The "Occupy" movement lives!

Look at Wisconsin, where, after Gov. Scott Walker (R) declared an end to collective bargaining and threatened to call the National Guard on protesters, an occupation of the state capitol morphed into an Internet community, It signed up more than 200,000 supporters in an effort to recall Walker over labor and budget issues. In less than two weeks, these “leaderless,” Internet-driven recall supporters, in combination with the original “occupiers,” collected more than 300,000 signatures on the streets of rural and urban Wisconsin.

In many ways, Occupy Wall Street on the Internet mirrors and expands Occupy Wall Street on the ground. It blurs the lines between online and off-line activism. The anonymity of the Web allows anyone who identifies with the “99 percent” to participate, regardless of their ideology or attitude toward the physical occupiers. A gathering of 25 or 100 people participating in a “mic check” can look, and feel, awkward. But surfing the Internet, one can find mic checks nationwide in the constant retweeting about Occupy Wall Street. Blogs about Occupy Wall Street that generate comments (that frequently generate even more comments) are some of the everyday indications of what is important to Web denizens…

The excitement about Occupy Wall Street and its meme, the 99 percent, is unpredictable and expansive. It is spontaneous, organic, simultaneously online and off-line.