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Occupy San Diego Marks Six Month Anniversary

Photo by Andy Trimlett / KPBS

Above: Protesters march to Civic Plaza during Occupy San Diego on Friday, October 7, 2011.


David Abramson, a member of Occupy San Diego.

Jonathan Graubart is director of the International Security and Conflict Resolution Program and an associate professor of political science at San Diego State University


Occupy San Diego, 6 Months Later

David Abramson, a member of Occupy San Diego, and Jonathan Graubart, associate professor of political science at San Diego State University, talk to KPBS about the Occupy movement.

Six months after the Occupy San Diego movement started, there are no longer protestors occupying San Diego's Civic Center.

But Jonathan Graubart, an associate professor of political science at San Diego State University, said that doesn't mean the movement has lost steam.

"I think what’s most impressive is they now have an infrastructure, both in San Diego and across the country, so now it has changed the discourse," he told KPBS. "But now it’s one frame of reference for organizing protests and organizing a strategy that’s an alternative to electoral politics in San Diego and across the country."

Graubart said the movement has infiltrated the political sphere "in a shallow manner." He said Democrats are trying to co-op some parts of the movement, while Republicans are trying to insult it.

David Abramson has been a member of Occupy San Diego for six months, but said he only spent a few nights sleeping in the Civic Center because he has a full-time job. He said he was skeptical of the movement's lack of leadership at first.

"But what the six months at Occupy San Diego has taught me is that through consensus and through working together where everyone has a voice, we come up with better decisions than if we had a leader telling us this is what we should do," he said.

He added that it's not that the movement doesn’t have leaders, but that different people are leaders at different times.

Abramson said over the past six months, Occupy has had several achievements: National Bank Transfer Day, working with unions in an effort to shut down the port and contributing to efforts to stop the SOPA and PIPA bills.

He added Occupy has "changed the collective consciousness of people, really occupied the hearts and minds of people, to injustices that are happening right now and the possibility that there is an alternative."

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