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The Evolution of Occupy Wall Street, Its Success, and Its Ul

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Brandon Morande

on 13 June 2014

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Transcript of The Evolution of Occupy Wall Street, Its Success, and Its Ul


The Evolution of Occupy Wall Street, Its Success, and Its Ultimate Fallout

About the Occupy Movement:
Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered mass movement that began on September 17th, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. Its global reach has spanned over 100 cities in the United States and in actions in over 1,500 cities globally.
Occupy Wall Street is "a progressive force to repel the power of major banks and multinational cooperations over American government. Further, it aims to expose the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused one of the greatest historical recessions."

This movement is inspired by the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt – specifically the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, which consisted of demonstrations, marches, plaza occupations, riots, non-violent civil resistance, acts of civil disobedience, and labor strikes.

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City -


Excerpt; “As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.”

Principles of Solidarity -


Excerpt; “We spoke out, resisted, and successfully occupied Wall Street. Today, we proudly remain in Liberty Square constituting ourselves as autonomous political beings engaged in non-violent civil disobedience and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance, and love. It is from these reclaimed grounds that we say to all Americans and to the world, Enough! How many crises does it take? We are the 99% and we have moved to reclaim our mortgaged future. Through a direct democratic process, we have come together as individuals and crafted these principles of solidarity…”

Statement of Autonomy -


Excerpt; “Occupy Wall Street is a people’s movement. It is party-less, leaderless, by the people and for the people. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand. It is not for sale. We welcome all, who, in good faith, petition for a redress of grievances through non-violence. We provide a forum for peaceful assembly of individuals to engage in participatory democracy. We welcome dissent.”

Resolution to End Corporate Personhood –



>The OWS Declaration of the Occupation of New York City states “a democratic government derives its just power from the people, not from corporations”

and, whereas

>An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 83% of Americans oppose the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which affirmed that corporations are people

and, whereas

>By supporting an end to corporate personhood, OWS clearly aligns itself with the vast majority of Americans who oppose the fundamentally flawed and antidemocratic concept that corporations are people,

Therefore –

The General Assembly supports a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.
As society becomes more connected with technology, social media plays an integral role in spreading civil rights movements, particular the Occupy Movement. As the Occupy Movement spread, both online and in activity, it deviated from its original plans of nonviolence and progress. The movement became unconstrained, with media overshadowing its successes. Consequently, facing aggression from all sectors of society, the movement met its ultimate demise.
"On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices."
- July 13, 2011
2011: Occupy Wall Street begins: CNN
Peace; Acts of Civil Responsibility; Seems to be a respectable movement given basic principles and ideology.

- September 17, 2011
- October 1, 2011
The Huffington Post


"Occupy D.C. is an open community of diverse individuals, facing different forms of oppression and impacted by economic exploitation to differing degrees, but united by a shared vision of equality for the common good. The harsh economic conditions that have plagued the poor, working class, and communities of color for generations have begun to affect the previously financially secure. This acute awareness of our common fate has united us in our struggle for a better future. We recognize that inequality and injustice systemically affect every aspect of our society: our communities, homes, and hearts. To build the world we envision, we commit ourselves to overcoming our personal biases so we can successfully challenge systems of oppression in solidarity."

October 16, 2011: Dr. Cornel West, activist and Princeton University professor, was arrested along with 18 other people while protesting on the Supreme Court steps.

October 29, 2011: Students from Howard University joined the Occupy D.C. protesters with the goal of bringing more racial diversity to the protest.

November 4, 2011: Occupy D.C. held a protest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center where political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity held their annual Defending the American Dream Summit, attended by conservative politicians and activists.

December 4, 2011: After a confrontation with the police, 31 protesters were arrested after refusing to take down and dismount from an unfinished wooden building they had built for the winter.

December 27, 2011: The two original organizers of the Freedom Plaza occupation divorce themselves from the occupation, rejecting the general assembly's leaderless, consensus decision making process. They deny the general assembly control over the original website and of the donated funds.

January 17, 2012: A rally and occupation of the United States Capitol, Washington's D.C.'s legislative body and the meeting place of the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

Feb 4, 2012- Police raid and cordon off sections of the park in order to allow sanitation workers to remove hazardous materials and tents not in compliance with the ban on camping.

