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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Occupy, RIP

Previous posts have tracked the rise and fall of the "Occupy" movement. The Los Angeles Times offers an obituary of sorts:
On Monday, a year will have passed since activists took over the park near the symbolic heart of American capitalism, sparking a movement with offshoots in Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere around the world.
But the movement has yet to have a broad tangible effect, leaving some to wonder whether it will fizzle.
Polls have shown that the public generally supports Occupy's message but not its disruptive tactics. A majority of respondents in one poll this spring said the movement had run its course.
As the Occupy movement turns 1 year old, its primary target — Wall Street — keeps churning out scandals. Major banks have been caught rigging key interest rates, laundering money and taking risky bets that lose billions of dollars.
Yet the movement cannot claim any new policy, law or regulation as its own. Unlike the Tea Party on the political right, there is no cohesive Occupy group promoting candidates in November's national election.
"After the media effects wore off, a lot of politicians just figured out that these people weren't going to matter," said Theda Skocpol, a professor of government and sociology at Harvard who co-wrote a book about the Tea Party.
"Politicians pay attention to people who vote or who organize and spend money in elections," Skocpol said. "That's what Tea Party did and does, and that's what Occupy doesn't do. I don't think it matters very much anymore."