90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What’s Next For The Occupy Movement?

Police in riot gear watch as Occupy Wall Street protesters march past City Hall in New York, Tuesday. (AP)

Police moved into the Occupy Wall Street encampment at New York City’s Zuccotti Park and arrested 70 protesters as the park was cleared for a thorough cleaning early Tuesday.

Police handed out notices from the city and the owner of the park, saying that it had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous.

Protesters were told they could return in several hours, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. This follows similar actions to clear encampments in Portland and Oakland.

Meanwhile, Adbusters, the Canadian magazine that spurred the movement, is suggesting it might be time for protesters to declare victory and scale back for winter.


  • Jeff Sharlet, reporter for Rolling Stone and author of “Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithlessness, And The Country In Between”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Anonymous

    What’s the victory?

    Is Hank Paulson in Prison yet?    No?   Really? 

    He sinks Goldman Sacks with horrible investments then uses his position in the Treasury Department to make sure Goldman Sacks is made 100% WHOLE by bailing out AIG and he still breaths the same air as me.

    Well, when he’s in Jail, then we can talk about victory.

  • Glenn Koenig

    Here is my message to the occupy movement:  http://www.openeyesvideo.com/Documents/What’s%20Next%20for%20Occupy.pdf
    I am very optimistic for the long term.  The movement is just getting started.  Of course there will be many problems to grapple with, challenges to face, etc.  That’s natural in the early stages of anything.  But make no mistake.  This is the start of a new chapter in a massive world wide cultural change.  Stay tuned!

  • J Frog

    Wow, excellent article by Jeff Sharlett.  Take a Frank Capra’s “Meet John Doe” and mash it together with the movie “Woodstock”.   But I do think the protests are in the midst of a slow fizzle.

    • J Frog

      Mr. Sharlet did seem a little on edge…seemed to lash out a little bit.
      But there was quite a bit of squabbling amongst the OWS.  One of the more humorous parts of the article was the section about the proud but under-appreciated “drummers”.  Had to chuckle when I read that part.

  • A Ronin Liberal (ARL)

    I love how he put NPR/Robin/MSM on the spot for framing some of the interview as advocating for the Police/Authorities.

    And NPR wonders why they are losing credibility.  They just need to hang a sign out, “We support the Democrats”.

    Change will come without their help.  OWS gained support even when they tried to marginalize and not report on the movement.  And it will still continue because the veils are being pulled back.

    Blogs and Social Media will win out…  A Ronin Liberal on Facebook

  • Victor Yehling

    Jeff Sharlet overstepped a couple of bounds in his “coverage” of the police eradication of the Occupy Wall Street site.
    Firstly, he approached a police officer at the site to ask for “their side,” clearly a question more appropriate at the police department or city hall. With all the bloggers and freelancers and others now claiming status as “journalists,” the officer has no way of knowing how legitimate Sharlet may be. Sharlet says the officer pushed him; that may be, but we don’t have any other information as to whether the officer first asked/told him to step back or step away.
    Secondly, he involved himself in the story/movement by “rescuing” library books from a dumpster. That certainly calls his objectivity into question. I do decry the way the situation was handled, but the protestors were on shaky ground being in Zuccotti Park. It is private property — not public — and there reportedly are posted rules banning overnight stays.
    Thirdly, there have been criminal incidents in the park and the police have been denied access — by the protestors, not by the property owners — to patrol the park and provide safety and protection services. The addition of tents that block the view of officers on the perimeter contributes to the dangerous status.
    I admire the purpose of the “occupy” movement in wanting to see social and economic equality. I also recognize the rights of assembly (within statutorial limits, such as permits, and honoring the rights of others) and free speech (again, within established limits). But they cannot legally set up a “government” of their own within an established municipality and refuse to work with (not within) the system.
    I suspect that police removal of the encampment would have been much more subdued had the movement participants showed some willingness to cooperate with the established rules.

    Victor Yehling, news professional for more than 16 years.

  • Julia Jordan

    What’s next for the movement? We keep pushing forward! We fight on! I think the point has been made, but no changes have been made yet… OWS rallies need to keep going, singing, chanting, carrying signs, staying strong! I’m a singer/songwriter who contributes to the movement by making music to promote unity between the occupations worldwide, and encourage the activists to push forward. We can do it! We can make change! http://www.juliajordanmusic.com 

  • Jgarcia_fan

    What is next for OWS? More whining, more violence, more wasting of taxpayer money.

    • Anonymous

      Then don’t worry about it.  Your tax dollars can go to Corporation Welfare later…

  • Bbostonn

    listening to a report (from a NY Times reporter, no less) on OWS and
    the police. Right away came the dreaded false equivalency—a claim that
    while the police were clobbering protesters and pepper spraying grandmas
    and moms-to-be (well known incidents omitted from this report), the
    protesters were pushing back, so therefore there was blame on both
    sides. I understand the impulse to distribute blame evenly so as to soothe hurt feelings, the same way a kindergarten teacher keeps peace, but
    it is facile and dishonest. Truth only, please, and let the chips fall where they may.


  • Redrabbit

    I am so thankful for the Occupy protestors. I hope Congress is paying attention and will implement
    laws that will help equalize our system, i.e. create good-paying jobs, get better health care for all,
    and get those very wealthy groups to give back to the country that benefited them by paying taxes
    that benefits everyone. 

  • Günter Hiller

    I told one of the occupiers of a park near where I live (in Portland, Oregon), that the movement
    must focus or it will fizzle.  It should be the antithesis of the extreme Libertarian Tea Party,
    which  seeks to shrink the role of government (by eliminating and privatizing social programs)
     to make room for the rule of “the free market”.  (“The Government Is The Problem!”)

    The WSO should make it clear that the two ideologies are diametrically opposed, and should seek
    to present the voters with a clear-cut choice in the 2012 election.  The fundamental goals should be:
    1.  To get the money out of politics through (much shorter!) publicly financed elections.
    2.  The transformation of supply-side economics (aka “trickling-down the wealth”.)
    3.  The tranformation of “consumerism” through an economy that first addresses “needs”, not “wants” .
    To these ends the WSO should resurrect FDR’s demand for a Second, Economic Bill of Rights
    (addressed in his State of the Union Message in 1944), to insure decent housing, health care,
    education and nutrition for all Americans. 

    What will it cost and who will pay for it?  When America went to war against Fascism we didn’t ask.
    We just did it!  Let’s do it again to win the war against poverty!

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

September 15 26 Comments

A Call To Reject Corporal Punishment As Part Of Black Culture

An incident of child abuse by an NFL player has raised questions about the use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline in the African-American community.

September 15 26 Comments

Would You Pay To Get Your Kid Into A Top College?

A San Francisco company charges parents for a consulting package based on the odds their student will get into a certain university, with prices up to a million dollars.

September 12 9 Comments

Senator: Arab Countries ‘Need To Step To The Plate’ In Fight Against ISIS

Mark Begich (D-AK) is one of the few members of Congress speaking out against a key part of President Obama's plan for fighting the Islamic State.

September 12 Comment

Ecuadorian Drilling Damage Inspires Documentary

An American and an Ecuadorian are inspired to help Ecuador heal from decades of drilling and oil spills.