Jun 10, 2012: Occupy DC protesters remove remaining tents from McPherson Square, stating that protests will continue.

"In Boston as in other areas, while officially maintaining a position of “no politics,” protest organizers have welcomed visits by representatives of the two big-business parties, as well as the support of trade union officials responsible for imposing draconian concessions on their memberships.

On October 15, protest organizers offered a tour of the Occupy Boston grounds to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a long-time Democratic Party operative who has presided over millions of dollars of budget cuts in the state and attacked state workers’ rights. "

John Marion - World Socialist Web Site
As he spoke with the pre-selected Occupy Boston organizers, however, a number of protesters expressed their outrage with his being paraded through the grounds. A member of Veterans for Peace called out, “He’s part of the problem! I don’t know why they’re fawning over him.”

Kate Randall - World Socialist Web Site
One young organizer said he was glad the governor had come, commenting, “The role of elected officials is to see what we’re making of democracy and then support it. And I hope that you’ll do that.” This same individual informed the governor that some Occupy Boston protesters arrested the previous week still faced charges. “When you figure out where you stand on this,” the young man asked politely, “we’d like to know.”

Kate Randall - World Socialist Web Site

"I'm not condoning violence, and I'm not condemning it," said Occupy Oaklander Cat Brooks. "I'm just saying that 99 percent of the time when violence happens, it's police who start it. And you have to do what you have to do."
“'Officers were pelted with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares,' the police statement said. Officers responded by firing smoke and tear gas canisters and beanbags, and they initially arrested 20 people."


- September 30, 2011
November 2, 2011
- 15 October 2011
236 Days
- 15 October 2011
- 15 May 2011
- 15 October 2011
- 2011
across Turkey
- May 2011
That Achieved So Much
Effective General Strike - Nov. 2

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza to participate in rallies, marches, and teach-ins designed to empower citizens and to draw attention to economic inequity and corporate greed as part of the 2011 Oakland general strike. Some estimate that the march to the Port of Oakland drew as much as 100,000 protesters.
November 5 –
A downtown Oakland Wells Fargo branch closed for business because of the roughly 100 immigrant rights protesters who marched from Occupy Oakland's encampment to protest the bank's connection to companies that run immigrant detention centers.

"It'll only get one result: to scare the vast majority of Italians and nurture in them a desire for a strongman...We've remained in the era of radio and television," he added. Indeed, the rest of the protest movement's participants across the globe looked on the Roman violence with dismay."

Hassan Bogdan Pautàs
"In the heat of the moment, it seems that today in Rome we've seen the worst [violence] in all of Europe — very dangerous people...I was very impressed by the reaction of the majority of the protesters. Never before have there been cheers when the police intervened."

Rome's Mayor Gianni Alemanno

Stephan Faris - 16 Oct. 2011
"What matters is we've been able to come together and meet a lot of people who have all formed networks, both nationally and internationally, to make our voices heard against the crisis which the banks have created and the corporate greed."

Catherine Brogan - OL Member
"You have shown that anti-capitalistic and other progressive protests do not have to be one-day wonders with violent disorder and breathless commentary, but that they can be patient and respectful even in the face of those which you say are destroying our society and our planet."

David Allen Green - London Lawyer
There's nothing left of the physical camp, but what of the ideas that lived here? Did they cause any ripples outside of this small community? Or was it all for nothing?

-BBC News
6.5 - 8 Million People
15-M Movement
"Starbucks at Istanbul’s Bogazici University campus had been occupied by students, the protesters stayed in the store overnight.

Istanbul / NationalTurk – Starbucks at Istanbul Bogazici University Campus was occupied by students last night in Istanbul, the protesters blocked all entries to the newly opened Starbucks store at the campus and protested in a peacefully manner where they have stayed overnight, ate food they brought with and sang.

The students of Bogazici University, one of the globally renown and quality universities in Turkey, occupied a newly opened Starbucks store at the Bogazici University Northern campus in Istanbul protesting the University administration for opening the university campus area to international brands and thus making it a market rather than using it for educational purposes. They stayed in the store overnight, used the kitchen of Starbucks to cook meals and sang. Academicians have are reported to have showed support to the students."

