Meg Wade writes: Through our direct actions, our occupations, we have changed the international conversation. Two months ago, the country was talking about the need for austerity, not accountability on Wall Street. Now, because of Occupy Wall Street, walking down the street you will hear people talking about the ethics of bailouts, economic inequality, the crisis of deregulation, social justice and direct democracy.
What’s more, in every circle, these conversations are moving forward and taking on a life of their own. They are not limited to the space of Liberty Square, and by no means do they rely on it.
Just as the direct action and nonviolent resistance of the 1960s focused the national conversation on the immorality of segregation, and created the political space for the passage of the Civil Rights Act, so, too, has Occupy Wall Street focused the conversation on the rogue thievery of Wall Street. We have created the political space for radical change.
We’ve also had more tangible successes. In solidarity with the Move Your Money campaign, more than a half a million people moved at least $4.5bn out of the big casino banks and into responsible local credit unions, leading up to 5 November Bank Transfer Day.
Occupiers working with grassroots groups have forged incredible victories, unimaginable less than two months earlier. Just a few days ago, Occupy Cleveland mobilised in cooperation with Ohio labor unions to overturn Bill 5’s attack on collective bargaining rights. In Boulder, Colorado and Missoula, Montana, occupiers worked with Move to Amend to pass local resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and eliminate corporate personhood and corporate constitutional rights.
Which leads me to one of our biggest successes: modeling radically inclusive, democratic alternatives to our current system of governance. Nearly every Occupy has found itself plunged into discussions of what it means to speak as “the 99%”, and how to address issues of unchecked sexism, racism and class privilege, some of the longest-running issues Americans face.