Adrianne Jeffries of Betabeat, regarding Occupy Wall Street, says:
Occupy Wall Street is nothing if not tech-savvy. (One of the earliest criticisms was the preponderence of Macbooks among the protesters.) The protest has had a near-constant Livestream from the headquarters at Zuccotti Park, which has also broadcast from Times Square and during the now-infamous mass arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s a fixture on geeky forums like Reddit and SomethingAwful; even the Bitcoin community and the hacktivists of Anonymous are into it. The protest has also voted consistently to use open-source software for everything from its website to its accounting, and the still-grassroots funded movement is hip to crowdfunding sites Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, which raised money for tangential projects such as The Occupied Wall Street Journal. There are also more than 200 occupation-related campaigns on the Y Combinator-incubated WePay.com. “It’s not a coincidence that much of the success of the #OWS movement comes from their nimble use of technology to organize and get their word out,” the venture capitalist Fred Wilson wrote on his blog.
This description would equally well describe Pirate Party activists. I think this is because Pirates and Occupiers are the same sorts of people. As an example of this, if you look at the ideas on Pirate Party UK’s open policy consultation, a lot of them are things that Occupiers would agree with.
Rick Falkvinge’s description of Pirate supporters would apply equally to Occupy supporters:
We [Pirates] are a lifestyle party for the entire younger generation, starting somewhere at 35-40 years of age. This lifestyle — digital natives, as some have called it, or the connected generation which I prefer — is being actively condemned and demonized by the old parties. [...] we are not primarily a five-percent party for technical people, but closer to a twenty-percent party for a connected generation, including the technical people.
So, there are large numbers of mainly young people totally disenchanted with the current political and economic system, and wanting change. Will anything come out of this? I don’t know. I do know that if you’d asked be a year ago whether it was possible that Gaddafi could be overthrown by a spontaneous revolution of his own people, I would have said it was impossible. But it happened. In Western countries such as the USA or Britain, how much easier must it be for us to force through real change, given that these countries are half-democratic already?