Micah White on why Occupy failed and his book The End of Protest
Occupy leader Micah White led the charge against the '1 per cent,' but now praises Trump
Micah White probably should not have anything good to say about Donald Trump.
After all, White is one of the founders of Occupy Wall Street, the protest movement that started in 2011 and quickly grew into a global sit-in against the "one per cent." This places White clearly on the left end of the political spectrum.
His conversations are littered with phrases like "decentralized social movements" and "consensus-based decision making."
"One thing I do appreciate about Donald Trump is his risk-it-all attitude," said White in an interview with CBC's Wendy Mesley. "If you contrast Donald Trump with Bernie Sanders, you know when Donald Trump says 'If I don't get the nomination there's going to be riots and protests in the streets,' that's exactly what Bernie Sanders should have been saying two months ago. He doesn't have the risk-it-all guts that Donald Trump has."
In the conversation, White is the happy activist warrior who still manages to surprise, especially in his criticism of today's activist campaigns — a theme that's echoed in his new book The End of Protest.
He's open about the failures of the Occupy movement. He's not a fan of online petitions, saying they rely on the "market testing" their ideas. And he doesn't seem all that enthralled with Black Lives Matter, a movement focussed on violence against blacks, especially by police.
"It still has that sense of an inward-looking American movement," he said. "I think the the challenges we face now are global."
"I do think I've become kind of unpopular in the activist community. They like to tell one story. Nothing's ever a failure. 'We're actually winning' - this feels really good when people say this to themselves, but it doesn't help us learn anything."
Still, White is convinced a bottom-up revolution is coming. "It's going to be global. It's going to be beautiful."
He even thinks Canada might have a starring role.
"You have some sort of magic that's lacking in America."
[Watch the interview with Micah White in the video player on this page or here.]