Today marks the first year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. The open-ended, populist occurrence has managed to live despite a blackout from the mainstream media. As the nation focuses in on the last phases of the 2012 presidential election, OWS has lost some of its potency. Even though some have argued that OWS has faltered, there is still a great need for it to continue. There has to be a model for participatory politics that exists outside of both major parties. Binary politics will not serve the vast majority of people. While people cringe at the latest thing Mitt Romney says or cheer for the wonderful speeches of President Obama, the overarching political trajectory will have to be impacted from outside forces. While mainstream politics makes for a great show, the people still need to have a voice. Whether people like it or not, for many of the issues facing the average American, there is no voting our way out of it.
With the Chicago Teachers Union strike about to enter its second week, it is clear that regular working people have few political allies. The Democrats can be just as anti-labor as the Republicans. While attacks are stepped up on working people, and mainstream politics works hard to shut out any questioning of this eroding of the possibility of a decent standard of living for more and more people, Occupy Wall Street needs to continue. When the plight of the unemployed is just given an obligatory nod, OWS must continue. Occupy Wall Street may be pretty nebulous, but at least it is ongoing. While many hesitate to call it a movement, looking from some of the preliminary responses leading up to this anniversary, it is regarded as a threat nonetheless.
As Occupy Wall Street moves into its second year, there are hopes out there that its effectiveness in highlighting issues of American inequality will continue to strengthen. There is a ongoing need for this issues to remain at the forefront of American politics.
Marc W. Polite