I support the ideas of the occupy movements, but have had a difficult time trying to find a coherent list of the long term goals, and realistic ways that these goals can be met.
I think back to my last year as SFSU, and how many students were occupying the business building in order to protest the budget cuts. While I agreed that the budget cuts were excessive, and that I, too, was frustrated with the tuition increase, I was equally—if not more—upset that the students’ list of demands was unfocused, unreasonable, and excessive. The demands included stopping the wars and using the saved money to feed the poor, that the university be run by the students, that there be no reprocussions for their protests, and many more. While these may be good ideas (more money for the poor, less for wars…I’m for it!) they were not productive goals to be set for the occupation. A few dozen students (it may have been more, but that’s not the point) occupying one building at a college will not end all wars. If they were protesting the budget cuts, they should have focused on that, and that alone. They, in effect, diluted their primary reason for protesting with unattainable goals.
And so now I think about this Occupy Oakland movement. I agree with the premise, and I support those who are marching and gathering. But I have to ask…then what? I want to know this because I want to know how I can help, and what my (and the other supporters’) efforts are going to produce. I am asking for a plan of action, for a list of goals, and what those goals and objectives are aimed at doing. I want to know how, realistically, things are going to change, and how I can help.