Occupy Wall Street protests could be next American Revolution
Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 18:10
Occupy Wall Street began on Sept. 17, quite appropriately in a place called Liberty Square.
The first wave of protesters marched on Wall Street. Then they marched again. They continued with little fanfare or press to march daily and even twice on many occasions.
Even when rumors of police brutality surfaced, finding coverage in the national media—the same outlets that believe celebrity indiscretions are top stories—was difficult.
Occupy Wall Street was only being talked about through social media on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
The Brooklyn Bridge incident changed things.
Accounts differ as to the events which led to the arrest of 700 protesters on Saturday, Oct. 1.
The city of New York maintains the marchers impeded traffic.
The protesters contend they were encouraged and even led into the roadway by police, only to be trapped with nowhere to go. Now the arrested are filing a class action lawsuit against the city of New York.
It's difficult to believe, but the 700 arrests were still not enough to elevate the Occupy Wall Street movement to "top story" status the following morning on the online news sites of CBS, ABC, MSNBC and CNN. Only FOX News displayed the story with any prominence.
For some in the realm of social media, the lack of mainstream coverage became a catalyst to increase efforts to spread the awareness. Now, the people of the world are beginning to stand up and notice.
Unions and students have joined the cause. Solidarity movements are springing up around the world. There are currently 1,195 cities listed on the OccupyTogether.org website, a number that represents countries on six continents.
As the reach of Occupy Wall Street extends, critics are becoming vocal.
Notably, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain stated that the protesters should blame themselves for their lot in life and that protesting was not the American way to do things. Apparently, Mr. Cain has never heard of a little thing history teachers like to call the "American Revolution."
Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Majority Leader, called the protesters a "growing mob" and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg accused those associated with Occupy Wall Street of "trying to take away the jobs of people" working in the city.
If all of that weren't enough, Republican Congressman Peter King, who represents the district in which the Occupy Wall Street protests are taking place, said, "we have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy. I'm taking this seriously in that I'm old enough to remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy," he said. "We can't allow that to happen."
Excuse me, but isn't that the point of a democracy—by the people, for the people? If King is afraid of what the people of America would like to see this country become, maybe he should retire from politics.
Thankfully, the reported news has not all been negative. On Friday, a live studio audience of approximately 170 people gathered in the WGCU television studio to take part in the BBC program, ‘World Have Your Say'.
The discussion centered around Occupy Wall Street. Even here in largely conservative southwest Florida, not one person in the audience stood up to voice a strong opposition to the movement.
In fact, the closest anyone came to saying anything really negative about the movement was that the protesters should be more grateful for what they have because other countries have it worse.
One thing is certain: the Occupy movement is gaining momentum. There are many purposes to Occupy Wall Street, but none is clearer than the second line of their declaration, "[S]o that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies."
I applaud not only those marching on Wall Street, but every individual who gathers and raises his or her voice in solidarity. America needs a revolution, not of violence and war, but of policy, humanity and ethics.