6 Months Later, What Has Occupy Protest Achieved?

NEW YORK (AP) — As spring approaches, Occupy Wall Street protesters who mostly hibernated all winter are beginning to stir with plans for renewed demonstrations six months after the movement was born.

The global protests against corporate excess and economic inequality are generally thought to have begun Sept. 17 when tents sprang up in a small granite plaza in lower Manhattan. The movement has lost steam in recent months, with media attention and donations dropping off as Occupy encampments across the country were dismantled, some by force.

On March 7, the finance accounting group in New York City reported that just about $119,000 remained in Occupy’s bank account — the equivalent of about two weeks’ worth of expenses.

The Occupy movement has influenced the national dialogue about economic equality, with the word “occupy” itself becoming part of the public lexicon. In his third State of the Union address, President Barack Obama issued a populist call for income equality that echoed the movement’s message. But has anything really changed in the past six months?

Some achievements that can be connected to the efforts of the Occupy movement, and some plans for the near future:


In Albany, N.Y., Occupy protesters dubbed Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo “Gov. 1 Percent” for his refusal since the 2010 campaign to agree to a millionaire tax, and because his major campaign financial support comes from corporate executives.

Cuomo tried to evict Occupy Albany from the park co-owned by the city and the state. But the Democratic mayor, Gerald Jennings, agreed to allow Occupy Albany to stay on the city-owned side. Local Democratic District Attorney David Soares also announced he wouldn’t prosecute anyone for disorderly conduct at Occupy Albany who might be arrested by state police — who answer to Cuomo.

In a surprise, Cuomo reversed his position on the millionaire tax in December to avoid further cuts to schools and health care. Part of the $2 billion in revenue went to a modest but rare income tax cut of $200 to $400 for most middle class families. Cuomo refers to the millionaire tax as the biggest tax cut for the middle class in decades.

Democratic lawmakers attributed Cuomo’s move in part to the Occupy protesters who had targeted him across the street from the Capitol for months and had begun demonstrating just outside his office.


An Atlanta pastor, whose church struggled to pay its bills after its building was struck by a 2008 tornado, credits Occupy Atlanta with helping it to avoid foreclosure. The Rev. Dexter Johnson’s church, the Higher Ground Empowerment Center, took out a loan to rebuild and has struggled to pay its mortgage in recent months.

Johnson said the bank had agreed to work with the church to help pay its mortgage after demonstrations by Occupy members. Demonstrators had set up a camp at the church in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood, just west of downtown.

In January, Johnson learned his congregation would be allowed to stay in the building.


In Rhode Island, Occupy Providence pushed for — and won — a temporary day center to serve the homeless during the winter. Protesters made the center’s opening a condition of their departure from a public park downtown, where they had camped against the city’s wishes for more than three months.

While the city didn’t fund the center, officials pledged to help its operator, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, find money for it.

“It shows that with pressure from people, a government can be made to move,” protester Robert Malin said at the time of the center’s opening.

The city had threatened legal action to remove the protesters and their tents from the park, but the two sides instead went into mediation before a judge.


Also in Rhode Island, the state’s junior U.S. senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, introduced a bill in November to crack down on high credit card interest rates — the same week he visited the Providence encampment. While there was no direct relationship between Occupy and the bill, Whitehouse spokesman Seth Larson said Thursday, the legislation no doubt resonated with the protesters.

“It was timely, and I’m sure the Occupy folks appreciated this bill,” Larson said.

Whitehouse had introduced similar legislation a year earlier.


Occupy protesters helped save an Iraq war veteran’s home from foreclosure in Atlanta, the Huffington Post reported. “I strongly believe Occupy Atlanta accelerated the process and helped save my home,” Brigitte Walker, whose home activists began occupying Dec. 6, told the website. “If it had not been for them standing up, I probably wouldn’t be having this happy ending.” Walker had left Iraq in May 2004 when she was injured by the shock from mortar rounds, the Post reported.

Occupy Minneapolis also worked with community organizers to help a former Marine who faced eviction from his home strike a deal with his bank, the Post reported.


Occupiers in New York City will commemorate the six-month mark with a rally Saturday in Zuccotti Park, where protesters camped out for months until the city ousted them in November.

Organizers are hoping donations will start to flow in as protests begin anew this spring, including a global day of “economic disruption” on May 1.

And in some states, Occupy supporters are making forays into politics. Asher Platts is running for the state senate in Maine as a “Clean Elections” candidate. Platts, an activist who attended the protests last fall, is running on an Occupy platform.

In suburban Philadelphia, Occupy protester Nathan I. Kleinman is running a write-in campaign for Congress against four-term Rep. Allyson Schwartz in the Democratic primary on April 24. The 29-year-old said he never would have mounted a run without his Occupy experience. Kleinman withdrew from the ballot after a court hearing in which Schwartz’s supporters questioned some of the 1,500 required signatures he had gathered to appear on the ballot.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Joe cool

    What a joke, ran for mommys basement as soon as the weather dipped below 70 degrees. This will end the same way the hippie movement ended, they take showers, get jobs and leave thier ideals on the sidewalk.

    • Sensical

      So now people shouldn’t have to provide for themselves because we can demand others provide a middle-class lifestyle without earning it? That sounds incredibly sustainable. This is truly the most selfish group of people in our country.

