The first Occupy movement began on September 17, 2011. It took place in New York City’s Liberty Square and was dubbed Occupy Wall Street. The movement grew rapidly and continues to be a national protest.
A Canadian based anti-consumerist organization known as Adbusters challenged Americans to take action for democracy, and the Occupy movement was born. It was Inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, in which regular citizens came together and successfully overthrew their government The Occupy movement stands for equality. Thousands of people, also known as the 99%, peacefully camp out day and night to protest against the richest 1% of the population. They believe that the 1% is to blame for the declining global economy. According to the movement’s website Occupy Together they are fighting against, “neoliberal economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, government controlled by monied interests, and the resulting income inequality, unemployment, environmental destruction, and oppression of people at the front lines of the economic crisis”. Currently, the Occupy movement has reached over 100 U.S. cities and over 1500 cities worldwide.
The sudden spread of the movement brought awareness to an important domestic issue and led to an increasing amount of support globally; however, it also created a stir of resistance. An article on CNN.com by Marty Linsky stated that, “the values and processes that have created the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon are inadequate and ill-suited to taking the next steps and creating real impact.” Several of those who oppose the movement see it as a group of people complaining about corporate greed, but not fighting against it. USAToday.com posted a an editorial by Brent Jones that called the movement, “A case study in how not to organize a lasting movement.” Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly believes that the movement has spun out of control and should no longer be taken seriously. He said, “They have been overrun by thugs, anarchists, and the crazies who intimidate.”
In the beginning, the protest brought great interest and received much publicity. The world was excited that America had finally jumped on the bandwagon for change and everyone anxiously awaited the outcome. Now that the Occupy movement has been active over four months, I can’t help but wonder how and when it is going to end? Originally, the Occupy movement prided itself on being a leaderless group, but that has led the movement to become stagnant. With no one calling the shots or making the rules, the movement will fail to progress? Also, the goal of the movement is extremely ambitious. Unless there is a plan or some type of challenge presented to the 1%, there is going to be no resolve. People can’t expect to change an entire economic structure by simply camping on the streets. Though the Occupy movement was successful at bringing together a large group of people under a common cause, it will soon tire out with no end in sight.