The seed of last fall’s explosive protest movement was planted in the Canadian culture-jamming glossy Adbusters, where co-founder Kalle Lasn and senior editor Micah White first dreamed up what they called in an e-mail chain “the Occupy Wall Street meme.” When demonstrators were evicted from Zuccotti Park, the protest’s godfathers were excited, declaring it time for Phase II: “”The chessboard has been overturned, and now a new game begins!” Lasn declared. But in the months since, satellite encampments have fizzled, the May Day jamboree proved fleeting, and momentum has stalled completely. Adbusters is well aware.
Yesterday on its website, which is still dominated by all things Occupy, the activist rag detailed the issues of the movement’s “painful rebirth”:
Burned out, out of money, out of ideas … seduced by salaries, comfy offices, book deals, old lefty cash and minor celebrity status, some of the most prominent early heroes of our leaderless uprising are losing the edge that catalyzed last year’s one thousand encampments. Bit by bit, Occupy’s first generation is succumbing to an insidious institutionalization and ossification that could be fatal to our young spiritual insurrection unless we leap over it right now. Putting our movement back on track will take nothing short of a revolution within Occupy.
The solution, according to our spirited neighbors to the north, is flash encampments: “Small groups of fired up second generation occupiers acting independently, swiftly and tenaciously pulling off myriad visceral local actions, disrupting capitalist business-as-usual across the globe.” Occupy the Farm in California is one such example, as are groups physically resisting the foreclosure of homes around the nation. While the flagship New York City contingent might not like hearing that they’re bloated and spent, the first step to moving forward is admitting you have a problem. Consider this the Adbusters intervention.