OccupyWallStreet: citizen participation comes in many forms
- Monday, 31 October 2011 17:17
- Written by Nikos Tsiavos
OWS is so large it has its own spin-offs
The OccupyWallStreet movement has been a major success in the sheer number and tenacity of its participants. Large part of this success is due to the massive, viral use of social media to generate interest and support for OWS. Such is the extent of the appeal of OWS that new, supporting and complementary groups keep springing on the Internet.
OccupyWishList.org is bringing together active participants in OWS and people who want to contribute with whatever they can provide to the movement. Squatters post anything they need, like sleeping bags, blankets and food, creating a “wish list” of the movement. By navigating the list, others can see exactly what is needed where, so that they can provide what help they can at the place it is needed the most.
Another new site revolving around OWS is OccupyTheURL.com. This site is a URL-redirection tool, creating an OWS-style demonstration on the net. The users of OccupyTheURL select the site they wish to occupy, and then the tool creates overlaying images of protesters on the original URL. Through this service, companies and organisations that have been targeted by OWS are getting “blockaded” in both the physical and virtual level.
The use of social media and the Internet in general to bring together and organize people sharing common concerns is become progressively more evolved and refined. They are not useful only in the generation and conservation of public interest, they also provide insight in alternative waves people can assist and participate in a public movement. They are therefore essential in expanding the number and group range of people that are given an chance to take part in causes which concern them.
Art: Eric Drooker