The foreclosure crisis in U.S.
(January 2012). The Occupy movement that claims to speak for “the 99 percent” and has made income inequality part of the national discussion in many parts of the world is now regrouping in the US to organise protests at housing auctions aiming to support those affected by the foreclosure crisis.
“At first, we were occupying parks, then homes,” says Sofia Teona, an organiser with Occupy Atlanta, about the movement’s evolution. “We are starting locally, but it’s a national movement.” More
Globally the Occupy movement is in decline as the world moves back to ‘business as usual’. In New Zealand it has devolved into a sting over the supposed costs over the Occupy Auckland movement, and a court battle between the Auckland Council and various activists. This protest was doomed to a messy ending, in fact a glowing success for those whom it was intended t target.
Hopefully, there are lesson to be learnt from these outcomes. Certainly the angst and purpose has not been diminished, but the value of protest within a westernised ‘democratic’ framing has been made clear. The primary lesson then should be that radical change will not happen through ‘storming the fortress’, and holding the media’s attention for months. It requires radical re-building of community.
We applaud the US occupy movement in its supporting of the foreclosure victims. It is less a backdown, than a significant recognition that the system cannot be changed unless the people change, at the grassroots – and this takes time. Standing between the banks and the people at the personal level is the frontier for now. But I wonder how that process can be emulated by New Zealanders …