I know it may be hard to believe that the once mighty, uninformed, narcissistic, smelly, and unorganized movement that was Occupy Wall Street has fallen. But the fact of the matter is, OWS has succumbed to the organizational form of Alzheimer’s.
On the surface the participants look the same, and can regale you with triumphs of the past, but ask them what they are doing today, and you get that sheepishly embarrassed look of a poor soul who can’t remember their own name.
Their sorry state was on display recently when remnants of the West Coast crusade showed up at Art Walk LA. From the Los Angeles Times;
About a dozen activists from Occupy L.A. turned out too, scrawling slogans on the sidewalk to call attention to their campaign to pressure a downtown business group to scale back development that they say would limit options for low-income residents.
“We didn’t consider it a protest,” said Occupy L.A.’s Cheryl Aichele. “We were just passing out fliers and offering chalk to visitors,” she said.
Now granted, I have been an outspoken critic of the movement ( see “R.I.P. Occupy Wall Street – What You Didn’t Learn From The Vietnam War” and “So You Want To Reform Wall Street? Okay, First Let’s Talk About The Real One Percenters”), but at first even I felt a bit sorry for these diehard revolutionairies.
Chalk….? Really, that’s all you got left? For months on end you had the full focus of every media outlet and politician in the country, if the not world, and now you are relegated to disrupting community events to draw chalk slogans on the street?
I mean have some self-respect and dignity and just join PETA or the ACLU for Christ sakes.
To illustrate how really “over” OWS actually is, read another except from the LA Times;
Patti Berman, a longtime downtown resident and ArtWalk board member, said the activists are on a mission to “de-gentrify” downtown.
“I’m a liberal, I don’t like talking like this,” she said. “But these people have no goals, they just seem to want to cause trouble…. The fact that they wanted to destroy ArtWalk, that’s very hurtful. ArtWalk has done a lot for my neighborhood, and I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I don’t know where it’s going to go.”
Brady Westwater, a longtime downtown resident and activist, was more blunt about Occupy. “It’s a dead movement — it saw its day in the sun — and now they can’t do anything but try and find the place to cause the most disruption at a real community event. Downtown is a real community.”
Rarely in my life have I seen such a great opportunity squandered as was done with the OWS movement; but a blind man without a cane could have seen it coming.
Youth, and protest, and activity gets people’s attention, but real world plans for change and the experience to execute on those plans is what makes them stick around. Perhaps a lesson our current Commander In Chief will have time to reflect on four months from now.
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