Cross-posted from Solutions Journal.
Founder and editor of Adbusters magazine, Kalle Lasn is largely credited for conceptualizing and starting the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park, New York City, which eventually spread around the world. Here, he talks to Solutions about his vision for the future.
Q. You have been trying to change consumer culture for years. How did the idea for Occupy Wall Street begin?
A. It began in early 2011. It was percolating in 2010. We were excited by the anarchist action in Greece and discontent among young people in Spain, and the Arab Spring began in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, and we saw how young people in Egypt were using social media to get tons of people out to the streets and pull off regime change. Our brainstorming sessions at Adbusters began and we said, “We need a regime change in America as well.” Not hard regime change like Egypt where dictators were torturing people. We are after a soft regime change. We felt the heart of American democracy and found that, in Washington, D.C., things were rotten and corporations were getting their own way with lobbyists and money power. Wall Street people have created a global casino, and meanwhile young people are having a hard time finding jobs and are losing their houses. So let’s try to create a Tahrir Square moment in America.
Q. How do you feel about how the protests ended? Did they flame out, or was it a success? What lessons were learned?