After six months of visiting occupations and following the Occupy movement, I wanted more, I wanted less. I liked the diffuseness and energy of the protest at the beginning. Confusing and jumbled as it was, I liked the fact that Occupy was not about a single issue or group of issues. But the longer the physical occupations lasted, the more the message narrowed, the more the focus devolved into a long stinking squabble over urban turf. I thought about the view in Philadelphia – that the movement had passed hands to a changed group of protestors, that the Occupy movement had itself been occupied.
But maybe that was focusing too much on the physicality of the occupations. Maybe, like everything else in America in 2012, the heart and mind of the movement had just migrated into digital space, and it was only the remnants left behind – the broken lawn chairs and blue nylon tarps and painted cardboard signage swollen and soggy from the rain, spilled out on city sidewalks and muddy fields throughout the country. Maybe Occupy was occupying different and even more diffuse space now. And if that was so, maybe there was more to come from Occupy.
That would be interesting to see.
- Jay Duret