Occupy 2011

A quick report from the recent Occupy event in Slovenia.

Although the event itself was somehow ironic in being an political activity using centralist institutions (Facebook, Twitter) to passively protest against the political system and centralist institutions (the 1%); and thus perhaps clearly dysfunctional in attaining the goals to which it was aimed towards, many different groups attended from revolutionary syndicalists with megaphones, trough the Zeitgeist movement and Anonymous representatives, to guys jumping around with free hugs signs and people for the humane treatment of animals (for whatever reason).

The point that one of the promotional slogans "No political party represents us anymore" was not understood as a call against representative democracy, but rather as a statement of fact in the current Slovenian political paradigm, may have had something to do with the popularity of the event in Slovenia. Whether this is a temporary political situation, or an indication of systemic problems of representative democracy starting to show trough, is debatable.

Attendance was massive (around 4000 people crowded up the main city square in Ljubljana) and varied in age groups. There were many groups we were not previously acquainted with. The event reached the result of reminding us all that we are not alone in our efforts to make the world a better place by making systemic changes.

General media coverage appeared to be rather poor, with some media only reporting on the actions of exceedingly rare violent individuals on the otherwise peaceful and positive-spirited event. Some left wing magazines made ample note of the event though, calling it the "October revolution" only substituting the red for purple.

Even though most people seem to have been more interested in crowding around the people with the biggest sound amplifiers than adopting any of the progressive approaches adopted elsewhere, the event helped us renew our motivation to keep working. Perhaps later events of the type will encourage some groups to get better organized and yield more productive results like cooperation towards a goal.