Future of the Occupy Movement

Now that the Occupy movement is going global there are a few things to take under consideration. The first being the use of the masked character from the movie V is for Vendetta, which was adapted from a graphic novel. While the imagery that this character that is conjured up from this character is evocative, this message behind the image could get lost on the billions of people worldwide who have neither seen this movie nor read the graphic novel. To far too many, this image might simply appear to be a way in which to disguise the speaker’s identity and this is in turn could alienate other 99%ers who are not looking to join a secretive organization fronted by a mask wielding character. Another problem that those who are in need of saving, but complacent might have with this character is that he advocated that blowing up government facilities and I doubt that is the message that the Occupy movement wants to be associated with, especially in these early stages. This idea not only intimidates those who are waiting to see what happens in the coming days, weeks, months, but it justifies the authorizes fear of a non-violent movement turning violent. Yet another reason to distance the Occupy movement from this character is that anyone can play him. All you have to do is go to a costume store and buy the mask for no more than $20 and you become the symbolic leader of a leaderless movement. Imagine the masked man put out messages that tell people to, not only resist the corruption of Wall Street, but to fight against all authority, utilizing both non-violent and violent tactics. For most at the Occupy movement, this message would fall on deaf ears, but for those more militant factions, this could be a call to action. And regardless of the size of the violence, this type of behavior would jeopardize the entire movement, because violence is not an option. Violence begets violence and those currently in charge have an abundance of weapons and ammunition: The U.S. government had over 600 billion for defense spending in 2010, which was over 43% of military expenditures for the entire planet and as we’ve seen with the police in New York, those who are supposed to protect us could easily be set against us, even when they have more in common with those they are attacking than those who are ordering the attacks. Put another way, if the wealthy, elite, powerful in the U.S. decided to turn against its people, it would take the rest of the entire world to help us out. For this reason, violent methods are no means to an end in this instance. My final point about the masked character that seems to be dominating the internet is related to the previous point. What if the masked character incites some protester to use violent tactics only to later reveal that the face under the mask belongs to someone affiliated with Art Pope or Koch Industries? Wouldn’t that be like a storyline from the Twilight Zone?

Another aspect of Occupy movement that doesn’t seem to have been considered is communication. Currently, all of the separate groups in various states and now nations have relied on the internet or mobile devices, but who really is in control of this communication. If push came to shove, all of these devices could be turned off by the corporations that own the cellphone tower, the repeater stations, and the network servers: It could all be shut down if the threat to “The Man’s” control grew too great. And, I can’t imagine anyone out there who would be na├»ve enough to think that this could never happen: Occupy is all about taking away the most basic element of the elite’s power . . . money. And, as we have seen, there are those elite who care nothing for the advancement of civilization or humanity, but instead care only for the money they hoard and the power they wield, both of which go hand in hand. If either base is threatened, what lengths will they go to regain it? Military action has been witnessed all around the world, police action as well and we have seen that hear in New York and other cities hosting peaceful demonstration against the corruption that is so prevalent on Wall Street. The point that should be taken away from these examples is that there could be a time when all of these convenient methods of communication could be taken away and without a sufficient plan, the entire movement could be wiped out. The recent Blackberry outages were most likely just an instance of equipment failure, but how easy it would be to have that kind of equipment failure across the board. If such a failure had occurred when those in New York thought Mayor Bloomberg had acquiesced on having protestors leave the park only to send in riot police once the reinforcements had disbanded , today’s news could have been that the protestors got violent, so the NYPD had to arrest hundreds more . . . or worse. While attending an Occupy movement myself, I heard people in the “Media Group” talking about their backup communication plans, which consisted of using Facebook or email if Twitter went out and using cellphones if the internet went out. What would they do if it all went away, just long enough to break up the demonstrations across the country? What then? Then tried it in Egypt and failed, but I’m certain that there was a fair amount of take away from that failure. I only hope that Occupy gleaned some insight from it as well.



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