Occupy 2012? Will OWS make a Comeback in the New Year?

Written by: Tamar Auber

On December 31, 2012, six weeks after a twilight raid ousted the OWS protestors from Zuccotti Park in New York City, Occupy Wall Street was planning their own midnight attack. As millions tuned in and crowded into Times Square to watch the ball drop, a small plucky advance took back their erstwhile home, Zuccotti Park, resulting in approximately 68 arrests in the first hours of the New Year. A swift show of police force quickly reclaimed the park and emptied it of protestors. However, the unexpected raid leaves many wondering, is the Occupy Movement set to make a comeback in 2012?

Few can dispute that the last few months have taken a toll on the Occupy movement. On November 15 2011, Occupy Wall Street lost its nerve center when it was cast from Zuccotti Park where it camped day and night for nearly three months. Three days later, occupiers in Dallas were kicked out of the park they called home, followed by the dismantling of Occupy Washington DCon December 5th and other encampments nationwide. The loss of a home and protest space appeared, at least the surface, to be a deathblow to the Occupy movement whose acephalous structure demands that persons be gathered for decisions, based on consensus, to be made.

Occupy Protesters in Crowd

Will the Occupy Movement make a comeback in 2012?

Yet, on November 17th, the homeless Occupy Wall Street movement managed to drum up thousands of supporters for an anniversary march on Wall Street. After the loss of the Philadelphia tent city, the Philly group voted to continue meeting, and were reported in a December 30th  Huffington Post blog  as “alive and well.” Then there was the Occupy Onward conference on December 18th, which met at the New School, “to discuss the current crisis and what the Occupy Wall Street and the rest of us can do about it.” Unlikely to be the final breaths of a dying group, these events and meetings appear to be breathing new life into a wounded, but still very much viable worldwide movement.

No doubt, the Occupy movement is being aided by social media and a readily available internet to virtually connect members and keep them informed. Yet, another force seems to be feeding the groups re-birth. Despite promises of a brighter future, unemployment is still high and the economic outlook remains bleak. This national discontentment, felt strongly among young persons, provides the perfect fuel for the Occupy movement to take fire in 2012.

As the Occupy Wall Street demonstrated in the first hours of 2012, the new year will likely bring more news of Occupy protests and events worldwide, as the hobbled OWS movement and others worldwide reorganize and strategize on new ways to get their message heard loud and clear in the new year.

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