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10 Ways the Occupy Movement Changes Everything

Many question whether this movement can really make a difference. The truth is that it is already changing everything. Here’s how.
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This Changes Everything Book Cover with Publishing Information

Edited by Sarah van Gelder and the staff of YES! Magazine.
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2011, 96 pages.
$6.95 (30% off the cover price when you buy from YES!. All royalties from this book are donated to the Occupy Wall Street movement)

1. It names the source of the crisis.
The problems of the 99% are caused by Wall Street greed, corrupt banks, and a corporate take-over of the political system.

2. It provides a clear vision of the world we want.
We can create a world that works for everyone
, not just the wealthiest 1%.

3. It sets a new standard for public debate.
Those advocating policies and proposals must now demonstrate that their ideas will benefit the 99%. Serving only the 1% is no longer sufficient.

4. It presents a new narrative.
The solution is no longer to starve government, but to free society and government from corporate dominance.

5. It creates a big tent.
We, the 99%, are made up of people of all ages, races, occupations, and political beliefs, and we are learning to work together with respect.

6. It offers everyone a chance to create change.
No one is in charge. Anyone can get involved and make things happen.

7. It is a movement, not a list of demands.
The call for transformative structural change, not temporary fixes and single-issue reforms, is the movement’s sustaining power.

8. It combines the local and the global.
People are setting their own local agendas, tactics, and aims. But we also share solidarity, communication, and vision at the global level.

9. It offers an ethic and practice of deep democracy and community.
Patient decision-making translates into wisdom and common com-mitment when every voice is heard. Occupy sites are communities where anyone can discuss grievances, hopes, and dreams in an atmosphere of mutual support.

10. We have reclaimed our power.
Instead of looking to politicians and leaders to bring about change, we can see now that the power rests with us. Instead of being victims of the forces upending our lives, we are claiming our sovereign right to remake the world.

Tents at Occupy Oakland photo by Seth Schneider

Occupy Oakland.

Photo by Seth Schneider.

This article is excerpted from the book, This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement edited by Sarah van Gelder and the staff of YES! Magazine and published this month by Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Sarah van Gelder and David Korten are co-founders of YES! Magazine; Steve Piersanti is publisher of Berrett-Koehler Publishers. This article is available under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivs (CC BY-ND) license, which allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the original publication of this book (Oakland photo not included). A digital version of this article, and other resources, can be found here.


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