I can sympathize with the frustrations of watching a bunch of junkies and trust fund kids mess things up for no reason, but that’s certainly not how the Occupy movement started. Nothing/no-one is perfect. The underlying point of income inequality is a very real issue that deserves far more attention than it got before the occupy movement. T…hese guys are out there in the rain screaming their heads off. As a culture of renegades we owe it to them to turn off the reality TV and give their best intentions the benefit of the doubt for just a moment.
Just to be clear, it’s not really the responsibility of protesters to have a better plan. I know that’d be awesome, but the baby boomers didn’t know HOW to end the Vietnam war, they just knew it should end. The women who led the suffrage movement at the turn of the century didn’t know WHAT women would vote for, they just felt that women should be allowed to vote. Our great founders didn’t actually have a plan for a new government when they threw out the British, they just knew that that taxation without representation was wrong. Protesting is an emotional thing, always has been - always will be. It’s actually the responsibility of the 1% with all their power and wealth to come up with the bright solutions, seeing as they will always benefit the most.
Giving these kids a hard time because they haven’t figured out better answers misses the point. We should be talking about why the poor have only seen a 18% income increase since 1979 while the top 1% have seen a 275% income increase. Regardless of your political leanings, that should make you take pause.
”—#OWS - this isn’t mine, nor do I know the original author (I would credit them if I did) - but, sometimes, brilliance is best quoted as “anonymous”
So, up until this week I haven’t had much to say about Occupy Wall Street. I thought it was a thing that was happening and I was vaguely interested but I didn’t think much of it. I wasn’t against it but I hadn’t really decided if I’d supported it. I didn’t like the actions of the NYPD and the Bloomberg administration (pepper-spraying is not the way to treat protestors) but I wasn’t necessarily cheering Occupy Wall Street on. I didn’t really talk about what was going on, except in a few private conversations where I was just not ready to support OWS. Often, I was outright dismissive.
I used to be political and involved and, despite verbalized cynicism, thought that maybe I could help make the world a better place. I gave up on it after awhile. It’s a hard thing to do, because it’s not a job, it’s your life. If you care, that’s it, that is your life. That’s hard to maintain. I couldn’t keep it up, so I walked away from it. I’m not strong enough to be one of those people but I do believe in supporting people who are strong enough and I’ve tried to in little ways here and there.
Today, I am 100% behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’m still not strong enough to be there with them (it’s only 20 minutes away) but they have my support and I will share what I hear with anyone who’s listening. I believe this is a vital movement and an important event happening right now. This country needs a new direction. I think OWS will help us find it.
After the 1 AM raid clearing protestors out of Zuccotti Park and the subsequent reports of tear gassing and assault by police officers, and journalists being arrested, and the response from the Bloomberg administration, I couldn’t keep passively watching OWS. I started sharing here and on twitter information I was hearing about what was going on. It’s not the same as going to help but I hoped spreading the word on it would help others to where I’m at on this.
I am usually someone who approaches politics and the like as issues not of right vs wrong but conflicting agendas and values. I don’t like to say my way is right all of the time and that the opposite is flatly wrong. I don’t believe the world works like that. Life is nuanced. When it comes to OWS I think that now there IS a right side to be on and a wrong side. Supporting OWS is the right side to be on. There is no question in my mind about it anymore. There is a right and a wrong here and Occupy Wall Street is the right.
Today, they are marching on Wall Street. Today, the NYPD is arresting journalists and a media blackout is in effect. The airspace above lower Manhattan was closed to news services. Dozens of people have been arrested today as part of a non-violent protest. There are thousands of people in lower Manhattan speaking out. I support them. It’s the right thing to do.
I believe we should all be supporting Occupy Wall Street today and until things are made right in this country. I’m not saying there is a right way to support them. If you want to join protests (or start them), do that. If you want to spread the word in conversation with friends and family, do that. Do whatever you feel you can to support. I think that’s the right thing to do. OWS is right. We need to support it in ways large and small, because things need to change. The path the United States is on has been wrong for a long time and it’s time to find a new one. Support OWS, because OWS is for all of us.
To the people who suggest the protestors need to “get jobs,” you’re out of touch. That’s what this is about. There are people receiving salaries and bonuses in the millions while thousands of people are laid off. Companies post record profits while eliminating hundreds of jobs. What jobs are these people supposed to go and get? This isn’t new. This has been standard operating procedure in corporate America for decades. It’s only been getting worse.
Unemployment is 9% but underemployment (less than full time employment) is 20%. My wife and I work six different jobs between us (this is not double counting people who we both work for) most of it is freelance and we’re pretty much just making things work. We’ve been part of the 9% and then the 20% for three years. There are people much worse off than us. Lots of them. We struggle to get by but we’re among the lucky ones. That’s why I support Occupy Wall Street. We need to speak out against this status quo. What’s happening is wrong.