A few months ago and at the height of America’s Occupy Wall Street demonstrations we featured an African equivalent based in Kenya called Ocuppy Nairobi in the article – “From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Nairobi?”
Suffice to say Occupy Nairobi started with great enthusiasm but fizzled out without much of a whimper after a few days.
The “Occupy blah blah” tag helps protesters whatever their gripe is to rally around a tag that has now become synonymous with protests. However, it is clear that to date unlike “real” revolutions in North Africa, the Occupy this and that protests have achived little if anything. The reasons for America’s protests still exist even though I have to admit that perhaps the creative placards on show alone made the movement and its attendant noise almost bearable.
It is, therefore, a surprise that Nigerians are increasingly using the “Occupy” tag to kickstart their campaign against the removal of fuel subsidy . With every “Occupy” protest these days a detailed and stylish wikepedia Page is necessary and that has been set up for Occupy Nigeria in the last couple of days. There is even an Occupy Nigeria petition and a Facebook Page or two named “Occupy Nigeria”. There is also a rallying point on this website - with the twitter hashtag #OccupyNigeria.
No self respecting would be protester or revolutionary stays off twitter for more than a few minutes. That is understandable. The North African “experts” at these demonstrations have given the world a template to follow and that without doubt includes sharing as much information including videos of police and security forces behaving badly and making sure these achieve enough virality to capture the world’s attention.
I get all that but using the tag “Occupy”? That I don’t get! By all means let’s protest about all our ills – the social and economic inequality, greed and corruption but (abeg) let’s do it with a semblance of originality and with an authentic African vibe without piggy backing on somebody else’s (Occupy Wall Street) failed protest slogan.
Photo: Star Africa