NATIONAL TURK - 07 Aralik 2011


Total number of tweets related to Occupy Wall Street between September 2011 and September 2012.
Attention allocation of 25,000 randomly selected Occupy users to each of three topics: Occupy Wall Street, domestic politics, and revolutionary social movements.
Proportion of all retweet and mention traffic, regardless of content, from 25,000 randomly selected Occupy users involving another individual who produced at least one Occupy-related tweet.
"We examine the temporal evolution of digital communication activity relating to the American anti-capitalist movement Occupy Wall Street. Using a high-volume sample from the microblogging site Twitter, we investigate changes in Occupy participant engagement, interests, and social connectivity over a fifteen month period starting three months prior to the movement's first protest action. The results of this analysis indicate that, on Twitter, the Occupy movement tended to elicit participation from a set of highly interconnected users with pre-existing interests in domestic politics and foreign social movements. These users, while highly vocal in the months immediately following the birth of the movement, appear to have lost interest in Occupy related communication over the remainder of the study period."

Michael D. Conover mail, Emilio Ferrara, Filippo Menczer, Alessandro Flammini

Occupy 2012, Movement Struggles to Maintain Momentum
As a result of being undermined by violence and opposition by both sides of political spectrum, the movement is forced to try new tasks.
* Protesters target campaign trail

* Unions, students hold key in 2012

* Focus on new tech, social media tools

"Occupy has been likened to the conservative Tea Party movement, which emerged in 2009 and helped elect dozens of Republicans. But many in the Occupy movement specifically reject electoral politics, which they see as hopelessly tainted by money. Relationships with labor unions, the natural allies of Occupy when it comes to electoral politics, have been a mixed bag, with some unions, notably National Nurses United, strongly backing the protesters while others have kept their distance."
"And one of its more successful initiatives has been a campaign urging consumers to move their money from the commercial banks to not-for-profit credit unions; in a little over a month, credit unions pulled in hundreds of thousands of new customers. Bank of America also scrapped a widely criticized $5 monthly fee for debit cards."
"On the West Coast, demonstrators have twice picketed at ports, shutting down shipping terminals for up to 24 hours. But truckers, stevedores and longshoremen who refused to cross picket lines lost pay, raising the question of whom the action was helping, or hurting."
"Questions about physical space have stimulated a debate within the movement. Some argue that camps are essential as bases for operations, as dramatic symbols or as model egalitarian communities. Others say housekeeping and organizational challenges in the camps have drained the group's energy away from more effective tactics for social change. "
Many questioned the relevance of the movement.

It had grown to accept all members of society, and with this, all issues are being brought forth.

What was this impact?

- Original Activists lost interest?
- Schism grew between protesters?
- Too broad a call for action?
- Too radical? Too moderate?
- Democracy in America too formal?
- Or Were Hundreds of Thousands of Protests Simply Too Small a Force?
- Protests too violent and uncontrolled?
In America, protest movements are often seen as threatening displacements of an established hierarchy.
They face much opposition to start, often seen as fringe aggression.
No matter how justified they are, they present a contrast from the norm. Thus, they are often halted...sometimes for decades.
As a result, they look for other tactics, they diversify - sometimes for the better, other times for the worst.
And with time, they do achieve - but only with time.
Yet, will it live on...in idealistic spirit?
The 99% occupied society, culture, media, and political sectors for months. In many regions of the world, the 99% remains fighting.
They showed the world that they were not afraid of the oppressors. They would not play to a level of corruption. The majority stood separate from the violence that soon infiltrated the leaderless, leader-filled movement.
Media misrepresented, undermining efforts, yet it allowed the movement to spread...worldwide.
The Occupy Movement was a step forward, and now that the ideals are in motion, America may be ready for motion.
This was a prototype. Clearly, the movement fell short in tactics, organization, and alignment in one direction. It grew too broad, too quick; people disagreed on means of action - yet that is history.
Unfortunately...this skewed the public's perception from the movement's real successes.
Give it time - Give us time - Give America time
a presentation brought to you by
TheTruthw/aTouchofBias Media

Brandon Morande
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