Having done better than a dozen interviews for the play, and now the book, both local and national. I hear 4 recurring themes.
The first is, when will Occupy, locally or nationally advance a leader or spokesperson? How can the movement continue or succeed without a leader? The best answer I’ve found for those questions is the following: The Occupy movement is not leaderless. It is filled with leaders, taking action, stands and initiatives on personal, local and national levels. The strength and blessing of the movement is that it is about the empowerment of the individual towards a better community. It is about a 1000 or 10,000 leaders working for a better world, rather than a 1000 or 10,000 followers behind a single personality. Furthermore, for a “leaderless” movement, Occupy has managed to scare the hell out of the interests opposing it.
The second regards, what has the movement accomplished? My answer is that at the very least it has dragged the national discourse towards issues of morality, conscience and community by highlighting the extreme and dangerous inequity in the country. But the movement is far more than protests and signs. It is community outreach, it is action and assistance for families foreclosed from their homes, and it is the growing embodiment of the community, nation and world it demands. It demands that the constitution is upheld with respect to free speech and freedoms to assemble and redress the government, and that laws and statutes that side step or infringe upon those freedoms, such as curfew laws and permit bureaucracy are fundamentally unconstitutional.
More and more lately I have been asked whether the occupy Movement would ever get together with the Tea party. I have been asked this question from the corporate media and so-called progressive personalities. My answer has always been, that anyone is free to join the Occupy movement and stand for those things Occupy champions. But the Occupy movement and Tea party movements are fundamentally different, in structure and ideology, with the Tea Party organized and tied directly to individuals, organizations and institutions that oppose the Occupy movement, and that any insinuation that the two could join feels like an effort to co-opt, undermine and overtake the true citizens grassroots efforts of Occupy.
Finally, this question, why is Occupy trying to divide the nation between the 99% and the 1%? My answer, is that it is not dividing the nation, but seeks to unite the 100% through an understanding of everyone’s shared commitment and responsibility to the society and especially those suffering the greatest. The 1%-or some of the 1% seeks to divide the 99% against one another in order to avoid their responsibility. The Occupy movement actually stands for unity, but unity is difficult when part of that whole stands in opposition, and flouts their irresponsibility to the detriment of the rest. Morality demands, in that case, that people of good conscience stand in opposition.