“Occupists” no more

Update 12 December, 2011.  Behold, the power of landscaping! A battalion of Greenway employees in bright orange vests now occupy a protest-free park. The muddy field is replaced with some kind of fill. Grass will return to this section of Boston after the winter. It may be true, however, that a place doesn’t make a protest. Occupants will carry their words elsewhere. The greatest feat will be to endure the quiet span of holidays. How many in the Occupy ranks will be gone by New Year’s Day? If the wind dies out in their sails, Occupy Boston may try to exist in different form. I still maintain my view from my earlier post. These are the first genuine protesters in my generation to affect public opinion. The challenge is to enact nationwide change. There is never any guarantee in any demonstration, but this was an impressive beginning.

Post from 9 December, 2011. The remnants of Occupy Boston are about to disappear. Most of the tents were in a state of breakdown this morning, a collection of plastic sheets and frames with a scattering of camping equipment. Mud runs from one side of the curb to the other. The giant ventilation building that guarded the tent city on a side will be left alone. How curious that a structure meant for tunnel engineering was used as a backdrop for assemblies, cardboard signs, and even messages sent from a projector.

The protesters lacked the coordination to direct their energies and supply Americans with the right message. There were so many voices and so many bodies. How can you moderate a crowd anguishing over unemployment, economic fallout, political reform and foreign policy? Nevertheless, this was the first major act of protest from my age group. You might even describe the Occupy movement as their baby steps. They left an impression on the country, which is surely the mark of a successful demonstration. Some of them will try again in the future.

Shabby? Of course. Obnoxious? Most certainly. But they had the right to forms of public assembly. When compared to other nations where the voices are trampled out with tanks and guns, America will always be a grand place.


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