They now champion causes that used to be associated with the Right
Today marks the ten-year anniversary since the founding of the ‘Occupy’ movement. The protest began in the financial district of New York City, in response to the perceived failure of the government to punish Wall Street for the 2008 financial crash. Traditional media figures were often banned from attending the rallies, replaced by bloggers and gonzo-journalists like Tim Pool.
Many of protesters were young millennials disillusioned with party politics, and who embraced Left-wing economics as an alternative to capitalism. The prevailing mood was anti-establishment, with activists trialing new forms of internal governance – such as the infamous ‘progressive stack’. Identity politics quickly gained a foothold in proceedings, and before long the movement imploded under the weight of its own contradictions.
What was the legacy of Occupy? Tim Pool, a citizen journalist turned YouTuber, spoke to Freddie Sayers in March about his experience covering the protests, and how they shaped the Left for years to come:
Today, many of these people, people I knew at Occupy have flipped — they’re advocating for censorship now. Some of these people are playing these out-of-context media manipulation games, and it’s surprising to me to see. For them, I suppose it was always just a means to an end — a tactic.
- Tim Pool, UnHerd
On how the Left and Right position flipped:
If you go back even further to the battle in Seattle, which in the late 90s. These were leftists. These were people on the Left that were protesting against the World Trade Organisation and a lot of these globalist free trade policies. For the longest time I remember the Left was talking about not free trade, but fair trade. Now, all of a sudden, you get Donald Trump who’s running as a Republican arguing against these free trade agreements — and even Bernie Sanders — yet somehow now, the Left today aren’t opposed to major corporations — they are the ones primarily saying private companies have a right to regulate speech. They’re the ones who are either overlooking or ignoring many of these free trade agreements, which are hurting the working class… So there’s been this strange realignment.
- Tim Pool, UnHerd