How would you define Occupy ?
Occupy brought together a group of people who felt abandoned by the current political and economic system. At the start it was about a shared set of problems, a shared anger, but by the end it was about a shared set of solutions and a shared feeling of hope.
What were you doing before Occupy ?
I often attended protests and rallies but didn’t really belong to any particular group or campaign – I was looking for something that would represent my feelings and provide a platform for suggesting how progress could be made.
Why did you participate in Occupy?
It felt like part of a global movement for change, and I just wanted to be there and do what I could. Because I had a full-time job at the time it was difficult to take part fully, but I went along to different events that were held, and donated food to the kitchen. I loved it.
What impact did Occupy have on your personal life?
After Occupy LSX was shut down by the police, I decided to join Greenpeace and become a regular activist. I still campaign with them now. Occupy made me realise that protest marches were not enough – direct action was needed to make change happen.
Did Occupy change the ways you think, feel and interact with the world? If yes, how so? What do you feel that you learned (or unlearned) that was unique to Occupy?
Occupy offered to me a glimpse of how an alternative, fully engaged and informed society could become a reality. I was overwhelmed by the determination of a group of people to camp out over winter, through the snow and the storms, to make a political point. It made me less depressed about the state of the world, because it showed me what was possible when people worked together.
What impact do you think Occupy has had on the economic and political situation?
There is now a very strong anti-establishment feeling among a huge swathe of the population. The current system is widely discredited as inherently flawed and unsustainable and its faults are now common knowledge – problems such as tax avoidance were not often discussed before Occupy but are now a central part of mainstream political debate.
Given the current political and economic situation, what is your view on what people can do to bring long lasting systemic change?
Rather than shout from the sidelines, find a cause that is close to your heart and just get involved. Apathy is the ultimate enemy.
Before Occupy, were you involved in activities related to the reasons why you participated in Occupy? (Activist groups, campaign groups, media platforms, volunteering, research, etc)
Are you still involved in activities related to the reasons why you participated in Occupy? (Activist groups, campaign groups, media platforms, volunteering, research, etc)
Greenpeace, community media
Are you still actively working or engaged with people that you met through Occupy?
What kind of activities are you doing together?
Climate activism and community media