Dear Commons Community,
This will be my last posting on the Occupy Wall Street movement at least for this week. Mike Lupica, Daily News columnist, makes a good point in an article entitled, Occupy Wall Street Protesters Need to Decide Where to Go Next? He comments that the movement just cannot simply draw attention to itself but has to transform street activism into political activism. This is similar to the discussion at the Defending Higher Education Conference held last month at the Graduate Center. Snarling Wall Street, disrupting the subways and marching across the Brooklyn Bridge (again) are important actions but at some point, they need to translate into action in Washington. Both Republicans and Democrats need to feel concerned about Occupy Wall Street and what it means to their elections and reelections.
Lupica relates the following:
“…the fight isn’t with the people coming out of those downtown subway stations, isn’t with New York City policemen doing their own jobs, it is with a system that has brought us to this moment in America.
I am with a man named Paul from New Jersey at Zuccotti before they all move out of there. He works in information technology but had come over here because he wanted to be a part of this, at the age of 52…
“The next step,” Paul said, “is that we have to get involved in the political process. We can make all the noise we want and march all over the place, but eventually the only way to effect change in a democracy is through the ballot box.”
We should also be concerned that at some point the clashes with police will get more violent. We have already seen aspects of this in other parts of the country.