The primary complaint about the Occupy movement is that they are unemployed dirty hippies and that they don’t have any plan for achieving change. They are complainers and don’t understand how things get done.
I don’t agree with those complaints. Perhaps it’s because I saw the movement up close as a New Yorker, but this just didn’t feel like the “dirty hippie” protests of old. This protest seemed to understand and exploit the media, rather than scoff at it. There was a financial sophistication to some of the protesters that blunted the direct “you just don’t understand” trope. While the visible protest was powerful, if you probed the protesters, some would talk about specific policies and regulations that they wanted changed. And I’ve always argued that the Occupy movement has the potential to translate its energy into change in both the streets and the ballot box.
Well, here they go. When the Securities and Exchange Commission proposes a new regulation, it is required to publicly announce the proposed rule and seek public comment before the final implementation of the rule. While this is a public call for comment, the period realistically provides industry lobbyists an opportunity to advocate for edits to the rule. It is a technical, legal process foreign to most of the public. The Occupy movement decided to jump into the process, with members who clearly exhibit financial and legal know-how drafting a 325-page comment letter to the SEC.
This is the maturation of the Occupy movement. This is why they aren’t really going away.