Occupy Orlando needs strong goal
Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 19:10
A growing global movement has come to our doorstep, and it is one that cannot be ignored.
Occupy Orlando is a protest movement that formed itself as part of a movement around the world meant to bring awareness to what they say is economic injustice.
Saturday's rally was made up of an estimated 1,700 people, according to WDBO, and has attracted the support of some prominent individuals, such as former U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson.
According to WDBO, the message of Occupy Orlando is simple: They stand against corporate greed and government corruption. In order for this movement to succeed, however, it will need to stand for more than just platitudes about the state of affairs in our economy. The movement will need to formulate this message into policy initiatives in order to be sustainable.
Occupy Wall Street has laid out a specific policy initiative of its own. Mother Jones recently reported that these protesters are now advocating a New Deal-style proposal intended to create jobs. Their proposal would call for the federal government to raise $1.5 trillion in new revenue and then use that revenue to create 25 million new public-sector jobs that pay union-level wages, according to Mother Jones.
Specifically, the proposal aims to put Americans back to work building roads, bridges and affordable housing. It also is intended to provide free public transportation and a free university education for all, as well staff a single-payer health care system and pursue clean energy research, according to Mother Jones.
The Occupy Orlando movement will need to associate itself with some sort of policy initiative, as Occupy Wall Street has done, in order to have credibility and a lasting impact. It will need to reach consensus quickly and outline these policy objectives in order to achieve this change.
One of the difficulties Occupy Orlando faces in this regard is its current leadership structure. It makes decisions in the same manner that Occupy Wall Street does: through a General Assembly.
According to The Nation, the General Assembly is an autonomous and leaderless body that uses a consensus-based system rooted in anarchist thought. These assemblies have been driving social movements around the world, including places like Argentina, Egypt's Tahrir Square and Spain's Puerta del Sol.
A system like this has the potential of creating significant difficulties when it comes to making decisions. With no one person in charge, it will be hard for them to decide what issues to address first or even which issues should be addressed. This movement will have to find a way to make this system work to produce results.
The reasons for the economic problems faced by our country are large and complex. Movements like Occupy Orlando, Occupy Wall Street and many others will have to show that they have an understanding of what led to the economic situation faced by the country, and then propose solutions.
Occupy Orlando will have to channel its passions not only into policy initiatives but also into electing officials that can implement these policies. This includes voting in city council elections as well as mayoral elections and others. Only through clear and concise action will this movement have a lasting impact.