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Yes! Top 10 Ways the Occupy Movement Changes Everything

Almost all Conservatives accept a meme describing the Occupy Movement as directionless and incoherent. Ironically, many Progressive activists are also perplexed by the amorphous nature of this new movement. Yes! magazine counters with a concise and clear statement summarizing the importance of the Occupy Movement:

Ten Ways the Occupy Movement Changes Everything
Many question whether this movement can really make a difference. The truth is that it is already changing everything. Here’s how.

1. It names the source of the crisis.
Political insiders have avoided this simple reality: The problems of the 99% are caused in large part by Wall Street greed, perverse financial incentives, and a corporate takeover of the political system. Now that this is understood, the genie is out of the bottle and it can’t be put back in.

2. It provides a clear vision of the world we want.
We can create a world that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest 1%. And we, the 99%, are using the spaces opened up by the Occupy movement to conduct a dialogue about the world we want.

3. It sets a new standard for public debate.
Those advocating policies and proposals must now demonstrate that their ideas will benefit the 99%. Serving only the 1% will not suffice, nor will claims that the subsidies and policies that benefit the 1% will eventually “trickle down.”

4. It presents a new narrative.
The solution is not to starve government or impose harsh austerity measures that further harm middle-class and poor people already reeling from a bad economy. Instead, the solution is to free society and government from corporate dominance. A functioning democracy is our best shot at addressing critical social, environmental, and economic crises.

5. It creates a big tent.
We, the 99%, are people of all ages, races, occupations, and political beliefs. We will resist being divided or marginalized. We are learning to work together with respect.

6. It offers everyone a chance to create change.
No one is in charge; no organization or political party calls the shots. Anyone can get involved, offer proposals, support the occupations, and build the movement. Because leadership is everywhere and new supporters keep turning up, there is a flowering of creativity and a resilience that makes the movement nearly impossible to shut down.

7. It is a movement, not a list of demands.
The call for deep change—not temporary fixes and single-issue reforms—is the movement’s sustaining power. The movement is sometimes criticized for failing to issue a list of demands, but doing so could keep it tied to status quo power relationships and policy options. The occupiers and their supporters will not be boxed in.

8. It combines the local and the global.
People in cities and towns around the world are setting their own local agendas, tactics, and aims. What they share in common is a critique of corporate power and an identification with the 99%, creating an extraordinary wave of global solidarity.

9. It offers an ethic and practice of deep democracy and community.
Slow, patient decision-making in which every voice is heard translates into wisdom, common commitment, and power. Occupy sites are set up as communities in which anyone can discuss grievances, hopes, and dreams, and where all can experiment with living in a space built around mutual support.

10. We have reclaimed our power.
Instead of looking to politicians and leaders to bring about change, we can see now that the power rests with us. Instead of being victims to the forces upending our lives, we are claiming our sovereign right to remake the world.

Each Occupy site has it’s own dynamic. This is a diverse movement with regional and even significant local interests. Despite this diversity, the Yes! list is a remarkably good fit for every site I have visited from Boston to Chapel Hill. The Yes! article was adapted from the book, “This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement” just published this November.
- Iron Filing

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2 Comments

  1. Arthanyel wrote:

    This is a great summation. You can even boil it down to three major bullets, which are about ending “Casinoism” in the US:

    1) The rules of the financial and social contracts are set up to unfairly benefit the top 1%

    2) The people that write and enforce those rules are a majority owned subsidiary of the 1%

    3) The solution is for the 99% to exercise their power to correct #1 and #2, and that all voices need to be heard.

    If we could find a charismatic person that would make an excellent President and can raise enough money (required until we change the system) to be the front man for an independent campaign, they might just win – and some Democrats and a few Repulicans in Congress might defect.

    The core of the problem is the corruption of the process by money, and that is where it has to be attacked. We can not eliminate all monetary influence – I am not even sure we should eliminate ALL of it – but we CAN make it the tail, not the dog.

    For a reasonable read about this problem, pick up “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It” by Lawrence Lessig

    Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    Anyone know where I can get a 99% T shirt? I went to cafe press. All anti Obama and pro Rebublican.

    Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink