Across the world, and in the Occupy Wall Street movement, the shouts of protest are getting louder. But will protest alone be enough? Experience suggests otherwise. Instead, we need to consider new methods of political change.
The aluminumadores in my neighborhood at least try to maintain some kind of dignity in spite of their humiliating circumstances. Contrast that with what I witnessed at the upscale party, where a wealthy man groveled and whined just to get his friends inside.
The genie is out of the bottle. People around the world are claiming their power. That energy cannot be forced, coerced, bribed or beaten back into that the old controlling structures, systems or mindsets.
We scholars can no longer stay in our armchairs, assuming that solely studying the digital world is sufficient without putting our bodies in the physical space, or importing old guard positivism into the field without first learning the contemporary dimensions of grassroots activism.
A delegation from the Council of Elders (veteran leaders of the freedom and peace movements of the mid-20th century) recently led an interfaith service at Zuccotti Park. Hundreds of OWS activists took part.
A look at the recent history of a movement similar to Occupy -- the Spanish indignados or 15M movement -- can shed some light on the opportunities and urgency of the new phase of the Occupy movements in the USA.
Just as the Tea Party gained power, the Occupy Movement can. The Occupy movement has raised awareness of a great many of America's real issues and has organized supporters across the country. Next comes electoral power.
With injustice rankling across society, it's amazing that the Occupy movement isn't more forceful and widespread. But I think there's a reason why. People are tired of extreme divisiveness, even when there's good reason to point out the bad guys and stand up to them.