CNN Promotes Rolling Stone's Tribute to 'Still Fighting' Occupy Wall Street

CNN's Twitter account on Thursday boosted a Rolling Stone article that hyped the far-left Occupy Wall Street movement's latest efforts. The social media post touted, "Think #OccupyWallStreet is dead? Think again. This short-lived occupation is still fighting for five key issues," and linked to Rebecca Nathanson's Wednesday piece on the "five campaigns that OWS-inspired groups have continued to fight for since the movement's presumed conclusion."

Nathanson, a freelance journalist who was written for the leftist publication The Nation, as well as Village Voice, touted how "a diverse group of new campaigns have aimed to translate the skills and networks developed during the initial two-month run of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) into tangible change. Three years after that first night at Zuccotti Park, many of these groups still remain."

The Rolling Stone writer first zeroed in on "Occupy Our Homes" campaign, and gave a brief history of this organized squatting effort:

Home foreclosures were one of the most visible aspects of the financial crash, bringing the reality of corporate greed into living rooms across the country. In October 2011, an Occupy Minneapolis protester facing foreclosure suggested expanding the occupation into her home to prevent eviction...Cat Salonek, an Occupy Minneapolis participant...helped organize Occupy Homes Minnesota, which is part of a national network currently focused on organizing renters while also pursuing policy changes and targeting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Salonek credits OWS with creating the necessary conditions "If OWS were a dandelion that the state crushed, a lot of seeds scattered and are now taking root," she says....

Nathanson then surprisingly featured a campaign that is targeting an institution notorious for its left-of-center leanings – higher education – specifically, student debt reform:

Higher education has seen better days: Total national student debt topping $1 trillion. An average student debt load of $29,000 per graduate. Increasing costs. Decreasing public funding. OWS student debt organizing began with a working group that has since turned into Strike Debt, which is creating a collective to help debtors self-organize. Countless efforts by student activists to halt tuition hikes and combat undemocratic administrations also demonstrate the vitality of the struggle for accessible education for all....

The last two campaigns that the freelance journalist spotlighted center on longstanding "progressive" pet causes – raising the minimum wage (categorized under "alternative labor") and government redistribution of wealth/resources to the poor (under the pretense of "prison refom"):

New York City fast food workers staged the largest strike in their industry's history on November 29th, 2012...this signaled a new stage in the alternative labor, or alt-labor, movement that organizes workers outside of traditional unions. Fast food workers around the country, organizing through the Service Employees International Union's Fight for 15 campaign, have been protesting for a $15 minimum wage and the right to form a union since that historic strike....

Cecily McMillan, a 25-year-old graduate student and organizer, was leaving Zuccotti Park on March 17th, 2012, when she was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer. This spring, a jury declared her guilty, despite evidence showing that she had been sexually assaulted by the officer and thrown her elbow back in self-defense....She has since used her media attention to raise awareness of the structural problems facing poor communities that lead to mass incarceration. "People are denied jobs, denied resources, essentially left to their own devices to live and take care of their own," she argues. "And when they do, you put them in jail? That, to me, is a political prisoner."

Nathanson's third pick, which she labeled "Occupy Sandy," actually functions less like a left-wing campaign and more like a charity for those affected by the 2012 hurricane:

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused massive damage to neighborhoods around New York City. By the morning after the storm, former Occupiers were coming together to provide mutual aid to impacted communities, quickly setting up kitchens and distributing goods and resources where they were most needed. After the first month of providing immediate relief, Occupy Sandy began to develop long-term projects that are still evolving, including a worker-owned cooperative in the Rockaways....

Economy Regulation Unemployment Wages & Prices Education Higher Education Wall Street protests Labeling Liberals & Democrats Protesters Online Media Rolling Stone
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