Occupy Effectiveness

Posted 19 November 2011 by

What does the Occupy movement want to accomplish?

I get that people are angry about things. In 2008, President Obama won his election with a call for change. In 2010, a number of Democrats had their hats handed to them because they did not understand that mandate for change.

(Some of you may disagree with my assessment. In reply, I ask you to consider how Republicans have lost significant popularity in Ohio and Wisconsin after people found out the real Republican agenda after the 2010 elections.)

It is no wonder that the Occupy Wall Street movement started. Lack of banking controls and job creation, along with lack of responsibility for driving the economy off the rails has most of us angry. All of us can identify with the anger.

However, what does the Occupy movement want to accomplish?

We Never Forget: Bloody Sunday Everett, November 5, 1916

We Never Forget: Bloody Sunday Everett, November 5, 1916

Americans identify with the underdog and the person who shakes up the status quo. There is strong identity with the concept of democracy and being steadfast for one’s beliefs.

Because of this, the Occupy movement gained the floor but lacked a clear agenda. Americans also like a winner. Without a clear agenda, you never have a finish line to cross.

“We are all leaders.” The Occupy movement did not originate that line. Wobblies died saying this when trying to occupy the Everett Waterfront on November 5, 1916. The difference is that the Wobblies had an agenda to stand up for workers that day.

However, what does the Occupy movement want to accomplish?

Hooverville from west (June 20, 1933), Seattle, Washington

Hooverville from west (June 20, 1933), Seattle, Washington (from Seattle Municipal Archives)

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Hoovervilles¬†developed as an enduring legacy from that period. In one sense, they were very non-political, as their purpose was only provided the displaced a way to live and survive. In another sense, they were extremely political, as they tugged at a nation’s conscience.

People pulling together to better their lot goes engenders support. It is the underdogs doing what they can to improve their lot. They do not look like supporters of urban camping experiences. This cannot be understood as an unruly group trying to keep me from getting home after a long day at work.

However, what does the Occupy movement want to accomplish?

Setting up tents on a small city park or courthouse lawn only looks like a movement to support urban camping. It is not even sure who or what they protest against in such surroundings. For example, in Everett, Washington, it is not as if the Snohomish County Government can do much, if anything, to remedy the problems at hand.

While I may be frustrated with what is happening politically and economically, I am in no position to dictate solutions to a movement where everyone is a leader. However, I will make a modest proposal that these protestors may wish to consider at each of their General Assemblies.

Each Occupy encampment in each city should find an appropriate peace of public land on which to establish the 2011 version of a Hooverville. This is, establish a working communities for the displaced named in honor of Hon. John Boehner, a Republican and current speaker of the US House of Representatives. A Boehnerville could be a place for protection, encouragement, and education in a large city.

It is not as if there are not urban encampments of the unemployed in US cities already. The difference would be moving the encampments from hiding under the freeway overpasses to become a beacon of what are the problems.

Create libraries. Dispense health care. Improve self-worth.

Advertise where capitalism fails. Contradict trickle-down economics. Give hope to the hopeless.

Do it in a way that does not hurt those with jobs who would be your natural supporters.

Occupy Boehnerville.

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