Much of your support for my participation in – and coverage of — Occupy Movement has been steady, steadfast and unwavering. The people that live with me in McPherson Square have sacrificed to be here. We are the ones who have put our bodies on the front lines facing the threat of police abuse, braved the elements and sacrificed the convenience of a normal life to improve the quality of life for everyone. What you can do to help is to ensure that the message is broadcast consistently and clearly.
I talk with many people everyday who ask me, “Can the Occupy Movement survive?” Yes.
The movement can not only survive – but it can succeed. However, there are some needed changes in tactics for it to succeed. We’re at a turning point at OccupyDC and depending on which way it turns will determine which sign we’re able to hold up. Either the sign will read, “We submit” or “We won”.
There are three things that need to happen though
The Occupy Movement needs to get out of the parks and squares and into the street. The people who reside in the halls of government and business and finance don’t come into the parks. They stay out of earshot and view of the occupation movement. We need to get in their face, eyes and ears for them to understand that this movement is NOT going away.
Next, the participants in the Occupy movement must let go of the sometimes childish notion of absolute anarchy. A philosophy professor defined anarchy as, “Not being the absence of leaders, but the natural emergence of natural leaders.” In other words, the leaders become leaders through the process of natural selection and not through a vote or election…but rather by consensus.
As long as the movement in general refuses to acknowledge that leaders are needed, there won’t be a course set for this ship to follow. We’ll continue to wander aimlessly and purposely through the future.
If that happens, then why SHOULD anyone pay attention to the movement?
Finally, the movement has to be real and has to hit the one percent where they will feel it the most. Too many protestors stop into Starbucks on their way to the protest and continue to buy their clothes, iPads and iPods at the “big box” stores – the precise places that the occupation says is a “greedy corporation”. Nationally, there are approximately 24,000 active occupiers in the movement. Ralph Nader said recently that for every person occupying a park or a square, there are 100 people that support the movement. 24,000 times 100 comes to, well, let’s see…2.4 MILLION people supporting Occupy-fill-in-the-blank.
Do you think if 2.4 million people were to start voting for economic change through their purchases that we might finally get the attention of the 1%?
You’re darn tootin’ we would.
Jerry Nelson is a nationally recognized photojournalist. His work has appeared in many national, regional and local publications including CNN, USAToday, Upsurge, Earthwalkers and Associated Content and he is a regular contributor to Huffington Post as well as OpEdNews. Nelson travels the country seeking out the people, places and things that make America unique and great. Nelson currently is in Washington D.C. pointing his camera at OccupyDC and freelancing for The Washington Times the second largest paper in the nation’s capital.
CLICK HERE to see more of Nelson’s work or to hire him for a shoot.