Tuesday, October 18, 2011
They came, they saw, they Occupied
Occupy Laredo officially made its debut this past Saturday Morning at Jarvis Plaza in downtown Laredo. In actuality, the group had met the evening before to make some signs and go over some preliminary plans but Saturday marked their first public event.
Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement that began slightly over a month ago, the local group was also seen later at the RioFest kayak races. The process was peaceful, respectful and organized. Some signs read "We are the 99%" echoing the idea that 1% of American Families control about 40 percent of the country's wealth. Some of the recurring themes that the movement has given voice to include: the lack of accountability on the part of some of the US's richest corporations, the consequences that rampant GREED is having on American families everywhere. Also, the movement has strived for a much more inclusive process for making decisions about what the direction the movement will continue to move in.
This open democratice approach is probably the biggest difference between the Occupy movement and that of the Tea Party. Whereas the Tea Party played to its conservative base by pandering to the more racists and nativists elemenents in their ranks, the opposite is true of the Occupiers. While the Tea Party sought to exclude many types of Americans in order to rally ultra-conservatives, the Occupy groups have at times been criticized for being perpaps too obsessed with the democratic process that it makes reaching any consensus sometimes difficult. The trick will be to maintain its openess and inclusivity while facilitating its progress.
According to the group's Facebook page, there will be meetings weekly. One on Wednesdays at 7pm and the other on Sundays at 3pm. The meetings are scheduled to be held at 1919 Santa Maria on the third level, unless otherwise announced in their Facebook page.