Occupy: Your Concern is Shared!
I was just down there for the first time last night, and I was surprised by one thing in particular:
All the ‘mic checks’ (a way of using call and response as a human vocal amplifier) that were taking place in massive circles in the park were not discussing the “issues” that the protest has raised. THEY WERE ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY DISCUSSING STRATEGIES FOR FURTHER ORGANIZATION! But why?
The outcry against the banks, employment, mass media, and all the “issues” seem to be secondary. The assumption is that the “issues” are known, the GOAL for now is to VALIDATE those “issues” by showing communal support not just online but in person. By amassing a significant number of people, the 99% aims to denounce the misconception that only an educated few are concerned about the issues, and present visual evidence that this is a widespread concern.
This is much like the example of the women’s feminist movement of the ’60s and ’70s that is discussed in Zandt’s ShareThis. People sit at home and validate their concerns with their immediate contacts, but are unsure if anyone outside that sphere feels the same. Occupy Wall St. does not have a set of demands because the first objective is not to bring down the banks, rather to SHOW EVERYONE THAT THEIR CONCERNS ARE SHARED. The internet enables us, but it is only accessible to those who engage with it. Bringing people together in a central public space is a way to take the validation of concerns that exists on the web and manifest it in real life. Occupy Wall St. is a real life representation of the openness of the internet; it is not a traditional protest.
The Virus is Spreading. Mwahaha.