Personal Narrative: The Occupy Movement

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The antiwar movement in the U.S. has all but vanished. Whatever once existed is now a shell of its former self. Sure, there are various individuals and paltry organizations who continue to speak-out against U.S. imperialism, but they are isolated, powerless and lacking any meaningful exposure in the broader American political landscape. To be clear, this didn 't happen overnight. When I first became involved with the movement, back in 2006, organizers routinely told me about the days and months prior to the March 19 bombing and invasion of Iraq, when hundreds of thousands of people were mobilized in opposition to Bush and Blair 's criminal war. At the time, I lacked perspective. After all, I was new to activism. Yet, there was plenty of…show more content…
The Great Financial Crash of 2008 drove the final nail into the coffin of the U.S. antiwar movement. After the U.S. economy collapsed, the national conversation drastically shifted from being dominated, or at least colored by foreign policy considerations, to being largely focused on economic policies and rightly so, as the 2008 crash was the worst economic downturn in the U.S. since 1929. Unsurprisingly, the immediate response of the elites was to push for austerity measures. Consequently, the Occupy Movement was born. Meanwhile, the connections between war and austerity were never properly articulated. Some protestors and organizers attempted to make the connection, but the broader American public never heard their message, and the Occupy Movement never cohesively vocalized such concerns. Sometimes movements have a limited opportunity to frame issues, and unfortunately Occupy never clearly stated their position on the U.S. Empire. Since then, the only major antiwar action in the U.S. took place in Chicago in 2012, where NATO was met by 15,000 peace and justice activists in Chicago. During the NATO protests, the connections between austerity at home and empire abroad were brought up, but only in conversation and protest, never in the context of a campaign or ongoing set of coordinated political

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