I spent a half an hour of my Saturday afternoon just outside a small room in Weber State University’s Shepherd Union Building, waiting to report on an event scheduled by the Occupy at WSU Club. There were three rows of empty chairs, no one at the lectern, no note on the door and no e-mail giving notice that the meeting had been canceled.
Police skirmishes or potential participants being ousted did not seem to be reasons for the abandoned meeting, and the threat of being pepper-sprayed was not apparent.
This could have been a chance for those still passionate for the Occupy movement to support the cause. Instead it reflected a lethargic, apathetic and disorganized bandwagon that may be grinding to a halt.
Opponents to the movement often argue that the occupiers pursue a lifestyle of handouts and idleness. So when they don’t show up to their own events and let their movement fall to the wayside, I can’t help feeling unsettled.
There haven’t been any significant redistributions of wealth to the poor, and politicians are still being bought. So why the white flag? Perhaps it’s time for some “occupiers” to turn in their V masks for masks of listless couch sitters like Beavis and Butthead. Even as a sympathizer, I find the idea of lazy activists comical.
The movement lingers at a juncture of being no more than coffee shop conversation. I’m not saying the Occupy movement is dead, just in bad shape, and there seems to be a clear and simple solution: occupy. Show up and put in some effort.
Of course, I’m bitter about having part of Saturday wasted, but more than that I’m disappointed in my fellow students. We as students have a chance to make a difference in our community. The Occupy club at WSU can spread the message of the larger effort and spread the message that change is possible so long as the motion still has a voice and life.
In the film Waking Life, Louis Mackey said “What are the barriers that keep people from reaching anywhere near their real potential? The answer to that can be found in another question, and that’s this: ‘Which is the most universal human characteristic: fear or laziness?’”