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Politics

Would Organizing Hurt The Occupy Movement?

Protesters rally at an Occupy San Diego meeting in Civic Centre Plaza on Nov. 16, 2011.
Katie Orr
Protesters rally at an Occupy San Diego meeting in Civic Centre Plaza on Nov. 16, 2011.
Would Organizing Hurt The Occupy Movement?
The Occupy San Diego protest is taking part in a nationwide day of action today with several rallies. A local professor believes the Occupiers are better off not organizing.

The Occupy San Diego protest is taking part in a nationwide day of action today with several rallies. A local professor believes the Occupiers are better off not organizing.

The protestors at Occupy San Diego have a long and varied list of issues they want addressed. At a recent rally they chanted about illegal foreclosures, discrimination, executive compensation and the country’s food supply.

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San Diego State University Political Science Professor Ronald King said that’s exactly what they should be doing. He said having a broad focus and no formal organization gives the protest energy.

"The more they coalesce into a single set of demands, the more rapidly the organization dies," he said. "The more rapidly it gets turned into a normal part of politics as opposed to something that steps outside of the traditional structures."

King said all social movements lose energy eventually. The goal is to keep the momentum up as long as possible. He said the goal is not to lobby politicians, but to awaken people’s consciousness, and get them talking about politics.

As part of a day of action, Occupy San Diego and local union members are planning a rally today on the Clairemont Drive bridge over Interstate 5 in Bay Park. The organizers said they want to send a message to Congress to put people back to work by spending money on infrastructure improvements.

Among the groups expected to take part are the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, Occupy San Diego, Veterans for Peace and MoveOn.org. They're planning to gather at Mission Bay Park before walking onto the overpass, according to the event's organizers.

Corrected: February 3, 2023 at 12:18 PM PST
City News Service contributed to this report