Kicked Out but Still Kicking: Five Ways to Keep the Occupy Fort Lauderdale Movement Alive

Categories: Broward News
Thumbnail image for occupy-ga-07.jpg
A scene from the past
Today, about a third of all American adults will go shopping. Many of them lined up in the early-morning hours, breathlessly filling daily-newspaper pages with pictures of their unchecked wanting, pushing and shoving to get their piece of an engineered discount, forking over cash for shit they don't need.

And, last we heard, a scrappy assemblage of Occupy Fort Lauderdale protesters does just about the opposite, camping out in front of City Hall after a last-minute injunction saved them from extraction on Thanksgiving Eve.

Where will they go next? Have they exhausted every last bit of available space? Should Occupy still try to occupy?

A few days ago, the group was operating with a bare minimum of constituents. At this point, after being kicked out of two parks and a government building, the sustained presence of the group threatens to foster a debate about property law and sovereignty that overshadows any debate about how bankers have screwed us.

So perhaps it's time for a refresh. Here are some ways the movement could go. Or not.

5. Become "Occupy Broward."
Between the bored young suburban activists scattered across lands like Weston and Coral Springs, the massive sprawl of unsustainable development perpetrated in the past few decades, and the slew of corrupt governments that constitute our fair county, Fort Lauderdale is only the most urban of our municipalities. Perhaps it's time to open the tent to the rest of the county, hold traveling protests, rove among city commission meetings. Occupy Palm Beach certainly isn't just about the tony island, and Occupy Broward wouldn't have to be just about the Venice of America. Which reminds us...

4. Find a more hospitable city.
Sorry, folks, but West Palm Beach has Fort Lauderdale licked when it comes to tolerating a bunch of folks sleeping out in public. Their protesters signed an agreement and got a key to the bathroom. We won't hold our breath for Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler to follow suit, so perhaps "Occupy Broward" should start taking proposals for a new home. We hear there's an open plot of land in Southwest Ranches.

3. Take to the water.
Yeah, last time we suggested it, a few occupiers didn't see the humor and got all mad at us. But we were basically serious. Flotillas are awesome. They're intrusive and noticeable, yet they don't damage private property and are hard to control but easy to move. Plus, pliable waterways are the one untapped infrastructure gold mine in Lauderdale. Waterworld references aside... you guys get the floats, we'll be there with the camera.

2. Merge with Occupy Miami.
To date, the Miami movement has emerged as more robust, mature, and active than the one in Fort Lauderdale. Part of this is because Miami is a bigger city, with a greater concentration of both banking wealth and agitating denizens. But a few local activists on our radar have already packed up and moved down to join the protest by Government Center. Maybe this is the best way to build a robust, entrenched presence in South Florida. Then again, we'd lose you to the Miami New Times, and they're a little kooky down there.

1. Surprise us.
It's not news if it's not new, and in the past few months, groups across the nation have surprised with ingenuity, resistance, stupidity, or a mixture of all those. From a local-news perspective, the worst thing that could happen is for everyone to go back to their daily routines, consistently ignoring everything. Do something crazy. Fight back. Make us care.


Stefan Kamph is a New Times staff writer.
The Pulp: Facebook | @thePulpBPB
Stefan Kamph: Story archiveFacebook | @stefankamph

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6 comments
Tommy P
Tommy P

They work out of 738 3rd, right side of the road as you are heading toward sunrise before you cross the tracks. They call it their HQ and Command Center on their website and on their forum.

Miami Activist 4 Life
Miami Activist 4 Life

The reason why Occupy Fort Lauderdale didnt protest on Black Friday is because they were busy shopping for those wonderful deals at WalMarx. The reason why hundreds of would be occupiers and activists have left Occupy Fort Lauderdale is due to the leaderless movement having leaders that refuse to stand in solidarity with the rest of the movement across the country. Serious supporters of the movement have moved to Miami as I have. Camping next to cracktown is preferable to trying to work with fake activists in it for the internet glory that call themselves the facilitators of Occupy Fort Lauderdale. They were doomed from the start, they refused to allow activists to hold workshops, they refused to stand for any issue and offer solutions, they cant even work with local police for marches when the police offer support. Honestly I dont think Broward should try to occupy anywhere 24-7. You do not need to pitch tents to raise awareness about the problems we have. You do have to offer sustainable solutions and demonstrate effectiveness to be taken seriously. A small group of us in Miami checked out their website only to find that they are so clueless that they missed out on the past several nationwide direct actions. There are also rumors circulating around the community of disrespect toward women, public drinking, and violent tendencies on behalf of their movement. Personally I dont know how true any of these rumors are but it could also be another good explanation as to why they failed to keep support. I overheard a conversation here in MIA that they even targeted someone that has left their group with threats and have stalked this fella to the point where he changed his phone number and left the movement totally. I really hope this isnt true but nothing will surprise me after whats being told to us by many ex Occupy Fort Lauderdale people that come by OccupyMIA.

FQS9000
FQS9000

 Perhaps they should get a job.  That would be useful.  That might a better use of their time.

Robin Benjamin
Robin Benjamin

FQS9000, I am a the 99% and I have a job and healthcare...YOU ARE SHOWING HOW STUPID YOU ARE!

Sacred Franchise
Sacred Franchise

Perhaps you should get a job, FQS9000 (nice handle, BTW). 

Just judging from the amount of trolling I've seen you doing in the comment sections underneath these Occupy articles, you seem to be under the impression that spouting off ridiculous old cliches like "get a job" qualifies as an occupation, or at least a hobby you seem to take seriously.

Whether or not you choose to keep reading these articles as obsessively from here onward, please keep your UTTERLY USELESS NOISE to yourself. It serves no purpose. 

No one else wants to hear it, you troll.

FQS9000
FQS9000

Sitting around in the Ft Lauderdale municipal building IS pointless.  All eight or so of them.  Regardless of your foolishness and their stupidity, they WOULD be better off with a job and they are never going to find it at the municipal building.  BTW, Walmart is a far better place to shop than at the any store run be a loyal liberal moron according to their silly principals.  As the stuff would be:1.  Given away so anything worth anything would vanish in the 1st hour leaving nothing but worthless crap.2.  Clerks would serve those who need help most, which would be determines by a 2 foot thick rule book, a line 8 blocks long and 34 bureaucrats after a wait of 5 weeks.3.  Closed from Tuesday through Sunday and open between 2 and 2:15 in the afternoon, as abusing the downtrodden proletariat by forcing them to work more would be brutal.

BTW - A troll is anyone who fails to give you the respect you fail to have earned by saying anything intelligent or even amusing.

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