The “occupy *insert location here*” movement is a massive protest of sorts that is rapidly sweeping across the planet. Now in reportedly 150+ cities and counting, the occupy movement has left many, who may not be the most politically savvy, scrambling to figure out “what in the world is going on?” Though the variety of motives and methods can and will continue to be debated, the entire movement can be summed up in just one word: freedom.
The History of the Movement
Depending on where one is located, who they associate with, what one’s financial status is, what one’s political affiliation is, as well as a plethora of other factors, one will undoubtedly have a different view on this movement. Started over a month ago on Wall Street by a small group of protesters who called themselves “New Yorkers against Budget Cuts”, wanted to protest “potential austerity measures as a result of the debt-ceiling crisis” (usnew.com, Brian Greene), and quickly spawning the movement of the “99 percent” (a group of people who claim to represent the average citizen), this movement seems to have something for everyone (who isn’t a part of the wealthiest 1 percent of the population).
With named concerns being everything from wealth disparity, to a need to audit the Federal Reserve Bank, this “leaderless” movement is capable of moving in virtually any direction. Indeed it has, there are a number of other countries on board and no sign of an ending in sight.
What’s the Point?
As aforementioned, this movement has a laundry list of concerns, most notably: income disparity, gay rights, the right to choose, second amendment rights, first amendment rights, governmental corruption, corruption on Wall Street, budget cuts, the upholding of the Constitution, corruption of the banking system, injustice, police brutality, high unemployment rates, the military industrial complex, and the list goes on and on.
Whether or not these issues are factual or perceived can be argued until the cows come home, but the bottom line is that people are beginning to feel suffocated by the system. The general consensus seems to be that the system that most of the world is living under needs a drastic overhaul. There is a strong sense of urgency and desperation in this movement that parallels that of many civil rights and anti-war movements in the mid 1900’s.
The Bottom Line
This movement means many different things to many different people but the bottom line is: that the protesters feel as though the current system has failed them. They no longer trust the powers that be to make the right decisions for them, so they are taking matters into their own hands and demanding change. They have taken to the streets out of sheer disgust for what they have deemed an unfair and unjust system, and it only seem to be growing in terms of both support and determination. Simply put, these people want freedom; the freedom to express themselves as they choose, to live how they see fit, the freedom to…be. These people want their concerns to be more than just heard, they are demanding that they be heeded to.
Usnews.com. “How ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Started and Spread”. Brian Greene. October 17, 2011