When I’ve talked about Occupy with friends lately, I often receive a variation on one of these reactions: “Oh, you still do that?” “That’s still happening?” “I haven’t heard anything about Occupy in ages.”
It’s still a thing, y’all. Rumors of its demise have been exaggerated. If anything, Occupy has just been quietly brainstorming and, as a result, is now better than ever.
There are three big things that Occupy has been doing that I am so proud of. And you should be proud of, too.
- Defending foreclosure-threatened homes. The banks are despicable; the majority of foreclosures happen with either faulty or outright fraudulent paperwork. As Occupy LA has found, even when homeowners have court documents showing they are permitted to stay in the homes, the police still side with the banks to boot them anyway. Occupiers are now occupying such homes and fighting these illegal practices.
- Occupy Sandy. Occupy, with all of its community organizing skills, is killing it on the hurricane relief front. FEMA who? I wrote an article about how awesome these efforts are.
- And most recently, the Rolling Jubilee, a plan to buy up and forgive individuals’ outstanding debt. When you default on a debt, companies don’t generally fight you for it. Instead, they sell it for pennies on the dollar to debt collecting businesses who then hound the individuals for the money. Do they give the debtors the opportunity to pay off their debt for pennies on the dollar? That would make sense and show kindness, so of course not! So Occupy’s plan is to buy up this drastically reduced-price debt and just forgive it. It’s flipping genius and exposes what a sham this system is.
Go ahead, try to demonize that. These are good, intelligent people trying to do what they can to make the world a better place. It’s a movement everyone should want to be a part of.