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View Diary: The Squandered Potential of Occupy (240 comments)

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  •  Recliaming the public space for public use (7+ / 0-)

    is a critical issue. It's difficult for disaffected groups to communicate, organize and demonstrate solidarity when public and public-use spaces are reserved for the exclusive benefit of corporate and monied special interests.

    Did Occupy press the issue for too long? Maybe. Is the reclamation of public space an important long-term political issue? Definitely.

    •  This is a key point. (9+ / 0-)

      I agree that continuing to put energy into fighting police isn't well-placed energy. Once it becomes clear that public space is no longer public, you decide how you want to deal with that, or if it is in fact your main gripe.

      I personally don't think that perpetually contesting public space as the sole issue is fruitful for a lot of reasons.

      But I DO believe that occupying public space is very important and I have made it a part of my current activism (Overpass Light Brigade). We have conflicts with police, but because we legally occupy public space for a very short time, we can come to consensus with the law about it. The Solidarity Sing Along in the WI Capitol is also about temporarily occupying public space and they get a lot of legal hassles about it. But their movement is NOT about confronting the police.

      However, I will say that the Occupy movement made just how clear it is that we live in a police state and how much of our so-called public space is not public at all. That is extremely valuable, particularly to groups of people who generally have no interaction, or positive interactions, with law enforcement. When middle-aged middle-class white people have problems with the police (ie: me), it changes how they view structures of power very personally.

      •  Thumbs up to Overpass Light Brigade (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude

        It is one more excellent manifestation of the OWS spirit in raising awareness.

        "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

        by Catte Nappe on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:57:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Turning a public park (0+ / 0-)

      previously available to everyone into a private "encampment" which denies the general public the park's intended use is not "reclaiming the public space" . . . it is just a gang of thugs taking what they want in obvious disregard of the rights of everyone else.

      And the gang of thugs "voting" that it's OK to do that is not "democracy".

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:30:17 AM PST

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      •  Move on over to Red State, 'kay? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        farmerchuck, gulfgal98

        Good Lord: "gang of thugs".

        sheesh... what utter contemptible crap.

      •  I disagree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        farmerchuck, gulfgal98, James Kresnik

        Occupying a park doesn't prevent other people from accessing that park.  They simply have to share it with the other people who are there...which is the case on any given day anyway.  Isn't it?

        Are you referring to Occupy as "thugs" because you don't like their presence in public spaces or because you actually believe they are thugs?  

        "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

        by Triscula on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:15:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In fact it does (0+ / 0-)

          "prevent other people from accessing that park".  Turning an urban park into an "encampment" denies use of the space for its intended purpose to all the potential users of the space except the "campers".  It essentially "privatizes" the space for a few, removing it from the public use for which it was intended by those who developed it for public use in the first place.  Parks are "shared space" . . . they are no longer being shared when someone squats a tent and sets up housekeeping there . . . even public campgrounds have (necessary) limits on how long any single group can stay.

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:38:10 PM PST

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          •  Occupy has moved on. You haven't. (0+ / 0-)
          •  I can't figure out what you object to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barleystraw

            Is it the camping?  The extended presence?  The large numbers of people?  Protest in public space?  Help me out here.  Protests are generally held in public spaces and public parks certainly qualify as public space.  Do you feel that people with a grievance should simply stay home and write to their congressman?  

            Sometimes the push for change is inconvenient.  It might cause some inconvenience to picnickers occasionally.  

            "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

            by Triscula on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:26:58 PM PST

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    •  My city's "occupy" group meets at the library. (0+ / 0-)

      In a reserved room.  At least they did.  I haven't been to the downstairs recently.

      Even if you couldn't get a room, all you have to do is a) meet and plan and b) go to your own homes.  You don't have to camp out together.  

      The concept that one has to live together, in a park or otherwise, to communicate and organize isn't true, and if that's what Occupy believed, it would explain a lot of wasted time fighting over real estate.

      One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

      by Inland on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:55:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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