- Posted October 15, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street Lost In Translation: To Stay Or Not To Stay?
It’s time protesters of Occupy Wall Street start practicing what they protest, or their message of Wall Street corruption will be lost.
I have written extensively about the Occupy Wall Street protesters, who for the past month been camped out in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. (http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-681253)
Entering its fifth week, the Occupy Wall Street protesters were facing an eviction. Friday morning Brookfield Properties had planned to kick the protesters out of the park citing unsanitary conditions that needed to be addressed.
However, what could have been the worst day for the protesters and possibly The City (with arrest and injuries) was averted. At the eleventh-hour, Brookfield decided not to evict the protesters, and the NYPD along with the City breathed a sigh-of-relief. So for the time being the protesters will remain in the park. How long is anyone’s guess.
In any event, if the park owners want the protesters to leave the privately owned park so it can be cleaned, they _ the protesters _ should leave. It is a privately owned park with rules and regulations among them “no sleeping” or “overnight stays.” Yes, people are sleeping, eating and dancing in the park but that doesn't make it dirty. Actually, the park is rather clean, all things considered. (http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-686266).
By staying in the park and refusing to leave aren’t protesters doing exactly what they are accusing Wall Street of doing usurping authority? Not only that they _ the protesters_ could be viewed as disregarding the request of the people (surrounding businesses who want them out).
The Occupy Wall Street protest is more than just an occupation of a park. Some have said that if the protesters leave the park they’ll lose their energy. Really? So the energy from the group is a park? What happens when the group has to stage a rally? The energy should be the people having one goal and a message of “We The People!” and not “We the Park.” While I understand the need to have a meeting place for protesters to come and share ideas, why wouldn’t a rented space called “Occupy Wall Street Headquarters” suffice?
The protesters’ concern should not be over a space to camp out and sleep but rather a place to rally the troops and share or collect ideas. Just the other day hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons said he would personally bankroll the sanitation efforts of the park. Wouldn’t that money be better served renting an office space for the protesters? All the celebrities who have visited the park surely can muster enough cash to rent a space for the protesters if they _ the celebs _ really and truly believe in the protest cause.
Again, the protest is more than just a camp out in a park. If the protesters are serious about their cause, one would think they would graciously turn the park back over to its rightful owners for a cleanup.
This standoff of the protesters leaving or staying will eventually take attention off the alleged misdeeds of Wall Street and onto the arrest of protesters wanting to stay in a park. Doesn’t make much sense.
Furthermore, if the message of the protest is only as good as the occupation of a park then the message is lost in translation.