Does Occupy Wall Street Deserve the Hype?

November 5, 2011

Political action

Over fall break I made my way back home to New York City. This also happened to be the one-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. I had been well aware of what was going on with that movement as it gained media’s attention around the world. As I sat on the metro-north off-peak train, the conductor headed over to punch my ticket and took the leisure of sitting down across from me and showed me the cover of the New York Post.  He just shook his head and told me that these kids are just out there as an excuse to not work, to tell them that they’re making a difference in this world. At that point I did not have particularly strong feelings towards the demonstration. I think that the right to protest is extremely important for American’s. I was not about to go out and join the protesters, but I had no problem with them either. He went on to explain to me that he used to be a trader on the floor before the crash, and that he had to become a train conductor since a small paycheck was better than no paycheck. Listening to the conductor talk about his financial struggles allowed me to escape my 20-year-old brain for a moment and better understand the other side. Exercising the right to protest is not necessarily a generally negative thing but there is a certain level of what is and isn’t appropriate. Finding that balance to ensure that the movement is more effective rather than an annoyance is important and unfortunately I think that Occupy Wall Street falls into the latter. These protesters were not out there when the economy was booming, and the 1% were still making ridiculous salaries. Without a doubt there is reason for the demonstration, but the timing and organization leave lots of room for a negative reaction towards the movement. I feel like I’m betraying my generation but I agree with my mom that Occupy Wall street is an example of  when times are tough that people suddenly demand social equality.



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