PLAINFIELD — What the Occupy movement did last year was vitally important, but for it to effect real change politically, it needs to offer avenues for people to get involved who don’t want to sleep on a sidewalk.
That was one of the messages at a conference on the movement attended by more than 250 people Saturday at Goddard College in Plainfield.
The underlying purpose of the eight-hour conference was to look back at what’s been learned by the movement and to pave a path forward.
The movement was spearheaded by the anti-capitalist magazine Adbusters. The first Occupy Wall Street protest began Sept. 17 in Zuccotti Park in New York’s financial district.
A famous poster for the protest shows a ballerina dancing on top of the charging bull statue near Wall Street with the words, “What is our one demand?”
While there are a lot of issues circling around the Occupy movement, the one common demand appears to be social and economic justice.
To highlight that point, participants of the movement identify themselves as being part of the 99 percent of America that’s not wealthy and powerful.
Author Les Leopold, whose most recent book is “The Looting of America,” said that what the protesters did was “vitally important.”