Symbolic protests aim at changing perceptions. Everyone agrees Occupy changed the national conversation. The 99 percent versus the one percent is now a household concept. In this achievement, Gitlin saw Occupy as successful. He has called the movement "a moral revival."

Focused political organizing hasn't been Occupy's forte — or aim. But symbolic, perception-changing events are often the forerunner of political reform.

Occupy Augusta has changed the conversation at Colby, but Kingsbury also is aiming at a tangible accomplishment. Diamond, he said, "eventually will not feel comfortable" at Colby.

If private colleges have an insatiable need for money, and if the One Percent remains where the money is, dislodging Bob Diamond won't be easy. But Colby eventually may see its reputation as more important than a few million more dollars.

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Related: What are they protesting? Whaddya got?, Photos: Occupy Boston's student march from the Boston Common, Occupation grows, expands around Maine, More more >
  Topics: News Features , Todd Gitlin, Gordon Fischer, Colby College,  More more >
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