I would like to start this post by giving the context and reasons for the views that I hold on the occupy movement occurring in cities across America. Throughout this post there are many opinions that you may disagree with, but all opinions and ideas I am going to convey come from my first hand experience with individuals associated with the Occupy DC movement.
The Saturday night of thanksgiving break, myself and a few friends of mine were on our way home from a concert in DC. We decided to take the metro further into the city to explore the beautiful night time scenes of our nation’s monuments. After getting off at the Federal Triangle metro stop, we came across a large number of tents set up in front of the National Treasury. We were quick to figure that this specific campsite had to be related to the occupy movement. Out of curiosity, we approached with open mindsets and genuine interests to hear first hand from the protestors what and why they were protesting. The first protestor we met, Michael, described his viewpoints as such:
The occupy movement is a community of people who are discontent with the way that money is distributed throughout the country. Big corporations just keep taking and taking without realizing the repercussions they have caused to the “99%” and the rest of the world. To start, American corporations need to stop outsourcing jobs that us Americans are in desperate need of.
From this point on other protestors continued pop in and out of the conversation that we were having. This then started an endless cycle that occurred for the duration of the three hours we spent speaking to protestors. My friends and I would ask the protestors what the problems were they were protesting. They would answer with an infinite number of other problems that our society is faced with. When were asked why there’s a problem with outsourcing they brought up how corporations are exploiting and destroying third world countries. When asked why a corporation shouldn’t run their company the most efficient way possible, they replied, “because then there are not enough equal opportunities for Americans to be successful.” When asked how that should be changed, they replied, “More money should be given to less fortunate school systems.” When asked where that money should come from, their response was, “Our country needs to stop fighting wars over seas.”
Essentially the way these protestors suggested a problem be solved, was to bring to light a completely unrelated issue. They were never able to answer our questions pertaining to how things should be changed. In other words, they were never able to provide us with a single resolution that even they could see as fit. Yes, I agree with the fact that all of the problems in the world which they identified a) exist; b) are unfair; and c) need to be remedied to the fullest extent of mankind’s ability, but do you see me pitching a tent in a city center, complaining that someone in a position of power is not doing enough to fix these problems for me? No. You see me seeking out a better life for myself and my future family, struggling from the bottom up, living the American dream one step, and one day at a time.
I am not opposed to the ideals and principles behind why the occupy movement is occurring. I am in a disagreement however with the methods they are using in an “attempt” to resolve the issues occurring in the world today. To avoid confusion, by their “method” I mean:
1: Starting a movement where there is no moving. All that they have accomplished is sitting around complaining about all of the issues in the world. Months later, not one of them has proceeded to come up with a possible solution. “Stop this, Stop that” will never actually cause anything in the world to change.
2: Their movement has come together as a community but still lacks unity. This movement is too individualized. Each protestor I encountered had their own say regarding the reasons why the occupy movement is happening.
3: The movement lacks a leadership position to help direct the movement in the direction of success. In my opinion, by solving this specific issue, both previous issues that I have presented will most likely be resolved.
At the rate this movement is developing, the majority of this 99%(which is hardly accurate), will become frustrated, give up, and pack up their tents before any progress is made.
To conclude, I am not discouraging further movements and protests to occur. Hopefully the mistakes and flaws in the occupy movement’s methods will be learned, and they will continue to fight for their beliefs in a more productive manner.