During his recent nation-wide tour as the MC half of Blue Scholars, Geo Quibuyen (aka Prometheus Brown) had the opportunity to observe Occupy encampments in sixteen cities, and interact with protesters in all walks of life. Immediately following the tour--which concluded in New York--Geo put his thoughts down on paper for Arab news-giant Al Jazeera's English website. Read his essay here.
The essay captures the outward appearance and prevailing mood of a number of the offshoot protests, and examines the racial undercurrents that exist ubiquitously.
I found this two-paragraph passage especially on-point:
It would be easy to dismiss these incidents as a potentially crippling disunity. On the contrary, I see it as a movement's growing pains, as people who previously had little meaningful interactions with one another are forced to hash out their differences en route to realising [sic] their similarities. This can only happen if we're actually talking with each other. Every city also had its share of typical passive-aggressive armchair activists or old-guard leftists, who dismissed the movement as a passing fad. Many of them had valid criticisms of OWS but had not spent one minute actually interacting with any protesters, nor had any interest in participating to change these conditions.
The thing is, when a sleeping giant awakes, it's going to mumble inarticulately. It'll still be letting go of the dreams it had while it was asleep. It'll probably need a good shower. The "99 per cent" might not yet resemble the actual 99 per cent, but I've come to realise that such a transformation doesn't happen without participation. Lastly, this whole Occupy thing isn't a new phenomenon. It might have taken a new form, but let's not forget that as long as classes have existed, there have been those who have dedicated their lives to organising around economic justice even before the news cameras started being pointed in their direction. In the words of a black protester at OWS, "We've already been occupying this s***".