For three weeks now, a group called Occupy Wall Street has been protesting economic practices and looking to instill change, and the only thought that comes to my mind is: why?
The crowd of protestors, consisting of hundreds of people, does not have a single realistic goal in mind, but instead is looking to end things such as global warming, high gas prices, police brutality and corporate greed. While I get that these are changes everyone in America will agree are necessary, protesting the higher-ups on Wall Street isn’t going to change anything.
Let’s face it, the men and women running Wall Street aren’t going to do anything differently than they have done in the past unless their jobs are actually threatened. These are the people who took President Obama’s stimulus money and used it for vacations, corporate bonuses and high-end remodeling of their offices. If they have the gall to do that with money given to them from the President of the United States and ultimately the taxpayers, the corporate heads won’t even bat an eye at us “regular” people.
What also hurts the Occupy Wall Street movement is that there is not a single person leading the crowd, and there is no single, unifying message conveyed. And while that hasn’t stopped similar movements from forming in Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities across the nation, it still comes off as a bunch of angry people yelling about everything that’s wrong with America. If the organization wants to have a real chance of changing anything, it should have one clear goal it wants to accomplish before trying to fix every problem in America.
Despite their hatred of what has been going on economically, the movement has remained peaceful, which helped the protestors gain public support. The police became involved on Saturday when more than 700 members of the organization were arrested for demonstrating on the Brooklyn Bridge, which shut down traffic for several hours. This surely won’t help Occupy Wall Street gain any support in New York City, as I am almost certain the commuters traveling on the bridge found what they were doing extremely annoying.
The movement has now taken to Twitter, using the hashtag #occupywallstreet, which will help it gain national following. Personally, I hadn’t heard about the protests until just a few days ago, and only now is it starting to get more coverage on news outlets. So while Occupy Wall Street continues to grow and gain notoriety, I believe that it will only prolong the inevitable: the end of the protests and a continuation of the status quo.
Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but I don’t feel the movement will inspire real change. It may inspire thoughts of real change, but not the real thing. I wish I could be as hopeful as those protesting in New York City are, and maybe protesting is the only thing we as citizens can do to create change in how our economy is run, but I just don’t see the point at yelling at those who find the middle class citizens insignificant.
I hope for economic change just as much as the next person, and I think that someday we will have it. As someone whose family has been affected by the economic downturn, I hope that day is sooner rather than later. Until then, we are just left to doing our part and hoping that it will result in positive change. But complaining about problems to people who aren’t willing to listen solves nothing.