Occupy Movement Goes Small Town

Think globally, act locally:

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle piece, “Occupy movement must move toward the center,” Tony Fels, associate professor of history at the University of San Francisco, writes that the Occupy “movement has reached a tactical dead end.”

Demonstrators don’t have nicely packaged sound bites; there’s no go-to spokesperson; Occupy DC is one of the last camps standing. But the movement is far from dead.

Here in California, the movement is exploding. In a recent study called “Diffusion of the Occupy Movement in California,” UC Riverside researchers surveyed 482 incorporated towns and cities in California and found that 143 – nearly 30 percent – had Occupy sites on Facebook between December 1 and December 8.

According to the study, many of the small and medium-sized towns are active with likes, posts and events on their Facebook pages. For example, the town of Arcata has about 17,000 people and 2,950 subscriptions on their page.

“The Occupy Barstow website proclaimed that Barstow is ‘about as far from Wall Street as you can get.’ But the Barstow occupiers probably did not know that there were also Occupy actions in Weaverville, Idyllwild, Calistoga, El Centro and many other small California towns, even in very remote areas,” write professor of sociology Christopher Chase-Dunn and graduate student Michaela Curran-Strange.

And the majority of Occupy cities are not in the Northern, more liberal, part of the state. They are almost equally divided between the north and south.

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