The movement that captivated the media and leftwing idiots for a few weeks back in 2011 “celebrates” their second anniversary today. You’re sure to see all sorts of romanticized retrospectives, including drivel like this from a current BuzzFeed cub reporter waxing nostalgic in the New York Daily News.
The bloom eventually came off the rose, and there are two examples that pretty neatly sum up what went wrong. One: the Radiohead hoax, when the occupiers were tricked into thinking that the band was going to perform in their camp in early October. It turned out to be a cruel joke and you couldn’t exactly blame them, but it was embarrassing nonetheless and spoke to their naiveté just as they were being hailed as the most forward-looking social movement in the country.
The other happened the week before the Zuccotti eviction at a Spokes Council meeting, the format Occupy adopted after the General Assembly devolved into an unmitigated mess, and that quickly became every bit as messy itself. Attending one held at Murray Bergtraum high school, members of the media were instructed to identify ourselves and our outlets while the organizers took a “temperature check” to gauge which news outlets were approved or disapproved. My face felt hot as a high school gymnasium full of people greeted my announcement that I was from the Voice with silence and a few fluttering fingers to indicate ambivalence or mild approval.
Will Occupy return to stake out a new protest campground this year? I don’t know. In any struggle, tactics shift as we learn from experience and experiment with new ways of growing grassroots power. Ours is still a project in its infancy, forever evolving, building upon the successes of the civil rights and antiwar movements, the anti-globalization and women’s rights struggles, among many other calls for social and economic justice.
Two years ago today, demonstrators gathered in the financial district to protest income inequality and the influence of money on politics.It was the birth of Occupy Wall Street.
Among the movement’s early defenders was Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate — and now the Democratic mayoral candidate.
And so today presents a moment to examine what Mr. de Blasio’s role in Occupy Wall Street might mean for the race.
In October 2011, when the authorities threatened to halt the occupation of Zuccotti Park, Mr. de Blasio spoke there.
He urged officials to honor a “heartfelt movement that’s speaking to what people are feeling all over this country.”
In recent weeks, Mr. de Blasio’s proposal to tax the 1 percent has spurred his campaign.
(His critics, it’s worth noting, say he has accepted plenty of campaign money from corporate interests.)
Occupy organizers played a leading role in disaster relief after Superstorm Sandy hit the region last year.