At the top of the list of what the Occupy movement accomplished is, “We surprised ourselves.”
By “we,” I mean anyone residing on the left. To be on the left is to be intimate with defeat. Sometimes defeat is heroic, as with the Spanish Civil War. Sometimes it’s betrayal, as with the fate of the Russian Revolution. Defeat can be bewildering, as in, “What happened to that moment of Feb. 15, 2003?” Often it’s just depressing, like the delirious 60s that gave way to the tortuous 80s.
Regular contributor to Indy Reader, Bonnie Lane, was among ten Baltimore activists who traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina before the opening of the Democratic National Convention. They joined 2,500 people from throughout the South and across the country to participate in March On Wall Street South.
Last fall, 2011’s Occupy Baltimore Movement inspired many individuals to action. On the same token, it also incited a great deal of controversy and arguably exemplified, in microcosm, many of our society's systemic issues. In this article, Gaeng brings to light some of those intricacies, as well as discusses possibilities for the movement's post-occupation future.
When a calll went out in early October to “occupy” Baltimore, roughly 200 people gathered to discuss possible locations for an encampment. One initial proposal was to occupy the site of a proposed youth jail in East Baltimore, a facility that would cost the state $104 million—money that could be used for an under-funded public education system and neglected recreation centers.
Indyreader collective member, Stephen Roblin, reviews Gar Alperovitz's 2005 study "America Beyond Capitalism" in our Spring 2012 print issue: Occupy the Economy. Roblin argues that because of the Occupy movement, Alperovitz's book is more relevant today than ever. Roblin states,"The reasons stem from Alperovitz’s deep understanding of the systemic crisis of the U.S. political-economic system. They also stem from his insights into the obstacles that prevent meaningful movement beyond this crisis (and others) and how to overcome them."
The State has plans to build a new "Youth Jail" in East Baltimore that is projected to cost more than $100 million. Stacey Gurian-Sherman argues that effective preventive alternatives are available. From the new Indypendent Reader issue: "Occupy the Economy".
The Occupy movement is many things; on one hand, it is a mass movement of protest and occupation, on the other a cultural phenomenon producing countless small projects, affinity groups, and organizing efforts. Baltimore's Luminous Intervention, a combination of performance, projection, street art, and storytelling launched by a new collective called Greenpants, is of the latter.
On May 1st, Baltimore activists celebrated May Day — the real labor day — by holding a rally near Lexington Market and marching to the Inner Harbor's McKeldin Square, where they met over one hundred other activists celebrating the historic and ongoing struggle for workers' rights.
After Occupy Wall Street claimed Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park in mid-September 2011, Occupy encampments spread rapidly throughout the country and beyond. Dominant institutions like the mainstream mass media have been forced to give a glance towards the extreme rise in income and wealth inequality over the last thirty years and the corporate domination of the US political-economic system.