn’t the building, but the people. Rock on.

Since this is a democratic movement, what do you think the next frontier should be?

23 responses to “Occupy’s next frontier:

  1. I’m still catching up on the OWS thing. I confess the more I read the more confused I get. Does moving to a “new frontier” means they’re done with a previous “frontier”? (Which was………????)
    And I’m not sure what you mean by “democratic movement.”

  2. I listened to part of Monday’s “On Point” (Tom Ashbrook on NPR) while driving around and thought the discussion was interesting. I sensed Ashbrook felt frustrated, as I do, with the lack of focus on results. We need more than just raising awareness of the obvious. e.g. I’m tired of every group and each party touting the importance of “job creation” as if “the other side” doesn’t agree. Maybe it gets followers to cheer, but it doesn’t move us closer to the goal. The discussion needs to move away from what we need to do to how are we going to successfully do it.

    http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/11/28/where-does-occupy-go-now

  3. You know, I get frustrated with all the commentary on OWS not “doing anything”. It’s only been two months FFS! We’re still in rallying-cry phase. Also, you don’t have to know how to fix it to know that it’s broken. The solutions will come but the problem is that they won’t be easy. How do you work *within* a broken system to try and fix it? The usual channels don’t work when even the most idealistic person gets bought off once they are in office?
    While a lot of people seem to think there is nothing happening in OWS aside from standing around holding signs that’s just not true. There are teach-ins, there are homeless being fed, there are people finding a sense of community that they’ve never had before (something I think is necessary to the human experience) as well as direct actions like Bank Pull Out Day which was hugely successful.
    You can trust that the conversation from day 1 has been about how we’re going to do this. Attend any GA or check out their minutes online and you will see people struggling together to find the answers.

    • I can say as an active member in the corporate media that they’ve introduced the topic of income inequality into the pages/airwaves at an unprecedented level. So there’s that.

      • I agree. OWS has definitely influenced a change in the way the MSM covers income inequality. There seems to be, however, a troubling “diversity issue” that is present around the fringes of the movement. (People of Color Committees?)
        The big question, though, is wether a social movement can survive without a specific, cohesive agenda, a clear plan of action, a coherent leadership? Without those elements, co-optation and marginalization are real dangers.
        Real change requires power. If it’s not coming from the barrel of a gun, it needs to come from numbers. The OWS movement has a good start on those numbers, but without coherent leadership, the unity and solidarity required to maintain and build those numbers will not materialize. and the power to effect meaningful change will be lost.

        • That’s what interests me about this, in part — other than the sheer thrill of talking about issues I think are important and interesting. Can a bottom-up non-hierarchal (speeling?) group sustain itself? And always always always there needs to be someone other than your next door neighbor, the Caucasian, involved. Though I’m fond of Caucasians.

          • Bottom up can be done. (The bottom isn’t where this movement started…but I get you’re drift.) Sooner or later, though, there has to be some sort of structure to build unity and solidarity. It doesn’t need to be hierarchical in the traditional sense, but there has to be something cohesive to help bind the people together. A commitment a diverse group of people can identify with, something that defines parameters that are either accepted or rejected. Commitment is important.

            So is solidarity. Which is why the diversity issue must be confronted if the OWS movement is to evolve. Race matters. Solidarity is not a one way street.

            • What leftover said. Also, politicians are really good at stating the problems prior to elections. I’m tired of hearing the Republican candidates say we need to create more jobs. (No kidding! Is that code for giving corporations and the wealthy more tax breaks?) Politicians haven’t been very good at solving problems because the people are so divided. Occupy, I believe, has an opportunity to unite a lot more people who are part of the 99%. I hope that can be done.

  4. I don’t mean to be a stick in the mud, but weren’t we talking about it fiercely before OWS? (Corp greed, exec bonuses in companies that were bailed out, tax discussions in Washington, Warren Buffet…) Wasn’t OWS a reaction to that discussion and more?

    Vegas, While I can’t speak for anyone else, I can say my frustrations are related to my belief that so far there has been a missed opportunity to identify objectives in order to demand change. And, I do think a creation of a new political party (like the Tea Party), with specific objectives, that can push for real change within the current system would be beneficial. I believe change cannot happen without working with the current system. Anger and frustration related the economy, unemployment, income inequality and the wealth gap doesn’t need a lot of awareness raising. I suppose that means I think some OWS leaders need to step up and define the movement and what they expect to accomplish. Otherwise, it’s hard for the masses to get behind it because they don’t really know what it is. Maybe I’m impatient in feeling that way, but the next election is not far off and a conservative candidate may have a shot at the Presidency and that’s really scary.

