Will the Occupy Wall Street Crackdowns Energize or Deflate the Movement?

Last week we asked you how the widespread crackdowns on the Occupy Wall Street protests would affect the movement. More than half of respondents thought the movement would be energized, many of you said the movement would suffer while others maintained a wait-and-see outlook. See selected respondent feedback at the jump.

You said:

Energize. It will challenge the movement to find new ways to raise issues of economic justice and dismantling the U.S. empire which drives our economy and national priorities.” — Craig S.

Energize. Now we see the violence inherent in the system.” — Amy

Deflate. Too much time focused on occupation and the story is now about the crackdown instead of a message, goals, and other action items.”

Energize. The OWS crackdowns reveal the incredible hypocrisy of our government, whose lies about tight budgets and austerity are unveiled by their use of indiscriminate force on peaceful protestors. If we cannot afford to keep police on payrolls, how are we paying for hundreds of police in riot gear every night? The police brutality and the artificial limitations government is placing on constitutional rights to free speech and the right to peaceably assemble enrage me, and other more moderate citizens who do not wish to camp out, but fully support the rights of others to do so.”

Too soon to tell. First, I hope it energizes it, but I think it’s too soon to tell for a couple of reasons. First, it will depend upon how the press will be able or be willing to cover it if the OWS folks are no longer able to congregate in one area. Second: how long will OWS people keep the movement going? The answer to this question will be what their goal is. If it’s just to bring attention to these issues they will have to devise methods of keeping the media’s eye on them. If there is a political goal, or one specific goal, they will have to make it known to the press and public and push hard for it in order to keep the momentum going in their favor. As long as they are able to keep the media’s interest the movement may be energized, but I think it may take another month or so to be able to tell.” — Johanna

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Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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