In a speech to Occupy Boston, the linguist and icon hailed the “unprecedented” first weeks of OWS. He cautioned protesters to build and educate first, strike later.
The Occupy movement really is an exciting development. In fact, it’s spectacular. It’s unprecedented; there’s never been anything like it that I can think of. If the bonds and associations that are being established at these remarkable events can be sustained through a long, hard period ahead — because victories don’t come quickly– this could turn out to be a very significant moment in American history.
The fact that the demonstrations are unprecedented is quite appropriate. It is an unprecedented era — not just this moment — but actually since the 1970s. The 1970s began a major turning point in American history. For centuries, since the country began, it had been a developing society with ups and downs. But the general progress was toward wealth and industrialization and development — even in dark and hope — there was a pretty constant expectation that it’s going to go on like this. That was true even in very dark times.