First, let's face facts. A lot of people, including most of the media, wrote off the Occupy Movement as elected officials and law enforcement shut down encampments and started treating them like terrorists. Even as the movement came out of hibernation and into the unusually warm end of winter sun, the skepticism remained. Yet in the wake of the six month celebration on St. Patrick's Day and actions planned for the future, Occupy is alive and well.
The media has in too many instances misrepresented what Occupy, and in particular Occupy Wall St. has accomplished. This became obvious to me back in October, when OWS was still in Liberty Square/Zucotti Park. It was then that I heard two local television reporters discussing what new "angle" they could find to insert in their next report. There's nothing overtly sinister about this, reporters do it all the time. The problem comes when they can't wrap their brains around the most obvious "angle" of all. Occupy Wall St. was about a simple message, and in the end it has resonated throughout this country and around the world.
The widening income inequality that has flowed from the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression needs to be addressed. And now, Occupy Wall St. is addressing other issues. Wednesday night it's the Million Hoodie March, in support of Trayvon Martin, the 17 year old shot dead with a bag of Skittles in his pocket in Sanford, Fla.. Police bruality against OWS will also be the subject of a march and rally. And then, on May 1st, a rally to end all rallies. While this awakening takes place, despite the irrelevent reports of money problems and the like, one question remains, for Occupy Wall St. and its sister movements around the nation and world. Will new encampments be found, and occupied?
There are certain things and certain people in life you learn not to bet against, no matter what the odds. I have a friend who has been giving the most wonderful parties New York City has ever seen, and he's been doing it for more than 40 years. Lots of people thought he was done 20 years ago. Like my friend, Occupy Wall St. has been pilloried, mocked, and left for dead.
Don't take that bet.
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