We are pleased to publish an article by a reader of the blog based in Britain. We agree with most of the criticisms made of the Occupy movement in the piece, particularly those relating to its middle-class nature and the limitations this imposes upon it.
Occupy movements have sprung up all over the world attracting large swathes of society, and while we see homeless people, the unemployed, regular workers through to concerned clergy, hippies and even disaffected bankers affiliating themselves with this trend it is largely middle-class in character, at least in Britain and Ireland anyway.
We have posters reading ‘Reform Now!’ and projections telling us to ‘Occupy your mind!’. There is a strong bent towards education, with a library and ‘tent university’ at St Paul’s. They even have a regular newspaper, ‘The Occupy Times’. General assemblies are held: everyone with a right to speak, some on the left could learn here, and democratic votes are held to solidify positions. Anti-violence is key, as the protesters seem to be on the whole very media savvy and PR aware. But how dedicated are these protesters to the eradication of poverty? Is their cleverness and education of the right sort, and are they really the 99%?