By John O’Reilly
“Those who make revolution halfway only dig their own graves”
– Jacobin leader in the French Revolution, eventually put to death by Robespierre
After the political darkness of the Bush years and the unmet promises of the first Obama administration, Occupy Wall Street and its local spinoffs felt, for those of us who were a part of it, like a breath of fresh air. Here were people, everywhere, talking about a better world beyond Hope and Change rhetoric, beyond bumper sticker platitudes. And beyond talking, they acted! Marches around the business districts of all major U.S. cities, fights over access to public space, intense discussions over democracy, practice, politics, and vision. The cobwebs were dusted out and a thousand flowers did indeed bloom. Hardened, experienced activists and organizers found themselves facing an army of fresh idealistic faces, intent on remaking the country and the world and fundamentally shaking up the political Left in most places where Occupy took root. It was, in short, a beautiful and powerful moment.