The occupation seems to be culminating in Northern California. First, Occupy Oakland made headlines. Oakland’s events seem to have spurred similar movements in Berkeley and Davis. As a former Cal student, I have always looked at contemporary Berkeley movements as very ideologically motivated, yet lacking the desperation and passion of the working/revolutionary class. After all, the majority of Cal is made up of the comfortable middle class. These students seemed to have nothing more than a romantic idea of revolution and change. For this reason, it seemed nothing changed on a significant scale.
That being said, I have caught myself being further intrigued by these movements. I have even pondered joining one or two in the past couple of weeks. They seem to not go away, after all. Of course, I do have stakes in the changes that the majority is demanding. I will graduate law school with about 150K in debt while being thrown into an uncertain economy. Safety nets, especially for a young lawyer, might mean the difference between surviving somewhat comfortably and sleeping on a friends couch while I wait for a job to come around.
In tune with the message of this forum, however, I analyze this change in position by taking a step back. Despite being regarded as some of the more progressive areas, my time in Ecuador, Berkeley, Mexico City, Amsterdam and New Mexico never instilled a passion to fight “for the revolution”. Perhaps this was because of my somewhat comfortable student-loan funded lifestyle. Or even a step further, perhaps it was because I never needed to.
Bringing this analysis to today’s buzzing movements all over Northern California, perhaps the “revolution” will continue because people have nothing to loose. Students like me will graduate with exponential debt. It makes one think if it is worth spending 200K in order to make 50K a year. Working folk continue to live without access to healthy food options, adequate health insurance and too many overtime hours. It seems like now a days, not only do the working class, but more and more, students and the educated class live in continuing anxiety. With enough time, health and sleep-deprived people will become agitated. The ideological class may become the working class.
The coming few months will tell us if indeed now is the time.