Occupy #11 – A Next Phase?

I thought I would share this article, All Talk, No Action. It is by a Steve Lopez of the L.A. Times.

He offers a few suggestions (as does everyone…rolleyes!), one of which I am reprinting here:

Why don’t [Los Angeles] demonstrators march over to nearby skid row, speak up for those who have lost their homes and then parade from there to the nearest $20-million house in the hills?

While they’re on skid row, why not lend a hand to the bomb-rattled soldiers who fought two ill-conceived wars that cost in the trillions?….

Demonstrators could do all of this and more, rolling out each day to a different site and keeping us all guessing as to what’s coming next.

Or they could burrow in under the trees, kill the few remaining grass shoots, continue preaching to the converted and hope it doesn’t rain.

This is a fair criticism, if it is in fact true that Occupy L.A. has no other plans, other than to camp out. Somehow I doubt that this is true. Buy maybe. I’ll see when I arrive. I know that the little Occupy movement here in Sioux Falls, SD has intentions and interest in a wider agenda for social change. Although I have not data in hand, I think that Occupy movements help draw attention to the national move-your-money day, to withdraw money from for-profit banks and move it to local credit unions. That’s smart.

Also smart and effective would be to begin organizing on the local level to boycott all big businesses and major corporations and invest in local, independent businesses. That’s a major undertaking, and it requires organization, but it attacks the beast right in the gut. Such organization could also bring support from local business owners who might not otherwise be inclined to camp out, sing protest songs, or hold signs. We need the protests, don’t get me wrong. It’s been important. Whether people camp out or march, I hope that it continues, because without the foot soldiers, I’m not sure how far the movement can go. I agree with the general feeling, though, that as time goes on, Occupy can and should continue to do more to organize in creative ways for specific goals.

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Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

One thought on “Occupy #11 – A Next Phase?”

  1. Moving money from the big banks to local is smart. Even if you don’t have a lot of it. If enough people did this, those small amounts would add up and get some attention.


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