I could not have been more wrong.
Last week I wrote a post entitled “Messaging Failure at #OccupyWallStreet“. I noted the vagueness of the reasons that some people expressed when interviewed as their reason for attending the protest. Since then, others have noted the wide-ranging “and-a-pony” variety of the occupiers’ signs and complaints.
There was also a lot of confusion when, on Wednesday of last week, one person posted a list of four grievances on Reddit. Some bloggers and media commentators took that list as an official statement, even though it clearly constituted the thoughts of only one person. And when the NYC General Assembly finally published their “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City“, twenty-one grievances in all, it was far from the “one demand” that had been publicized as the goal by initial promoters of the event.
Is it a diluted message? Yes, of course it is.
Does that weaken the message? No, not in any way, shape, or form.
Viewing that list of grievances, the reason for the “diluted” nature of the message becomes obvious: It is diluted by necessity. The variety of crimes committed by those in power against the People is so wide-ranging that it cannot be contained in a shorter list. In fact, the NYC General Assembly acknowledges that when they say that the list of grievances is “not all-inclusive”.
The “message” from the occupiers is stronger than ever. Almost anyone, upon first hearing the news that some “hippies” (although the vast majority of them are not hippies — “hippies” has a specific meaning.) are protesting on Wall Street knows what it’s about. It’s a protest against the establishment. For many, it’s a protest against an establishment that has driven our country to the brink of ruin and taken the rights and the power of the People to govern themselves and given it to corporations and the rich. To others, it might be a protest against an establishment in which they have placed their ultimate faith for the sake of what they perceive to be their security. But it’s a protest against the establishment, and the Declaration spells out the reasons for the discontent of the millions of supporters of the occupation.
A more precise message is unnecessary. A list of demands is not needed. The only message that they have sent, and the only message that needs to be sent right now is in that Declaration, and it is very simple. It is a warning to the manipulators of the establishment that the remaining days of their laissez-faire power are few and that change is coming. That message is, in fact, only one demand:
They must submit to the will of the People.
That message could not be more clear, and no other message needs to be sent because the next one, if there must be a next one, could only be less friendly.
– David Dickinson