Today: May 22, 2024

Occupy a new tactic

Christopher McBriartyStaff Writer
Occupy New Haven is still standing, but barely. The beginning of last week saw the city of New Haven order the occupiers to leave as of noon Tuesday. The press, police and bulldozers arrived, but the occupiers were granted an emergency stay by a federal judge in New York just before their time was up.
But this extension has done nothing but kick the can down the road. The occupiers will catch up to the can and then what? Occupy New Haven hasn’t won here. Yes, the occupiers secured an extension, but this has to end at some point.
Even their founder, Josh Smith, has called for an end to the occupying. “The camp is not the movement,” he said in a Facebook post directed at the media last week. “I feel that we should regroup and refocus so that we can regain the supporters who agree with our ideology but disagree with the tactics currently being used.”
This Occupy movement had their time to make a change, but that passed months ago. The occupying itself has become part of everybody’s reality. And that’s why it has failed. When you walk near the green you aren’t shocked or intrigued about what those tents are doing there, or how the movement is going; it’s barely even a conversation piece – the movement has become stale.
New Haven’s encampment is the last one standing in New England — that is quite an achievement. I have in fact been in the encampment to interview an occupier, but my time there only aided some of the stereotypes so often thrown around to describe occupiers.
If the movement is to resurrect it needs to stop occupying and put its energy into a new tactic. And now is the perfect time for them, rather than continuing this woefully stubborn strategy. While they have the press, which will no doubt gather when their next eviction date comes, they should use that airtime to promote a new method to secure their goals. It is better to burn out than fade away, and this is Occupy New Haven’s time to do just that.

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