The day was eventful, and not only because it was our last formal lecture, although it must be noted that I did have a great time in #COMM506, learned a lot, I digress, and will save that for another blog post.
The ideas and concepts covered in the classroom today entailed topics that are a part of mainstream media; at least they have become a part of the mainstream. As the title of this blog suggests, we looked at movements through technology that reinforce resistance, which built upon the theories and themes we discussed and analyzed in the last class.
It is important to note that resistance through technology can take on many different shapes and forms, for example, political issues, health issues or local road construction problems; these resistances can be large or small in nature and cover a wide range of topics. What makes them unique in today’s global society is that they can gain significant backing from countless individuals throughout the world. This is mainly the result of the internet and the ability to use platforms such as Twitter, to mobilize and reach a larger audience, so even a small issue can be significant to those interested.
For this post we will look specifically at Occupy Wall Street movement. We all know what #OccupyWallStreet is, but what did they do, and why?
Economic disenfranchisement has led people to questioning current systems and forced them to act through social media, the easiest way to express oneself to a large audience base in our current digital world. These platforms empower people by showing them they are qualified and do not need elected officials to conduct democracy, in order for their voices to be heard. They themselves are able to achieve their own ends. Even if a person does not agree with the results, they will feel that they are a part of the process, which is enough for most people.
It is important to remember, we live in a democracy and yet work in a dictatorship, we may have the democratic impulse, but do not know how to conduct it when we have only known oppression. In essence, these new forms of expression allow us to from dyadic relations; how we treat each other will change our world and cultural views. Occupy Wall Street, was one mechanism that allowed the people to practise these ideologies in the real world, to learn and then act on our ideas.
In the words of Patrick Bruener one of the primary coordinators of Occupy New York iterated, our future has been stolen, he described this movement not as a protest, but a platform to start new discussions, a real shift from the ordinary to get people thinking in a new direction. Social movements, they are no longer copyrights of how groups should function, instead they have become a model to be adapted and remixed to their own particular situation, in this way Occupy became its own Meme.