The Occupy Wall Street movement began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. Essentially, this movement was created in order to fight back against the “corrosive power of major bands and multinational corporations over the democratic process and the role that Wall Street is creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations,” according to http://www.occupywallst.org. It is a protest movement that is aimed at fighting and speaking up against both social and economic inequality and was somewhat inspired by the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo, Egypt.
This movement is one that has also inspired many others like it around the world, including numerous demonstrations here in America. Below is a video from the first day of the rallies in New York City, New York, along with more of an explanation about the movement.
There is a lot to be said about the Occupy movement. President Obama has made comments about it, and bloggers have made comments about it. Mothers. Doctors. Teachers. Everyone knows about the Occupy movement. But what has it really accomplished?
The Occupy Together website states the following, which makes me a bit skeptical to the protesters’ purpose in the first place: “We have no agenda other than to provide people with information about the events and actions happening in their area in solidarity and support of those that currently Occupy Wall St,” the website says. “Our political and social beliefs will remain neutral for this cause; this is not about us, this is about the movement. The only thing we will promote openly is peaceful demonstrations.”
I realize what the group was trying to do. But to me, it seems like the movement is dead (and has somewhat failed) for many reasons. First of all, as stated above, the cause of the protesters was to provide information and to, simply put, occupy, not to necessarily actually make a change or riot. I think this was a major problem with the movement. It is an important first step in making a change to inform the public, yes. But what comes next? I think this was something that was not addressed well enough, and is one of the main reasons that the movement is dead.
A CNN blog talked about this subject extensively, offering information and insight into why the movement wasn’t super successful. The blog entry, entitled “Occupy Wall Street is going nowhere without leadership,” discusses just how a leader would be the thing that could potentially save the movement, but how such a leader never really emerged. Like I said, the movement had a good starting point, but never took the initiative to dig deeper to make a change. The blog says that OWS was “calling for change rather than instigating the change.” This is a perfect explanation.
The blog also discusses how the movement took on too many targets as the “source” of the problem. Therefore, the media, OWS’s biggest ally if you think about it, in promoting the cause, had trouble figuring out what to report as OWS’s real purpose, making the cause, at times, difficult for the public really to understand. I think that the movement got so lost in the fact that it was actually gaining some followers, even worldwide, that it forgot to make its message clearer to the media, and the CNN blog really does a good job of pointing this out.
So yes, I think that the Occupy movement is dead, and I think that there are, as stated, many reasons as to why the movement didn’t work out perfectly. However, I don’t think that it was a total waste. Obviously, the movement made people think, it began conversation. I think this particular movement failed to do much more that create talk about 99 percent v. the 1 percent, but who’s to say there won’t be another one that will make more of a change? Who knows, maybe a college student from Roosevelt University will be inspired in his or her new college course about the Occupy movement.