I'm torn. One side of me really understands why disenfranchised Americans coalesced under the banner of the Occupy movement. I’m proud of them for asking questions and exploiting the media to take advantage of the platform. I really am.
The other shoe drops for me when I see nothing but the loudest, least eloquent protesters at center stage. Not to mention that the "movement" appears to be intolerant of discussion or even agreeing on its key desires. Where's the puritanical manifesto? - This intolerance of so many issues creates confusion, and doesn’t do the Occupy movement any favors.
Individuals cannot make up a platform with their own ad-hoc agenda and call it a movement. There's simply too much confusion to accomplish anything meaningful.
It seems like so many of the protesters who end up on TV and in YouTube videos come off as complete idiots to any rational, reasonable person. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe this IS the time to be irrational and unreasonable. I understand that in order to demand more and better jobs, more equal distribution of income, bank reform, and a reduction of the influence of corporations on politics – it might take extreme measures to get the necessary attention.
But how effective is the effort when what we see is largely unorganized, fragmented and undirected? The first few protests were probably the most insightful. Now OWS is nothing more than an excuse to bring your agenda, tent, dog, friends, Hacky Sack and unemployment check to a rally and bitch about whatever or whomever you think has done you wrong.
It's very frustrating to me as an independent who wants to let the people have their voice, because it's constitutionally CRITICAL that they have that voice. But like the fat cats on Wall Street, the protesters are now abusing their privilege. If they want to do some good, they need to take that energy and create petitions, boycott products, mandate change in a way that is feasible. There is real power at the core, but now they are simply making a mockery of their issue.
And with so much attention on unemployment, I wonder why many of these people are protesting about having no jobs when they could be working.
Before you accuse me of missing the point, let me make it clear that I don’t mean this as in “Get a job, you hippie!" What I’m saying is that if social media and grass-roots deployment can get Obama elected, then it could also do something other than cause additional strife between the rich and the poor (AKA "The 99%"). For example – maybe if some protesters poured their energy into entrepreneurial endeavors, they could actually CREATE jobs for their fellow 99 percenters.
I guess there's something inherent about “taking it to the man” that compels people to join in. However I fear for the American people that those involved with Occupy are very close to the point of no return, and that they might regret this movement in retrospect. I see and feel the movement and their cries.
Lastly, I say shame on you, authority. And shame on us all for creating a cancer that we're all unwilling to diagnose and cure together. No one wins here. But sadly, this will only be clear in hindsight.
I got in a very heated "pro-con" to this debate last week on Facebook. One of the counter points was, in my opinion, there was no clear direction to this movement. This was hotly debated. So I did my due diligence and found on OccupyWallSt.org ("the unofficial de facto online resource for the growing occupation movement") on their about page the following statement:
"The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to fight back against the richest 1% of people that are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future."
This statement is insane! So you would advocate riot, looting and murder (least 846 people killed and 6,000 injured) to make your point be heard as an American?
It's not black and white. It's not us and them. I've spent MOST of my life jumping to conclusions and being what I detest – a vacant, self righteous bag of words. Maybe that's what I'm doing now, but at least this time I hope not.
I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts. I know this is a touchy subject and I'm not going to judge you no matter where you stand. I want to be open, learn and educate myself on all things. Thanks again, all my best.