Three weeks into Occupy Wall Street, many on the right and some on the left continue criticizing the occupiers for having not come up with clear demands. The movement seems to be amorphous and not all of its participants have a list of specific items on their agenda. But should that be the reason to dismiss and diminish the movement—when it's still in its cradle? After all, Occupy Wall Street is not even three weeks old.
The Nation's Naomi Klein talked with Brian Lehrer on WNYC yesterday before she spoke at Liberty Square, the epicenter of the protests. She points out that the very organic nature of the movement—people from all walks of life coming together in common frustration with a system that allows extremely unequal distribution of wealth and power—and the greedy profit-hungry "culture" it seeks to resist pretty much determines that it takes time to formulate specific demands. But beyond demands, the situation requires imagining an entirely new yet feasible alternative structure of power. The participating youth and those in the movement who are not so young deserve support, not scorn.