Occupy Christmas

International Day of Action – December 25

Charles Dickens Occupies Christmas

Posted by troublemaker on November 24, 2011

Black Friday is just a couple days away and anticipation is at an all-time high. This year that anticipation is a little bit different. Sure, there’s the almost traditional annual thrill of bargain hunting which will certainly continue. But others wonder what the many Occupy encampments will off up this Black Friday.

“Nearly each one promises some kind of surprise action on the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.” – Associated Press via USA Today (1)

Out of operational necessity, the specific Black Friday protests and occupations are a fairly guarded secret. Of course they are. Occupation of private property is at the discretion of the property owner. An encampment in a public park might be concerned about eviction but an encampment in a privately owned parking lot, shopping mall, or Wal-Mart is certainly to meet with much more intolerance. Still, there are some plans made public which I hope retailers will not only allow but get a good chuckle at.

“The 75-person encampment in Boise, Idaho, will send “consumer zombies” to wander around in silent protest of what they view as unnecessary spending.” – Associated Press via USA Today (1)

Others, including the folk here at Occupy Christmas, hope to encourage buying local and spending responsibly. That message seems to be agreeable with the Occupiers in Chicago as they plan to go a caroling with new versions of the old classics.

“In Chicago, protesters will serenade shoppers with revamped Christmas carols about buying local.” – Associated Press via USA Today (1)

We are particularly thrilled to hear about what is taking place in New York this holiday season. When you think of the word protester, do you think of the name Charles Dickens? When you think about A Christmas Carol do you think of Occupy Wall Street or the 99% movement. If you are like most people, probably not. Here is the thing, protest does not have to take the form of flash mobs, sit ins, and drum circles. We can all do our part. That is exactly what Charles Dickens did when he created A Christmas Carol and that’s exactly what is taking place in Rochester New York.

“Across the street from Geva Theatre Center is a small patch of public land called Washington Square Park. For the past several weeks, amid the grass, trees, benches and Civil War veterans memorial, the park has been home to demonstrators representing the “Occupy” movement, protesting what they see as an unfair system in which public policy is rigged to favor the rich.” – Henrietta Post (2)

Thinking on the message of A Christmas Carol alongside the message of Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement, it is hard not to conclude that Charles Dickens was one of the first people to Occupy Christmas.


  1. Associated Press via USA Today
  2. Henrietta Post

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