      • jackactionhero

        “because we can demand others provide a middle-class lifestyle without earning it?”

        Why do you think anybody is demanding someone provide them any lifestyle at all? Specifics would be appreciated.

      • me

        No what should happen Sensical is that the Billionaries and the job creators should create more jobs so that the middle class isn’t sitting at such a high unemployment rate. Do you know how many employees they chould hire at 50,000 per year if they each gave up 1 mill of their salary? And they would still be making millions!!! But know…god forbid they make 7 million instead of 8…Its not about selfish people in the middle class…its about people at the top wanting to keep so much of it for themselves, that they can’t even make their companys add a few jobs so we can reduce the dang unemployment rate.

        • pat

          We should be able to keep the 5.5 months of earnings we pay in taxes to support the free loaders in this country. That is where the middle class earnings have gone.

          Stop the waste and the gimmie crowds.

        • The other 99%

          Hey maybe the billionaires would create jobs if states like this one and other blue states did not tax the heck out of there company. Also Obama care is scaring job creators. Maybe if we pass the right to work bill then maybe more companies would be will to come here.

  • jimmy's dad

    jimmy, you’re mistaken, a true grass roots movement wouldn’t have the infrastructure the occupy movement has amassed. It is simply something for the professional protesters to do between RNC’s.

  • Bill

    Perhaps these people should spend more time working and less time sitting around parks in tents. Maybe then they’d make enough money to buy a mirror…..and then they could look in that mirror to see who they have to blame for their problems. Quite whining and go to work like everyone else.

    • jackactionhero

      Actually, Bill, what’s sad is that there are people like you who think the Occupy protesters are homeless and jobless. I mean really, how embarrassing for you…

    • me

      Bill…I have a full time job thank you very much…my hours allow me to sit in a tent during my days off…

      • me to

        wow what a great way to spend your time off.

  • Fred Hayek

    “They have accomplished squat.

    The reporter is a biased idiot.” Exactly.

    • Nothing

      They have accomplished almost as much as Congress has over the past 6 months.

  • Fryk Johnman

    They have burned up tax dollars for OT on police and other civil servants. They have done nothing in part because they don’t know what they are protesting. The hippie movement spawned the “me” generations that are the core of all current social problems.This generation battered the notion of self reliance and personal responsibility and replaced it with the government and tax payer owe me a middle class life regardless of my own efforts.

    • gus

      Why is college so expensive in the US? It seems you are looking for a demon, but just like a lot of people in this day and age, you are going after the wrong people.
      Look at the cost of college tuition in the US vs other countries over the last 25 years. There is your demon.

    • Uncle Rico

      Posting again cause some psycho follows me around on these boards and is constantly trying to delete my posts, but I live to post another day… Good stuff Fryk. The lack of self reliance combined with what we are asking ourselves to do in order to earn income: spend thousands to go to college to get jobs making millionaires billionaires while toiling away on the internet sending emails in a fluorescent tomb, making marginal money, is a big source of this misdirected anger. People are largely seeing that there is not much purpose in their lives and they feel ripped off, now they need someone to blame, in this case they blame the other people who do not appear to be having such a tough go at it.

  • not quite

    No he doesn’t need to even check the mail since there’s an iphone app to verify it was tranferred into his account.

  • Jill S

    They invoke images of people driving SUVs to protests against drilling for oil.

    Completely clueless.

    • jackactionhero

      You don’t think our combat veterans (or even just a regular, working American) should have a chance to modify their mortgage to keep their homes?

      Can I ask why?

  • Bob


  • The other 99%

    6 Months Later, What Has Occupy Protest Achieved? That has to be the easiest answer of them all. I huge tax bill to local state and counties for there unruly behavior. Also nothing. These worthless people did nothing they ran inside like the losers they are when it got cold outside. I am poor but these bunch of losers would never represent what I believe in. Ron Paul 2012


    Hey Dale Dribble
    do us all a favor turn republican and keep your promise.
    As far as the Occupy movement I am not any where close to be a 1%ER, BUT PLEASE YOU OCCUPIERS do not represent me in any way shape or form. You are all idiots.

  • desert eagle .50

    The protest has achieved nothing but to serve as a minor annoyance. Hey wait a minute, that’s Jackactionqu**ro!

    What has either of them accomplished?

    Please be specific.

  • Occupyisajoke

    All of the Billionaire CEO’s have promised to stop be so greedy, so all you occupy losers can go back to your parents basements and find someone else to blame for your problems.

  • want fries with that

    Donations have dropped off. Haha, cry me a river you losers.

    • Just Re-energizing

      The 99% won’t need much money to spread their message because “your” lamestream media will do that for them.

  • Dolt


  • Bubba

    Wait til this summer and fall, these people will be more in the news than ever. I love how they make people P.O.ed. hahhaha This is only going to get bigger here and worldwide. You can dismiss them in your mind, but they’ll be here and their message will be heard.

  • All of The Above

    Gee, don’t you people ever have anything new to say, YAWN!

  • http://www.becomingamillionairefast.com/becoming-a-millionaire/becoming-a-millionaire-by-30/ Becoming A Millionaire By 30 | Becoming a Millionaire

    […] 6 Months Later, What Has Occupy Protest Achieved?As spring approaches, Occupy Wall Street protesters who mostly hibernated all winter are beginning to stir with plans for renewed demonstrations six months after the movement was born. … Read News […]

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