- Posted May 6, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Occupy Wall Street
Flawed or Pointless? pt. 1
This iReport is a response to an iReport by someone who I sincerely respect, consider a friend and attended high school with, but on this occasion disagree with. If you would like to read the original post first here is a link:
Everything is biased, so you might as well know up front. Here’s some background so you can judge my bias.
I am a 19 year old International Business Major at the University of Missouri - Columbia. My mother is from the Dominican Republic, she moved here while pregnant with me. Single. She couldn't afford my clothing and was forced to frequent the Salvation Army. Fast forward 18 years; she's remarried, happily living in the upper middle class of America. I also depend on scholarships because of lack of substantial savings. And my family has also worked very hard to get to where we are. I believe in the American dream, and I am a conservative (meaning I believe in small limited government). That is why I believe in the Occupy Movement.
Noah, I agree with much of your sentiment. 6 months ago I would have wholeheartedly agreed with your article. The Occupy movement is flawed in many ways. That does not, however, make the movement pointless or unimportant.
The problem with your article is a lack of understanding. You ask "why is the Occupy movement still alive and kicking?" Yet there is no apparent effort to find out. I’m going to address what I feel are the most important misunderstandings you expressed, not to sway your opinion, but so you can at least fully understand the movement.
“The plan is for the 1% to spend a day (May 1st) without the 99%. For the whole world to rise up against the establishment that keeps them down. To show those in control that they mean business. The idea is to not work, not go to school, and not bank.”
I’m sorry Noah, but that entire statement is false.
In order to understand the Occupy May Day protests, you need to first understand May Day. “May 1st is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries… International Workers’ Day is the commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. The police were trying to disperse a public assembly during a general strike for the eight-hour workday, when an unidentified person threw a bomb at them” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Workers%27_Day) The article goes into further detail if you’re interested.
Next you need to understand Occupy’s goals instead of the apathy popularized by mainstream media.
“On May 30, 2011, a leader of the Indignados, inspired by the Arab Spring, called for a worldwide protest on October 15. In mid-2011, the Canadian-based group Adbusters Media Foundation, best known for its advertisement-free anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, proposed a peaceful occupation of Wall Street to protest corporate influence on democracy, address a growing disparity in wealth, and the absence of legal repercussions behind the recent global financial crisis.”
Although a lot of emphasis is put on the current and growing economic disparity between the 1% and the 99%, it is not the goal of Occupy to merely lounge around and receive handouts. The main goals of Occupy is to bring awareness to the GROWING disparity and challenges for Americans to move into the 1% and for 1%ers to fall back into the 99%, as well as the amount of pull that the 1% has in global, national and local policy.
I ran out of space. Here is a link to part 2.