On January 17th of 2012, the Occupy movement hopes to pull off the largest protest yet, telling supporters to set up one million tents outside Congress. Aptly named “Occupy Congress,” this would be the largest movement so far — providing they can find enough support by then.
The Occupy movement has had it rough lately. Their demands, while easy enough to understand, aren’t so easy to accomplish. With all the encampment raids, police brutality and dwindling support, even the act of occupying anything has become difficult. But Occupiers are persevering, and are planning something even more ambitious for their next move.
Occupy Congress takes the battle from Wall Street to the government, and they don’t plan on being short in numbers. Posts on reddit and then a Facebook page soon after talked about the idea of bringing one million tents to protest the fact that the American people no longer feel represented by their government. While previously the movement has been derided for its misplaced anger, the idea of going against the government itself will probably be met with a bit more enthusiasm from current opponents.
This time they also come with a clear message. Attacked by Fox News and others apparently incapable of reading for not having a clear message and not knowing why they were protesting, the movement already has a concise, unified message. One commenter wrote, “End corporate personhood. Term limits in congress (3 in house, 1 in senate)… End salary or health insurance tenure. Reform campaign finance to end corporate/pac donations.” If that’s not enough, the premise of the page itself should suffice: “It’s time for the American People to send a message to Congress. Ordinary citizens are not being represented by their elected leaders.”
Some, like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, say that Occupy Wall Street’s anger is misplaced, and that protesters should be protesting the government itself. Some conservatives, like Michele Bachmann, agreed. Now that Occupy is turning its attention to Congress, no doubt more conservatives will support them, right? Well, it’s nice to dream, anyway.
Whether Occupiers can actually gather such a large number of people remains to be seen, but their message is important. Congress simply isn’t representing the wishes of the American people, and this is a constant regardless of where anyone may fall on the political spectrum. Moving from Wall Street to Congress, a million members or not, this is an idea that most Americans should stand behind.