As the last motley vestiges of the OCW protest movement’s defiant encampments are being efficiently (and for the most part, amicably) removed this week by civic authorities across the country, it has to be admitted that this particular tactic of the movement was doomed to fail from the outset. With winter fast approaching, participation dwindling and the few remaining impromptu OCW tent cities having devolved into unseemly chaos, little could be gained from persevering in the insane folly of imagining that “if we camp here, things will change.”
Although the harebrained notion of youthful idealists and fiery activists establishing alternative, egalitarian, anarcho-syndicalist, self-governing communities by illegally squatting in city parks was initially a highly attractive prospect to some nostalgic, woolly-brained liberal media hounds (“Look, they have a library!”), it readily became apparent to more sentient humans that in practice it was all a farcical nonsense.
That said, it was a fantastically successful stunt in terms of drawing a considerable amount of much needed attention to a lot of “inconvenient truth” about the present state of affairs in the Great Recession’s prolonged economic nadir. Egregious levels of wealth disparity, the rising degree of widespread poverty, endemic joblessness, record amounts of personal debt (including student loans), and corrosive subversion of democracy by greedy corporations are just some of the issues that have been made more salient as a result of this protest movement. Not to mention the ostensible target of the protest: the unfettered casino gambling operation colloquially known as “Wall Street” that greatly contributed to effectively crashing the economy… this time not only with complete impunity from criminal prosecution for their malfeasance, but insanely lucrative bonuses for doing so!
As they were being kicked out of their encampments, some departing protesters were reported as saying “you can’t evict an idea”… Indeed. So, what’s next for the OCW movement?