Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

They say it's your birthday

They say it's your birthday

I'm sure all Attytood readers will want to join me in wishing a very happy one-year birthday to Occupy Wall Street. Here's my piece in today's Daily News:

In a world where political movements and fads rise and fall faster than you can say "Hula-Hoop," the Occupy movement that started on Wall Street on Sept. 17, 2011, has been a shooting star - one that burned brightly for a brief American autumn, its trail now still faintly visible in the evening sky.

The left-leaning protest movement injected the term "the 1 Percent" and a much-needed debate about income inequality into the national conversation, but there didn't seem to be a Plan B after police shut down the original encampments as last winter arrived. Or, arguably, there were a slew of Plan Bs, none of which took hold - May Day marches, a July 4 quasi-convention here in Philadelphia, smallish protests at the recent political conventions that were dwarfed by law enforcement's helmet-clad armies.

The list of reasons for Occupy's sputtering malaise in 2012 is almost as long as its roster of underwhelming protests. In addition to burnout, there's the failure to focus on one or two core issues, its leaderless style, its penchant for endless meetings, its shunning of electoral politics in a presidential election year and an increasingly confrontational tone with police, including worries about violence on the fringe.

But while experts on the movement tend to agree with most or all of those criticisms, they also stress that another reason some of the movement's less-committed backers have drifted away is success. Occupy caught on with traditional liberals who were frustrated that no one in either party or in the news media was talking about the income gap or issues like student debt. Since then, President Obama and some Democrats have talked the talk - even as action in gridlocked Washington remains elusive.

The article kind of speaks for itself...so read it.

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