The recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will be the first major political victory of the Occupy movement. That's according to progressive filmmaker and Occupy Wall Street activist Michael Moore, who spoke at Left Forum on Saturday night, the annual gathering of the country's leading progressive activists in New York City.
Moore celebrated the success of the Occupy movement to date, saying that as a result of continued grassroots organizing efforts, "Wall Street has become afraid of us." And, he sketched a vision for the future. Although out of the media spotlight, Moore said the Occupy movement has been working hard over the winter to build momentum for the spring, by holding teach-ins, planning sessions, healthcare rallies, and political demonstrations across the country.
For Moore, the ultimate success of the movement will come when "everyone is the spokesperson, everyone is the leader.” He said the movement is building steam and beginning to touch new kinds of people, who were previously politically apathetic.
After his speech to approximately 1,000 progressive activists, Moore brought followers down to Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street resumed on Saturday. A large crowd gathered for the first time in months, marking a return of the movement to the park after a winter hiatus. (See the Occupy Spring live blog here).
However, Reuters reports that the movement could run out of money by the end of the month, raising questions about the future of the movement. Donations to the group have slowed. A March 2 financial report showed the movement only has $44,828 in a general fund, in addition to $90,000 set aside to bail out protests during planned "American Spring" protests.
The report said, "At our current rate of expenditure, we will be out of money in THREE WEEKS." The report - posted on the group's websitewww.nycga.net - showed $14,942 had been spent on the group's kitchen, street medics, New York bus and subway passes, and printing costs.
Moore served as the headline speaker for Left Forum 2012, which convenes each spring and is the largest progressive gathering in North America. The conference focused on questions like: How can American leftists best support the many revolutionary struggles abroad that took root in 2011? How can the Occupy movement be sustained and nurtured in the US? How can new technologies help foster social change?
Other speakers included Medea Benjamin, Michael Ratner, and Cornel West. For more info, read up on the conference here.
Photo Credit: david_shankbone