The movement's been quiet since the November evictions, but the 2012 elections will give it a chance to have a lasting impact.
It's been more than a month since the Occupy Wall Street protesters were evicted from their encampments in New York, Oakland, and other key cities. At the time, the evictions were seen a a tactical boon for the movement -- a huge media story and a good way to end the encampments that would otherwise have surely fizzled out with the onset of winter. The argument was that this would be an opportunity for the protesters to launch phase two to their movement. But since then, there has been little activity on the Occupy front, and the protests that have happened have been underwhelming.
An attempt in mid-December to shut down ports in several West Coast cities was largely unsuccessful. Shipping was slowed in a couple of cities, but only temporarily. In Oakland, where protesters had successfully closed the port in a previous demonstration on November 2, the turnout was much smaller. Key support from the unions represented in the ports was lacking, and coverage by the national media was underwhelming.
There have also been efforts to take the fight to Washington, D.C. And while delegations from various Occupy movements around the country have made trips to the capital, there has not been a large rally that would capture the national imagination -- or even national attention. Such an event is now set for the start of the 2012 legislative season, on January 17, but protesters' promises to set up one million tents in Washington, D.C., on that date have created an unrealistic expectation that promises to turn the protest into another disappointment.