Even some of the founders of the Occupy movement say it may be petering out.
Last September, organizers set up its first encampment in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. Within weeks, it had spread all over the world. But these days, the Occupy cause seems to lack the momentum it once had -- a fact that hasn't escaped the writers at Adbusters, the Canadian counterculture magazine that first issued the call for a "flood" of demonstrators in New York's financial district.
"Burned out, out of money, out of ideas... seduced by salaries, comfy offices, book deals, old lefty cash and minor celebrity status, some of the most prominent early heroes of our leaderless uprising are losing the edge that catalyzed last year's one thousand encampments," unnamed authors at Adbusters wrote in a blog post this week (h/t New York Magazine).
What's needed now, say the authors, is "a global cascade of flash encampments" -- small, flexible groups of Occupiers who can organize "without waiting for approval from any preexisting General Assembly."
Though the tents in Zuccotti Park may be gone, Occupy hasn't exactly been out of the news lately. A May 1 protest registered on both sides of the Atlantic; activists have been fighting to prevent evictions in Minneapolis and Washington D.C., among other places; and members of the movement recently announced plans for a major rally in Philadelphia this summer.
But the movement has grown less visible and seemingly more diffuse over the last several months, as city after city has moved to uproot any demonstrators who look settled in. It's harder these days for Occupy to occupy anything.
Some protesters have managed to stay in one place, but they've had to take more and more vigorous measures to do so -- like the Minneapolis Occupiers who have repeatedly entered the same foreclosed home, even after the police chased them off the property and boarded up the house.
The Adbusters post applauds the "edgy tenacity" of these protesters, holding them up -- along with a group of Occupiers in Berkeley who reportedly cut through a locked fence and set up camp on what Adbusters describes as "a tract of endangered urban agricultural land" -- as an example of how the movement might conduct itself going forward.
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