Forum in The Nation

The Nation currently features a forum on the Occupy movement with contributions by Michael Moore, Frances Fox Piven, Bill Fletcher Jr., Marina Sitrin, and others. Contributors focus on the prospects for the Occupy movement in 2012.

From Nation editor Richard Kim’s introduction to the forum:

To casual observers, it would appear as if the Occupy movement faded away this winter almost as suddenly as it burst onto the scene in September. With most of its encampments swept aside with the last of autumn’s dead leaves, Occupy has little steady physical presence. There are no mass marches disrupting traffic, few rousing speeches from the human microphone, no late-night drum circle to annoy the neighbors. At Occupy Wall Street, the movement’s first spark, activists report that they’ll likely be out of money by the end of March. And the mainstream media, both less charmed and less horrified by Occupy’s existence, have devoted less airtime to it, focusing instead on the latest inane comment to emerge from the GOP primary.

Like all winter landscapes, this surface stillness conceals something more complicated. In people’s living rooms, in donated office spaces and in indoor parks, Occupy’s working groups are as busy as they were in the fall. Occupy Our Homes has resisted foreclosures and evictions in dozens of cities across the country. Occupy the SEC filed a public comment on the Volcker Rule urging regulators to strengthen this aspect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Other groups have been hard at work on issues ranging from student debt to alternative banking to worker-owned cooperatives. Meanwhile, protests—against police brutality; against corporations like Bank of America, Pfizer and Walmart; against budget cuts; and against institutions like the Whitney Museum—have continued at an almost frenetic pace. Organizers have also been using the winter to incubate grander plans, among them a May 1 Day of Action that may turn into a call for a nationwide general strike and proposals to occupy corporate shareholder meetings, the NATO summit in Chicago, and the Democratic and Republican conventions at the end of the summer.

There’s no question that Occupy will be back this spring—it never really went away. But what will this second stage look like?

Read the rest of Kim’s introduction and other contributions to the forum here.

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