Using weekly national conference calls to keep participants motivated and coordinated through the winter months, a new manifestation of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement known as InterOccupy is hoping to keep occupiers coordinated and motivated during the winter months when it may be harder to drum up the enthusiasm and resources for outdoor protests. InterOccupy hosts these weekly calls to brainstorm actions and motivate participants, then callers break off into smaller discussion groups depending on the cause in which they are most interested[1]. The group also supports a number of direct-action offshoots of the OWS movement, such as an “Occupy Wiki” movement and the Occupy Our Homes (OOH) movement.

OOH made a big splash in early December when it managed to force several lenders into offering loan modifications to distressed homeowners in foreclosure whose homes were headed for the auction block. However, the movement also generated a fair amount of negative publicity when it attempted to prevent the rightful new owners of REO properties from moving into their homes, saying that if banks “really cared” then they would have refused to sell these bargain hunters the fixer-uppers they wished to buy. Now that winter is here, the OOH movement is appealing not just because it generates, in some cases, tangible results that occupiers can feel good about, but because occupying buildings is a lot warmer than occupying tents in parks in subzero weather.

In New Haven, Connecticut, for example, the Occupy New Haven (ONH) movement is “trying to figure out the logistics” of occupying foreclosures before it gets too cold to stay outside[2]. That movement is experiencing some erosion as the nights get colder, with many original organizers calling the protest a victory and recommending that the activists go home. Analysts warn that if the occupy movements do not get more organized and start having a real impact on elections, the practical ramifications of the protests will be moot in any case.

What do you think should be the next move for the occupiers? Do you hope they will take the next step toward organized, coherent action or should they all just go home?

We would like to note that BEREL has attempted to contact multiple occupy movements via their social network outlets in order to get their views on the issue of OOH directly, only to be ignored or blocked from the pages.

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[1] http://www.salon.com/2011/12/26/occupations_in_winter/

[2]http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/next_move_occupy_foreclosed_homes/id_43056