Occupy Wall Street is changing the face of the protest by opening doors with technology. They are fighting the system from within the system.
Over the course of the semester, my posts have told you about how social networking brought more to the scene originally, and turned into an analysis of the social network that Occupiers are helping to create – The Global Square. The Global Square aims to provide a network of safety to the common protestor by allowing users to have public discussions or opt for private conversations on a website who’s information cannot be controlled or monitored by the government. The need for this became more eminent when Occupy protestor Malcolm Harris’s Twitter information was subpoenaed last October.
Since the police force is part of the system that OWS is trying to fight, the more control that is readily visible, the higher tensions rise. Although there is not as much at risk for our protestors here as there may be in other countries, The Global Square and other inventions of the like are being constructed with global boundaries, meaning that this app and website could be used without the government’s knowledge in places where it is dangerous to question authority. A Little Help from My Friends talks about the solidarity between protestors in the Arab Spring, and their support of Occupiers here in America. Some from Tunisia even offered words of advice.
This global connection stemming from trying to overthrow the “system” has already started to transfer to global programs. The Global Square specifically is trying to jolt the analysis of what needs to be reformed locally, nationally and globally. They are not just calling for analysis though, but action when necessary. They have even started something along the lines of developing a global non-monetary currency, with their global market. Even though this system is not yet developed or up and running, this system and progress in general being made by those in Zuccotti Park along the lines of technology have the potential to create a social revolution. However, others in the park are not concerned with anything outside the boundaries of the Park.
Although there are many occupiers working on technological advances, some don’t even feel electricity is necessary. Writer Nathan Jurgenson theorizes why this is by claiming, “There is the general mood at Zuccotti Park that humans are the most important technology that we have and that we live in a culture where we have become subservient to non-human technologies rather than the other way around” (Jurgenson, 2012). Even though there is a global idea in mind, OWS is also trying to take action locally first to save small business from big corporations. For example, they support local farmers and in exchange the farmers feed them. Even though their views are very different, their goals and ideals are the same.
OWS is movement that is both global and local. It stands against corruption in our system, and for countries everywhere. Occupy Wall Street shows this with technology and supporting local businesses but they are a lot more than just that, because they are fighting for this cause in many different ways.