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Home » Local and State, World

Testify - OccupyHouston.org

Submitted by RamonLP4 on October 5, 2024 – 7:53 amOne Comment

OccupyHouston happens tomorrow. At 8:30am people will gather at Market Square and at 9am they will begin to march to the JP Morgan Chase Tower and end up at Herman Square Plaza outside of City Hall in what organizers call a “stand in peaceful solidarity with our brothers and sisters occupying Wall Street and the rest of the nation” to “end corporate corruption of democracy.” There are a lot of questions people have about the event so we reached out to the people running occupyhouston.org to discuss how they saw the event.

Before the Q&A, I should clarify is the use of a pseudonym.  There is a lot of baggage with using a pseudonym and I just want to be clear that at no time during the interview did the interviewee ever hide his true identity.  The person I spoke with chose a pseudonym, Branch, simply for the purposes of the article because, as he put it, “The organization is headless. I am the one who made the twitter, facebook page, and youtube videos. I do not want to be branded a leader.”  I could respect that he didn’t was to be seen as speaking for others and so I obliged his request.

FPH - What inspired the movement and in particular, this event in Houston?

Branch- It would be nigh impossible to fully touch on this question. In short, we inspired each other. Personally, the murder of Troy Davis pushed me over the edge. Apathy inspired me. I saw that this is what apathy creates, the death of innocence and doubt. Turning off the T.V. inspired this movement. Resistance to rampant greed inspired us.

FPH - What are the aims of Occupy Houston?

Branch - We seek to create a place for citizens, who are concerned about the world, to come together to communicate and share ideas. We aim to create a people’s lobby that has the people in mind and not corporate interests. We wish to find the community we are told we have. It’s not time to sit behind a computer and read the news, it’s time to go outside and BE the news!

FPH - What is it not?

Branch - It is not anything in particular and it is everything all at once. It is not corporations. It is not one individual. It is not one political party.

FPH - I find that the issues surrounding corporations going beyond party and ideology but people generally portray this in a liberal/progressive light? Why do you think this is? I would think there is commonality on various issues across the standard left/right constructs.

Branch - Sensationalism. Mainstream media is based on the partisan status quo. This is an attempt to create sides so people can join the “fight”. All we want is to discuss and agree! We have no sides, we are all sides. If we are pitted against one another, the corporate elite have no one to slow them in their drive to own everything. I personally believe this is a tactic to undermine us and our voice. They’ve spent billions upon billions to secure their ability to run the country, it would be silly to think they won’t try to wrench power back from us when they realize they are losing their grip.

FPH - The movement is quite amorphous. I find that gives it some advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage is possibly having a muddled message but the advantages I see by being such a loose group is it can avoid the pitfalls of entrenched local “leaders” taking over the movement and be more inclusive. How do you see the pluses and minuses of the movement?

Branch - You nailed it. People are so used to figure heads and one message protests that last a day. It is hard for people to wrap their mind around because it doesn’t fit into their preconceptions. Without leaders, no one can steal or destroy the integrity of the group, no one can abuse the group. If any occupy group were to endorse a single candidate, I can guarantee you they will alienate a large portion of their assembly and lose most, if not all, of their momentum. Talking points drive people away, sharing concerns brings people together.

FPH - I know you can only speak for yourself but how would you define success for the movement and how would you describe failure?

Branch - I like how you worded that question. : ) To me, it is already a success. We have gotten the attention of those in control. We have 4 weeks left in this news cycle. Success would be if this carries on into week 7 and actually causes our politicians to come to agreements that have the people’s well being and not corporate interests in their root form.

FPH - For those of us who cannot join you on Thursday, how can we lend our support?

Branch - They can always go online to www.occupyhouston.org and help us do research or any of the other countless jobs. There is a donations page on our website and links to the proper work groups for contributing time and energy. If someone has something tangible that isn’t money and they wish to donate they can always contact us at Info@OccupyHouston.org or on twitter and. We can arrange delivery or pick up. This is by the people, so any help is appreciated.

Occupy Houston Thursday, October 6 beginning at 8:30am @ Market Square Park

One Comment »

  • Liz says:

    Thanks for the article; I definitely learned from it. I missed the October 6 event but I’m going to visit http://www.occupyhouston.org and get involved in some way.

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