The future of Occupy gathering in Sacramento on July 31 2014 w/Daniel Hong
The Occupy movement is an international protest movement against social and economic inequality, its primary goal being to make the economic and political relations in all societies less vertically hierarchical and more flatly distributed. Local groups often have different focuses, but among the movement's prime concerns deal with how large corporations and the global financial system control the world in a way that disproportionately benefits a minority, undermines democracy, and is unstable. It is part of what Manfred Steger calls the "global justice movement". The first Occupy protest to receive widespread attention was Occupy Wall Street in New York City's Zuccotti Park, which began on 17 September 2011. By 9 October, Occupy protests had taken place or were ongoing in over 951 cities across 82 countries, and over 600 communities in the United States. Although most active in the United States, by October 2012 there had been Occupy protests and occupations in dozens of other countries across every continent except Antarctica. For its first two months, authorities largely adopted a tolerant approach toward the movement, but this began to change in mid-November 2011 when they began forcibly removing protest camps. By the end of 2011 authorities had cleared most of the major camps, with the last remaining high profile sites – in Washington DC and London – evicted by February 2012. The Occupy movement is partly inspired by the Arab Spring, and the Portuguese and Spanish Indignants movement in the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the Tea Party movement. The movement commonly uses the slogan We are the 99%, the #Occupy hashtag format, and organizes through websites such as Occupy Together. According to The Washington Post, the movement, which has been described as a "democratic awakening" by Cornel West, is difficult to distill to a few demands. On 12 October 2011, Los Angeles City Council became one of the first governmental bodies in the United States to adopt a resolution stating its informal support of the Occupy movement. In October 2012 the Executive Director of Financial Stability at the Bank of England stated the protesters were right to criticise and had persuaded bankers and politicians "to behave in a more moral way". On July 31, 2014 activist will convene in Sacramento, Ca for a one-day gathering. Will this be the spark to reignite the Occupy Movement? Join Daniel Hong and I on Thursday as we discuss this on Voices from the Edge. Daniel Hong is a long-time organizer with Occupy Portland and, more recently, Strike Debt Portland.