Occupy movement is a failure
If you have watched the news recently, you will have most likely heard about the new movement sweeping the U.S. You may have even seen it in the city, or know supporters of it. I am, of course, talking about Occupy Wall Street. This movement aims to eliminate social and inequality, mostly in the financial spectrum. Protestors scream witty slogans about how unfair the current financial status is. While all this is good, it seems to be apparent that these protestors could be doing more harm than good. While Occupy Wall Street is essentially a good cause, it is disorganized, lacks proper demands, and seems to just be an ineffective protest.
Occupy Wall Street is extremely disorganized. The protest originally started out as a small occupation of Wall Street by anti-consumerist group Adbusters. To Adbusters’ pleasure, the protest was taken up by the world. The protest lacks any real leadership. While they certainly have numbers, they have no one to bargain to have even the smallest part of their demands met. The protestors need political influence. On NPR, Laura Sullivan was quoted saying so. In many ways, I can almost sympathize with a bit of the outrage expressed by Occupy Wall Street, but at the same time, maybe it should be termed Occupy Congress because that’s where you’ve had a lack of leadership. And we all hate uncertainty, indecision and politics over economics, and that’s what we have. So, yeah, I’m all for an Occupy Congress. The protestors need lobbyists or even people to endorse candidates for Congress. As of now, they are easy for government to simply ignore. Yet many protestors even refused the influence they do have and refused to vote. They need leaders in Congress or nothing will change.
Their lack of leadership may have resulted from their lack of proper, united demands. Even before many jumped on this bandwagon, their demands were vague and abstract. Adbusters states that they have “one simple demand—a presidential commission to separate money from politics.” However, this is a very abstract idea and is unreasonable as well as impossible. Money has been connected to politics since nearly the dawn of politics. The protest needs a set of realistic demands to present to Washington political leadership. I can think back to successful protests such as The Civil Rights movement or the many Union strikes. These things had leaders whose demands were concise, realistic, and presented by a leader to the leaders of which they are opposing for positive change. Occupy Wall Street has now become a small soapbox for everyone who has a cause. They all jump on a protest and shout about their frustration, providing no actual demands. Everyone involved wants something different. If they want to succeed, they need to come together under leadership to decide what it is they want and how they can change it. You cannot separate money from politics, only regulate it. The protestors need to understand this and propose their own regulations for the financial sector.
These factors lead to Occupy Wall Street being an ineffective protest. Even movements like the Tea Party were very effective protests. Even though I don’t support their ideals, I can praise how unified and effective they were. The Tea Party had leadership. These inspiring leaders could make the whole group move and act in unity. The Tea Party had clear demands. It was clearer what they wanted. They also endorsed candidates for political office. Some of those candidates were elected and the Tea Party is now influencing government. However, Occupy Wall Street, which some claimed was supposed to be the Liberal Tea Party, failed at being effective. The way they set out in Occupying cities caused them to be looked upon as a public nuisance. People got tired of them quickly.
It is sad that such a good cause for change was a failure. Occupy Wall Street had the numbers and potential to cause massive change. However, due to their lack of organization, they’re divided and unclear demands caused the protest to not be taken seriously. Occupy Wall Street also failed to cause any real change by not endorsing anyone for political office or even contacting those in power. All they did was gather and shout for over two months. Witty signs will not fix the economy and neither will Occupy Wall Street.