Countdown Day 5 to Occupy Wall Street’s 10th Birthday

People come and go – Occupy’s Despairs and Joys

Sep 13, 2021
Jerry Ashton
Occupy

Nobody said it would be easy – this Occupy thing. And it wasn’t.

The problem with any cause, whether it be for civil rights, anti-war, pro-choice or anti-fracking is that it is constantly confronted with the need to remain viable. This requires large numbers of people who are active, involved and responsibly directed by dedicated leadership.

What was whispered in the OWS encampment, and quietly acknowledged by many in the community, is that infighting and ideological disputes at the very beginning caused an exodus of talented leaders.

Some people come. Some people go. You just don't want to lose the good ones.

Brooklyn resident and early-on activist, Amin Husain, interviewed by me for a radio blog, seemed to occupy the "people go" space having sent a formal and very public note early in Occupy to a working group that he was "stepping back and moving on to other things."

Here’s a chance to visit Occupy’s past, to be “there and then” to get an sense of what it took to stay in or leave a movement that its members took so to heart.

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Jerry Ashton

Jerry Ashton walked into Occupy Wall Street in 2011 as a debt collector, and walked out of that experience two years later as a debt forgiver – literally rethinking his profession to co-found RIP Medical Debt in 2014 to reverse the ills caused by that industry. Six years later at the time of his retirement, his charity had successfully abolished over $2.7 billion in unpayable medical debt for over 1,800,000 Americans across the U.S. As of this writing, the total debt abolished is over $5 billion over almost 4 million people.

Jerry founded Let's Rethink This in late 2020 with the intention of seeing that lightning can strike twice. This time as a “B” Corp and not a charity, Jerry and his co-creators intend to bring about $1 billion in social and economic good this time through a unique Searchlight/Spotlight/Ignite model.

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