Occupy will succeed to unknown ends

By Jessica Velez COLUMNIST
On January 30, 2012

Occupy USF joined hundreds of protesters outside last week's NBC Republican Presidential Candidates Debate, and while the success of the presidential primary candidates won't be decided before Tuesday's primary, it's not too soon to pick a winner - the Occupy protesters.

While Occupy USF is small, the Occupy movement at large has united 2,849 international communities, according to meetup.com, and has become the largestsocio-political exhibition of civil disobedience since the end of the Vietnam War. Every time an Occupy encampment gets five minutes of media coverage, it further ensures the movement's growing brand recognition worldwide. This sort of public image the movement has cultivated for itself won't go away any sooner than Coke or Pepsi.

In addition, the Occupiersthemselves are not likely to go away anytime soon. According to statisticbrain.com, 80 percent of Occupy Wall Street protesters are under 45 years old, and 60.7 percent are college-educated.

While it's certainly too soon to consider Occupy victorious in its goal to topple corporate interests' influence on politics, it is not too soon to forecast that Occupy will succeed at something, and that something may or may not align with Occupy's present goals.

Occupy could evolve to resemble something of a political party - seeking the reforms it desires through the election process - but there is no way to tell, due in part to Occupy's lack of central leadership. It already has a great enough reach to support such a metamorphosis, but is this what the majority of Occupy wants? Does it matter?

A lack of leadership isn't a bad thing, but it makes plotting where Occupy's success will land more difficult than if they were led by a single vision.

Occupy's success could come somewhere closer to Hollywood. Films are bound to develop - according to actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" involves themes related to the Occupy movement. Yet if Occupybecome s more merchandise than messages, then today's Occupy protesters will likely be less than pleased.

One could argue Occupy'sleader would not allow such aconclusion, but Occupy has no central leadership. Thismovement is already too great and too influential to not succeed in change, and without any single

person or entity steering the ship,the movement could still go in every direction.

But lack of leadership isn't a punchline; it's ultimately pragmatic and allows for the slow distillation of thousands of voices. Theglary-eyed and left-of-center ne'er-do-well Occupy protestersometimes depicted in the media as a archetype doesn't do well to depict the power wielded by thousands gathering together by a united cause.

There is no rush for the Occupy movement to find itself. It cannot discern a list of demands because its pathos goes too deep to allow for the reduction of a disenfranchised youth into a single goal-oriented plan or procedure.

Even if Occupy goes on to fail at every goal it has set for itself, the cultural mark has been left. At worst, Occupy evolves into a cultural footnote - canonized in media, depicted in movies and television and dissected by scholars.

Jessica Velez is a seniormajoring in mass communications.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More usforacle News Articles

Recent usforacle News Articles

Discuss This Article


How do you most commonly view stories from the Oracle



Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format