Giugni’s piece brings up a point we’ve talked about before, social movements and identity.
Going to the Occupy MBTA demonstration 2 weeks ago was an example of a group of people that identified somehow as a greater Boston-area citizen that would be put out by the proposed changes in the MBTA’s services. The fact that there was a wide range of ages, genders, and races protesting means the movement isn’t focused on one type of person (say women) identifying with the cause.
I think the fact that you can no longer say “occupy” without it having certain connotations is a huge impact that is a result of all the movements around the nation, and Giugni mentions the “spillover” effect, and I think that is what a lot of these occupy movements are. Since the first Occupy Wall-street movement, several other Occupy movements have sprung up, not as a response but as a result of people seeing others taking a stand on something they are unhappy about. I think OWS opened up the floodgates for people who did not realize that a bunch of people who want to make a change don’t need a single leader but merely need to get together to let their dismay be heart, and I think Giugni makes a good point about that. Winning over the public with Occupy movements is the first step towards making a bigger change or leaving behind a legacy.
Giugni also mentions that he does not believe the direct impact of the Occupy Movement will be substantial, and I have to agree with the notion that such broad movements all under the umbrella term of “occupying something” does not really give off the impression of a movement that will make one big dent in what needs to be changed. However, I do think that several small dents in the system is still an important thing. Getting the idea out that “occupying” can do something and making it culturally relevant to people means that it can have an impact later. All the dents will add up…