City of Houston gives Occupy the boot
Occupy Houston was evicted from Tranquility Park last night after having occupied the space for over four months. The protestors were asked to clear the park to make way for festivals that will soon require the space.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the occupation of the park has cost the Houston Police Department more than $350,000. Now that the protestors are gone, new sod will be put down in the park and it will be cleaned. It is estimated that this will cost the city another $13,000.
Mayor Annise Parker said that although she is sympathetic to the movement’s call for the reform of the financial system, “they can’t simply continue to occupy a space indefinitely.”
But it seems like that is what the Houston protesters wanted to do. They made it quite clear on their Facebook page that they were not going to leave the park without causing unnecessary trouble for our city’s police officers.
“Can we have bottled water delivered to Occupy Houston as we make these cops work to evict us,” wrote Occupy Houston about their eviction from the park on their Facebook page. “Please bring lots of bottled water. About 50 of us are here standing in solidarity.”
While the indefinite occupation of public space has given the Occupy movement valuable press coverage, its inability to find the next step after occupation has lead to the movement’s loss of prominence — that’s why only about 50 members of the movement were willing to remain in Tranquility Park last night for the eviction.
Although the Occupy movement has done a valuable service to our nation by attracting attention to income and social inequality, the inability of members of the movement to organize has undone much of that work.
The movement had the opportunity to channel its momentum and turn itself into something as powerful as the Tea Party, but that is unlikely to happen now — this will be a great loss to our nation.