    • You are emphatically NOT a stick in the mud, but I think in the Occupy movement all over the country, more specific demands are being made. That’s certainly happening in Hartford. Nevertheless, I like the fluid nature of the movement. Now, it’s foreclosures. Tomorrow, maybe it’ll be AIDS research. I don’t know and I’m not involved other than as an interested observer. I appreciate them bringing into the public discourse. Yes, we’ve been talking about this for a while, but we’re special.

      • We disagree on something!! :) I don’t like the fluid nature and I view it as a weakness. Dedication to solving complex problems takes commitment and time. If solutions and changes are what is desired (and I believe it is), then there should be a specific issue, goal, with objectives/timeline, and a way of measuring progress/success. And, there needs to be a compelling reason for the people in charge (people who are in power – i.e. our polititians who want to be elected) to support the actions that accomplish the goal. I believe we need to pick something and stick with it until the issue is solved. Maybe my expectations are unrealistic. I want results, dammit!

        DJ, what specific demands has Occupy Hartford identified? I haven’t followed as closely as you so I don’t know them.

        • Can we still be friends? I know they’ve stood against the wars, and I know they’ve directed their energies toward Bank of America and toward NU (CL&P). Here’s their link: http://occupyhartfordct.com/. The fluid nature of this movement involves massive amounts of conversations to figure out precisely what you’re asking.

    • You are emphatically NOT a stick in the mud. (Who said that?) Everything you said is being said in probably every OWS camp across the country. Change is inevitable. Direction is the variable we all want to control. Keep the faith, Jac…and Vegas…I hope we all wind up on the same bus.

      • I said it. I don’t mean to sound negative. I’m concerned. I think there is an opportunity right now to unite a lot more people and force change. Having said that, if Occupiers could stick to an issue at the minimum and really hammer it home for the long haul, then it might become an issue that gets attention at election time. Politicians might be forced to acknowledge it and might be forced to be accountable for results – and I mean all politicians. We can’t fix everything all at once, but we can chip away at the bigger problem by addressing the sub-problems (I think I made up that word). I know, organizing is easier said than done. I really do hope the movement becomes successful in uniting us (99% is a lot of people!!) and in creating change. Maybe my expectations are too high. I’ll try to keep the faith, leftover.

  5. Is there anyway something could be done to repeal the decision on Citizens United? Corporations are not citizens. Obama’s comment at the time of the decision was this: ‘President Obama called it “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”’
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html
    Is a repeal possible and how can it be done? Anyone know?

    • Well, there’s this: http://www.change.org/petitions/repeal-citizens-united-end-corporate-personhood. That’s a start…But there needs to be a countering lawsuit that will move the Supreme Court to overturn this decision, or there needs to be legislation (Constitutional amendment?) that will counter it. Occupy DC has pushed against it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/01/occupydc-citizens-united-corporate-personhood_n_989690.html

      I bet I’m not thinking straight and there are more options, but it’s early and I haven’t had coffee yet.

      • I don’t think an amendment to the Constitution is a good idea. And reading what the Senate did to the Fifth Amendment yesterday, (that Bill of Rights is just soooo pesky….), one must ask oneself…Would it matter?

        The task entails influencing Congress and the White House to directly oppose their financial benefactors. Monumental indeed. And as one article pointed out, there are “free speech” issues involved that nobody really wants to mess with.

        Revolution is a solution. Nasty business that…messy…hard to control. Not really on the table…yet…so never mind.

        The best way, I think, to counter the effects of the Citizens ruling is to find a way to use it against the corporate person. Leverage. Hit them where it counts…in the wallet. Try something like a financial transaction TAX, that would include transactions moving money to PACs and politicians and such and earmarking those collections for use by non-corporate entities to keep the playing field level…accessible. This would also reestablish some stricter reporting regulations that were lost in the Citizens shuffle. In order to TAX transactions, they have to be reported. So who is getting how much from where would…again…be part of the public record.

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