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Occupy Movement to Blossom as Spring Approaches

Groups from across the country planning actions in the coming weeks and months

- Common Dreams staff

The Occupy movement is hoping to increase its presence as the cold winter months come to an end. Many Occupy groups from across the country are planning new actions in the coming weeks.

Occupy Protesters Marching in Boston. Many Occupy groups are planning to increase activity in the Spring. (Flickr photo: Occupy Boston) Occupy the MidWest is planning a conference this weekend and is hoping the warmer weather will help provide the movement a spark.

From CBS St. Louis. 

The Occupy movement is looking to bloom early this year from hibernation thanks to unseasonably warm weather across much of the U.S.

“The warmer weather brings out larger chunks of the population who are not able to participate in the colder months,” Chuck Witthaus, an organizer with Occupy the Midwest, told CBS St. Louis. “It’s definitely going to help perpetuate [the Occupy movement].”

The weather is merely a coincidence for what organizers are hoping will be the true jumping-off point for Occupy’s 2012 comeback.

Occupy the Midwest, a large-scale convention intended to breathe new life into the movement, is set to take place this weekend in St. Louis. And it was not organized around the early increase in temperatures.

“There was a lull over the winter, a hibernation period where we went into an indoor planning mode for discussing tactics to use when we reemerged in the spring, as a way to strengthen occupations and bring them back together,” Witthaus said.

At UMass Boston, where students have been occupying the campus since January, organizers have moved their encampment from the inside of the Student Center to an area outside on the campus.

From the Boston Globe:

After camping out in their campus center for 50 days, the Occupy UMass Boston University of Massachusetts Boston movement has shifted outside.

Wednesday marked the third day the group has claimed a spot on the school’s plaza in a military tent that was used as a kitchen during Occupy Boston's encampment downtown. They city cleared out the downtown encampment in December.

“We’ve been talking with the administration and decided to take the movement outside,” said Matthew Gauvain, 29, a UMass Boston student originally from Lynn.

Richard Kim, writing in the Nation magazine yesterday, further explained how Occupy plans to be more active now that Spring is approaching.

In people’s living rooms, in donated office spaces and in indoor parks, Occupy’s working groups are as busy as they were in the fall. Occupy Our Homes has resisted foreclosures and evictions in dozens of cities across the country. Occupy the SEC filed a public comment on the Volcker Rule urging regulators to strengthen this aspect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Other groups have been hard at work on issues ranging from student debt to alternative banking to worker-owned cooperatives. Meanwhile, protests—against police brutality; against corporations like Bank of America, Pfizer and Walmart; against budget cuts; and against institutions like the Whitney Museum—have continued at an almost frenetic pace. Organizers have also been using the winter to incubate grander plans, among them a May 1 Day of Action that may turn into a call for a nationwide general strike and proposals to occupy corporate shareholder meetings, the NATO summit in Chicago, and the Democratic and Republican conventions at the end of the summer.

There’s no question that Occupy will be back this spring—it never really went away. But what will this second stage look like?

 

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