It’s fascinating to watch Occupy Wall Street explode into a full-fledged movement. The latest is the rise of a well-trained volunteer militia. In this case, it’s retired Marines.
If you haven’t seen this video yet, it’s circulating rapid-fire around the world. It’s an ex-Marine dressing down NYPD for its aggressive handling of protestors. It helped launch the militia, which is organizing via Twitter using the hash tag #OccupyMarines.
The militia even has a required uniform:
“An OccupyMARINES shirt or sweatshirt with military service affiliation and Occupy Wall Street logo ; Dickies EMT black cargo pants; Ranger Joe’s Corcoran Boots-I XC Jump Black Aviator Boots; and blouse bands – Elastic bands used by military members to fold the hem of their pants up and drape over the top of their boots.”
Uniforms are a visual signal that the movement is turning a corner. They express a desire to be seen, as well as heard, as an organized and intense movement that can protect its activities on a daily basis. This creates a sense of safety for members of the movement. Once its safe, a broader swath of citizens will feel free to join the fray.
When a movement can raise a standing militia, things escalate. I continue to gather lessons into how Occupy Wall Street is seeding its message and going viral.