The local populations have increasingly become apathetic in their attitude in participation in local politics because they were aware that local politicians were making promises that they could not keep, and knew that decisions were being made by the politicians in their favor of the One Percent, regardless of any protest the Ninety-Nine would make to local city councils. The combative local bureaucracies geared toward the interests of the One Percent further alienated them away from participation. This has been particularly true of local police forces which have been increasingly seen as ‘terrorists’ (particularly for minorities) and not protecting the public interest. (The shouts of ‘Who do you serve?,’ when police were tear-gassing, pepper spraying protestors or tearing down tents in ‘occupied’ public square/plazas are a clear indication that the Ninety-Nine Percent have no illusions about the role of the local police and their subservience to the One Percent. ) It has always been the goal of the One Percent to disenfranchise and placate the Ninety-Nine Percent so that the One Percent could fully control local political decisions. This apathy was turned into activism by the abuses on the One Percent which increasingly distanced the Ninety-Nine Percent from public participation and making them ‘economic slaves’-weighed down by credit, stagnant wages, poor job prospects, under-employment, increasing cost of living and increased taxes which the One Percent did not have to pay. In the past, there were job opportunities, upward mobility, affordable housing, good education and excellent public services in the city, coordinated by the One Percent enough to placate (buy off) the urban population. The focus of the One Percent shifted in the late 1970s and early 1980s to outsourcing and removing manufacturing jobs, maintaining the wage level of all the Ninety-Nine Percent at much below their contribution to the profit of the corporations which lent this increased surplus based on increased productivity back to the public, and creating a consumer frenzied population, addicted to any new product
Out of these final abuses, the Occupy Movement arose captivating the hopes of a better world, including a better city. While the Occupy Movement may be focusing on national or international issues. They are also forcing on local issues, as this is geographic location I which the One Percent innately operate. The most interesting concept that has emerged from this leadership movement is the concept of the General Assembly which is direct and full participatory democracy. Deliberative democracy is also in play in the General Assemblies as dissenters are given a voice and are allowed to speak to the participants of the General Assembly. Decisions are collectively and committees are formed to address certain needs, particularly housing for participants and the overall homeless problems of the entire city. There are definite impasses that are happening and there are major disagreements and factions within the General Assemblies and committees. But, there is little doubt that all the members of the General Assembly are dedicated to free speech, collaborative decisions and inclusion. What is emerging is a vibrant, practical and self-organizing vehicle for of democracy that has never been seen in the U.S. or other locations that have Occupy Movements. The General Assemblies will evolve to become the ‘shadow’ local government.