Occupy Wall Street is impotent
At least, that's what I believed for a time before I found out that OWS never really went away; they just moved from one phase of campaigning to the other.
The first phase (in 2011) consisted of highly visible moves like occupying Zuccotti Park and raising huge public awareness about the Occupy movement. That succeeded to some extent until the occupiers dispersed and were no longer scene on the streets.
That's where I thought OWS was over and I was wrong.
In this next phase, the OWS guys have become less publicly visible and have been more pro-active with formulating policies. So, we have things like OWS sympathizers using $400,000 to buy $14.7 million of personal debt up and then promptly forgiving the creditors. We've got working groups thinking up, and engaging with regulators, ways to regulate the financial services industry.*
This is arguably more significant even if it is less sexy (in terms of optics).
* For an example of what I mean, check http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/02/occupy-sec-letter-volcker-rule
. OWS activists send an extremely
detailed 325 page comment letter on the Volcker Rule.