I will be playing catch up this week and add my recent Patch articles to my blog. SO…there will be a slew of new readage for a bit 🙂 I really need to do this when they are published…grrrr…I am such a lazy ass.
Anyway, here we go…
Critics of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement say that those involved are misguided, anti-capitalists who hate business. They claim the protesters are young, lazy and irresponsible brats. They assert that any hardships are their own fault because the protestors simply haven’t tried hard enough. There has been snickering about a lack of focus, direction and motivation of the “group.” Critics of these – now world wide – protests have really taken issue with, what appears to me, to be Democracy at its core.
Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t so sure how I felt about the whole thing originally either. At first glance, I saw a bunch of kids complaining about student debt and corporate profits. I thought to myself that they should be happy they had the opportunity to attend college. Or that they are too young and privileged to know real hardship. But like I said – that was initial judgment based on a shallow glimpse.
David Weidner said in 5 Myths of Occupy Wall Street for Market Watch, “Occupy Wall Street has become a melting pot of causes.”
An occupier in Madison shared her disappointment with Saturday’s Occupy Madison gathering because it seemed to morph into an anti-war protest. She agrees with that sentiment, but it is her belief that there should be one message at a time. I would tend to agree for the simple sake of clarity. But that isn’t my decision; none of it is one person’s or one group’s call.
I saw this photo a week ago – and while the humor was not lost on me – it really misses the point. Some of the protesters hate Capitalism in its entirety. They want to grow their own food and make their own clothes. They have little use for corporate America. And to them I say, good luck with that.
But what most OWS people agree on is the fact that this movement is attempting to shed light upon the fact that we live in a society of us and them. We have the 1 percent who carry the majority of the wealth vs. the 99 percent who carry the majority of the load.
An insightful blog post has made the rounds in recent days that really illustrates the whole concept of the 99 percent far better than I ever could. I encourage all to read Open Letter to That 53% Guy. And for further exploration, there is a very compelling video featuring Elizabeth Warren, Why #OccupyWallStreet – 4 Reasons.
I can say that most, if not all, of the people I know who have protested and who have supported the protest are in no way anti-business. I would wager to say that most of us who embrace OWS are against greed – not success, profit or fortune. There is a difference; though the line does seem pretty muddled these days.
When grassroots efforts are formed and when all are welcome, there will be fringes of extremes and a differences of ideologies. So certainly there will be a fair share of oddballs and bad apples.
I made a stop at Occupy Milwaukee this weekend and much to my surprise the crowd did not consist mainly of “college-aged hippies.” My guess would have the majority of the people were over 30. They did not appear un-American. They held their flags high as they sang America the Beautiful. They were not rude, dirty, inappropriate, violent or loser-esque.
They were a collection of people from all walks of life who want change. Some were socialists tried and true. Some carried Ron Paul signs. Some were Union members. Others chanted for a Walker recall. There was no one definitive group of which they could all claim as their own.
If you are looking for one straight answer, one magic motivation or a single solution suggestion – you will not get that from the OWS movement. And it is important to realize that not everyone supporting OWS share the same thoughts. They are not Borg.
Read the full article with comments HERE.