The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Occupy soldiers on through cold weather

Thousands of houses stand empty around the country. Soon, a few of these buildings will be Occupied.

Last week I stated that Occupy Wall Street should run a candidate in the upcoming election season in order to solidify the movement’s impact on the world. Now, I would like to take a look at where Occupy Wall Street is actually taking their effort.

Things have not been looking good for Occupy Wall Street in recent weeks. Protesters have been bruised. Evictions across the country seem to have left the movement in shambles.

Occupy Wall Street soldiers on.

Rather than battering down the will of the 99 percent, recent attacks on the movement have left its members more determined, with more dramatic statements in the works.

Occupy Wall Street, teaming up with the Occupy Our Homes movement, has planned a National Day of Action for Dec. 6. On this day, Occupy protesters in 15 cities will march to undisclosed foreclosed-upon homes and move in homeless families.

This action makes a clear point. The Occupy movement is tired of banks taking homes from families whose tax dollars bailed out the banks.

This action, however, does not offer a permanent solution. A National Day of Action is still just one day.

While moving a family into an abandoned house is an excellent way of demonstrating what the government should be doing in the eyes of the protesters — keeping families in their homes — it does not actually prevent families from being removed.

The people moving in to these abandoned homes will have a place to live until they are removed, at which point the family is back to square one, or worse, should someone be arrested for the occupation.

Another issue with this plan is a practical one. Foreclosed-on houses are often not maintained properly. In my neighborhood, opportunists often break into houses and steal copper piping and metal fixtures to sell as scrap.

This can go unnoticed for months in the winter, because many of these houses are left without heat, leaving the remaining plumbing blocked with ice until spring.

Unless the Occupiers have a way of getting heating oil, electricity, and other services that are often cut off when houses are foreclosed on, their efforts will be unsuccessful.

Occupying homes makes a dramatic statement, but it does not make a permanent change. Without more long-term planning, the movement will fail to have the impact it wants.

After all, winter is cold in New York.

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