Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Wall Street May Be Home for Christmas

The big question about Occupy Wall Street and the other Occupy movement cities around the country is how long they plan to keep their tent cities doing. My prediction is that they will be home for Christmas.

Now of course, the police may clear the various parks and squares where they are now camped. But they could of course relocate and set up new tent cities.

December is significant, as Congress typically adjourns for a few weeks over Christmas. This year the U.S. has set a December 8 target for the Christmas adjournment. We saw that date extended further into December in 2009 for the Senate ObamaCare vote and in 2010 for the tax cut extension compromise. This year spending cuts are on the agenda for December, with the Super Committee set up in August scheduled to report the day before Thanksgiving.

The Super Committee may be the real target of the Occupy movement in the U.S. The Occupy protests are modeled after protests in Greece, Spain, Italy and Britain over austerity budgets. And what the Super Committee has been charged with is coming up with an austerity budget that will have bipartisan support in Congress.

If you go to the Occupy Wall Street website, you'll find that they've scheduled general assembly meetings through September 23, 2013 (internet working group meetings are scheduled into the 2020s and beyond). On the other hand, this was the original call for protesters in July:

"On the 17th of September, we want to see 20,000 people to flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades, and occupy Wall Street for a few months."
How long is a few months? "Few" often means "three" and three months from September 17 brings you up to a week before Christmas. Christmas Day on December 25 is exactly 99 days from September 17. "We are the 99%" is their slogan so that could be the magic number.

Of course, the Occupy movement is an army, an army of activists to be sure, but still an army. And many an army has been told they'll be home by Christmas only to find themselves camped on the frozen ground through a bitterly cold winter.

No comments: