The folks at OccupyMaine, I think in part out of skepticism that they’d be fairly depicted in the local and regional media, have long covered their own movement in writing, photographs and video.
Now, even with their encampment in Lincoln Park having been disbanded — largely as a result of a failed lawsuit against the city, which denied the group’s request to stay there, officials said, because of safety and sanitary concerns — the occupiers are staying true to their promise to keep promoting their message after the tents go away.
Among the most prominent ways they’re staying organized is through a television program run on Portland community TV and on the Internet. The news-style show includes updates about the nationwide Occupy movement as well as segments about the issues the demonstrators are interested in, which include corporate influence on government, climate change, and a range of other related topics.
The shows have graphical illustrations, raw news footage and interviews with Occupy reporters and anchors.
In one of the most recent episodes, footage from one of the group’s general assembly meetings depicts members discussing the future of the movement in the aftermath of the judge’s ruling against their requested injunction. Occupier Matthew Coffey, among others, suggests in the clip it was in the group’s best interest to leave the park peacefully, regroup and promote its message in other ways.
Coffey said if “a bunch of us give the city a giant middle finger” by refusing to leave the park even after the court ruling, the demonstrators could incite an unnecessary conflict with police — “the city can come in and use billy clubs,” like in more violent Occupy evictions elsewhere in the country. He went on to say in the segment:
This was never about taking the park for an indefinite period of time, it was about drawing attention to necessary issues. We’ve done that. It’s in the national mind, it’s in the local mind, we have accomplished our goal, people. So we don’t need to squabble about peace in the park, and I’m a homeless person, so I’ve got nowhere to go when we [leave here].
In his wrap-up editorial in the episode I mentioned, anchor Regis Tremblay sums up nicely how the occupiers are viewing their course from here:
The encampment is over, but the movement has succeeded in occupying the national conversation. The movement has now occupied the collective consciousness of the entire world.
And they’re not done yet. They’re just not doing it in the park any more.
Watch the episode I’ve referenced above here: