The Occupy Movement is entering into an important phase. In many of the cities where the protests have taken place local governmental authorities have decided to close down the tent villages. The media is full of subtle criticism portraying the protests as needing leadership, losing momentum and lacking a clear message. The journalists imply that the work is coming to an end and was all for naught.
It is not surprising that many in the media portray it in this way. What they want to report is what they are used to seeing: confrontation, anger and one side winning the public relations battle. What the journalists and the media need to understand is that the protesters have already won their point. With the cry, “We are the other 99%”, they have captured the reality of the Age of Greed and have revealed clearly the total lack of political and economic leadership that we have in the “developed world”. We are now all hostages to an economic system which is totally unjust and which increasingly benefits only the rich.
Despite the fact that many or even most of the tent villages will be gone by Christmas, the spirit of this movement will not die, it will find a new focus and a new message to share. If anything has been proven by these actions surely the most important gain has been for our young people to have found their political voice and sense of purpose. We saw in the recent federal election an increase in interest among young people. Now we have witnessed the birth of a significant engagement that will, I believe lead to a greater commitment to be involved in the affairs of our community, to the benefit of the 99%. It couldn’t come at a better time.