Expert: Organization, Message Next Challenge For Occupy
By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Occupy Philadelphia and many similar groups across the nation have been forced to fold up their tents. But, they promise to keep up the fight against economic disparity in a new form.
Catherine Wilson, assistant professor of Political Science at Villanova University, says the challenge for the fledgling movement is to consolidate its message and grow.
“The biggest challenge that they have now is to broaden their base of support to other people outside the movement and to figure out, ‘how can we engage in coalition advocacy?’ Any sort of successful social movement shows its effectiveness best when it appeals to groups outside of their base of operation.”
She says what we have just witnessed is the incubation period. Wilson says the next step will be the coordination phase and possibly a collective leadership will emerge.
“The movement is currently sitting at a crossroads. I think it can continue to operate as a loosely organized leaderless and grass roots phenomenon, or it can start coordinating with other Occupy groups across the country and broaden its base of support.”
Anyone who has observed the Occupy movement knows it is based in pure democracy with everyone having a voice. But, Wilson says, because of the lack of leadership, the mainstream can’t wrap their heads around the idea.
“Everyone wants Occupy to play the traditional political game, and that’s not exactly what the Occupy movement wants. They actually want to create their own game and have others take part.”
Wilson says each Occupy group in each city created its own agenda and getting all of the groups to draw up one solid agenda will be part of its future.