OccupyMN Brought Different Form Of Democracy

A year ago when you used the word “democracy”, people thought of voting or politicians debating in the legislature. Now thanks to the Occupy movement, that word carries additional imagery — people gathering to take change into their own hands.

“Democracy by voting obviously hasn’t worked for a very long time,” observed Peacock, a street medic and one of the original OccupyMN organizers. “Direct democracy is the best alternative, and the Occupy people had no idea what that was, they had no idea how to do it.” “It’s a good start to big things.”

OccupyMN marked it’s one year anniversary on Sunday. It didn’t start with direct democracy as a goal but it grew out of the discussions and the general assemblies.

One of the changes it brought was changes to the language. “It’s fun to hear 1 percent versus 99 percent thrown around on TV on the news like nothing now.” said Sam, an Occupy MN supporter.

As any seasoned politician will tell you, a debate is framed by the language. And when you get others to use your language, your chances of winning the debate are greatly increased.

OccupyMN and the peace groups marching in protest of the 11th year of the war against Afghanistan met at Loring Park for a joint rally.

Occupy supporters offered these additional observations on what the movement has done in a year:
“They got together, that’s an accomplishment.”
“It turned into people breaking away and empowering themselves and their friends.”
“Defending homes and changing the whole national political conversation.”
It spawned Occupy HomesMN which has been saving homes for people.
“It radicalized a lot of people.”
“More people than ever before are now learning the skills how to cope with massive police repression.”

Occupy MN Supporter Melissa

Occupy MN Supporter Sam

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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