Soon we approach the anniversary of the occupy movement, or at least the beginning of the movement on Wall Street, in the financial heart of the U.S. It's fair to ask now what did the movement of 99% accomplish if anything. I think that it did have an impact on many things, particular in America but there are still questions and issues to examine.

Occupy definitely brought to the public attention the gross inequality of the economic system in which most, a vast majority, is in the hands of a few people and institutions. I still recall how one wall street banker, after nearly bankrupting the bank that he presumably was the highest ranking official, was dismissed. He left that bank but not before receiving an approximately $10 million golden boot in the butt. Nice reward for abject failure, Although I don't know specifically if he followed in the footsteps of his predecessors and moved to consulting of even a staff job in the White House.

Occupy helped to expose this kind of injustice. I guess this is what passes for democracy in the U.S., in my eyes one of the most undemocratic democracies in the world. 

But by raising these issues, the interwoven, near seamless links between big banks and the White House, it sparked a major uproar against the oligarchy. It educated thousands, if not millions, of people about this gross inequality. They put this on the political and politicians had to address these issues and answer, in one degree or another, them. Definitely, a shift in the political landscape.

The same happened in Canada, but to a lesser degree. Is this economic entanglement still in place in Canada? It appears to be business as usual, but then again the Harper government does not have a sterling track record of listening to the public. It much prefers playing the stern father, passing down wisdom without much, if any, debate. Well, take solace Canada, an election will roll around and they will be tested on this record and hopefully be put out of business.

Occupy also gave so many people hope that the system could change and that people have the power, if they speak loudly and in concert, to change these inequalities. Whether that remains in place is debatable but the seeds were planted. I hope they bloom in the future.

But what hasn't occupy done. My main criticism is that they have failed to keep the issues on the front pages. It seems the movement has after winter lost momentum and traction it gained. This seems like a pattern among grass roots organization - how does it keep up the fervor that brought it to the public. I may be wrong about this in other places but where I live the movement has indeed dwindled from a river to a stream. Bless those who are still dedicated and working away.

I also think the movement had a glorious opportunity to get folks involved who would never dream of demonstrating but agreed with many occupy issues. Getting out the suburbs, getting these people involved through doing something in suburbs through community events, townhall meetings among other ideas.

So after a year, the results are mixed. However, I hold out hope. But even that is tenuous.



Leave a Reply.