“Occupying is not the same as demonstrating,” observes Saskia Sassen, a sociology professor at Columbia University. She is making a distinction between recent public demonstrations against governments around the globe and those of the past. (“A Global Phenomenon: Squares That Have Hosted Protests,” by Peter Beaumont, http://http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/22/urban-protest-changing-global-social-network)
According to Sassen, what makes these demonstrations different is that they aren’t an effort to grab power. They are a gathering of citizen calling up their government to implement reforms — a better distribution of wealth and nobler ideals of citizenship, for example. They lack of a top down structure and are usually arranged through social media and Twitter. What binds those who gather is not the ideology of a leader but an existing consensus on what is right and just.
Skeptics wonder if this new form of “revolution” has staying power. Can it be effective? My guess is that it can. In a democracy, when law abiding citizens call upon their leaders to act and when those appeals are based upon the highest principles upon which that country is founded, their voices will be heard.
Governments may distort language to serve their own ends, (See blog 7/24/13), but the public is capable of doing a little parsing of its own. Let the sociologists and historians scratch their heads and wonder about meaning. Citizens already know. They’ve given a new intent to the word occupy.
(Courtesy of anotherangryvoice.blogspot.com)