After seeing a few stories about the renewed Occupy Wall Street effort yesterday in a number of global cities, I wondered: what happened to Occupy Naperville? A few updates:
1. From the Occupy Naperville website (occupynaperville.org): they will be meeting again this Saturday, September 22.
Occupy Naperville Every Saturday Until We End the Corporate Dominance of our Government and Achieve Economic, Social, Democratic, and Environmental Justice for All
- We are a grassroots movement, non-partisan and non-violent and enlightened, intent upon establishing genuine democracy and just systems with sharing and fairness toward all.
- Overcoming domination by elites and involving representatives of all stakeholders can lead society to creative solutions in both public and private spheres that serve the common good.
2. The media has been quiet regarding the group. The last story I could find in the local media was from April 17, 2012 when both Occupy Naperville and a local Tea Party group went to Benedictine University:
Benedictine University in Lisle held Youth Government Day on Tuesday. Through the event, Benedictine hosted several hundred high school students and representatives of two political movements…
This year, the CCL invited representatives of two highly visible political movements — Occupy Naperville and the Illinois Tea Party — to campus to demonstrate to high school students what their rallies look like. The students — with public safety officials, CCL leaders and their teachers present — were able to choose which of the mock rallies they wanted to attend. The event was designed as a learning exercise for the students, not to elicit any tension or conflict between the two groups.
After the rallies, leaders from both movements took part in a panel discussion with the students. Each side discussed what motivates them, how they organize, what resources they have and how they use social media to communicate with their members.
I wonder if any local students were convinced either way.
3. I’d love to see an academic study about Occupy Wall Street in the suburbs. All of the news stories I have seen have focused on the big cities and the larger gatherings of protesters. What happens to a social movement group in a more decentralized landscape? Naperville may be a suburban corporate center but these big businesses are not downtown. The protesters could still take on Starbucks, Apple, and other chain restaurants and retail stores but that is not quite the same in going to headquarters of major banks in a big city.