By Stephen Healy and Boone Shear, Truthout.net
The early characterization of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement as a group of rudderless kids with no real chance of success was fantastically misplaced. The 99 percent continues to occupy more cities, more headlines and more of our collective imagination.
The 99 percent includes people everywhere who want their basic needs met, environmentalists who want clean energy and conservation, communities that want justice for social exclusions and oppression, teachers who want more investment in education, working people wanting jobs with fair wages, students faced with dwindling job prospects who want their debt forgiven. And, of course, people want an end to the reckless corporate behavior and criminality, from - "robo-signed" foreclosures to investor fraud, from corporate personhood to out-of-control CEO compensation - that for sake of expedience is referred to as greed, though other "deadly sins" such as gluttony may do just as well.
The diversity of the movement and its purported lack of focus, has been a point of dismissal for its detractors and a source of vexation for some of its supporters, who worry that incoherency will lead to downfall.
However, we view the political heterogeneity differently. The issues are manifold, but taken together they present a quite cohesive "demand": a desire for a new society and a new economy that values people, caring and community. People want to live in commitment to and in common with each other.