Tuesday, November 15, 2011

As OWS and other encampments are dismantled, it's time to "Occupy the Cloud"

UPDATE: Upon further reflection, I actually do think that physical presence and visibility are critical. In Israel, for example, encampments have gone on (and largely unreported in the MSM) since July to protest the high cost of housing.  This physical presence, in some form or another, is keeps the issue alive and well in the minds of those who need to stay focused on the problems. We in the digital "cloud" (including those on the ground) are important, but we're more facilitators for the message--a vast network of indie journalists spreading the word in various ways. Both are needed for the success of Occupy, but how to ensure that the physical remains in the spotlight without permanent encampments? Hard to say. But the people who have been kicked out of parks in Oakland, Portland, and Manhattan have come back and seem to be more determined than ever. I guess that's because the response of freedom fighters to ever more abuse is strengthened resolve. I wonder why "the man" has never figured that out...

Last night, police busted up and cracked down on the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan. As reported by ThinkProgress:
About an hour ago, news broke that the police began a surprise sweep of Zuccotti Park to destroy the Occupy Wall Street encampment. According to NBC News, “hundreds of police officers, some in riot gear, descended on Zuccotti Park after midnight Tuesday in a surprise sweep of the Occupy Wall Street headquarters.” The raid, only days before a two-month anniversary march in New York City for the 99 Percent Movement, was justified by police because of what they said were health and fire hazards.
Not (entirely) about "Meat Space
Back on October 20, 2011, in response to this post on the OWS Forum (below), I wrote how the movement is ultimately  not about physical space, it's about ideals worth fighting for.  So, yes, the news is depressing about the police raid and heavy-handed dismantlement of the Zucotti Park camp and others throughout the country: this provides a real test of the movement. Can it go cyber? Can we "Occupy the Cloud?" That is, can the ideals set forth by the a decentralized 99% movement live on regardless of whether there are encampments? I don't think that the encampment was ever envisioned to be permanent, at least from what I can determine.

Here's what I said about it a few weeks ago:

America Supports #OWS
Posted 3 weeks ago on Oct. 20, 2011, 11:06 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Supplies and Support Pour into Occupy Wall Street from Every Corner of the USOccupiers Launch Tumblr Website Today: Gallery of Personal Notes of Support from Farmers, Veterans, Grandparents and "Knitters for Occupy Wall St"


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