The Occupy Movement: This just may be the beginning (OPINION)

Occupy Saint George
Photos by Mori Kessler, St. George News

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Dallas Hyland is a developing columnist for St. George News and blogs as The Amateur Broad Thinker. The opinions stated in this article are solely his own and not those of St. George News.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been following the Occupy St. George movement and I have some observations.

Despite some recent appearances, any perception of my alliance to the cause is ill conceived. While I staunchly support civil disobedience, it is my contention after following the local version of this national movement that they are so unorganized and unclear in their objectives, they will have no traction whatsoever and in short order be dismissed as inept at best, and just plain silly at worst.

But this does not mean by any stretch that it is over. This may well be just the beginning. As I noted before, what remains to be seen is what is learned from the Occupy movement going forward and how the lessons will be implemented in future.

Keep in mind the Occupy Saint George movement is the first real protest this city has seen and the gravity of that alone is monumental. Also keep in mind, the national version is anything but frivolous.

While media coverage of the event is scarce, one has only to go outside of traditional profit and ratings-driven sources to see that it is arguably the largest organized protest in this country since the Vietnam War, and is a formidable force to be reckoned with.

Dismissing these people in a broad stroke and labeling them radicals and fools is dangerously presumptuous on the part of those who wish to see things remain as they are.

The behavior of elected officials and what dictates their decisions is reaching a point of critical mass whereby more and more people are feeling compelled to step up and demand change. And understand what is meant by change. Not change we can believe in, but rather change from egregious and erroneous misuses of power to extract wealth from the people of this nation and govern in a manner in direct opposition and defiance to the will of that people.

This is what lies at the nucleus of these movements and will serve as the ever growing catalyst to fuel future attempts to realign the country.

What I am trying to say is, despite the likely inevitability of the fissure of the Occupy movement here in St. George, what is sure to come is more movements with similar goals that may arise and they will take into account the mistakes of their predecessors becoming more polarized and succinct in their goals. The Occupy Saint George movement will rightly take credit for being a maverick of sorts, setting things into motion.

The problems that plague us on a national level trickle down to the local levels in every conceivable facet. We would be naive to think that the only place where handshake deals between businesses and elected officials happen in Washington D.C. And, when one of these local movements realizes that the way to be effective nationally is to first be effective locally, the changes and demand of remedies may gain more ground than they are being given credit for. While what will come of these things is uncertain, what is certain is the face of revolution has been forever altered with the advent of social media and its unprecedented ability to reach the masses. It gives credence to the old adage of the pen being mightier than the sword in that it is the new sword and it’s sharper than ever.

With its power of instantaneous correspondence, visual and audio capabilities, and word wide audience, it is inevitable that more and more of these types of movements demanding accountability will gain traction and become a fundamental facet of our society.

It remains to be seen if Occupy Saint George will pull together and make any lasting impact; but be sure of this, the box has been opened and there is likely no going back.

See you out there.

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Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.

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1 Comment

  • Robert Wilkes October 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    The real teeth of the issues that surround both the occupy movement as well as the Tea Party stem from the fact that all classes of people are taking a beating in today’s economy. We are all witnesses of the most far reaching and devastating redistribution of wealth in the history of our country. It would be great if we were looking at the issues of PAC influence and the development of Goliath corporations and addressing reforms to protect our democracy from the gulf of inequality that is rearing its ugly head. Instead, we are divided into equally dissatisfied factions who are watching our freedoms and basic rights slowly erode beneath our feet. Wouldn’t it be great if instead of pointing out hippies and homeless on the local news and/or embracing the fear mongering of extremism, we stood united to work together to make our country a better place for everyone. (sigh……I guess I am just a die hard idealist at last).

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