What Has Happened to #Occupy?

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and with the advent of the cold weather, police raids, and a media that has effectively painted the Occupy movement as dirty and dangerous—many people are beginning to wonder if we’ve seen the last of the movement.

Has there really been a sea-change in consciousness or was the tremendous swelling of potential so place-based that it can’t survive?  What is direct democracy when it is spread out across a continent, indeed a globe with demands for fairness, equality and community?

It’s time to take a look and get the facts straight. Over 2779 Occupy Groups around the country are listed on Occupy Together. And they don’t seem to be fading away.

In New York’s Zucotti Park, the barriers have come down and though there is no camping, the square is active every day with teach-ins, meetings and action planning.

More and more, the Occupy movement is linking its critique of corporate greed and corruption to issues of fairness, democracy and national priorities.
Many communities have Occupy Our Homes which work in neighborhoods and small towns to stop, delay or disrupt home foreclosures; meeting their neighbors to map out threatened homes, going in groups to renegotiate loans and in some cases setting up camp in homes that are about to be evicted.

In Washington DC, plans are in place to Occupy Congress on January 17th to draw attention to the fact that Congress is not serving the people who elected them but chooses to serve a corporate master instead. Occupiers from around the country will converge on the U.S. Capitol for teach-ins, visits to their representatives and a march and rally.

In San Francisco, Jan 20th, the last business day before the one-year anniversary of the “Citizens United” ruling, which treats corporations as people for free speech purposes, was the day picked to take over and disrupt business as usual in the Financial District; the Wall Street of the West. It is to be one of the largest self-organized actions including labor unions, environmental groups, peace groups, housing activists, churches, veterans and unaffiliated people staking out a claim to the city, an end to corporate greed and power while building a broad and inclusive network for social justice. Get more information and get involved.

All around the country people are recognizing that both Republicans and Democrats are complicit in a sold out system where political contributions from large corporations are labeled free speech and drown out the voices of average Americans.

But we, the 99%, know that Corporations are not people and Money is not speech!

We may be tired of the word ”occupy,” tired of camping and fighting with police but, as we enter this weekend of remembrance for Martin Luther King Jr. and honor his enduring spirit of service and justice, we are more clear than ever that we are present – we are people and our speech is real.

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