Two Years Later Occupy Wall Street is Gone but Narrative Lives On
There was a rally at Zuccotti Park today to mark the 2-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. About 100 people showed up, many of the them there to claim the defunct movement was still alive.
"We're still here, still fighting, still strong" spokesperson Sumumba Sobukwe told the crowd. Cathy O'Neil handed out copies of her book Occupy Finance. She told the crowd the book was written to explain "how the systems uses us, how the bankers scam us..."
Huffington Post ran a piece titled "How 7 Occupy Wall Street Issues Stack Up 2 Years Later." The answer is not very good. Of the seven topics in their list only one--the foreclosure rate--has shown improvement. That of course had nothing to do with Occupy.
Author Chris Hedges was on hand and gave the following brief interview. As you can see, he's a bit more realistic about what led to the downfall of the movement and why "Occupy" probably is not coming back. Nevertheless, he claims something else will take its place.
Hedges might be right. Occupy is a corpse but the left is good at recycling things. In fact, there is one Senator who previously took credit for Occupy who is still giving anti-corporate tirades warning of the takeover of the Supreme Court by big business.
Ramesh Ponnuru critiqued Sen. Warren's latest effort, noting that the study she is relying on has significant problems. But the strength of her speech isn't in the details, it's the grand narrative borrowed from Occupy, i.e. your failure is not your own.
Like Occupy, Warren envisions a Manichean world divided between powerful interests at the top and everyone else. This is a message that already has a foothold in the Democratic Party. It just lacks someone like Warren who can present it to the masses in a pink suit without all the sensory baggage of Zuccotti Park.
Occupy is dead but some of its DNA has been passed on to others.