(In Part Three of our conversation in July, Truth Now discusses the current state of the Occupy Movement, its potential as a political force in the future, and its upcoming 10th anniversary.)
Did the Occupy Movement end?
I don’t think it really did end. I think it changed. There are little pieces of evidence for that. For example, an organization I don’t really identify with, but I agree with a lot of what they say, would be “Occupy Democrats.”
There was a movement, or financially concentrated effort, to sort of co-opt Occupy as, like, “new democrats” or “young progressives” or what have you. A similar thing happened where basically anybody who cared about Occupy – you know – did their best and donated to Bernie Sanders or went to Bernie Sanders rallies or campaigned for Sanders, that kind of thing, where people that might’ve identified themselves as Democrats or socialists and with what became democratic socialism in this country in the past decade. All of that energy was still from the Occupy Movement.
There was a growing awareness, at that time, of things like, “Hey, the Bush family and the Clinton family have been in charge a lot, and there’s these billionaire families that back them, and they don’t seem to ever get mentioned on the news, as if they were the ones that owned it, and they do own it.”
Last year, for example, Bill Gates championed himself as, like, the solution to the coronavirus, and I found that hilarious and pathetic and very incongruent with reality, but very congruent with Big Brother and having people and institutions that are so high up that they have way more influence and way more money than anyone or anything in your government.
But there is no judicial action or investigation taken against the billionaire class and their institutions, because it is a very specific group that can afford to do this, to buy elections, to buy a media network, to donate to or advertise with all of them, to make sure, “Hey, those executive producers want coverage, want the ability to get Bill Gates to sit down with them, so why would they investigate him? Why would they make an enemy of him?” They need to be politically, socially, and financially correct to their investment groups. They need to be complicit.
So, that’s the main point of Occupy that I still see alive now: the voices of people going, “Hey – you know – maybe we’re going in the wrong fuckin direction. Like, maybe the right direction is not to go to Mars or bomb Syria but to fix a fucking bridge. You know?”
And what about, like, the protest movement itself? Where does Occupy, as a protest movement, go from here? And, since we’re talking in the context of the 10th anniversary of Occupy, do you think it could return any time soon?
I mean, I don’t think anything that exists cares about its own anniversary. What I mean is: Human beings attach meaning to that sort of thing. I think there is meaning to it, because we give it meaning, but I don’t think there’s an inherent meaning to Occupy having a 10th anniversary.
What I would say is: You see Occupy, elements of Occupy, and Occupiers everywhere. Sometimes you see them – you know – accepting corporate jobs, because, hey, they do fuckin need the benefits and they do have kids now, but you also see them at Black Lives Matter or on a farm or campaigning for Bernie.
So, to me, it’s not that Occupy is dead. Occupy was largely about things like the 08’ crash. It’s just that the “Gen Next,” the Gen Y, whatever it is, they don’t know anything except the 08’ crash. They grew up in the 08’ crash.
What Occupy meant to me, and the people I was associating with at Occupy, was being part of a broader awareness of non-partisan state-ism and pharmacological and military industries aligning against our interests, rather than being like, “Oh, well, we really gotta get Biden elected or get So and So elected.”
I see Occupy as a force of greater awareness that breeds quasi-sovereign, decolonizing, decentralizing agents of a bigger awakening.