“The thing about Occupy is that the sentiment the movement embodies is timeless: Don’t be greedy, share.” Joseph Gordon-Levitt
It seems like only yesterday when the Occupy Wall Street Movement, (a protest movement which began on September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, in New York City’s Wall Street financial district), caught our attention and started a global conversation about inequality and the need for change. The reactions to the movement were swift; some were all for it and others wanted them gone. Nevertheless, the organizers rallied, and soon protesters around the world joined the movement demanding economic equity and social change.
When I participated in the DPchallenge poll for this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap assignment, I found the breakdown from the 239 bloggers who voted quite insightful: I’m all for it, and even participated in some local events 25.1% (60 votes) It’s a nice idea, but I don’t think protests do anything 53.14% (127 votes) I don’t support it at all, and disagree with the idea 21.76% (52 votes) More than half felt protests don’t work. So what should we do to address issues that affect us? And what would you recommend as an effective method of engagement?
Are we part of the 99%? Are we willing to accept the friction and discomfort of real change? If we are part of the underemployed in society and still found the protesters annoying, why are we settling for poverty wages and what do we plan to do about it? Some say the OCW protestors were impeding progress? I hear you and understand how you feel… however, the protestors were not holding back the economy. With over 15+ million people unemployed today, finding a viable job is a matter of supply and demand economics not what a group of protestors are doing. If you fall into the 99% category, as an underemployed person, why would you be against the Occupy Movement speaking up about inequalities? Historically, protest movements have brought about change; especially persistent, fully organized grassroots groups challenging the ills of a bloated leadership or cruel dictatorship. Sure, if you live in a democratic nation, there is a concrete way to protest – VOTE. But beyond that, protest movements can and have been effective…. We can look back to recent shifts in the Middle East as proof of its impact. Perhaps the Occupy Movement forced us to consider our apathy and do something about it, no? What will/can we do differently?
President Obama Speaks on Occupy Wall Street Oct 6th
What does the Occupy Movement mean to you? What the Occupy Wall Street protestors did/and some continue to do is to bring global attention to the economic challenges that exist in society and to initiate a dialogue about these issues. They have been quite successful highlighting the issues and getting people everywhere, globally too, to think and talk about social-economic issues that affect many of us; that is one thing they got out of the protest movement. While it might seem that the movement had little impact in the US, it had a decisive global impact as it stimulated conversations and actions that led to change elsewhere. This meant that the issues had to be addressed by our Government and President Obama did address the concerns. Yes, there was vitriol in certain circles and heated discussions sometimes led to cruel comments. However, what I found from observing the movement is that many supported it quietly and gave assistance, while others had no compassion perhaps because it didn’t affect them directly or because it wasn’t happening in their backyard… How did it impact you? More below!
“There are movements which impinge upon the nerves with a strength that is incomparable, for movement has power to stir the senses and emotions, unique in itself.” Doris Humphrey
For any of us still on the fence about the movement, I invite you to read the submissions on the We are the 99% website. If you were unemployed, and had been looking for a job for a year or longer, would you think differently about the movement? If you were concerned about the cost of the NYPD managing the movement, I invite you to read the comments posted last year on the Daily News post about the cost… What are your thoughts? What did you think of the Occupy Wall St movement? Are you one of the 99%? Do you think collective protest actions can bring about solutions? Do share? Thank you!
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: What does the Occupy Movement mean to you? As we revisit the events of Occupy Wall Street one year later, or cover the new happenings, some WordPress.com bloggers have begun speaking about what the Occupy Movement does or does not signify for them. For this week’s Mind the Gap, let us know: What does the Occupy Movement mean to you? Take the poll (below) and then explain your opinion by blogging about it on your site, tagging it ‘DPchallenge.’
Positive Motivation Tip: Even if you cannot join a movement, stay informed and speak out!
- Why Occupy? (sjlewis39.wordpress.com)
- Tactics of Waste, Dirt and Discard in the Occupy Movement: A Photo Essay (discardstudies.wordpress.com)
- Occupy Wall Street: a Frenzy That Fizzled (dealbook.nytimes.com)