KEY COMPONENTS OF SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Update - Dec 7, 2011

ROBIN HOOD EFFECT (nytimes)
They call it the Robin Hood tax — a tiny levy on trades in the financial markets that would take money from the banks and give it to the world’s poor. And like the mythical hero of Sherwood Forest, it is beginning to capture the public’s imagination.  Driven by populist anger at bankers as well as government needs for more revenue, the idea of a tax on trades of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments has attracted an array of influential champions, including the leaders of France and Germany, the billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and George Soros, former Vice President Al Gore, the consumer activist Ralph Nader, Pope Benedict XVI and the archbishop of Canterbury.
Recent Developments (nytimes)
  • Dec. 6 Occupy Wall Street Protesters move into Senate Offices in Washington DC
  • Dec. 4 Police arrested 31 people and tore down a barnlike building that Occupy D.C. protesters had begun to erect that morning in a park two blocks from the White House where they had been camping out.
  • Dec. 1 A judge in Boston said that the Occupy Boston encampment in Dewey Square could stay for the time being, extending a temporary restraining order barring the city from removing tents or protesters from the area without a court order.
  • Nov. 30 In the pre-dawn hours, Occupy encampments in Los Angeles and Philadelphia were cleared from public parks. 

Other noticeable effects of OWS movement:
Consider David Brook's article on December 6th:
According to data collected by the Center for Progressive Reforms, 62 percent of the people who met with the White House office in charge of reviewing regulations were representatives of industry, while only 16 percent represented activist groups. At these meetings, business representatives outnumbered activists by more than 4 to 1.
Compare that to an article on the same day reporting on Obama's meeting with College Presidents:
In a private meeting on Monday, President Obama and his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, conferred with a dozen college presidents, mostly from public institutions, and leaders of two nonprofit education organizations, about how to curb the rising cost of college and improve graduation rates. “It was an unusually interesting meeting, and not your usual list of college presidents,” said Jane Wellman, founder and director of the nonprofit Delta Project, which studies college costs. . . . In recent months, the cost of higher education has become a central issue of the Occupy movement, and one that arouses bipartisan concern.

3 comments:

EndtableJunk said...

Interesting that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy seem really interested but the US and UK don't.

"The Obama administration has also been lukewarm, expressing sympathy but saying it would be hard to execute, could drive trading overseas and would hurt pension funds and individual investors in addition to banks."

I feel like this has more to do with politics and campaign contributions that actual economic realities.

Arturo Rodriguez said...

I am not completely enthused about the occupy movement's effect on the Obama's private meeting to curb college tuition costs. Although it is one of occupy's central issues, i feel it is clouded by the other ridiculous demands and lack of structure the movement has. i am thankful it is causing political and national attention, but i believe they need better organization to really create a better social movement.

Kathy Emery said...

@arturo, can you explain your comment more fully? Why are you not "enthused?" What are the "ridiculous demands" and how do those "cloud" the demand to lower tuition costs?