Occupy, One Year Later: Fizzling or Thriving?

Observers weigh in on the movement's impact
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2012 1:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – Occupy Wall Street celebrated its first anniversary today not so much with a bang as with a whimper—police and press outnumbered protesters. Reactions from both sides of the fence:

  • In the Daily Beast, Matt Taylor says the movement has "fizzled" as organizers, too worried about being "co-opted" by a political party, started to fight internally. "So long as Occupy remains a symbolic phenomenon that exists only to sustain its own subculture—to speak to its own members—it won’t be able to tap into the broader economic anxiety that is still festering across a battered, wary electorate," he writes.

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  • But on Salon, Rebecca Solnit insists the movement is far from over. Today's protests may not be as attention-grabbing as some of the first events, but organizers are meeting regularly in cities across the US and even abroad. Those meetings have resulted in many "little victories," like a foreclosure being prevented or a restaurant chain unionized, and some big ones, too—but more important is "the less tangible spirit of Occupy and the new associations it sparked," which will continue to have an impact for years to come.
  • Stephen Zunes is with Taylor—the movement has "fizzled"—but it has undoubtedly had an impact on the American "political narrative," Zunes writes on CNN. Just look at President Obama's "populist stance:" Occupy made the 99% a force to be reckoned with.
  • One thing is for sure: Occupy has been good for the markets. Since the movement launched, the S&P 500 is up 20% and financial stocks are up 25%, according to MarketWatch. Ironically, the six biggest banks on Wall Street are all doing better, too.
(Read more Occupy Wall Street stories.)

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