Occupy Wall Street demonstrators returned to Lower Manhattan on Monday for the anniversary of the movement’s launch in Zuccotti Park one year ago. The anniversary lasted the weekend over “three days of education, celebration, resistance” with a Sunday afternoon concert headed up by Tom Morello and other musicians, including Das Racist member Kool A.D., Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra and the rap trio Rebel Diaz.
Morello performed a half-hour set as the Nightwatchman with the Freedom Fighter Orchestra, playing covers of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and an instrumental version of Rage Against the Machine’s “Sleep Now in the Fire.” Though Occupy attendance has wound down since their forced eviction from Zuccotti Park, the movement still plays a large role int he national conversation as demonstrators hold new signs reading “Still here,” and Occupy’s “We are the 99 percent” motto being switched to the more direct “We owe you nothing.”
“The one thing that Occupy has been very successful at is forever changing the dialogue around the great, unspoken five-letter word in American politics, and that’s ‘class,'” Morello told Rolling Stone. “The people who were in the streets – whether it was 100,000 people in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, or the months-long occupation of Zuccotti Park – those people haven’t gone away. Their ideas haven’t gone away. The mistrust and resentment towards the status quo hasn’t gone away. How it manifests itself in the months and years to come will determine the ultimate success or failure of the movement.”
Though some media outlets, like the Baltimore Sun, opine that the 1 percent won the debate, the Occupy anniversary showed that at the very least, the movement has not been defeated and that Morello’s theme of “class” is still on many minds as we head into election season.
“In my mind, it didn’t set out to accomplish x, y and z,” said Mikell Kober of Brooklyn via the LA Times, answering criticisms that Occupy fell apart due to the group’s lack of a clear political platform. “[Occupy] was about creating a public space where people could gather and have a conversation about the things that need to change.”
Do you think that Occupy will have a comeback? Has the movement ever really left?