Opinion
School & District Management Opinion

What is Occupy Doing Now?

By Greg Jobin-Leeds — December 19, 2011 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

I am interrupting my 5 part series to answer questions I am getting about what Occupy is doing now.

What is Occupy Doing Now?
In East New York, in Dorchester, MA and in many places in the US, the Occupy Movement took new, concrete steps last week by occupying empty homes that banks are sitting on. The “Occupying Homes” movement is focusing on the crisis of home foreclosures in communities hardest hit by these foreclosures. Occupy is basing itself, grounding itself and orienting its spotlight better on working class issues. Occupy is more going to the root of problems. More than focusing on just one family that is threatened by eviction, Occupy is focusing on the banks sitting on homes and is helping families move into homes, defending homes that have been foreclosed and defending homes that are threatened with foreclosure. It is a qualitative leap for the movement.

There are millions of homes with no people in them and millions of people without homes. Occupy is showing that a home is a human right, not purely a commodity to be bought or sold for profit. As educators, we know the difficulty of educating families that are constantly on the move and do not have a secure roof over their head.

Occupy the Homes is exposing the problems with the system of banks taking homes. It is challenging the concept of financing home ownership and even challenging the concept of property. Occupy is promoting the concept of “the commons” (starting from the notion that nobody owns the water and air); for the right to live in a home, Occupiers are questioning the current logic of buying, selling and making profits off homes without consideration for its human impact. The idea is to treat a house similarly to an education or healthcare, which many of us think of as rights. This shift illustrates the ideological battle of our day: is everything for profit? Are there things that belong to us as humans on this planet? Occupy is promoting this idea of public spaces, including public education.

How does this relate to education?
Public education is facing the opposite challenge. Education is currently seen as a fundamental right. The most ideological of the 1 percent are trying to turn education into a product to be bought and sold (the way homes are mostly treated in our society). These 1% supremacists want to make education exclusive. Occupy is fighting the commoditization of learning so that education does not become a marketplace where profit rules supreme. Occupy is fighting to keep education inclusive. In the United States education is free and the struggle now is to keep it free - and expand the right for all children to have access to a high-quality education. Hardcore capitalist extremists are trying to make education private; a commodity. (Note that our new home is at Daily Kos)

The opinions expressed in Democracy and Education are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Letter to the Editor School Mask Mandates: Pandemic, ‘Panicdemic,’ or Personal?
"A pandemic is based on facts. A 'panicdemic' is based on fears. Today, we have both," writes a professor.
1 min read
School & District Management How 'Vaccine Discrimination' Laws Make It Harder for Schools to Limit COVID Spread
In Montana and Ohio, the unvaccinated are a protected class, making it tough to track and contain outbreaks, school leaders say.
4 min read
Principal and District Superintendent Bonnie Lower takes the temperature of a student at Willow Creek School as the school reopened, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont.
Bonnie Lower, a principal and district superintendent in Willow Creek, Mont., checks the temperature of a student as Willow Creek School reopened for in-person instruction in the spring.
Ryan Berry/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP
School & District Management Opinion 'Futures Thinking' Can Help Schools Plan for the Next Pandemic
Rethinking the use of time and place for teachers and students, taking risks, and having a sound family-engagement plan also would help.
17 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion The Consequence of Public-Health Officials Racing to Shutter Schools
Public-health officials' lack of concern for the risks of closing schools may shed light on Americans' reticence to embrace their directives.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty