Now that Netroots Nation is over, I’ve finally been able to head to Bloombergville, the tent city inspired by Walkerville in Wisconsin.
At the conference, there was a pervasive theme that Wisconsin represents not only ground zero in the fight to Rebuild the American Dream, but also a model to strengthen and replicate forward.
Walkerville is a recent part of this model, and local newspapers like the Capital Times (where John Nichols is Associate Editor) are already declaring that it has served its purpose well. Bloombergville is likewise going well, as seen by the ample amount of media attention they have received.
In parallel to Walkerville, Bloombergville has been able to hold multiple events a day (12pm and 6pm typically) as well as a sleep out at night. Plus, they are providing a constant attention-grabbing symbol that illustrates the Hoover-esque nature of austerity policies during a financial crisis.
Tents themselves may not be allowed like in Walkerville, but when you ask a participant, they are excited to tell you (and even more excited to tell them) how much the very essence of this action has been inspired by the people of Wisconsin:
“We heard your voices, we hope that you hear ours, and have a little bit of togetherness in this,” says Bloombergville resident Emily Turonis of Organization For a Free Society.
Lucas Vasquez, a high school student, likewise expresses solidarity with Wisconsin as well as with his own teachers. Like many others, he also is open about his desire for these actions to help develop a larger movement network:
Going to Bloombergville in person made it that much easier to agree with David Swanson that the larger approach aligning young people and workers is “exactly right”.
Best of all, this is truly an organic movement, where real Americans are really inspiring each other to take action. With real help from social media too.
Moreover, this is even bigger than America, as young people all across Europe have taken to tent cities to protest. And all across the world, a new generation of leaders is undoubtedly being forged in the process.