UPDATE: The Jobs Rally is Thursday, not today. – Rosi
Prof. David Redlawsk, Director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll says, “While many New Jersey voters do not explicitly support the Occupy Wall Street movement, a majority endorses their key messages,” Today’s poll goes on to indicate that nearly two-thirds of New Jersey registered voters who are aware of the movement believe the protestors should be allowed to maintain their camps and demonstrations.
Our own NJ Occupy Trenton shares those messages of income inequality, a need for jobs and a reform of both political and corporate structures. However, so far participants have not transferred those concerns into an agenda and action that might achieve change. As a result they still lack the actual support of sufficient bodies, funds, and skills to sustain and grow their movement.
What helped OT the most was the attention its members received over the illegal State Trooper confiscation of property, which for the moment increased dramatically their livestream viewership. Also the court hearing which reaffirmed their rights and brought about the return of the property proved beneficial. In the case of OWS the police inspector who pepper-sprayed innocent women and Monday’s late night heavy-handed police park assault likewise re-energized occupiers and gained them new supporters.
In the case of OT the few number of participants at the memorial at any one time have allowed them to escape harsher treatment from authorities. Also without having undertaken any significant direct actions they are viewed more as an irritant than as a serious threat to the power structure across the street and the corporate lobbyists in the neighborhood.
Today at 12:00 in their headquarters at the WWII Memorial Park they plan a National Day Of Action Jobs Rally with speakers from the Northwest NJ Peace Fellowship, New Jersey Work Environment Council, NJ State Industrial Union Council, Coalition for Peace Action, and MoveOn.org. For more information on the event go here.
This event today can bring more attention to the problems. Perhaps it will also be a step that energizes them and new supporters to bring about the changes they seek. The biggest challenge OT faces is not what damage the power structure may inflict upon them but whether their actions make the power of their ideas powerful enough to galvanize more supporters and achieve meaningful results for New Jerseyans. Time is not on their side. Rather than falling into the complacency of maintaining a movement and risking a decline, they have an opportunity to rise to the moment – a time for action.