We’ve had a lively 3 way conversation about what the Occupy movement can learn from the experience of movements such as Climate Camp. We (Dwight Towers, Seta and myself) ranged quite widely – leadership, accountability, meetings that work even for those with little time and so on. One area we didn’t cover was vision and values.
I’ve heard many conversations about how Climate Camp lost its way. It started as a direct action focused, radical, one-off event to kick-start climate activism in the UK. There are those that would argue that by its second year (one-off, remember) it was already losing focus on action, especially affinity group direct action, and instead becoming more about education with a set piece mass action of dubious value. And yet, talk to some of the people who came into the movement via Climate Camp and they’ll often rave with enthusiasm about the very same event being written off by the original visionaries as having lost its way.
Wherever you sit on the issue, what happened and why? How can Occupy guard against the same thing happening? Indeed, should it?
Does a clarity of vision, especially radical vision, alienate others or inspire them? Can we bring new folk into a movement that’s taking a stance that the mainstream would see as hard-line, even extremist? As always I have my own views on all this, but I’m more interested in yours….