In hindsight, the Occupy movement was a big disappointment. When the movement first took hold last autumn, Occupy’s clever framing of economic issues as a contrast between the uber-affluent 1% of America’s population and the remaining 99% was a masterful piece of sloganeering that generated widespread public sympathy. Over time, however, Occupy devolved into a self-indulgent spectacle of pointless grandstanding and ineffective wankery, punctuated by occasional bouts of anarchic violence. As Occupy sank into self-parody, public opinion plummeted and the movement became largely irrelevant.
On the bright side, our homegrown branch of the movement, Occupy Bernal Heights, has managed to avoid the ignominy of the rest of #occupy. Occupy Bernal’s secret: a tight focus on tangible goals and tried-and-true protest tactics. As the SFWeekly writes:
Back in December we told readers about the newer, much more civilized arm of the local Occupy movement, dubbed Occupy Bernal Heights. The goal of this new Occupy group was not to pitch tents on public property, but to stop foreclosures and help troubled homeowners get affordable refinancing.
So how successful has Occupy Bernal been over the last five months? We checked back with the group’s leaders, who tell us they’ve been able to stop one foreclosure and helped postpone plenty of others.
That may not sound like much, but it’s more than what some other Occupy groups have accomplished.
PHOTO: Lily Rothrock